Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Notes From Camp: Week 2

Dear Camp Diary,
   Last week ended with a triumph of laughter and fun. We did our Sport's Day and it went well, except due to the weather we couldn't do the water balloon challenges.
However, we managed to fit everyone inside the old auditorium on the top floor. (Actually this is where they plan on building the English classroom for next year.) We got up there early and turned on the aircon so that the kidlets wouldn't sweat to death. The games seemed to go over well with the pack of third graders. They enjoyed balloon racing games and then a big game of "Red Light, Green Light."
I really got into the fun with them and showed a lot of enthusiasm, which I think my coteachers were impressed with.

After games we settled down back in our classrooms (borrowing the homeroom classes) and gave out the prizes and had our ending ceremony.
Goodbye third graders! Hello fourth graders!
The second week of camp is all fourth graders and we are doing the same program. So far the difference has been that they understand me a bit more. Yet they are still enthusiastic and like to have a good time. 
First was the "Get to know you" day and I think the best way to get the kids familiar with each other is to play a few basic games. So after a few name games it was time for something more active. I got the kids to sit in a circle of chairs to play Fruits Basket.

This is one of those basic games that should be ready to use and can come out of your grab bag of games. I am going to describe the game to you here so you can get the idea and if you want use it in your class.
  • Make a circle of chairs and have the Ss sit in each one.
  • On the white / chalk board write in large letters a list of fruit. (make it 4 kinds and basic ones) (Ex: Apple, Banana, Strawberry, Orange)
  • Stand in the center of the circle and explain the game. "Everybody will become a fruit. So somebody is an apple and other person is a banana. The person in the middle will call out two fruits...example Apple and Banana." "The people who are apples or bananas have to stand up and switch seats." "There will be one person with no seat and they will go to the middle." By now they either get it or are confused so you will show a demonstration.
  • Give each kid a fruit name. Start with someone in the circle and touch their heads. Apple. Banana. Strawberry. Orange. Apple. Banana.....and so one till no one is left.
  • Tell them you are going to start the game. Shout out 2 pairs of fruit. They should start to get up and move. Tell them to hurry and find a seat. Usually they get it after a few turns.
  • After a while you want to announce to them the rule of "Fruits Basket." Which is that if the person in the middle announces "Fruits Basket" then everybody gets up and finds a new seat.
  • Remind them to not kill each other and don't fight. 
This is a good game that can last 15 minutes and get them excited. 
That was about it for Day 1 with the fourth graders. Day 2 was drama day and so first they learned about story parts, where they were given a piece of paper with a diagram on it. Then they were given an envelope with story parts (just some funny pictures). They were to make the pictures into a story using the diagram, which was of 3 rectangles listing the beginning, middle and end. This was so that they can think about the components of a story. After putting together a few stories they then thought of what they would say to describe the pictures.

Both 3rd and 4th grade took a long time with this activity, mostly because they tried to make as many stories as possible. I think this was a really good activity since it first used basic visual skills, and then got paired down into writing and then speaking. I could really see them working hard at making a complete story and using their vocabulary.

After this was an activity on characters and then it was time for role-play. I was amazed at how enthusiastic the kids have been towards doing a role-play. I made sure to pick out plays that were simple to read and with simple stories. I had the groups pick which story they would do then practice it before giving a performance. Memorization of the lines weren't required.

Check out the following video of their role-playing. 

Well camp has been interesting so far and I guess I am in the middle of things since there is still next week. Tomorrow is Egg Drop day again and I am wondering what the groups will come up with. 

Oh by the way, today Mrs. Kim came back and I felt really nervous and a little stressed out. So I tried to stay down-low and just get through the day in a cheerful way. It was nice to see her and give her the souvenirs I bought for everyone back home. She will be here till the end of August so I am going to give it my best to let her leave in peace. 

Till next camp diary!

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