Sunday, 1 August 2010

My Summer English Camps

On the first day of my Summer English Camp at Andeok School, I was fully prepared for the eight energetic munchkins that were a fraction of my middle school students.

I had prepared plenty of activities for them, with a list of sixteen tiring, but competitive games as fillers. From ‘English Limbo’, ‘Guess the Pyramid’, ‘English Mafia!’ to ‘Family Fued’, my students were continuously active throughout the afternoon, furiously trying to beat each other in a heated game, or working hard on a comprehensive activity to practice their English skills. I rewarded them with a full day of making and cooking pan pizzas. Everything was made from scratch. We made a record of eleven round, mouth-watering pizzas, in just an hour and a half.

My students were a godsend. They were excited enough to come to class everyday, even though there wasn’t any air conditioning in the English room, and they always showed up with the best attitude. I guess that their positive energy gave me the drive I needed to make sure that I had given 100% into making the camp as exciting as it could be. My first week at my main school went off without a hitch.

My second week of camp, this time at my secondary school, turned out even better than I had expected. Except for the first day (where five out of twelve students showed up…I was pretty discouraged), I had my full class of twelve eager students for the rest of the week. Despite the warm rain that was gently tapping on our classroom windows, my students and I made the most of our time indoors, by going on a school-wide treasure hunt, designing and building English games, and drawing colourful, detailed maps of the town. It was a busy, but fulfilling five days.

For the School-Wide Treasure Hunt, I prepared sets of twenty puzzle pieces hidden all over the school grounds. Each team of students had to read the clues on their clue sheet, find the location of the clue, collect the puzzle piece, assemble it with the others, and finally, answer the question on the completed puzzle. I camouflaged the puzzle pieces pretty well, so activity took a total of two hours. It was utterly exhausting to prepare and execute, but it was altogether satisfying in the end.

For two of the days where the downpour was quite ridiculous, my students create maps of their towns (since some of them travel across several towns to attend school), and designed and built their own English games. For the maps, I awarded points towards creative design and labels (roads, buildings, fields, etc.). For the games, I looked at the rules (written in English), how well the game played, and the design. It was amazing to see what the students could create with merely paper, crayons, scissors, and glue.

I rewarded these students with a delectable chocolate cake, drowned in a chocolate glaze. Again, everything was made from scratch. It took quite a while for me to create the recipe, especially since the entire thing had to be cooked in the microwave. Suffice to say, the cake was a success, and all of us were wishing that I had brought with me some milk to complement the velvety chocolate concoction that we had created.

Sometimes English camps can turn into your worst nightmare, but sometimes, with a little careful planning…and a little stress, they can end up being exactly the way you want them to be :).

- Jess

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like those kids adore you! Great job Jess! Your hard work and planning paid off.