Another hard working and adventurous week here at the camp. Our campers have been finishing up their learning on money exchange and time to the 5 minutes, using activities and games to practice their skills. In language arts, we have finished writing our pen pal letters to our friends in second grade Memorial School, and will be sending them out today. We have also been reading interesting stories, practicing partner reading and working on reading groups and literary circles. In Social Studies, we finished last week our travels around the 7 continents, and have moved to learn about how seeds propagate during our science period (pictures on the presentation show our students acting as trees dropping the paper seeds from their arm-branches). And on our special bird feeder project, we have installed the camera and have seen a lot of activity in our bird feeders and bird houses. We can't wait to see the footage that the camera has captured. The project has had such a big impact in the school, that teachers and students are doing some bird watching on their own and reporting what they see to us. The houses and feeders look so pretty over a background of green grass and blooming trees, and the birds seem to love such colorful constructions!
Here is a slide show of the bird feeder installation. What a perfect day for outdoor work! Thank you to Mr. DeWitte for doing all the work, and explaining to our campers the proper use of the tools.
Now we just have to wait for the birdies to discover the wonderful buildings we have created for them!
This week our campers have been really hands on with their learning:
In Science, we have finished the unit on matter, first creating the highest structure with cards and clips, and then transforming it into a stronger structure that can hold the weight of a hard cover book.
During math, we have continued our journey through numberless problems, and splitting up numbers in tens and ones. During Halloween Day, our aide Esther, presented on "El Dia de Los Santos", a November 1st celebration in Spain to honor our family members that passed away, and engaged our campers with a fun game comparing Halloween with El Dia de los Santos. In the afternoon, we ended the school day with a fantastic party organized by our volunteers, in which our campers decorated a pumpkin, frosted some cookies with some scary and yummy scenes, and played a guessing game with some horrific and mysterious objects in cauldrons. THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!
And during Language Arts, our campers have continued their practice on close reading, learning new vocabulary, and doing some summarizing with sequence of events.
Take a look at this week's slideshow.
What happens when we encourage each other, listen to each other, and work together to figure things out? Easy! Exponential growth in learning, plus it makes it way more fun to work with somebody else. This is what the campers have been doing a lot this week. From finding what materials are more insulating and protect us better from the heat, to match words with their pictures and write sentences that show a character, setting and a problem, and then reading those sentences to our audience, collaboration has taken a front stage in our camp. The sense of collaboration is so big, that many of my students have started to forget how to speak in English as well ;), encouraging each other to "hablar sólo en Español". Collaboration has also come in the form of a wonderful help from a mom that has made a set of "rekenreks" for our campers (you know who you are:) to work with addition and subtraction, and with the visit of our Clough Math Coach, Mrs. Berthao, that is collaborating with all the second grade classes to expand our repertoire of math fun! We love to have her come to our class! Take a look at these pictures to see some highlights of the week.
This Monday we received the visit of a group of seven Spanish exchange students and their teacher, that right away accepted the challenge of building structures with our campers. The students were distributed in groups of two or three with the help of one exchange student each. They were given a bin with different materials, and a set of pictures of structures as an example of what they could build. At the end, the exchange students would help our campers fill out a paper with a picture of their structure, and an explanation of the materials used, the names of the team members, the name of the structure and what was it for. All the students were so engaged for the full hour, and it was beautiful seeing our campers and our helpers communicating in Spanish.
In our Nature camp, we have also started our science unit on Material Magic!. Our campers have started exploring the properties of certain materials, and have created a hat perfect for the hot weather, with absorbent materials, and good to protect them from the sun. Check out their creations!
As a final note, I have to say that I was so impressed and proud of my students for their performance during Open House. They were incredible tour guides, and were so focused and respectful when it was my turn to present to you. Such a caring group of kids speaks volumes of the great parenting received at home!
Thank you so much for your visit during Open House. It was great to meet (almost) all of you, and to see your enthusiasm for your child's learning. As a gentle reminder, there are still many volunteer opportunities opened, so check them out on the menu above!
Hello! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a fourth grade teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!