What I learned: Implementing choice into Summer Camp

This experience was very rewarding! It was one of the best times I have ever had as a summer camp leader, and my confidence in teaching has increased exponentially. There were so many tiny moments through out the camp that I learned from, and I was fortunate enough to see the various teaching styles being implemented by my cohorts to the same group of students. I was not sure how I would like teaching at the middle school level, but honestly, it was so much fun. The students remained goofy, but were so willing to learn in a not so rebellious way. They wanted to share their interests with me, and were so creative with the various mediums they explored through journals and project completion.

Giving the students the option to choose which projects they wanted to complete aided in creating a student driven interactive environment. Students were much more willing to complete the projects, because this element of choice was there, even though there were only two. Students were also given broad guidelines for the topics to create artworks about, so their passions quickly emerged and were explored more in depth as the camp went on with each project.

I learned many things through the lesson plan I implemented in the summer camp. I learned how important it is to have visual examples prepared for complex projects, the importance of giving group demonstrations before handing out materials, and I also learned how the process of creating is different for each student. Due to statistics being an abstract and intangible number based representation of data, I do not think the project would have been successful without the examples. Students were drawn to the visualization of the project, and I think the visual also sparked ideas for what they could do. Creating a power point also helped with guiding students through the project. As students worked on the pre-assessment worksheets, I soon found out that I should have guided them through the questions as a group to gain better understanding of what I was asking instead of handing them out after they were separated. The difficulty in understanding was mainly due to the variety of age groups at the camp ranging from 6th grade-11th grade. Each student tackled the project a little differently. I had one student who took longer on her project, because she went into so much depth and detail with her content compared to the other students. She wrote on the back of all ten of her pieces, even though they were only required to write on two.

I am extremely proud of the results of this project, and how excited the students were about telling everyone about the piece they created. I was not sure how they would like it, because it is definitely a long term project. They had to really persist through the designing, cutting, and making part, because the exciting part of putting it together did not happen until the end.

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2 thoughts on “What I learned: Implementing choice into Summer Camp

  1. Emily…Actually your lesson was a little difficult to me HOWEVER, I was impressed by your challenge spririt !!! I think that your tessellation lesson is an excellent example of problem solving lesson plan with creative thinking and critical thinking skills.

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  2. as obvious as it is i had not actually thought about the fact that we all have different teaching and art making styles. I think this has been Wonderfull exposure for me in being open to variety. As my cohort member are different so will be my students. This choice based atmosphere I think is great especially for contrary teenagers. By putting the choice in their hands they are more likely to be receptive to the projects and excited to try not and different things.

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