lunes, 30 de julio de 2012

Camp: Week 4

We had such a great week here at camp! The kids are really beginning to grow in their knowledge of English.  It's nice to hear the kids say "good morning" without hesitation.  They are beginning to ask for things in English without having to be reminded.  It's great to see progress!

This week we were joined by two new counselors: Sara and Patricia.  We've been so lucky to have counselors that are so dedicated as well as creative with their classes.  Sara was a counselor last year and jumped right in helping Kate with games, while Patricia worked with Em in art class.

The kids really enjoyed art class this week!  They were able to make butterflies, scenes that depicted different weather and even puppets to practice their words in English. Counselors Em and Patricia made it fun for the campers giving them plenty of art supplies to inspire their learning. 

The kids spent the week practicing a song about the weather.  It was perfect because we got a lot of rain last week and the kids enjoyed yelling, "it's raining!"  in English. The campers were given a quiz at the end of the week and everyone did really well!  It seems they learned a lot through songs. 

In games, the kids were able to put their weather knowledge to good use by playing competitive games with counselors Kate and Sara.  The counselors made practicing fun and easy as the kids were able to use English to walk through an obstacle course as well as play charades to act out their new English vocabulary.

We had such a great week at camp- can't believe we're more than halfway through!

martes, 24 de julio de 2012

Camp: Week 3

This week at camp the kids learned so much!  We had one new counselor this week, Amanda, and we were also joined by two boys who have been living in the Project Esperanza Boys' Home: Willy and Enso.  Both Willy and Enso have been helping out with the younger kids, but also learning a lot of English.   

In songs class, Counselors Liz, Virginia and Amanda taught the kids a song to memorize the days of the week.  The song was set to the tune of "The Adams Family" theme and the kids really enjoyed singing and snapping their fingers.

Art class with Counselors Em and Katia was also very successful for the campers.  The kids reviewed shapes as well as colors by painting.  The campers really enjoyed using paint, especially mixing colors to make new colors!  The campers also learned a little about time and created clocks to work on how to ask as well as tell someone what time it is. 

Games with Counselors Sandra and Katie was probably everyone's favorite class this week as they spent their time working on Zumba and other dances.  Practicing the dances was not only fun for the kids, but it was also a great way for them to review their directions.

On Friday, the kids who earned 25 or more points throughout the week were able to go on a small trip to tour the neighborhood.  They checked out the Post Office, the Fire Station, and (everyone's favorite part) the BEACH!  All of the kids who were able to participate enjoyed the trip and those who did not earn 25 points reflected on the reasons why they were not allowed to participate. We award points when kids follow the camp rules consistently and answer challenge questions. We take away points when campers disobey the rules. The reward trip was a great ending to a very fun week at camp.

Cha cha slide - How low can you go?

Cha cha real smooth.

viernes, 6 de julio de 2012

Camp: Week 2

 Our second week at camp has been so exciting!  We have 3 new campers who really seem to be enjoying all of the activities and many new friendships are blossoming.  We also welcomed 3 new counselors this week, Liz, Virginia, and Cole.  

Our focus for this week was on colors and our homes.

In art class the campers practiced their vocabulary by drawing pictures of their homes and labeling the rooms as well as items you might find in those rooms.  Later in the week they played pictionary to practice identifying household items in English.  The campers also practiced explaining what they would do in each of the rooms by writing stories about how they spend their mornings: I sleep in my bedroom.  I eat breakfast in the kitchen.  I watch TV in the living room. At the end of the week, the students created books about the colors of the rainbow in art class.  They were able to color pictures of a rainbow and label them with color words in English.

Outdoor games and activities were very fun for the campers.  They played different games each day to practice their vocabulary.  They started the week off by playing 4 corners.  Each of the corners of the yard were labeled with different rooms in the house.  The students were then told an item and they had to run to the room in which they would find that item.  They also played a modified baseball game to practice some of their action words like: walk, jump, skip and run.  On Friday, the kids went on a treasure hunt to practice their directions.   They all loved finding the caramelo (candy) at the end!

Camper Aniverca can't run due to her cerebral palsy so Counselor Cole carried her. With no special education in public schools, Aniverca has never attended school. Camp is quite an opportunity for her!

Songs was very exciting this week because counselor Sandra bought a new guitar for the camp!  Using her guitar playing as back up, the kids had so much fun singing, I Can Sing a Rainbow and In the Jungle.

Once again, campers were quizzed on Friday to see what they learned. Four campers scored 100% The average score was 75%. As far as sponsored campers go, we still seek sponsors for Medlen and Juliana, as well as a new and unexpected member to Project Esperanza's boys' home. Thank you to those of you who are sponsoring! If you are not sponsoring but would like to, please e-mail 

martes, 3 de julio de 2012

Week 1 of Camp - Now We're Having Fun!

Team building activities were incorporated into the first week as well.

June 25th marked the first day of camp!  Ten campers from the Puerto Plata barrios joined us for a week of fun and learning.  We started off the week by introducing English vocabulary for parts of the body, feelings, and family members.  Each morning when campers arrived we sat together in Morning Meeting to greet each other and review the day's activities.  Throughout the morning kids worked in small groups to practice vocabulary at three stations; art, songs and active games.

Milena with her "I feel" drawing and sentence.
In art, Counselor Katie, led campers in drawing pictures of themselves and labeling the parts of their bodies; head, arms, hand, feet, etc. Later in the week kids played charades with "feeling" words in English: like happy, sad, tired, and hungry.  They had a marvelous time acting out the different words and guessing what each other was "feeling."  Campers then wrote sentences using the vocabulary.  For example, "I feel cold when it rains."

Throughout the week, campers and Counselor Sandra learned and sang many songs to help them remember the new vocabulary.  To review the parts of the body kids learned "Head, shoulders, knees and toes."  They sang, "If you're happy and you know it..." and "I have a happy feeling down in my heart" to practice "feeling" words.  Finally students took part in writing their own chant by describing their family:  "I have a mother and a father and a brother and un gato."

Campers learned new games that helped them remember all of the vocabulary we were teaching them!  A favorite was a race to tape the names of the body parts, in the correct place, onto a partner faster than the other pairs.  Kids enjoyed the Olde English "Hokey Cokey," thanks to our British mate, Counselor Kate!  Campers also played a variety of games, like bowling, to practice numbers and letters of the alphabet.
Instead of "duck, duck, goose", we played "up, up, down".

Each day campers met together for story time.  Three stories were introduced this week.  The first was "Three Billy Goats Gruff."  We discussed the meaning of the words "big," "middle," and "small."  Students compared objects that would fit into each category.  We also read the story "Swishy Tail" about a fish who gets lost in the sea.  On each page of the story Swishy Tail says, "I feel so lonely" and "I want to go home."  We talked about the meaning of "I feel" and "I want".  These phrases tied in perfectly with the vocabulary for feelings.  The final book we read this week was called "Dinosaur."  This was another book with a lot of repeating vocabulary.  We have reread all three books, and many of the campers can recite by memory the words that repeat in the story.

Story time!

To end each day we gathered together in Closing Circle.  Each student shared at least one new word they learned throughout the day and the meaning of that word.  Campers also sang a song or played an activity they had learned that day.

On Friday campers were given a mini-exam to test what vocabulary they learned that week as a way for counselors to gauge the effectiveness of the activities that week.  They were tested on body parts, family members, numbers, "I feel" and "I want".  The average score was 88%. The second week of camp is focusing on vocabulary for around the house and in the community. :)

We still have two hopeful campers, Medlen and Juliana, who are not yet sponsored. These two are anxious to go to camp if anyone can sponsor them! Sponsors received updates about their camper's first week of camp with pictures and quiz scores. Thank you to those of you who are sponsoring campers!