Winter Camp was very full and fun. The first full week (first graders) was spent constantly talking with students and having a great time. The second graders were a tiny bit misbehaved, very apathetic and, at times, a little rude. Which was a huge bummer. Any attitude they had was really juxtaposition against the angelic first graders. So it was “expectation violation” that I just assumed the 2nd graders would be as awesome and well behaved as first graders. Although – shouldn’t they? They are a year older.The same exact thing happened with Chris and his camps so it’s safe to say it’s an age issue.
Here are our camp books compared to the summer books. Chris had more control over his book this time so his looks really great. I’m sticking with the same general look for mine.
I’ll mostly be writing about my own camp because Chris doesn’t like to blog much. He did paracord bracelets and had a lot of success/fun with it. He also did roll out sugar cookies – expecting a bit of a disaster but it worked really well.
Monday – Research Schools
This was the only day that didn’t have a big project. My students had to research one school around the world and then present their findings to the class.
It was supposed to be the easiest day of the week so of course my smartboard completely broke – it wouldn’t even turn on. And when that was fixed my computer wouldn’t connect to it.
Tuesday – Design the Perfect School
The smartboard was back up – hooray. I had my students work with some advanced websites all in English. Polyvore – a fashion design website and 5d Design – an interior design website. They had to create the perfect school complete with their ideal classroom setup and uniforms.
For 5 minutes I was running all over the computer lab answering questions, logging students into my personal accounts and helping everyone. I was worried I had gotten them, and consequently me in over our heads but they did wonderfully. After the initial rush of questions I wasn’t needed for a full 30 minutes.
Things seemed too educational so we built towers with spaghetti. They had to use 3 marshmallows and could only have 5 inches of tape. The goal was to build the biggest one they could. One group got 87 cm tall (34 inches). The second graders’ tallest tower didn’t even break 60 cm. What’s up with second graders??
Chris did a really similar project but instead of 3 marshmallows the students had unlimited marshmallows and could make the biggest tower they could. The tallest was 121 cm (his second grade camp).
Wednesday -Egg Drop Day
Chris and I had been collecting cardboard and general paper-trash for months to prepare for my egg drop. I was nervous it would be too hard – everyones eggs would break or they wouldn’t have enough materials to build a decent craft. Instead they dropped their contraptions out of a 4 story window two times and only 2 (out of 10) eggs broke.
Testing the egg drop inside:
Thursday – Books to Movies
Each group had to read 1 fairy tale/nursery rhyme. Either Humpty Dumpty, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and Jill, The Golden Goose Fable or Puss and Boots. Then we watched the movie Puss in Boots which mixed all of the fairy tales together. Then they had to compare the movie to the books.
Even with the movie, it wasn’t such a great day so we played a couple fun games for team points.
Here the challenge was for a 4-person group to keep 10 balloons in the air for 1 minute.
Friday – Cupcake Baking
A long long time ago I thought we would make cookies. In summer camp I had some complaints that we didn’t bake anything (baking and movies seem to be expected for the educational English camps). I tried some recipes and they were really big busts. So I switched to cupcakes just before the ingredients were ordered. Not sure why I thought cupcakes were easier than cookies, but whatever.
I had been so busy getting everything else prepared that I, er, forgot to test my recipe – until Thursday night. So between 7-9 pm I frantically tested the recipe to come to the conclusion that cutting the recipe in half somehow made 2 (two?!) cupcakes. Not 6. The recipe called for wayyyyy too much butter. And the cupcakes turned out to be a nasty greasy flavorless mess. I finally desperately made a batch using water instead of milk and it actually worked really well. Thank goodness because I didn’t know what the heck I was going to do.
I was using a cooking room I had never been in in my life, using borrowed equipment. There was no hot water or lights, there was no trashcan (?!) and the butter wasn’t soft enough (and no microwaves). But in the end, though, all 5 teams managed to have something delicious come out of the oven. The only problem was camp ended about 30 minutes late because they had to clean up – oops. Bad time management on my part.
I thought this camp was a bit of a bust compared to all the projects we did last time but apparently not. One of my best students came up at the end of the day and said it was a lot better than summer camp. I think the second graders would disagree but oh well.