Well I've just finished two weeks of teaching at my school's Summer Academy - which sounds academic, but it's really just a fun day camp for the kids. For the majority of activities, I was in charge of the 6-8 year-old campers, which was very amusing - they are nothing if they're not silly :).
After our recess, Bible, and snack time (plus countless trips to the bathroom!) the kids come upstairs in three groups and cycle through the rooms: Arts and Crafts, Gym, and "Fun Learning" (me!). I had students from age 3-age 12, which is a unique challenge in itself. But it has taught me a lot about differentiation and the need for overly-organized planning, especially for the young kiddos.
I wanted to share two original ideas from my weeks at camp:
1. Our first week was Patriotic themed and we spent a day focusing on Presidents Washington and Lincoln. After an interactive Smart Board lesson and catchy video, I had the students complete a fun writing creative assignment focusing on what they would do if they were president.
Here's the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDJB0QbT32A
Attached here is the Presidential writing activity.
2. The second week's theme was "Passport to Fun" where we learned about people and cultural norms around the world. The first day we discussed the 7 continents, sang a song, made maps, and played a unique version of "4 Corners." The same game rules applied, but I changed it to "7 Corners," with each corner labeled with a name tag and picture of continent. This exposed the students to what the continents looked like, how they were spelled, and for the older kids I had them try and name a country on the continent they were standing out if they were called and had to sit out. The students LOVED it and begged to play again and again all week long! Click here for the 7 Continent labels (*If the format looks a little off on the preview, just click CTL-S to download the Word document and it should look normal.)
Later that week we learned about different ways to say "hello" around the world and we played the game again - only this time each of the 6 corners was labeled with a different way to say "hello."