Qkids 2018 Summer Camp High5 - Marine Camp - Day Two

"This is how language should be taught: as a means to connecting with others rather than as an end in itself. I feel honored to have played a role."
- Teacher Antonina

Beginning Classes and Friendships

In the bright and early morning hours, teachers and students decided to keep the tempo from the previous day and hit the tasks in an excited, fun manner. Meisha Camp Leader Carina quickly assembled the students and stimulated their minds with some basic games, including one where the students had to mimic her actions. The tempo sped up every rotation, so we quickly had laughter as everyone struggled to keep up. We had kids attempting to do it perfectly while others fell or simply danced, giving up trying in favor of fun.

The focus of today was on aquatic based activities, as well as two keywords: Sink & Float. We had to plan activities that could be not only fun, but also teach key concepts well. With a little finesse, we decided on two ideal activities: Water Volleyball & a Balancing Challenge. 

Our First English Class

Before we could start anything, we had to establish classrooms and groups. A big part of that was the friendships beginning to form. For example, Lily would lead the younger girls and keep them united and on task, while Kevin would take the older boys and have a fun, playful time.

Prior to the camp, students were assessed on speaking ability and placed into levels. There were ten 'higher' level students and fifteen 'lower' level students. 
We decided to split into two classrooms, with the higher level students being separated from the lower level students. Teachers Suzanne and William, acting as a team, tackled the higher level students, while Cynthia, Nina, and Rachelle were incredible at keeping the attention of the lower students as well as motivating them. Our teachers had a brilliant strategy that involved teaching in unison at times and acting solo during others. Here are some examples!

Suzanne leading the charge with the older boys
Nina had a way of making our shy students feel interested and welcome
Cynthia had all eyes on her as she led by example and encouragement.
 We began with students observing teachers, but that quickly changed as each teacher had their own style to motivate students. Suzanne & William featured a style that had William being theatrical while Suzanne articulated words, providing visualization with understanding. Nina, Cynthia, and Rachelle captivated their teams in individual groups, encouraging each student, brave or shy, to perform their best. 

The objective of the day was to grasp the concepts of sinking or floating. As teachers acted out scenarios, students would practice pronouncing the words as well as guess which concept was being challenged. Some students took notes, while others decided to watch and play along.

Still, it isn't enough to only say the word. Students must understand the concepts behind it, too! Suzanne took her team outside to hunt for materials they thought would sink or float, and on return we had a mass of students placing objects into a tub of water. At first glance, it seems boring; however, the smiles on the children's faces as they tried obvious objects in both salt and fresh water indicated otherwise!

 We quickly began a demonstration activity before we headed out to the sea. It was called 'Special Bottle'.

Special Bottle

Special Bottle is an activity that allowed students to test the concepts of sink and float whilst  taking a souvenir home from camp. It began with these incredible little jellies:

Students would take a syringe to squish the jellies into a powder that they could put into bottles and create art. Of course, that sounds easier than it actually is. Some of our younger students struggled to hold the bottle and squish the jellies into powder, so we had teams assemble of teacher-student power. In the case of the younger kids such as Maggie, Tom, Jerry, and Victory, the teachers would squish the jellies with the encouragement of the children behind them. For the older kids it was opposite, the teachers would motivate the older students to squish and give a huge high-five once the mission was accomplished. 

Rachelle's guidance helped students conquer the special bottle

The Water Activities Begin

Finally, it was time to put our knowledge to the test. With the help of our camp lifeguard, Rhys, we outfitted every student with a life jacket and moved to the ocean. We had teachers join teams of students, holding hands to jump into the water together. 

Nina and the boys heading into open seas!

The idea was to show simple concepts while also having fun. Once we stepped into the water, hand in hand, we formed circles. It was like we were in the Olympics and participating in synchronized swimming. Okay, maybe it wasn't that skillful; it was certainly that much fun, though! 

William's circle of water acrobatics 
 We constructed the floating mat platforms when we reached deep water. Teachers and students united as we had a challenge to balance on the mats. Within minutes we had a few successful students taking command on top of the mats.

If you'll notice the blue balls in the other students' hands, we had both water volleyball and balancing games being played simultaneously. What once was simply a balancing act became a challenge of dexterity and nimbleness. The students had to dodge incoming balls and endure the tremors that the instructors caused to stay afloat.

The Final Games of the Day

As we made the trip back to land, we still had a few ideas on how to wrap up the day. In the evening we assembled both archery and curling. For many of our kids, this would be their first time playing either. Luckily, our teachers acted as instructors and took the mantle of responsibility, ushering in two waves of students in both games.

 William and Nina gave vivid instructions on how to correctly perform archery, including demonstrations, cheering, and aiming assistance.

Teacher Nina's demonstrations were spot on!
"Elbow down, look ahead, and let loose!" - Teacher William
Student William with teacher Nina's insight

Rachelle, Cynthia, and Suzanne acted as curling agents, instructing the students in English on the rules of the game as well as demonstrating how to play correctly. It took a surprising amount of power to launch the pucks, and our students felt like champions when they successfully slid theirs to the end of the line. It's a team based game, so the gasps or cheers when a student knocked another student's puck out was part of the thrill. 

The days are packed with life and activity from dawn to sunset. But for everyone at this camp, the fun and the experience as well as the memories that will last far outweigh the present-day fatigue. This is only day two -- we still have a talent show, showcase, sailing, and a graduation to attend. Stay tuned!

The Qkids Family



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