Okay, so this being my third time around with teaching English summer camp, you would think that I have this thing down already. However, I would say that Detective Camp was sort of a fail. For the following reasons:
I didn’t factor in the EXTREMELY low level of my students, especially since I had very recently been informed that I would have third graders. >.<
I didn’t realize the material I was using was geared towards middle school.
But–all was not lost!
I ended up playing TONS of games with my students and I believe they enjoyed themselves in the end. I credit my on-the-fly success to the BarryFunEnglish website. I highly recommend this site for smaller classes because you can quickly make worksheets and tailor the games to your lessons. I would upload my vocab for the day and play flash games with my students. We also played ring toss and four corners to get them running around as well.
I actually ended up only having to teach 8 days of camp since we had a national holiday, plus I got sick one of the other days. Yay for me!
This year was a little weird because I only taught 1 1/2 hours a day total. That’s it. My co-teacher and I split the two periods (80 min for 3rd/4th grade and 80 min for 5th/6th grade) so that we could each work with the students alone, but it ended up that when she had them she needed more time with them so that they could finish workbook and writing assignments, etc. So, by the time they were ready for me we would have less than an hour sometimes.
This camp was also challenging for me because my third graders were VERY low level. I had to start out very basic for them. I had a troublemaker in this class who was always getting out of his seat and every 3 seconds would call out, “Teacher, GAME!!” I was worried about having to teach him alone, without a co-teacher, but actually, when we played games he followed along really well.
I have to say that one of my favorite parts of being an English teacher in Korea is doing the summer and winter camps. I get to know a small set of students really well and we just get to play lots of games. I see their improvement and confidence boost translate into the regular classroom as well. Rewarding.