Tanza, Navotas, MM, June 3, 2013- Students and teachers will be back to school today for another “bout” of school year with more positive prospects. But let me share these retrospective of an educational fun activity we have done this past summer vacation.
Looking back, while many of the public elementary school children had their summer break, some here in Metro Manila had been busy in the past months with the very first Summer Reading Scilympics Camps.
Our school, Tanza Elementary School, had the summer camp last May 2-4. It was a two night- three day camp which was extended for another five days the following week from May 6-10.
Well, what’s very unusual about the camp? Not only because it was the very first summer camp in the public schools in the National Capital Region but it was solely for those who were quite poor (read: challenged) in reading.
The objectives of the summer camp were to awaken in the children the love for Reading using the Science concepts at the same time letting them enjoy learning specifically in Reading, Science and Math.
There were sixty school children who joined in the activity from Grades III, IV, V and VI. Each grade level had fifteen participants which composed four groups. The top ten students from the Grade V level last school year lend a very valuable helping hand acting as team leaders of the different groups.
The camp life was very gratifying. The participants lived the camper’s routine which include doing learning activities in the three academic subjects. Early mornings called for the usual exercise activities in the school quadrangle. Clean-up chores followed.
After the hearty breakfast, the subject activities begins. The base system was used to mimic the real scouting camp. Reading, Science and Math served as the bases. Each base covered the Grades III, IV, V and VI levels. After dinner activity consisted with either a film showing or a campfire, a must for a camping experience.
Twelve indefatigable teachers facilitated in the camp. In the primary level, they included Mr. Verlie Elunio, Mr. Virgilio de la Cruz, Math; Mrs. Zenaida Bernabe, Mr. Resty Valdez, for Science; Mrs. Gloria Raymundo, Miss Mary Anne de la Cruz, for Reading.
For the intermediate level, the menotrs were Mr. Erick Azana, Mr. Bernardino Vega, for Math; Mrs. Ana Maria Luzon, Mrs. Perlita Ramos, Science; Mr. Jeodhel Sestoso and Mrs. Eden Avila, for Reading.
The activities experienced by the pupils were all aimed for them to enjoy the process of learning. These activities included games, contests, group works, group dynamics and the use of (software) technology.
Reading dealt more on the development of vocabulary skills through games and some of the often missed skills in reading comprehension such as inferring, verbalizing emotional reactions or getting the main idea. Literary appreciation skills in the form of drawings and paper cut-outs were best-liked by the children.
One unforgettable activity in our group was the Story Travel wherein a story was divided into different parts. Each part was posted in the different locations in the school grounds.
The participants had to travel from one station to another excitedly inferring as to what the next event would be. Their travel from one station to another proved to be very enjoyable as they chanted a favorite song. It was really fun!
Other related games, group works and fun activities were done in Math as the children indulged in the rudiments of problem solving, the basic principles of the four fundamentals in Math and a hands-on for the different polygons.
Science was tackled ideally in the process approach. Excercises for the development of scientific skills such as observing, inferring, differentiating, comparing and summarizing were given to the children.
Again, the atmosphere that pervaded during the activities was fun, fun, fun… including the use of the school garden.
The campers broke camp on May 10 at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon following the real camper’s creed: “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures.”
But surely, the experience left imprints in their hearts and priceless memories of a school life.
I would like to mention the commendable support given the entire campers by the school starting with the school principal, Mr. Edmundo Guiwan, the canteen staff, led by Mrs. Marigold Fulgar, down to the school janitors.
This recently concluded activity was a very good indicator, specifically from the Office of the Director of NCR in DepEd, for the commitment of the people in the Philippine school system to improve the performance of the children in school.
The small number of students per group gave the teachers flexibility in planning and giving fun activities throughout the camp.
After the camp, and the week after the Brigada sa Eskwela, teachers grabbed the much needed respite, I hope.:)
And today, we, teachers, face the overwhelming reality that a big number of students per class are coming in.