June 8, 2010
With school soon letting out, students’ minds are starting to drift toward fun days at the beach, cookouts, ball games, and sleeping late. Summer is a tough time to ensure that students retain all of the knowledge they gained in reading, writing, and math during the school year.
That’s where Temple University Ambler and Fort Washington and Jeanmarie Weir’s Jumpstart! educational camp series comes in!
“The summer is a long time for students to go without practicing reading, writing, and math skills. Our goal is to visit basic skills that good readers and writers use in an informal, enjoyable format,” said Weir, who developed the Jumpstart! program in cooperation with Temple University Ambler and Fort Washington’s Summer Education Camps program. “When the campers get back to school, they will be able to apply skills learned while they were having fun over the summer.”
In Jumpstart! Reading Games and Math Games, campers will use games as a teaching tool. The morning will be spent improving basic reading comprehension and spelling skills. The afternoon will focus on math skills, using manipulatives, board games, active play, and computer games to keep math skills sharp.
“The Reading Games camp will concentrate on the major parts of a written piece. We will play: What’s the setting?; Story Order Mix Up; I Spy Character Study; Spelling Concentration; and more. Each of the campers will have time with their own independent reading book and the book reviews/presentations that we create may send several campers to the library,” Weir said. “In the Math Games camp, we will play all sorts of dice games that involve addition, multiplication, and division. Geometry Bingo, Battleship, and Tangrams will also add to the fun review of basic math skills. We will make our own math board game and we will also have time each day to play some math games on the computer.”
During Jumpstart! Writing and Word Problem Attack, students will improve their writing skills in addition to learning the proper strategy to solve one-step and multi-step word problems. Students will also learn how to create their own mystery word problems to stump their friends.
“Writing is an art that needs to be practiced and enjoyed; writing is done for several purposes and each need to be explored. Pretending to be a children’s book writer, a reporter, or a science fiction writer all require different skills. Pre-writing activities can progress into a final project without the stress of being graded and editing is a breeze with computer games,” Weir said. “With Word Problem Attack, we will address all types of word problems, from simple problems to logical reasoning. Children will work in leveled groups — third to seventh grade challenges will be presented both in the classroom and on the computer so the campers can work at their own pace. The campers will make and present a variety of their own word problems to the class.”
All activities in the Jumpstart! programs are structured based on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). All camp sessions will review grade-level skills in reading and math (Reading Games and Math Games) and writing and problem-solving (Writing and Word Problem Attack).
Weir said the camps, which will be offered during the weeks of August 2 to 6 and August 9 to 13, are designed for students ages 8 to 12.
“Because we work in teams and have leveled activities, all ages are engaged. I have had very good responses from parents and have had several repeat campers — I am looking forward to seeing some of them again this year since the camp bridges such a wide age group,” she said. “Although our goal is not one-on-one tutoring, the camp is intimate enough to allow individual campers to receive pointers as to how they can improve their skills. This hands-on approach to learning should foster a positive attitude of success, so when the children get back to the classroom they will be ready to give their best.”
Of course reading, writing, and math is not just for the classroom, Weir added.
“They surround us everywhere in our everyday lives,” she said. “Enjoy them!”
The Jumpstart! camps are just two of the dozens of Summer Education Camps that will be offered at Temple University Ambler and Temple University Fort Washington this summer.
Beyond the Jumpstart! programs, additional camps offer experiences in interior design, robotics, learning how to debate like a pro, acting, creating remarkable portraits, writing and publishing, exploring the world of nature and “green crafts,” and the intricacies of babysitting.
Campers can discover the importance of “Going Green” and the wonders of the Earth around us with new and returning camps, such as Extreme Weather, The Eco-Zone: Exploring the World of Nature, Earth and Space Science, and Science Explorers. In the new camp Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Eco-Friendly Green Crafts, students will discover how to take everyday items, which they may consider to be trash or recyclables, and turn them into creative crafts while in Make a Difference — Going Green students will learn the importance of becoming a steward for the environment during fun, interactive activities that will inspire campers to make a difference in their own homes and communities.
Campers can unlock their inner Broadway and film star with Once Upon a Scene, Acting for Teens, Digital Video Editing, and the always popular Film and TV Camp.
Unlock your inner Picasso with Drawing for the Young Artist, Figure Drawing and Portraiture, or the new camps Art Rage, which teaches students how to paint with oils and watercolors, sketch with pencils, and much more using Art Rage software. Master your camera skills and photo presentations with Photoshop “Phun” for Photographers and Shutterbugs: Digital Photography.
According to Rhonda Geyer, Director of Non-Credit programs at Temple University Ambler and Temple University Fort Washington, Summer Education Camps are “a fun-filled approach to academic subjects in a small-group setting.”
“They provide a wonderful opportunity for kids and teens to learn about a specific area of interest, experience a college campus, and have a lot of fun at the same time,” she said.
Now in its 21st year, the Summer Education Camp program is offered in June, July, and August as a series of primarily one-week camps.
“With the one-week camp sessions, families can try several different camp programs throughout the summer,” Geyer said. “Children and teens today are interested in so many things that we wanted to offer them the widest variety of fun, educational experiences possible.”
This summer, a variety of full day and half day camp programs will be offered each week. Full day camps will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Half day camps will run from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. This allows campers the opportunity to stay for the entire day or just come for a part of the day. It also provides flexibility for parents who may need their child in a camp program all day, or just a half-day.
For more information on Temple University Ambler Summer Education Camp program, or to register for camps, call 267-468-8500. Or, visit us online at www.ambler.temple.edu/camps.