Speaking and listening skills get a boost every summer at Brain Camp. The program is a summer camp for students who need extra help to develop speech and listening skills, and it’s a popular way to get kids who are reluctant to speak enthused about going back to school.
In Bend, Oregon, Elk Meadow Elementary School has hosted the camp for two years. “I would see kids who had great ideas who were reluctant to speak,” said teacher Melinda Brown, who started the program. Although the campers are both native and non-native English speakers, the message is the same. “It’s all about conversation, about listening and asking questions and being curious.”
The district has also begun to use new language arts materials, and teachers practiced using them with Brain Camp Students. The new materials are aligned with Common Core standards, which emphasize speaking and listening.
Students were also given books in English and Spanish, from the Deschutes Public Library system. The Spanish language books are helpful for children whose parents want to read to them but only speak Spanish.