A school district has found that ESL campers have fun while developing English language skills this summer.
At Knollwood Elementary School, English as a Second Language students from all over Rowan County were part of a summer camp designed to boost their proficiency in English in preparation for the coming school year.
The summer camp atmosphere was enjoyed by 64 ESL students who are rising first, second and third graders. “It’s fun, but it’s still rigorous,” said Katie Gardner, the teacher of first-graders.
Teachers had more freedom with summer camp lessons than they do during the year, as summer camp isn’t standardized like ESL during the academic year. They decided on a fairy tale theme for the camp.
Students wrote stories, and learned to code and program Ozobots to create story maps for their stories.
The various centers in the camp were fun and educational. One of the centers run by Gardner allowed students to scan a photo using an app on an iPad provided by the school. A video would pop up on the screen after the photo was scanned. A cartoon character resembling Gardner would be part of a fairy tale scene and read a sentence to the students. Students were to write the sentence, and learn vocabulary words.
“The app uses augmented reality,” said Gardner. “It helps them learn sight words, but in a fun way.”