Working with High Ability Students

For the past two weeks I was given an incredible opportunity to teach at a camp for high ability learners. Students are selected by their school teachers, fill out an application, and if they meet all the requirements are allowed in. This year we had 140 students and 20 that remained on a waiting list. The best thing about this camp is that students are surrounded by others who share their passion for learning, these students WANT to be there. Teaching is a huge passion of mine, as I am a middle school math and science teacher, but this camp is a breath of fresh air for me. I don’t have to worry about the students who would rather be doing anything else but learning, but instead get to embrace those who are constantly looking to gain knowledge in subject areas of their choice.

This year I decided to share my love of science, fitness, and girly pampering by offering classes related to these areas. It is amazing how much students get out of your classes when they know it is something you are passionate about. This year circus was our SEE Camp theme so all of my class titles related to what you would see in a circus.

My first period class was “Clowning Around with Science.” During this class I allowed students to mix household chemicals to create explosions, moon dough, bouncy balls, and just plain get messy!! (Thankfully it was nice outside so we didn’t have a ton of cleanup!!)

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(Here the students are mixing cornstarch and shaving cream to create moon dough, they loved it!!)

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(We used milk, dish soap, and food coloring to create a swirling of colors, loved this one! The colors keep swirling for about ten minutes.)

My next two classes were titled “Training Like an Acrobat.” I had a lot of kids interested in this class so I was able to offer to sessions of it! I loved the fact that  students willingly signed up for a fitness class. This was my favorite class to teach because I secretly want to be a P.E. teacher. I used this time to workout with the kids so I would get my workout in and got to wear gym clothes all day, who wouldn’t want that job!!

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(My favorite day was the day when my students found out what tabata was. I came up with a kid friendly routine and the kids loved it! So cool to introduce them to new ways of staying fit.)

My last class of the  day was called “No Boys Allowed.” During this class we did hair, make-up, manicures, pedicures, and even experimented with some face painting. The girls absolutely loved it! In this class we got pampered and pampered each other every day. Definitely something a girl could get used to!

We taught the girls how to french braid, do updos, we taught them how to do nail art, and most importantly we let me experience the beauty of being a girl.

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(The girls after giving each other manicures)

 

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(I loved doing the girls’ hair, such a fun class!!)

 

After completing my second year of SEE Camp, I have to admit that it is a pretty amazing place to be. As a teacher you really get the opportunity to see how many ways a student can be gifted. We all have different strengths and this camp really gives students an opportunity to shine! For some it is about meeting new friends, others come to camp to be challenged, and many are there because of their commitment to never stop learning about the world around them.

Camp just go over and I am already excited for next year. Our theme for 2014 is Super Heroes Around the World. I can not wait to start putting together my classes!

 

 

 

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