Summer School

Summer 2012-2015

I proposed and designed the curriculum for 2 classes at Lake Zurich’s Enrichment Summer School: Creative Writing Masterpieces and Around the World.  As the teacher, it was my responsibility to create activities for each class period that were interesting and engaging to the students.  I adapted the pace and my activities based on the engagement level of the students.  For Creative Writing Masterpieces, students wrote and illustrated many stories given a specific topic.  Often, I read a children’s story and had students complete an activity related to that theme or gave students a general topic to write about and create their own story.  For Around the World, each day we traveled to a different country to learn about it and complete an activity related to the country’s culture.  The session ended with students choosing and researching their own country to share with the class.  This program lasted 4 weeks, and students enjoyed the activities and learned new things.  Below is a summary of my accomplishments.

Creative Writing Masterpieces

  • Often read picture book to introduce theme before students wrote
  • Students often wrote and illustrated their work
  • Had different expectations based on students’ ability levels
  • Adjusted pace of activities based on student interest
  • Included a variety of activities: stories, plays, letters, invitations
  • Discussed ways to brainstorm and organize thoughts and the importance of writing using details
  • Favorite student activities included creating a class book, writing and performing plays, writing how to decorate a graham cracker
  • Theme Activities: Flying a kite, going camping, and having a slumber party

Around the World

  • Taught students about the United States and different countries around the world
  • Students created a passport to document each place visited
  • Shared facts about each country before students completed an activity
  • Students often worked with partners or small groups during the activities
  • Ended the summer with students choosing their own country to present and having a mini World’s Fair
  • Favorite projects included creating a Mexican restaurant and it’s menu, drawing like Michelangelo, and celebrating the Chinese New Year

Summer 2011

 I taught 4 classes at the Northbrook-Glenview School District 30’s Summer School program: Newspaper Writing (Grades 4-7), Composition Writing (Grades 6-8), Creative Writing (Grades 2-3), and Passport Adventures (Grades 2-5).  Three of the classes were co-taught, which gave me the opportunity to work with and learn from another teacher.  As a summer school teacher, it was my responsibility to create activities that would be interesting to the students, since the purpose of the program was to be fun, and I had the opportunity to teach diverse subjects and work with a variety of students.  I designed the curriculum for the Creative Writing and Passport Adventures classes, which required a lot of planning and adapting activities based on students’ ability levels and interests.  Throughout the 5 week summer program, I developed activities based on the diverse student abilities in my classes, so they could practice academic skills and learn something new.   Below is a summary of my main accomplishments, focusing on the 2 classes I created the curriculum.

Newspaper Writing

  • Used Microsoft Publisher
  • Helped students brainstorm, research, and write their articles
  • Helped compile 4 editions of the student summer newspaper

 Composition Writing

  • Helped create activities that would engage older students
  • Led small groups when broke up students due to large class size
  • Collaborated with co-teachers when developing activities and providing instruction

Creative Writing

  • Constantly adapted and developed new activities as learned about student ability levels so could support and challenge them
  • Had different writing expectations based on individual ability
  • Variety of writing activities: lists, respond to book, imagine if…, write directions
  • Tried to have each day or week have a connected theme
  • Students often drew pictures after writing
  • Wrote as a class, with a partner, and individually
  • Made activities interactive, changed activities many times throughout each class
  • Often read picture book then had related writing activity
  • Played games-make a list, Hangman, charades, and word searches
  • Used different paper-loose-leaf, lined, and colored paper to meet students’ writing needs
  • Behavior management techniques: clapping pattern, counting down, wait time, nametags to decide where students sat each day
  • Used interactive whiteboard to show examples or write story as a class

Passport Adventures

  • Taught students about places in the United States and around the world
  • Created a passport students added to for each country we visited
  • Adapted time spent in each country depending on student interest
  • Learned about each place and did some type of activity (ex: made new ride at Disney World, wrote If I was president of the United States, created a luau dance, designed a Mexican restaurant)
  • Used interactive whiteboard to show real-life examples and PowerPoint presentations with facts about each place we visited
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