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Apr 13, 2017

Village School Second Graders “Camp In” for the Afternoon

In a recent report to the Holmdel Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Robert McGarry suggested that the district’s 2016-2017 learning goal had truly “galvanized the entire district staff.” That goal, “to increase student engagement, challenge, and excitement in the learning process and maximize the potential of every student,” was clearly evident in the classroom of teachers Kristen Savare and Faith Renna at Village School recently.

“Welcome to Camp 101!” was the message second graders in their class walked into one afternoon. Upon entering, the students were thrilled to find that the classroom had been turned into a campsite, complete with tents and a camp “fire.” With camping as a theme, the teachers crafted five unique learning centers focused on literacy and STEM tasks for their students to engage in throughout an afternoon rotation of activities.

When asked about the centers, one student named Addison said her favorite was “writing a postcard home from camp to my mom and dad.” Other centers included a camping word problem, a reading tent where students got to cozy up with a book, and a STEM project where the students had to make a tent for a teddy bear using gumdrops, toothpicks, and tissues. The students engaged in a technical writing exercise, as well, detailing how to make s’mores, the famous campfire dessert.

When Andrew, a student in the class, was asked about his favorite part of the day, he replied, “My favorite thing to do was building the tent for the teddy bear, because I got to eat the gumdrops afterwards.” Sofia added, “Building the tent was fun, but it was also the most challenging center.”

To say farewell before “heading home from camp,” the class gathered around the “fire” and sang campfire songs while enjoying s’mores trail mix treats. The class concluded that Camp 101 was a huge success! Principal Brian Schillaci complimented the teachers for providing such an engaging learning experience for their students. Pointing to other examples, such as the recent creation of a “zoo” in a third grade classroom and a class play about the solar system, Dr. McGarry commented that creating excitement for learning is something for which Village School staff members have built an amazing reputation.