Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Day Camp Hands On Math Program

       This summer I had the privilege of completing my Girl Scout Gold Award under the direction of Lilli Curtis and Suzanne Dwight.  For my project I created a curriculum of math games and activities for the Summer Day Camp program.  I first had this idea when I worked with the Summer Visiting Youth Program during Community Ministries Week.  Throughout that week I noticed that there were multiple reading classes, which were increasing the students’ reading skills.  However, they were still struggling with basic math, but there was no math class.  When I approached Suzanne and Lilli with my project proposal they were excited and very willing to fit it into the new math classroom Lilli created. 
The major portion of my project was creating a curriculum of hands-on math games and a way to test how the games improved the children’s math skills throughout the summer.  The curriculum included a pretest, a post-test, and six math games for each grade - first through fourth.  For six weeks I volunteered each Monday and Wednesday in the computer classroom where I lead the first through fourth grade classes in the hands-on math games.  The games focused on basic math facts, time skills, and money skills.  While playing the games, the children also learned social skills including taking turns, communicating desires, and building friendships. 
The matching games were by far the children’s favorites.  The last day of day camp I let the students vote on their favorite game to determine what game they would play.  Each grade voted for one of the three matching games.  The kids also enjoyed the time relay race.  They were always full of energy, so they loved being able to run up and down the hall.  Combining physical activity with math questions created a more enjoyable learning environment. 
       The best part of my project was the interaction with the students.  I could not have asked for a better group of students. The children were open to new ideas and, new volunteers.  I had no idea what to expect the first week I volunteered.  The children were so welcoming and had the biggest smiles on their faces.  I also appreciate all the parents and church staff who came and supported the program the last two day during the open house.  This program would not be possible without their love and support. 

By:  Allison Brockette

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