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Author Topic: TINY Camps / Small Classes  (Read 7980 times)

Offline korr

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TINY Camps / Small Classes
« on: July 14, 2011, 01:05:42 PM »
I have two conversation camps this summer. Both are ten days, three hours a day. I had lesson plans and everything organized, but today I found out that each camp is only going to have five students and not the ten to twenty I planned for.

I've done very small conversation classes before, but never for three hours at a time. One camp is second grade middle school girls, one is a mix of first and second grade high school girls. All of them are about low-intermediate level and are really good, motivated students. I really want to make these camps interesting for them, especially since most of them don't go to hagwons, but all the conversation books and ideas I've looked aren't really designed for anything this small or this long.

Has anyone done a camp like this before? Any brilliant ideas?

Offline jazzychica

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Re: Suggestions for TINY conversation camps?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 09:14:04 PM »
Well, I've never taught a camp that small, but I did have a 15 day, 4 hour/day camp last winter (same students throughout). The smallest class I had was about 10 students, but I tend to do activities in groups of 4 or 5 anyway, so there are a few things I can suggest.


One idea is The Dating Game. It's based off the old TV show. One student is the bachelor(ette), who has a card of preferences (person age 20-30, adventurous, rich, etc). The others are the potential date, all with a different profile (doctor, surfer, artist, unemployed... the funnier the better). The bachelor(ette) must think of the right questions to ask to find his/her perfect date.

I've had great luck with board games. It's a fun way to make students think and respond on the fly.

myenglishimages.com has a lot of nice stuff. One I really like is "Which is Worse/Better" (http://www.myenglishimages.com/Intermediate/Entries/2008/1/19_Which_is_Worse_or_Better.html). Just make some simple cards with one of the questions on it (or some of your own). Students draw one at random, then everybody provides an answer. The person with the 'best' or most interesting response wins the card.

My winter camp students really liked Apples to Apples. I made my own set with simple nouns and adjectives. I was afraid the student would find it too complicated, but a quick PPT explanation and one demo round and they got it.

Pass the Paper is a huge hit (though it might be because I use k-pop clips between slides). I once did Pass the Paper with 3 students, who still loved it. Just put together some slides with sentences to practice or pictures to describe, then add "Pass the Paper" slides in between and play music while the paper ball goes around.


If none of this helps (sorry, no brilliant ideas), I'd suggest a theme for the day. Themes can be kind of corny, but make a long camp more exciting.

Also, if your students are anything like mine, don't expect much by that last period. Save all your 'semi-educational' time-killer stuff for that last period. Reward them with movie clips, music, or cooking. Give them projects that let them relax and be creative ('make your own board game' was a big hit).

Offline mace107

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Re: Suggestions for TINY conversation camps?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 10:09:12 PM »
I have a similar task but in this case, I have to design 2 different camps. One for high level middle school and another for intermediate. Each camp will be held for about 2 hours per day for a total of 10 days.

Offline korr

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Re: Suggestions for TINY conversation camps?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 01:20:59 PM »
Thanks so much, those are awesome suggestions. I'm saving the last period for card games, which seems to be working so far.

They're actually requesting roleplays, but want unusual or special ones, so instead of the standard shopping or airport roleplays, I'm going to have them design and perform a drama. We'll see how that goes.

Offline dream_a_happy

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Really Small Classes
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 03:57:28 PM »
I recently found out (after submitting all my camp lesson plans) that all my winter camp classes are going to have about four or five students in them. I can plan a class for 35 students without too much difficulty, but with 5 students all my group activities have gone out the window. Not to mention that activities that would have taken half an hour will now take ten minutes.

Everything I've found online seems to be aimed more at Elementary level, but I teach at an all-girls' Middle School of mixed level. My camp themes are food (including a baking day) and fashion and shopping, but I'm really looking for games or activities that could be adapted to any theme.

Please help! How can I make the most of my tiny class size and keep it fun?

Offline jazzychica

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Re: Really Small Classes
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2011, 02:57:19 PM »
I've been in your shoes before. My last winter camp was supposed to have 15 2nd-graders (MS) averaged 3-5 on many days. The students who showed up often had fun with the things I did, but it was definitely a struggle to fill all the time when everything is (too) quick and easy to demonstrate.

A few things I've tried are paper battleship-style games (eatyourkimchi.com has a great one), Apples to Apples, and poster projects (can be lots of fun & take lots of time). Cooking always seems to take longer than I think it will, so that's a great time-filler, too (especially if you add a worksheet).


This year I'm also trying a few new games, like Hit or Miss and Loaded Questions. They could be adjusted a bit to different themes, so I'll explain them in case you've never heard of them.

In Hit or Miss, a group of 3+ students choose a category card (high-paying jobs, summer clothes, things in a mall, etc) and everyone writes everything they can think of in that category for about 1 minute.
Then one player rolls a hit/miss die. "Hit" means the player chooses something from her list that she thinks everyone has. "Miss" means something from her list that no one else has. The other players tell her if it's a hit or miss (they have it or they don't). The player who rolled receives 1 point for each hit if "hit" was rolled or 3 points for each miss is "miss" was rolled.

In Loaded Questions, 1 student is the "Guesser". She asks a question from a card (can be adapted to any topic or level: "What's your dream job?" "What's your favorite food and why?" "Have you ever stolen anything? If yes, what?").
The other students write their answers on their sheet of paper, then pass that paper to the "Reader". The reader reads all the answers out loud, and then the guesser must decide who wrote which answer (no one confirms or denies until she finishes all her guesses). 1 point for each person correctly matched with their answer.


If you're out of ideas, there are lots of ppt games that take a long time to finish completely. You could also try Olympic-style games, with a series of short games strung together to determine a final winner (board vocab races, hot seat/speed quiz, 20 questions, etc).


Good luck! Hope your camp goes well.

Offline Cheung_B

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Re: Really Small Classes
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2011, 11:37:56 PM »
Hey! I have the same problem. I am at the co-ed middle school and I have TWO students in my winter camp. If anyone has any ideas that would be great! Thanks!

Offline Seoulian

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Re: Really Small Classes
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2011, 02:40:56 PM »
I've been in your shoes before. My last winter camp was supposed to have 15 2nd-graders (MS) averaged 3-5 on many days. The students who showed up often had fun with the things I did, but it was definitely a struggle to fill all the time when everything is (too) quick and easy to demonstrate.

A few things I've tried are paper battleship-style games (eatyourkimchi.com has a great one), Apples to Apples, and poster projects (can be lots of fun & take lots of time). Cooking always seems to take longer than I think it will, so that's a great time-filler, too (especially if you add a worksheet).


This year I'm also trying a few new games, like Hit or Miss and Loaded Questions. They could be adjusted a bit to different themes, so I'll explain them in case you've never heard of them.

In Hit or Miss, a group of 3+ students choose a category card (high-paying jobs, summer clothes, things in a mall, etc) and everyone writes everything they can think of in that category for about 1 minute.
Then one player rolls a hit/miss die. "Hit" means the player chooses something from her list that she thinks everyone has. "Miss" means something from her list that no one else has. The other players tell her if it's a hit or miss (they have it or they don't). The player who rolled receives 1 point for each hit if "hit" was rolled or 3 points for each miss is "miss" was rolled.

In Loaded Questions, 1 student is the "Guesser". She asks a question from a card (can be adapted to any topic or level: "What's your dream job?" "What's your favorite food and why?" "Have you ever stolen anything? If yes, what?").
The other students write their answers on their sheet of paper, then pass that paper to the "Reader". The reader reads all the answers out loud, and then the guesser must decide who wrote which answer (no one confirms or denies until she finishes all her guesses). 1 point for each person correctly matched with their answer.


If you're out of ideas, there are lots of ppt games that take a long time to finish completely. You could also try Olympic-style games, with a series of short games strung together to determine a final winner (board vocab races, hot seat/speed quiz, 20 questions, etc).


Good luck! Hope your camp goes well.

Hi I thought these were really good games, so I made a quick (although unnecessary,) ppt presentation's to explain to the students.

Offline MLynTeacher

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Re: Really Small Classes
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 10:04:28 AM »
I'm in the same boat. I have 4 weeks of winter camp with the same 2 girls the whole time. I am hoping to do the Glee Winter Camp, but after that.... I have no idea. I wasn't expecting a 4 week long winter camp with these kids!  :o

Offline jaysoon17

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Re: Really Small Classes
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 10:19:12 AM »
Here is a Celebrity Guess Who Game I used during the school year. I basically took a guess who game somebody made and swapped out the original characters with celebrities.

Offline Bester

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Lesson Plan for a Winter Camp with 3-10 Students
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 04:06:33 PM »
Hello

Here is a 9 day Winter camp for those who are struggling with really small groups. I already finished the camp and it seems as if my students enjoyed it very much. 

Since I didnt know what to expect since no one could tell me anything about the camp I created a non-themed one. The reason being that I was not sure if the students were told that they should attend the whole camp or just come if they want to whenever they want to.

At the end I did the camp with 3 students for 9 days (4h a day) and it went very well.

Download the schedule below to see what i did and if you like it download the zip file which contains all the worksheets and teacher copies and everything!

Hope it helps.

Bester

PS special thx to eng55 for great ideas

Offline Bester

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Re: Lesson Plan for a Winter Camp with 3-10 Students
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 04:21:01 PM »
The Rest. sorry i couldn't attached the countries class because it is just to big..

 

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