STARS / Math Summer Program Combines Learning and Fun
Ninety six Plainville elementary school aged students brushed up on math and reading, made new friends, and held an art show as part of the Plainville Community Schools STARS (Strategies to Accelerate Reading Success) / Math Summer Program. The four week program, coordinated by Wheeler Elementary School second grade teacher Tawana Graham-Douglas, was held Monday through Friday during the month of July, at Linden Street School. The Summer Program collaborated with the Wheeler Regional Family YMCA to provide after program childcare for participating families. Students entering grades 1 - 5 in September were recommended by their previous year's teachers for participation in the summer program. "The primary purpose of the STARS / Math Summer Program is to help the students maintain their school year learning. Even our most successful students lose some ground over the summer months," explained Graham-Douglas. "While the program's overall focus was literacy and numeracy; our primary goals were for students to read and enjoy reading every day, and understand and be comfortable with math as a life-long tool."
A portion of each day was devoted to both numeracy and literacy learning. Students focused on the math strands taught during the school year, working both collaboratively and one on one with summer program staff. The literacy portion of the program was based on weekly themes, depending on grade level. Student lessons were presented via "magazines" that included articles, fiction, non fiction, and poetry. While studying the "space theme" one student was inspired to construct a robot.
While the summer program included a number of traditional teaching and learning methods, it also featured art and technology integration. Toffolon Elementary School art instructor Michael Zaba led a number of literacy and numeracy based art projects using various artistic mediums. At the close of the program, an art show highlighting student work, and a slide show were held for STARS / Math Summer Program families.
Technology was also infused into the summer program learning process, via weekly lessons in the computer lab for each grade level. A computation program provided an interactive, hands-on opportunity for students to learn mathematics facts, while automated reports tracked weekly performance.
As the STARS / Math Summer Program came to a close, Graham-Douglas, who has coordinated the program for two years, reflected on the program's success. "We had a phenomenal team of teachers, literacy instructors, para-professionals, and volunteers who truly worked together to cultivate a warm, fun, comfortable environment for our students to continue their learning over the summer in the areas of math and literacy."
The STARS program will resume with the start of the school year, providing literacy support to Plainville elementary school students district-wide.
-Posted on September 24, 2008 at 01:47 PM
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