Summer time is for fun, relaxation, but also for learning! At BASIS International School Nanjing, a wide range of activities and camps offered both students and teachers the opportunity to have some fun, while learning new concepts and skills. Chess, sculpture, STEM, language…these were just some of the camps running throughout the summer. Read more from our teachers about their experiences and highlights from these fun summer programs!
From Annie Ngai
The students had a great time in Kinder Kamp, where they participated in various games and activities to develop school-life skills. We started each day with a morning circle, during which students had a chance to practice speaking and listening. Each day, they were asked a different question and they had a chance to talk about themselves or their opinion about a topic. They then played a game, such as I Spy, Simon Says, or Telephone, which had students practice listening, speaking, and following directions.
In their STEM exploration, students learned about a science concept and participated in a project exploring that concept. They also listened to a different story each day and did a craft to make the animal in the story. Between all these activities, students also had play time where they worked on developing social emotional skills. We had a memorable two weeks of summer!
From Stephen Backhus
Our room was filled with the soothing sounds of sawing, clicking, clacking, and the humming of our electric drill. The singing sounds of tools that permeated our sculpture class were matched with an intense focus on joyful creating from our students. The summer sessions of sculptural stories were undoubtedly great fun to facilitate. We offered a course for Grades 5 – 7 and one for K – 2. Although both classes had a similar aim–to unveil a story through their sculptural process–the routes to get there and the materials used were very different.
The K – 2 students focused on wood building techniques and creating the place and setting for their stories. Their materials evolved to clay for the creation of characters, and a plot peak was captured in the artwork.
In the 5 – 7 section, we used magical materials most students wouldn’t encounter unless they had attended an art college. We experimented with plaster, silicone and resin mod-making techniques. We made plaster castings of our hands and captured moments in resin. We then made silicone molds of meaningful objects. The students carefully considered each element in relation to one another in order to generate a narrative of their interests. In the end, both classes were a blast; I am super thankful for having children so eager to learn. The students found new outlets to be expressive, learned skills, stretched their imagination, solved technical problems, and expanded their overall understanding of art.
Oh yeah! And we created a rocking exhibition!
From Michelle Wylie
It was a memorable two weeks spent getting to know the wonderful group of English Olympiads. We spent time playing spelling games, word puzzles, and writing stories. Perhaps the highlight for me was when the students would ask for my assistance to spell a word, but once I helped them to think about it phonetically, they could write the word by themselves.
Seeing their confidence blossom was a pleasure. Laughter rang out in the classroom on the day we played a word guessing game. Each student wore a pair of oversized glasses with a word taped to the top, and they would ask their partners questions in English to guess the mystery word. The chorus of English and laughter was music to my ears. Over the course of the two weeks, I saw the students’ confidence and writing improve. I look forward to seeing these improvements continue throughout the next academic year.
From Steven Melitz
It’s 40 degrees C outside. How about a nice game of chess? Let’s play inside! The boys and girls of BINJ made a wise move by electing to play chess indoors this summer. Welcome to Chess Camp 2022! From absolute beginners to novice players, the students have been having lots of fun this summer while still exercising their minds. Chess is a great way to have a competitive interaction with friends and future classmates.
In each class, after a few daily instructions on how to improve one’s game and completing a few challenging chess puzzles, the students are then given the opportunity to play either against pre-determined opponents or against their friends. Good sportsmanship is emphasized and open analysis of the players’ games is granted and even encouraged. It’s a peaceful two hours to start off any day!
From Maggie Li
We have been having a lot of fun learning, tinkering, and experimenting in STEM Exploration camp! In the first week, students built stick rafts with the goals of ensuring that their rafts could float on water and could hold as much weight as possible.
Students also participated in an egg-drop challenge in which teams were given various materials such as balloons, bubble wrap, and straws. With these materials, students were tasked with building an “egg-saving device” to protect an egg when dropped from the ceiling. The children then went on to learn about solar energy and light reflection and applied these concepts in building solar ovens! The students will be putting their solar ovens to the test when we attempt to cook s’mores outdoors using solar energy. Our learners also started a crystal-growing project and made oobleck–a type of slime that acts as both a solid and a liquid–with their peers!
Korean Language and Culture
From Summer Hu
In the interesting Korean Language and Culture class, students learned basic Korean syllables and Korean characters through yoga gestures, word card games, group competitions and other interesting activities. In different learning units, students learned new words and daily expressions in various contexts. They designed and made a variety of mind maps. Language learning process is interspersed with interesting and diverse cultural experience activities.
Children picked up brushes to experience the wonderful calligraphy, and they wandered in the Gyeongbokgung Palace when making traditional lanterns and designing Korean costumes. Students had the opportunity to take Korean currency for a shopping experience, and better feel the exotic vibe when making Korean local food with clay. When recognizing cultural diversity, students can cultivate a broader vision and a more inclusive attitude to face the broad world.
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