I'm back from Southeast Asia! With all my pictures now sorted through (over 10 gigs...it took a bit of time) I'll be posting on Vietnam tomorrow, followed by Cambodia and then Thailand.
As for this week (yes, guilty, I've been back since Monday), I made it through my last English camp in Elementary school. I'd say it was bittersweet, but I'm also glad it's over. Unlike the others, where the gender spread was equal and the student count was about 8-10, this week I was gifted with 11 extremely energetic boys and 2 shy girls from the 4th grade.
Like the other two English camps I had at my school this winter, I was alone without a co-teacher. Usually I find the freedom kind of liberating from the routine of the school year, so I don't mind being completely in charge. In this case, teaching was near impossible when the boys refused to go near the girls for circle or team work, and wanted to spend most of the time swiping mop handles from the supply closet and having sword fights.
Even though it was tempting to play movies all week, I resisted (limiting it to one- Home Alone, a popular choice for little boys) and added more race and guessing games to tire them out. Using newly taught vocabulary and words they already knew, a popular game was one where two students faced off with a bell between them. With hands on their heads and backs to the TV screen, I showed the other students pictures to act out, and the opposing students had to hit the bell and say the correct vocab word. I put the girls on separate teams so they could pair up in the face of time-consuming opposition from the boys. Another variation was to use the same team and bell format, but show them scrambled vocabulary words (after, as a warm up for the day, giving them a word worksheet so they were familiar with scrambled words). In this case their teammates weren't acting, they could look at the TV screen this time, it was just a race between the two students to figure out the answer first.
Another invaluable activity I found was Highlights (the magazine for kids) hidden pictures. The kind where a bunch of little pictures are hidden in a big one, with a picture and word key at the bottom. After a search online I found plenty of places to print them out. A great way to get them to speak in English without noticing (because in looking for the pictures they would say the English words when talking to their friends). Very fun and surprisingly challenging. Meanwhile, I could covertly hide the mops.
Now I can rest. I really will miss all those kids, no matter how difficult they are.