2020 Week 1, Day Camp Notes
Posted: 6/27/2020

Chess Class (Nick Katz)

As a chess teacher during the camp I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of enthusiasm coming from the campers during lessons. Going in I was concerned the campers would get "chessed out" in 2 hours of lessons. Personally, in my group, I was met with the complete opposite. We went a lot more in-depth than I was planning to on a number of topics such as game review, openings, tactics, etc.

For me especially, since I believe analyzing students' games is hands down the best way to teach/learn it was very gratifying for me to watch the differences between their first games of the week and the last. I could clearly see that my students were not only comprehending my advice but also actively trying to implement it in their games. Some of the campers I personally analyzed with; completely switched their opening repertoire, took more time thinking through their moves, and almost all of them changed the way they plan in or approach the game.

Overall, my coaching experience was not without it's messy moments and hiccups that will come naturally when coordinating everything online with a large number of kids. However my goal going into camp was to improve my students' chess play while keeping everything entertaining, fun, challenging, and engaging. I think that with the help of my class's enthusiasm, I definitely succeeded in this goal. I hope my students can agree and look back with fond memories as well as plenty of new knowledge. A lot of them have already signed up with me for Week 2 eager to return, I hope they continue to chase that improvement!

Math Class (Yevgeniy Sokolovskiy)

As a math teacher I had two fabulous students Theodore and Drew.  The speed of their brains was totally amazing.  For instance, when I gave Theodore a problem solved by a super mathematician Carl Gauss Theodore was able to solve it as quickly through a famous shortcut.  The problem was given to young Gauss by his teacher to slow Carl down as the child prodigy solved everything at a fantastic speed.  However, Carl found a shortcut that enabled him to solve the problem immediately.  I was truly impressed when Theodore solved the problem using the same shortcut. 

Theatre Class (Alexis Robbins)

We created superheroes and supervillains to play as and build a world around during improvisations. We learned the rules of improv, and did exercises like telling a collective story one sentence at a time. To learn about objective work, we played "return desk." To understand subtext, we performed neutral scenes and added emotion and intention to them. We also played "Party Host" where we had to engage in improvised dialogue to give clues so our "host" and other guests could guess our characters' occupation. Using a spinner wheel, we added challenges and inspiration to the scene work. Basically, we worked on improvisation, character creation, and story writing. 

After a long day at camp, I realized that these students needed to take a mental break and have as much fun and laughter as possible.

Mind Games (Roman Kharchuk)

The class was extremely enjoyable to teach, as the students had a great time trying to figure out the riddles and were competitive in their approach. We were able to find a great way to score points and students came up with a great idea of presenting their own riddles (even parents got involved and helped). Students enjoyed the variety of math, language, logic, diagrams and video problems to solve. The race was close to the very end of the week and everyone felt great at the end of it.