Meet Our Fourth and Fifth Grade Summer Faculty
Teaching students in the summer is no simple task- teachers need to create a relaxed, learning environment that is fun for their students and doesn’t feel like a regular school day. Luckily at Overlake we have veteran faculty who understand what motivates kids.
Take ‘becca Flora, Overlake sixth grade math and computer science teacher. Flora teaches 11 and 12-year-olds during the regular school year, but is transitioning to teach 8 and 9-year-olds for the summer. “I taught elementary school for 20 years before Overlake,” explains Flora. “Eight and nine-year-olds are very similar to 11 and 12-year-olds in that they like to be busy and not do the same thing for very long. They like smaller projects with visible goals and endpoints.”
Flora along with four other Overlake teachers make up the third and fourth grade summer camp faculty that will be teaching students this summer. Flora is teaching two different camps: Houston, we have a problem and Into the Woods.
“Houston, we have a problem is a problem-solving camp that is near and dear to my heart,” says Flora. “I was a Destination Imagination team coach for many years and loved the fact that the challenge solutions were student driven with little guidance. In this summer camp the students will learn to work as a group and how to ‘talk it out’ if things are not going well or to ‘celebrate each other’ when things are going well. I have a huge repertoire of activities to use and, depending on the interests and skill level of the participants, will chose those which are best suited for the situation and the group.”
Flora’s other summer camp fuses science and nature utilizing the beautiful Overlake campus of 75 acres as a classroom. “We will be conducting science experiments, identifying plants, learning survival skills and generally having fun as scientists and naturalists outside,” says Flora. “There are many students who learn best when they are up and moving and even more so when they are outside. This is a camp for kids who want to take an active part in their learning and experiences during the day.”
This type of student-driven, hands-on, project-based learning is exactly what a successful summer program is all about. At Overlake, the faculty get it. “The campers will be talking and discussing, exploring and creating, while learning things about themselves, each other, and the world around them,” says Flora. “The activities are no or low-pressure challenges with many correct solutions and no right or wrong answers. The camps encourage kids to have a more open mindset and see themselves through a different lens than that of just a learner. They could be teaching others or finding a solution to a problem that would be impossible if they were working alone.”
To view all the 3rd and 4th grade summer camps, click here.