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Horizon camp concentrates on reading, math

Some students from Horizon Elementary School enrolled in a summer camp to get a jump start on the upcoming school year.

The camp helped students to master basic reading and math skills. “This summer session is important because these students will enter the school year with these skills and feel successful,” camp coordinator Lynn Ray said. Ray teaches sixth-grade language arts at Horizon.

Twenty-one students in third, fourth and fifth grades enrolled. Teachers selected their students who needed extra help in reading, math or both.

For math, they studied multiplication, fractions and math terminology. “These skills are foundations to other math concepts,” Ray said. The reading objectives included decoding multisyllabic words, context clues and reading with voice and fluency. Sixth-graders used their summer reading requirements.

Along with Ray, instructors were Tenika Johnson, special education teacher at Horizon, who worked with small groups on math skills; Crissy Payne, a student teacher at Horzion before graduating from Athens State University, who worked with various groups; and Angelear Abram, a student from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who was conducting onsite research related to reading.

During a typical day of summer camp, the students arrived at 9 a.m. and reported to their small group assignment, either math or reading. After a break, the students switched to the other subject. “During the session, they worked in a small group on a skill and then worked independently and with the instructor,” Ray said.

The summer session differed somewhat from classroom instruction during the regular school year. Campers met only in small groups with one-on-one attention. “The students are grouped academically — not by grade level,” Ray said.

The campers “will feel more confident and willing to participate in class” when school resume, Ray said.

The last two summers, Horizon media specialist Gina Ashley and fourth-grade teacher Rhonda Gierow directed the camp.

Students commented on their sessions, saying they liked “working with partners and playing math games” and glad they were “getting ahead on the summer reading book.”

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