Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kindergarten Camp Readies Youngest Students

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kindergarten Camp Readies Youngest Students

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, County Line staff writer

Two yellows, then two blues. Two more blues, two more yellows, then two greens.

Greens?

And what about the reds?

Nathan Lambert and Samantha Dangerfield were hard at work, kindergartners-to-be on a mission. They had learned a new concept -- patterns -- in Tynes Elementary School's kindergarten camp the day before and were trying to put it into action by lining up small, different-colored toys.

"Yellow, yellow . . . yellow?" muttered Nathan.

"Remember, stick to the pattern," said Principal Sharon Chapman. "Start with two colors. You pick a color, Nathan, and Samantha, you pick a color, and make a pattern with two colors."

"Two more," said Samantha, adding blues to the yellows, then repeating the first color. "Yellow!"

"You remembered!" said Chapman.

"Poof! You have a pattern," exclaimed Nathan.

Such light-bulb moments come often in Tynes' annual kindergarten summer camp, which helps prepare incoming kindergartners for elementary school. This year's camp was held last week.

For four days, three hours a day, the children came to Tynes for a primer on the kindergarten they will enter full-time in August.

They learned how to quietly listen to their teacher, follow directions, line up in an orderly fashion and raise their hands to be called on. They began the process of learning to read by listening to stories and being able to pick out a few words. They learned concepts they might not have been familiar with, such as patterns. And they had fun, such as digging in a classroom sand box and blowing bubbles outside.

This year, Chapman taught the morning session, which had 10 students, and Assistant Principal Jenny Newhall taught the afternoon session, with 11 students. In past years, teachers were hired to run kindergarten camp. Budgetary restrictions prevented that in 2003, but Chapman said she did not mind at all.

"It was important enough to do. We didn't have the money, but Mrs. Newhall and I both taught kindergarten," she said. "We have had a blast. I'm not sure we'll hire teachers again, even if we have it in the budget. …

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