Algebra Camp offers incoming freshmen hands-on learning opportunities

August 19, 2019

Brianne Branch (right), a Cypress Ridge High School campus instructional coach, works through equations with incoming Cypress Park High School freshman William Ventura during Algebra Camp on July 10 at Cypress Park. More than 300 students attended the camp, which held sessions at Cypress Park and Dean Middle School.
Brianne Branch (right), a Cypress Ridge High School campus instructional coach, works through equations with incoming Cypress Park High School freshman William Ventura during Algebra Camp on July 10 at Cypress Park. More than 300 students attended the camp, which held sessions at Cypress Park and Dean Middle School. 

Aug. 19, 2019—Numerous summer opportunities allow CFISD students to continue learning and growing between school years by offering camps and workshops in athletics, technology, fine arts and a number of subject areas.

One opportunity was Algebra Camp, held July 1-17 at Dean Middle School and Cypress Park High School. A total of 316 incoming freshman students attended and learned strategies and tips to help keep them on track once they begin Algebra in ninth grade.

“The camp gives the kids a chance to fellowship with other students who may struggle in math,” said Angela Williams, Jersey Village High School assistant principal and the camp’s director at Dean. “They can lean on one another and they can have the teacher’s undivided attention.

“They chose to come – this was a choice. They weren’t made to come so when you chose to do to something and when you chose to grow and better yourself, it’s just that much more meaningful, important and special.”

Bridgeland High School engineering teacher David Laughlin (left) leads Algebra Camp attendees in a rocket launch. The activity was among the many hands-on learning opportunities at the camp. Students built and then launched rockets while solving fractions and taking measurements to determine flight angles and distance.
Bridgeland High School engineering teacher David Laughlin (left) leads Algebra Camp attendees in a rocket launch. The activity was among the many hands-on learning opportunities at the camp. Students built and then launched rockets while solving fractions and taking measurements to determine flight angles and distance.

Solving linear equations and determining slopes of lines on graphs were among the many lessons taught. The activities were interactive and the camp offered ample hands-on learning opportunities, such as building rockets and preparing food to assist students’ memory of concepts.

Suzanne Baker, who has served as a camp instructor the past six years, said she enjoys the one-on-one time she gets while working the students as well as the ability to make the learning fun and enjoyable.

“They get into the learning and they realize some things aren’t all in your head,” said Baker, a Labay Middle School special education liaison and special education teacher. “It’s hands-on learning and the lessons can teach you muscle memory. You’re looking at it, you’re saying it and you’re doing it, so that can help more than just thinking about it.”

Camp participants were able to take advantage of nutrient-rich summer lunch provided at both schools through the CFISD nutrition services’ Seamless Summer Option program in addition to being offered transportation by school bus to and from camp, which ran from 9 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. each day.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Juan Jose España, an incoming freshman at Cypress Falls High School. “I’ve been learning a lot about equations, inequalities and graphs, and I like that it’s not just simple learning. They put it in a fun and more complex way.

“I feel more comfortable and more confident going into high school.”

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