FS.Moments.K&N.July.24.2019.1.Canva

A Moment in the Life of Future Stars’ Campers

Welcome to “2019 Camper Moments”!  Every Wednesday, you will meet campers from a variety of camps at Purchase.  Please contact us with any requests to know more about Future Stars Camps at: purchase@fscamps.com

***

Meet Katherine and Neela, I found them both happily working away at our S.T.E.A.M. camp’s Coding session.

Farah:  Hello ladies, what have you been working on? 

Katherine:   A couple of things together. I am making a quiz game. There is an app that we are using called Scratch and it gives us pieces of code, and then you put the pieces together to make games or animation.

Farah:  Are you both doing games?

Katherine:  I’m making a funny quiz game. Its called, “The Impossible Quiz”, and it’s supposed to be funny because it’s all trick questions. I’ve been trying it on campers and I want to try it out on my brother. There’s one question where you click on a sprite, which is a character or animated character that I created.

Farah:  That’s so amazing! I can’t believe you made that! Tell me a little about yours, Neela.

Neela:  My game is a maze. At the beginning, you choose a sprite, which is a character. They are all fantasy characters like a unicorn, a gryphon, a goblin, or a wizard. Once you choose a sprite, it changes the backdrop which is the background. It changes to a maze that we made together. You use the up and down arrow keys to move your character through the maze and then once you finish it, it changes to a background that says, “You Won!”.

FS.Moments.K&N.July.24.2019.3

Farah:  How did you hear about Future Stars Coding camp?

Neela:  This is my second year here.

Katherine:  This is my first year. I used to go somewhere else but I wanted to go somewhere different because I didn’t really like it. I would cling to my mom. But I’m really happy here!  I really like it.  I’m making friends and having a good time.

Farah:  What are you most looking forward to this summer at camp?

Katherine:  I’m doing a few different S.T.E.A.M. things but I’m also looking forward to going to Horseback Riding camp with my friend. She’s moving away this summer but we get to go to Horseback Riding camp together before she leaves.

Neela:  I’m doing the same thing I did last summer- S.T.E.A.M.,  Softball and Tennis. I have a friend that’s coming too and we’ll be doing softball and tennis together.

Farah:  What do you like to do outside of camp?

FS.Moments.K&N.July.24.2019.2

Katherine:  I like to play a lot of computer games and watch stuff and play piano.

Farah:  That’s great! How long have you been playing piano?

Katherine:   Maybe about a year, maybe two.

Neela:  I like to practice softball and tennis with my dad. When I’m not doing that I use Scratch and practice coding. I make games and animations.

Farah:  Is there anyone in sports your admire?

Katherine:  I don’t really like to watch sports too much.

Is there anyone in tech you admire?

Neela: For sports. I like Serena Williams. For tech, I like Neil Degrasse Tyson even though he’s not technology completely.

Farah:  Why do you admire him?

Neela:  For the way, he changes the world for the better.

Farah:  Do either of you know what you’d like to be when you grow up?

Katherine:  I want to do something completely different. I want to be a teacher because it sounds like fun.

Neela: I don’t know yet.

Farah:  What’s your favorite food?

Katherine:  It would have to be pasta or like anything related to cheese.

Farah:  Whats your favorite cheese?

Katherine:  Brie

Neela:  I’m going to say pizza.

Farah:  What grade are you girls in?

Katherine:  I’m going into 4th this year.

Neela:  I’m going into 6th.

Farah:  So far, what is your favorite memory of camp?

Katherine:  Well, I just started but I really loved playing gaga ball! I won a lot of games.

Neela:  My favorite memory is from last year, just having so many people that I could make friends with.  I’ve seen a lot of them this year too!

Farah:  Thank you girls! I hope you have more wonderful days here at Future Stars camps!

***

For more information about the S.T.E.A.M. program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our S.T.E.A.M. camp page, today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

Feedly.FS.Coding.July.22.2019.Canva

Need Resources to Teach Your Child Coding?

Giving children a head start is a parental goal – getting your kids to think about coding and starting them early on is a great choice. The world we live in and the world the children will inherit will be populated by smart devices that can do almost everything.  Teaching your child to code will give them the ability to interact and understand their world with clarity.  If you are like some parents and feeling a little out of your league when it comes to coding, don’t fret.  Blogging dot com shares 10 good online resources for you to tap into with your kids and get some basic coding skills under your belt (some are free, others have a free trial, and others are subscription or fee based):

  1. Code.org: a non-profit foundation website is a great starting point for coding novices.
  2. CodeCademy: teaches kids basic code through fun and simple exercises.
  3. Code Avengers: offers courses in building web pages, apps, and games covering languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, and more. According to their website, classes are designed for ages 12+ but are successfully used by many 8 to 11-year-olds.
  4. CodeCombat: is a platform for students to learn computer science while playing through a real game.
  5. Code Monster: is a system that uses JavaScript and features two adjacent boxes
  6. Khan Academy: is an online school is known for a variety of classes, but they also have basic programming tutorials that teach kids how to build graphics, animations, interactive visualizations, and more. Their courses focus primarily on JavaScript.
  7. Tynker: is another website that lets kids learn to program by modding games such as Minecraft, controlling drones and robots, creating their own apps, and more.
  8. Made with Code: is Google’s project to encourage girls to pursue careers in computer science. Each coding challenge has a different purpose and topics range from the most basic ones suitable for complete beginners to advanced topics for those who already have some coding experience.
  9. Stencyl: a software system that’s available for Windows, Linux, and Mac that makes learning code fun by using a drag and drop interface to create code blocks.
  10. Scracth: is one of the most popular coding tools for kids, designed to help students get started with programming. Students can create animations and stories by using “building blocks” that behave like computer code does

***

For details and more resources:  10 AWESOME ONLINE RESOURCES THAT WILL TEACH YOUR KIDS TO CODE

For more information about the S.T.E.A.M. program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our S.T.E.A.M. camp page, today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

Feedly.FS.Academic.July.19.2019.Canva

Both Sides of the Homework Debate

The discussion about the pros and cons of homework has gone back and forth for quite some time.  There’s been a lot of research done and the results go either way.  Here is what a teacher with 18 years of experience has to share with you:

Pros:

  • teachers can use homework as an opportunity for students to practice nightly new concepts they have learned thus allowing the class to move along more speedily through lessons and spending less time reviewing concepts
  • parents can use homework as a way to see the learning going on in the classroom
  • students practice and learn time management, organizational schools, and prioritizing their after-school activities

Cons:

  • is not an accurate assessment of students’ work because parental input cannot be measured
  • can be “busy work” and may not have intrinsic value.
  • if students didn’t grasp the concepts then they could be practicing the skills incorrectly
  • when homework is beyond parental abilities, homework becomes an added stress factor for all
  • teachers spend a lot of time prepping homework activities and some families aren’t interested in having their kids do their homework
  • finally, kids need time to be kids

“So… what’s the solution?? In my classroom, I have found a way to satisfy the families who actually WANT homework while not spending hours and hours of time in preparation for those families who don’t care about it at all. Once a month, I send home a Homework Bingo card. I challenge my students to fill a line or two (or the entire card!) yet I require nothing be returned to school. I am happy to celebrate with my students who DO accomplish this, and there’s no pressure on the families who, for whatever reason, do not participate. For me, it is a Win-Win!”

***

For full article:  The Great Homework Debate, Is it Worth It?

For more information about the Academic program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Academic camp page, today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

 

Copy of FS.Interview.Seth.July.17.2019.1.Canva

A Moment in the Life of Future Stars’ Campers

Welcome to “2019 Camper Moments”!  Every Wednesday, you will meet campers from a variety of camps at Purchase.  Please contact us with any requests to know more about Future Stars Camps at: purchase@fscamps.com

***

Meet Seth, he is 9 years old and this is his first year at Future Stars Camps.  Seth is making the most of his summer camp experience.

Farah:  Hi Seth, nice to meet you, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Seth:   I love sports and I play football, soccer, and basketball.

Farah:  What are you most looking forward to this summer at camp? 

Seth:  Playing all the sports.

Farah:  Which programs at Future Stars camps do you attend?

Seth:  I’ve been at Academic and Multi-Sports. I’ll be doing Horseback Riding camp and Soccer, and I think Multi-Sports again.

Farah:  What grade are you in?

Seth:  I’m going into 5th.

Farah:  What do you most enjoy about school?

Seth:  Math is my favorite.

Copy of FS.Interview.Seth.July.17.2019.1.Canva (1)

Farah:  Do you have an idea of what you want to do or be when you grow up?

Seth: It depends. I have 4 in case some of them don’t work out. First one is a basketball star, then a football star, then a soccer star,  and finally a police officer. If all 4 don’t work out, I’ll be a video gamer.

Farah:  What are your favorite television shows?

Seth:   I mostly play video games. And, I live off of YouTube.  

Farah:  Who’s your favorite sports player?

Seth:  Tom Brady.

Farah:  What’s your favorite food?

Seth:   Sushi!

Farah:  Do you have a pet?

Seth:   Yes, I have a toy poodle. His name is Hunter. He’s two years old. I think that makes him 14 in dog years.

Farah:   What is the best part of being a kid? 

Seth:  You get away with a lot of things!

Farah:  So far, what is your favorite memory from camp?

SethHmm, playing kickball. No! My favorite is anytime we were playing basketball!

Farah:  It was great meeting you Seth, and I’m sure that I will see you around at all the different camps that you will be attending.

***

For more information about the Academic program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Academic camp page, today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

FS.Feedly.Academic.July.15.2019.Canva

Make YouTube Safer for Your Children

YouTube is used by millions everyday for various reasons and is often a great resource for discovering and  learning how to do things.  “Without many realizing it, a revolution in terms of how we consume content has been happening around us and the statistics are staggering. There are over 1.9 Billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month and each day people watch over a billion hours of video which generates billions of views.”

So as a parent, what can you do to protect your children from the unsavory and sometimes dangerous side of YouTube viewing.  Teachthought shares 12 ways to make YouTube safer for children:

1. Monitor: Watch what they watch while they’re watching – most effective method but not always easy to do

2. Help children self-monitor – share your family media consumption, habits, goals, causes and effects, and other ideas to help self-monitoring.  Consider using YouTube Kids, but make it safer with other configurations.

3. Disable Search

You can disable search in YouTube Kids by taking the following steps:

  • Click on the Lock in the lower right-hand corner of the screen
  • Enter your passcode or answer the math question if a passcode has not been set.
  • Click on the Settings gear.
  • Select your child (Note: This process has to be done for each child you wish to set this for under your account) and enter your Google password when prompted.
  • De-select “Allow searching”

4. Adjust the content level in YouTube Kids

To change the content available for your child:

  • Click on the Lock in the lower right-hand corner of the screen
  • Enter your passcode or answer the math question if a passcode has not been set.
  • Click on the Settings gear.
  • Select your child (Note: This process has to be done for each child you wish to set this for under your account) and enter your Google password when prompted.
  • Under “Content Level,” select “Approved Content” only.

5. Pause Watch History in YouTube Kids

To pause watch history:

  • Click on the Lock in the lower right-hand corner of the screen
  • Enter your passcode or answer the math question if a passcode has not been set.
  • Click on the Settings gear.
  • Select your child (Note: This process has to be done for each child you wish to set this for under your account) and enter your Google password when prompted.
  • Select “Pause watch history”

6. Add a custom passcode in YouTube Kids

In order to enable a four-digit passcode:

  • Click on the Lock in the lower right-hand corner of the screen
  • Enter your passcode or answer the math question if a passcode has not been set.
  • Click on the Settings gear.
  • Select your child (Note: This process has to be done for each child you wish to set this for under your account) and enter your Google password when prompted.
  • Select “Set custom passcode”
  • Enter a 4-digit number of your choice. This will be the new code required to access the Settings menu.

7. Block inappropriate content in YouTube Kids

While in the questionable video, you can click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner. If you choose to report it, you can select reasons including inappropriate audio, inappropriate visuals, or other reasons. You can also choose to block the video so it no longer shows in the app for your child.

8. Use Restricted Mode in YouTube

One available setting in YouTube that can help create a safer experience for kids is Restricted Mode.

This is an additional setting which can be enabled on the YouTube website and app. If enabled, it can restrict the availability of potentially mature or objectionable content. Again, there is no perfect solution but this will catch a good deal of inappropriate and flagged content. In order to enable Restricted Mode (which is disabled by default):

  • In the YouTube app, click on the profile picture in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Click on the Settings gear.
  • Turn on “Restricted Mode”
  • You can also turn on Restricted Mode within the YouTube website:
  • Along the left-hand side on the bottom of the YouTube homepage, click on the Settings gear.
  • At the bottom of the Settings page, click on the “Restricted Mode” button.
  • Turn on “Restricted Mode” and click Save.

9.  Remove distractions

Another way you can create a safer experience for children on YouTube is by taking advantage of free Chrome extensions that allow you to modify the web-based version of YouTube to remove things such as recommended videos and autoplay.

DF Tube is an extension that, once installed, will allow you to click on a video and just see that video without all of the clutter and excess content that YouTube puts onto the screen. The options menu also includes the ability to customize your experience by hiding the various sidebars and comments based on your preferences. The only consideration to note is that since it is a Chrome extension, it will only work with the Chrome browser.

10. Create custom playlists

While this does require you to curate content ahead of time, you can create playlists for your child that contains videos that you approve of them watching. Adding and managing playlists is also a relatively seamless process and can be done simply by searching YouTube for the videos you want and then using the “Save” button to add them to the desired playlist.

11. Use content filtering

One step that some parents have taken to monitor device usage in their household is to install a home content filter similar to the ones used by school districts.

Content filters not only allow you to block content you many not want but allow you to see what has been accessed. OpenDNS, SafeDNS, and NetNanny are just a few of the options available to parents. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you may be able to get one with more advanced and customizable features which allow you to create an even safer online environment for your children.

You can find a comparison of the various products here: The Best Parental Control Software for 2019

12. Have children keep an access or usage reflection journal

Some parents have opted to use alternative content apps such as Noggin, Nick Jr., or PBS Kids where they know the content is controlled by the source.  Though that may seem like a catch-all solution, it is important to engage your children in conversation about their viewing habits and engage with them about your family’s technology usage values.  When applicable find the teachable moments to help your children understand the responsible use of technology.

***

For the full article:  12 Ways To Make YouTube Safer For Children

For more information about the Academic program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Academic camp page, today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

Feedly.FS.Circus.July.12.2019.jpg.Canva

Juggling Book Review

So your camper is enamoured with juggling, Circus Talk shares a book review of Anthony Trahair’s book, ‘Pearls of Juggling–Wisdom & Advice’.  Here are some interesting tidbits about the book:

  • at its core, Trahair, a juggler and yoga aficionado turned physical theater actor, has combined all of these movement based philosophies in to one big world view with juggling at its core
  • it touches all levels of jugglers
  • composed with rich illustrations provided by multiple artists
  • covers everything juggling related from brain enhancing benefits (emotional  and philosophical aspects), to the physics and practical tools required
  • is a pragmatic tool for a juggler (advising on stretches, training schedules and techniques, act creation, etc.) and also an inspirational tool that delves deeply into all aspects of juggling
  • gives advice about how to retain the joy of juggling
  • it is a good tool for a juggling coach to use with students, citing movement quality exercises like juggling with animal qualities, juggling with emotion, using the Laban method, incorporating contact improv, how to involve acting, comedy, addressing  group work, etc.
  • Trahair bypasses actual juggling tricks or site swap pattern and rather explores every unsung and under-explained nook and cranny of juggling–how to put together a sequence, how to improvise, what constitutes a show, when is an act too long, how to perform with lights in your face, where to perform, the importance of Youtube videos for juggler inspiration, and the thrills of street juggling
  • this nugget of juggling was published by crowdfunding

***

For more information about the Circus Arts program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Circus Arts Camp page, today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

FS.Interview.Xavier.July.10.2019.jpg.Canva

A Moment in the Life of Future Stars’ Campers

Welcome to “2019 Camper Moments”!  Every Wednesday, you will meet campers from a variety of camps at Purchase.  Please contact us with any requests to know more about Future Stars Camps at: purchase@fscamps.com

***

Meet Xavier, this is his second year at Future Stars Camps.  Xavier will be having a fun summer at Circus Arts camp.

Farah:  How old were you when you started at Future Stars Camps?

Xavier:   When I first came to Future Stars Camps, I was 7 years old and I am 9 now.  My sister also comes and she is in Softball camp.

Farah: What are some of the things that interest you?

Xavier:  Soccer and circus. I love to unicycle.

Farah: What are your favorite television shows?

Xavier:   I don’t really have a favorite. I watch a lot of tv.

Farah:  Who is your favorite athlete?

Xavier:  Christiano Ronaldo, Messi, and Alex Morgan.

FS.Interview.Xavier.July.10.2019.1.jpg.Canva

Farah:  What’s your favorite food?

Xavier:  I’d have to say meatballs.

Farah:  Do you have a pet?

Xavier:  Yes, I have 2 cats, Violet and Varuka. When they groom each other they start to fight.

Farah: What grade are you in?

Xavier:  4th going into 5th and I most enjoy recess or lunch!

Farah: What are you most looking forward to this summer at camp?

Xavier:   I look forward to everything! Just having fun!

Farah:  What is your favorite memory from camp?

Xavier:  Throwing pies at each other!   Last year, we made shaving cream pies and had a whole pie day!

Farah:  It was fun meeting you Xavier and I will remember to duck when I see you on ‘Pie Day’!

***

For more information about the Circus Arts program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Circus Arts Camp page, today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

Feedly.FS.Circus.July8.2019.jpg.Canva

Flexibility and You

How flexible or not flexible is your body?  Redefine Strength and Fitness shared a blog about flexibility that had some interesting facts to share:

  • Flexibility and Mobility are sometimes interchangeably used however, they are quite different.  “Flexibility is a matter of how much certain muscles are able to passively lengthen in order for a joint to move through a larger range of motion.  Mobility is the ability to actively move that joint through its ROM, which involves much, much more than just muscle-lengthening.
  • Stretching is important but practice the right type of stretching.  “Working on your flexibility–your passive ranges of motion–through static stretching isn’t all inherently bad or even a waste of time–but only if it’s paired with an active muscle activation. Because just static stretching isn’t going to help you to actively do the cool flexible thing you want to do.”

Exercise will help with your flexibility and mobility.  Check out these exercises and the videos on the site listed below:

  • 90/90 Hip Stretch
  • 90/90 Internal Rotation and External Rotation of the back hip
  • Child’s Pose T-Spine Rotation
  • Prone External Rotation lifts offs

***

For detailed information:  Flexibility: More than meets the eye

For more information about the Circus Arts program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Circus Arts Camp page, today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

Feedly.FS.Baseball.July.5.2019.JPG.Canva

Should Baseball Practices Include Competitive Games?

Should baseball practices include competitive games?  Hear what Rob Tong of Youth Baseball Edge has to say despite these accolades for inclusion of competitive games during practice:

  • makes practices more fun
  • makes practices more engaging
  • simulates game conditions

Rob Tong, shares that it’s not about, should you use competitive games but rather when and how to use them.  Rob says that sometimes what happens is, “Instead of teaching their kids proper footwork during catch play and supervising their technique to ensure they’re doing it right, for example, coaches will announce a competition of which pairs can catch the most balls during catch play without dropping the ball.”

Practice should include attention to detail and fine-tuning skills, and then when skills are developed include a competitive game, while asking the question, “Will this competitive game reinforce or replace skills I’m trying to teach the kids?”  At the end of the day, Coach Tong shares, It’s a myth that ‘kids having fun’ is the number one goal of a coach. The number one goal of a coach is ‘kids having fun while learning’ because if the kids are only having fun but aren’t learning and progressing in their skills, the coach is merely a glorified babysitter.”

***

For more information about the Baseball program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Baseball Camp pagetoday.

For more information:  Why Competitive Games In Practices Aren’t Always Great

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

FS.Interview.Rowan.July3.2019.Canva

A Moment in the Life of Future Stars’ Campers

Welcome to “2019 Camper Moments”!  Every Wednesday, you will meet campers from a variety of camps at Purchase.  Please contact us with any requests to know more about Future Stars Camps at: purchase@fscamps.com

***

Meet Rowan, this is his first year at Future Stars Camps.  Rowan is at Baseball camp and he is 12 years old.

Farah:  Hi Rowan, welcome to your first year at Future Stars Camps.  Is anyone else from your family attending the camp?

Rowan:  Yes, my brother who is 6 and my sister who is 10. My sister is at tennis camp and my brother is at soccer camp.  

Farah:  Tell us a little about yourself, so what are some of your hobbies?

Rowan:  I love a lot of sports. I love fishing and I love to go on boats.

Farah:  That’s so cool! What sports do you love to play?

Rowan:   Tennis, baseball, I also swim, and I row crew.

Farah:  Do you have a favorite sports player?

Rowan:  Yup, Gary Sanchez, the catcher for the Yankees.

FS.Interview.Rowan.July3.2019.2Canva

Farah:  What are you most looking forward to this summer at camp?

Rowan:  I love playing baseball, its really awesome to play with the college coaches and players. They teach you a lot. I love playing the field.

Farah:  What’s one of your favorite drills in baseball?

Rowan:   I love the outfield drills that we did because the coaches were hitting the ball super high in the air and we would catch it. It was super fun because you don’t really get balls that are that high and that hard.

Farah:  What grade are you in and what do you most enjoy about school?

Rowan:  I will be going into 7th. I love math and social studies.

Farah:  What makes math and social studies special for you?

Rowan:  I like math because its interesting to solve problems.  I love social studies because I like studying about the past and history.

Farah:  Do you have an idea of what you want to do or be when you grow up?

Rowan:   I want to be a doctor because my dad is.  I just think it’s super cool, how he operates and stuff. 

Farah:  What kind of doctor is your dad?

Rowan:  He’s a cardiac surgeon. 

Farah:  When you have some quiet time, what do you choose to do?

Rowan:  I love reading. I generally love reading history books. I just finished this big book about Dunkirk and I also love reading fantasies.

Farah:  What are your favorite television shows?

Rowan:  I love the office and I love Brooklyn 99. 

Farah:  What’s your favorite food?

Rowan:   I love burritos.

Farah:  What kind do you like?

Rowan:   I usually make it with just rice, black beans and cheese. So yum!

Farah:  What is the best part of being a kid?

Rowan:   Well, you don’t have to work and you don’t have to worry about anything.

Farah:  What is your favorite memory from camp up to this point?

Rowan:  The first day, we were all throwing and the coaches were all really really friendly and really welcoming. They made me feel really comfortable. 

Farah:  It’s great that you are having such a good time at camp.  Hope to see you and your siblings around.  Have fun!

***

For more information about the Baseball program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Baseball Camp pagetoday.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps