It is so hard to believe that tonight is the students’ last night here at Forman Summer. Students are actively getting ready for their departure, squeezing the last drops from the remaining time with their friends, and making final memories before they have to say goodbye tomorrow.
Here are a few pieces of important information regarding tomorrow’s Closing Ceremony and Student Checkout Procedures:
Students can be picked up anywhere between 8:30 am and 12:00 pm tomorrow (Friday). Prior to leaving campus, please make sure to retrieve all remaining cash from the School Store Account and any remaining medications given to the Health Center at the respective tables located outside of the Visual and Performing Arts Center. All room keys need to be returned directly to the dorm parent. Lastly, please call the Administrator on Duty (AOD) at 860-601-8543 to verify your departure from campus.
Students and their families are highly encouraged to attend our Forman Summer Closing Ceremony that will be taking place from 10:00 am - 10:30 am in the Visual and Performing Arts Center. This Closing Ceremony will celebrate the growth and achievement of our students over the course of these four weeks, as well as provide important messages to carry with them in the next steps of their respective journeys.
We at Forman Summer would like to take the opportunity to thank you for entrusting us with your children this month. We have enjoyed watching their academic and social growth, as well as be part of their journey of self-discovery. The strong, little community we built in such a short amount of time is a testament to the wonderful character of each and every one of our students. Hopefully this blog exemplified the highlights of all of the time we spent together... We look forward to making many more memories in the summers to come!
Academic Update: The final week of Reading 2 is all about helping students synthesize strategies learned over the past three weeks to see the ultimate growth in a student’s reading comprehension ability. As always, both text and video are combined to help students practice and enhance their reading comprehension. This week we read the short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" which follows the daydreams of the main character, Walter. Students utilized their strategies of background knowledge, visualization, questioning, determining importance, and inferencing to maximize their overall comprehension of the story. Today, students watched the film version of the story to draw comparisons to the text version, as well as use the aforementioned comprehension strategies to make sure they fully understood the content of the film. Using diverse formats for content delivery allows students to become more practiced and more confident applying the strategies they have learned.
In addition to our afternoon activities, students were granted more free time to spend with the friends they have made these past few weeks, cementing their friendships and making final summer memories and sharing many laughs together. This evening students enjoyed a pizza party and slip-n-slide bowling, which was SLIGHTLY different than last week’s bowling adventure. Tomorrow after classes and activities, students will start the packing and cleaning process, preparing to say goodbye to their Forman Summer experience.
Academic Update: Today in Ms. Prince’s Metacognition class, students continued working on their Independent Project, writing a course proposal for a class they would like offered at their respective schools. Students were asked to focus their proposed course on a particular metacognitive skill or subject area. Examples of proposed courses include: “Growth Mindset,” “Life Skills,” and “Architecture.” After creating an action plan for this week’s work, each student practiced the paraphrasing skills used when researching support for their arguments. They also collaborated with their peers at various points throughout the process to reflect on their progress with the project. Some students have chosen to structure their proposals as letters to their home school administrative teams, which they will hopefully share upon their return. This independent project was a good culminating task for this course as it requires students to synthesize the content and skills they have learned over the past three weeks.
Activity Update: During the Dance activity, students have been busy practicing choreography associated with K-pop music. K-pop is a specific genre of music, originating and made popular in South Korea, that includes electronic, hip-hop, pop, rock and R&B influences. The students have been learning and rehearsing the specific choreography to songs such as Fancy by Twice and Boombayah by Black Pink. They are really working hard together as an ensemble to perfect the moves. In order to connect to student interests and needs, the dancers have also been learning and rehearsing some choreography from Grease to help one of the students have a successful tryout for that production this upcoming school year.
Hamilton House had a very special dinner this evening. Hamilton Housemates wanted to share a little piece of home with each other, namely their favorite “home-cooked meals” such as lasagna, creamy chicken casserole, cheesy potatoes, and much more. The Hamilton House Parent, Victoria, as well as residents Allie and Samantha, went above and beyond to help cook these comfort foods for the residents to share together as a community. Tonight’s dinner was a very special memory for all involved, and it speaks volumes about the strong bonds forged here at Forman Summer in such a short period of time.
For the Community Event this evening students got to hear two Forman Summer Counselors and former Forman School students, Thomas Puffer ‘15 and Peter Leyden ‘16, speak about their respective high school and college experiences. Thomas Puffer recently graduated from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts with a degree in Management. Thomas hopes to manage an athletic facility or a sports team one day. Peter Leyden is entering his Senior year at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where he majors in Studio Art. After college, Peter hopes to attend a graduate program to study Creative Arts Therapy or education. Both Thomas and Peter did a fantastic job communicating the life-lessons they have learned thus far. They are both very goal-oriented, and it was a pleasure listening to them speak to all of us this evening. We know that they will make Forman School proud wherever life takes them.
Academic Update: In alignment of Week 4’s theme, Plan for Yourself, Ms. Chen’s Writing class was introduced to a user-friendly online resource to take back to school: GrammarBook.com. To add fun to a better understanding of parts of speech, each student wrote a random word on each of the 6 pieces of paper color-coded for Adjective, Adverb, Preposition, Verb, Proper Noun, and Common Noun. After a lottery-style draw of a folded square of each color, students then arranged their arbitrary words based on their functions to form a grammatically correct--though semantically crazy--sentence, such as “Walter danced happily underneath a creepy bathroom!” or as an example of personification, the attribution of human characteristics to something non-human: “Happily, a bathroom danced underneath creepy Walter!” While having a good laugh about the nonsensical sentences, students learned to differentiate the essential parts of speech in a sentence (noun and verb) from the non-essential. After exploring the definition and sample usage of a part of speech on GrammarBook.com, students then completed a self-quiz to gauge their proficiency--a perfect gift to wrap up because grammar rules are the same no matter where you go!
Activity Update: In Jewelry today, students learned how to make friendship bracelets in the hopes that they might share these friendship bracelets with some of the new friends they have made during their time at Forman Summer. We currently have students from thirteen different states and five different countries. It is wonderful to think that some of these students might receive a little trinket to commemorate the fantastic friendships they have forged during their time here.
Tonight for the evening program, Forman School faculty member, Mr. Chris Ford, engaged students in a design-engineering experiment. Mr. Ford has been a staple at the Forman School for fifteen years as a Mathematics teacher, Mathematics Department Head, and now as the Director of the school’s Ingenuity Program. The Ingenuity Program is the school’s talent development program in which students pursue various interests, talents and passions in a supportive and structured environment. The emphasis this evening revolved around an interest many Forman students have - design. Small teams were tasked with solving a problem through the use of design as they worked their way through the problem-solving process from storyboarding the consumer experience to the design, function, and aesthetic of an actual product. We are incredibly grateful that Mr. Ford could help students engage with the problem-solving and engineering/design process in such a hands-on, authentic way.
The Excessive Heat Warning continued today, so Forman Summer Staff and Students made the best of it! After brunch, students had the opportunity to take trips to Target and Walmart in Torrington to pick up any essentials for their final week here at Forman Summer. The food at Forman and on all of our excursions has been amazing, but students have been begging to visit some of the fast food establishments that Torrington offers (Five Guys, Taco Bell, and McDonalds). The students have been such good sports for the entirety of the program that we finally gave in to their request. After the trips, students could do the Slip-n-Slide to cool down. This evening students helped to clean up the Forman campus, tidied their rooms, and finally got to relax with their friends in the dorms.
Since it is the last day of Week 3, in honor of our “Advocate for Yourself” theme, we asked some students to reflect upon a number of different questions. Here are some of their responses below:
Q: What do you think is the biggest takeaway lesson you learned this week?
A: In EF skills with Ms. Munn, we learned how to help with self-control by using the Stop/Think/Act method. For example, when one is about to get on a scooter without a helmet, you can Stop/Think/Act to make sure you’re properly prepared. - Alec
A: Having the confidence to raise my hand in class… I have realized that even though I am dyslexic, I am still like every other 16-year-old kid. - Lark
A: I learned how to cope with many different distractions and how to not be taken off task. - Hayden
A: If you don’t know a word don’t rush through it. Take your time with it. - Maxine
Q: What does it mean to advocate for yourself?
A. Advocate means to me to do things for myself and ask for help when I need it. - Juliet
A: Advocate means to if you have a question, take the initiative to ask it or seek help when needed. - Susha
A: Advocate means to do better for yourself, know yourself, and how to help yourself. - Jeanine
A: Understand yourself and make wise choices. - Isabella
Q: What was your favorite part of this past week?
A: Winning a pizza for sliding the furthest on the Slip-n-Slide! - Sophia
A: My favorite part of this week was by far going to the mall and hanging out with all my friends. - Julian
A: I liked the mall and the movie [The Lion King]. It was really hilarious! - Astrid
A: Going bowling! - Shelby
A: Relaxing in the Student Center on Friday while watching a movie. - Miguel
Q: What would you like to accomplish before the end of the Forman Summer program?
A: To continue to build a better reputation socially because this is my first time coming to America. - Miguel
A: To continue making friends and building long-lasting relationships. - Gabe
A: I would like to learn how to study at an increased pace and with increased efficiency. - Hayden
A: My comprehension when it comes to reading. - Arden
A: There are a bunch of things that I want to accomplish by the end of camp but my main one is to finish strong in my classes while still having fun. - Julian
What a hot one today! Luckily students enjoyed spending time at the Danbury Fair Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in Connecticut/New England. They also had the opportunity to view the newly-released IMAX presentation of The Lion King. Forman Summer students and staff were immersed into the virtual reality retelling of the twenty-five year old classic. The computer graphics made every moment feel like it was live action, although not a single animal or landscape was real. Everything was merely made up of pixels. The story still has all of the poignant moments that many of us still remember, of course, but it is not a direct replica of the animated classic. Moviegoers will be able to recognize some notable names cast as the characters’ voices. To name a few, Beyonce voices Nala, Donald Glover plays Simba, and Seth Rogan is the perfect embodiment for the happy-go-lucky Pumba. Most importantly, James Earl Jones returns to act as the voice of Mufasa. We highly recommend that everyone see this movie. You will not be disappointed!
After dinner, students were treated to a Slip-n-Slide to help them stay cool and get some fresh air. In case that didn’t quite cool them down enough, the highly esteemed Ice Cream Man made another visit to our campus to offer some cool treats. Students appreciated their delectable desserts around a campfire.
Today Forman Summer Staff needed to make the difficult decision to cancel tomorrow’s originally scheduled outing to Splashdown Waterpark (Fishkill, NY). Many parts of the Northeast are under an Excessive Heat Warning for this coming weekend with heat index values of up to 116°F and high humidity levels. Heat illnesses could be likely for people spending time outdoors or in non-air conditioned locations, and, unfortunately, Splashdown falls under both of these categories. Furthermore, it is very important that all students drink plenty of fluids under an excessive heat warning which would be difficult to monitor in such a large-scale setting since the safety of our students is paramount, we needed to make this difficult decision. We hope all of our Forman Summer families understand.
In lieu of our waterpark trip tomorrow, students will be shuttled to the Danbury Mall for a “day out” and then go see the IMAX presentation of The Lion King. They will also receive a number of COOOOOOOOOOL surprises throughout the weekend. Don’t forget to look at our Photo Gallery to keep posted on how much fun is had. Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids tomorrow!
Academic Update: Writing class finished up the week with presentations. Students had worked on using the CAST paragraph structure to create slideshow presentations of an item or service they consider “the best.” Student presentations persuaded the class that Starbucks was the best coffee franchise, Michael Jordan was the best NBA player of all time, Fornite was the best video game, and that being a homicide detective was the best job. Students had to think beyond just the persuasive words of their writing to how the visuals of their presentations could maximize the impact of their words. The goal of these presentations was to show students that the structure of the CAST paragraph can be used beyond just writing paragraphs. The structure can be expanded to organize other projects whether it is a research paper for Biology or convincing one’s parents to buy a new puppy or an iPhone as a birthday gift.
Activity Update: All Forman Summer students went bowling today at Thomaston Lanes (Thomaston, CT) in lieu of their regularly scheduled activity blocks. Students were able to avoid the rain showers with this fun indoor activity. Unfortunately, there were no perfect games, but there were plentiful strikes and spares!
“Rule your mind or it will rule you.” -Horace
Academic Update: At the start of each Executive Functioning Skills class, we practice mindful moments to train the brain to focus, noticing our thoughts and tangents, to bring the brain back to the task at hand. Students responded to Horace’s quote in their EF Journal, relating it to their own personal attention and self-control. They continued their exploration of Self-Control or Response Inhibition, identifying areas of self-control upon which they would like to improve. Students created a visual poster of their chosen executive function skill-in-action using images to demonstrate the importance of stopping to think before acting or speaking. We finished the day playing Slap Jack or Jenga, two fun games involving self-control.
Activity Update: Students participating in Fitness are really strengthening their mind-body connection this week. Forman Summer’s Fitness activity focuses on improving the students’ condition, agility, and strength levels. Students use a combination of free weights and variable resistance machines as part of the strengthening portion of the program, learning about the idea of “sets” and “tempo” with respect to a lifting regimen. Students are learning the importance of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The Community Event this evening was Competition Night! Students were able to play video, table, or board games with their newfound friends. There were so many different options, everyone was able to find something they’d like to do to try to be crowned “the best.” Although a competitive atmosphere, students enjoyed each other’s company and a number of laughs along the way.
Activity Update: Students have the opportunity to participate in L.A.R.P as one of their activity blocks. L.A.R.P is an acronym that stands for Live Action Role Play, a type of fantasy game where students take on the persona of different characters to enact a storyline of sorts. Today, students were deeply engrossed in a game, Dark Lord, where they acted as knights involved in hand-to-hand combat against opponents using foam swords. If you are able to defeat your opponent, you resist the evil forces and are not converted to the dark side, aka zombie team. Students seemed to really enjoy the expressive creativity fostered by this activity.
This evening students had the great opportunity to hear two Forman Summer Counselors, Samantha Rebholtz ‘14 and Tucker Fry ‘16 speak about their respective high school and college experiences. Samantha Rebholtz just recently graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design (‘19) with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and Photography. She would love to be a high school teacher at some point in her career. Tucker Fry currently attends Belmont University, pursuing a degree in Audio Engineering/Audio-Video Production with a minor in Music Business. Tucker aspires to be an engineer in studios or do photo/video design to accompany music for companies. Samantha and Tucker make Forman School proud, and we are so happy to hear that they are finding success beyond the years that they spent here. They were both so well-spoken with the heartfelt messages they shared with our Forman Summer students. Samantha and Tucker - thank you for putting yourself out there to share your stories with us!
The ice cream truck came again to Forman Summer this evening! Students were delighted with the treat since there is nothing better to enjoy on a warm summer night! (FYI - we are slated for a heatwave this coming weekend… gotta stay cool while we can!)