Waco ISD inspires students to learn outside the classroom with summer program


“We are preparing to get them thinking and to stimulate their imagination,” said Miranda Unger, an elementary school teacher in Waco ISD.

Summer is very different from the school year, but that doesn’t mean there are no classes.

“We learned today that ‘digit’ is a fancy word for a number, and you can say, ‘Oh, look, here’s the digit 12’ – and we’re just trying to teach that academic language here in school and bring it into the classroom,” Unger said.

At Dean Highland Elementary, the district is hosting a learning camp so students can hit the ground running.

The first grade teacher tells me she has seen firsthand the impact summer learning can have on our children.

“In the past, we’ve seen them grow when we’ve done something at camp. And then when they get to first grade, they say, ‘Oh, I remember when we did that,’ and they’re more confident,” Unger said.

The camp motivates students like Angel Silva to read books outside of the classroom.

“The book is about an elephant and a pig who say if they want to play, and then it starts to rain and they start playing when it’s wet,” said Angel Silva, a rising second-grader at Waco ISD.

Unger says students take full advantage of the camps and even become teachers to others.

“‘I’ve done it before and I can do it again,’ and that leads them to show others how to do it,” she said.