For some elementary school students, sharpening their math skills with hands-on activities equals summertime fun. In Ocean Springs, this was the first day of a two-week math camp.
Fifth grader Jake Fusia describes himself as average math student. He wasn't thrilled about devoting part of his summer to learning multiplication and division until he figured out that math camp was fun.
"You get to do puzzles and stuff but in school you have to do work but she's letting us do activities and stuff to get us smarter," Fusia said. "A different way to get us to learn."
For teacher Barbara Hosey, a different way to learn includes trading in pencils and paper for more hands on activities. She says understanding problems of measurement and estimation is easier for students when they have a mental picture of what their learning.
"If you get that from a textbook it's not as meaningful as if you hold an ounce in your hand or you pour an ounce of water," Hosey said.
Some of the fourth, fifth and sixth graders say camp gives them more encouragement to participate but not as much pressure as school.
"It's better," Fifth grader Julianne Nettles said. "The homework is easier because you don't have to do it if you don't want to."
Hosey says the camp geared toward each child's learning level whether he's a math whiz or not.
"At math camp, every one of the students regardless of how low or high they are in their math ability can have success and feel like 'Yes, I can do this,' " Hosey said.
The camp was held at St. Alphonsus Catholic School in Ocean Springs.