A Look Inside - The VCS Blog
Welcome to A Look Inside, the VCS blog! These stories highlight the exciting work of VCS students across all grade levels and disciplines.
It's official: the Class of 2022 are VCS graduates! Click here to see photos of this year's Graduation ceremony.
The end-of-year traditions that conclude 8th Graders' VCS experience are underway, including the first in-person 8th Grade Overnight since 2019! Click here to read more.
Anyone in the audience for one of the performances of the Upper School Spring Musical, Willy Wonka, will agree: it was one of our most impressive productions ever! Click here to read more.
Students of all ages were enthusiastic participants during our recent event with Food Bank for New York City, in which students assembled bags of healthy snacks for an in-school food pantry on the Lower East Side. Click here to read more.
It was one for the books! We are so grateful to our Co-Chairs and Librarian for putting together this incredible celebration of reading - our first in-person Book Fair in over two years! Click here to read more.
In ELA, 2nd Graders used their research into a "hidden hero" to write informational interviews, then applied what they have learned about the programming concepts of sequences and events to create animated versions of their interviews in Tech class. Click here to read more.
One of the main pillars of the World Language program at VCS is ‘community’ and Spanish students in 7th Grade had the opportunity to build community with Spanish learners in 3rd Grade when they visited their class to read aloud the children's books they wrote in Spanish. Click here to read more.
Woodshop students in 3rd and 4th Grade have been applying their skills to a design challenge in which they cut one or two complex shapes – like a heart, star, or circle – and build a structure that includes three parts. Click here to read more.
Students in 5th Grade have been discarding their empty snack bags in a Zero Waste Box from TerraCycle instead of throwing them away, and recently gathered to discover what they had accumulated in those months of diligent collection. Click here to read more.
Kindergarteners have spent the year rotating through Specials classes each trimester, and last week we welcome KA to the Science Lab, where they will spend the final months of the school year learning to engage in experiments and think like scientists – creating the foundation on which all their future science learning will be built. Click here to read more.
In a fun collaboration between Library and English Language Arts (ELA), 5th Graders recently engaged in a “Book Tasting,” in which they sampled genres including historical fiction, novels in verse, short story collections, adventure, mystery, fantasy, and realistic fiction. Click here to read more.
In honor of Black History Month, 7th and 8th Grade students recently spent time in their Social Studies classes examining an excerpt from “The Idea of America” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, and engaging in a discussion around Hannah-Jones’s claim that Black Americans “are this nation’s true ‘founding fathers.'" Click here to read more.
In their Life Science unit, Kindergarten students have been studying the anatomy, behaviors, and habitats of earthworms. Click here to read more.
Tech students in 2nd Grade have been building their computational thinking and problem-solving skills in their Robotics unit as they learn to program small robots called Ozobots. Click here to read more.
Welcome to the year of the Tiger! Upper School Mandarin students recognized the Lunar New Year in a number of creative ways, and even included their non-Mandarin speaking classmates in their celebrations. Click here to read more.
With the new year came a new semester in Technology class for 4th Graders, who began by exploring physical computing with Makey Makeys, electronic invention kits that allow any conductive material – including everyday objects like spoons, bananas, pennies and paper clips – to act as an input device for a computer. Click here to read more.
In their January Poetry Workshop, 7th Graders have explored the medium in a variety of ways: reading poems by writers across different cultures and time periods; learning to analyze poems; writing their own poems; performing poems from memory; and learning how to write and talk about poetry by gaining new vocabulary. Click here to read more.
Upper Schoolers in the Ceramic Jewelry elective have been making all sorts of eye-catching objects and wearable art, including glasses, pins, rings, brooches, pendants and trinket dishes, and are now engaged in their largest-scale project yet: decorative ceramic crowns. Click here to read more.
Students in 2nd Grade built their own 3D monsters and used them as an opportunity to apply their learning around describing objects in Spanish: their shape, size, colors, and texture, as well as the grammar related to combining verbs and adjectives and recognizing the gender of Spanish words. Click here to read more.
In 1st Grade Social Studies, students have been working to develop an understanding of the distinction between “needs” and “wants” – and how communities like cities and neighborhoods are designed to meet the needs and wants of the individuals who live there. Click here to read more.
Students in 5th Grade are engaged in a study of Mesopotamia, which was home to some of the earliest human civilizations. They have been learning about the geography of “the land between the rivers,” through texts and maps, gaining an understanding of how these ancient peoples were both helped and hindered by the region’s unique geography and climate. Students stepped further into the shoes of Mesopotamia’s original inhabitants by exploring some of the grains, herbs, and spices they commonly cooked with. Click here to read more.
On Wednesday, November 17th, the Eve K. Kleger Wing officially opened to students, who enjoyed tours, Recess in the Sky Yard and P.E. in the Gym. Click here to see photos!
Mandarin students in 8th Grade have been focusing on transportation, time, and activities, learning new vocabulary in the context of conversations rather than studying words discretely. In October, 8th Graders embarked on a project that would bring all this learning together: creating a one-year itinerary for a traveling pumpkin. Click here to read more.
Math students in 3rd Grade were excited to learn a new strategy for simplifying the process of finding the area of a rectangle last week when they were introduced to the Distributive Property of Multiplication. Click here to read more.
In their Physical Science unit, 1st Graders are learning about the properties of light, including how it travels and interacts with different materials. Click here to read more.
In Social Studies, 4th Graders have spent the fall semester studying the Harlem Renaissance through the music, art, and literature of this period. Meanwhile, these students have been engaged in a unit on graphic design in Technology class, using the application Adobe Spark to create and share impactful visual stories. Recently, students integrated these areas of learning in a web design project in which each 4th Grader created a unique website dedicated to one Harlem Renaissance performer. Click here to read more.
In 8th Grade Social Studies, students recently submitted 5-paragraph position papers on what they believe is the most efficient, effective way to create lasting social change. After researching and writing these essays, they had the opportunity to discuss their thoughts with author Gal Beckerman, whose upcoming book, The Quiet Before: On the Unexpected Origins of Radical Ideas, examines how social movements arose in the years before social media. Click here to read more.
Kindergarteners recently embarked on their first engineering project of the year, working to design and assemble their own colorful 3D houses. Click here to read more.
STEAM class often asks students to employ design thinking, an iterative process of human-centered innovation which asks them to empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test a given item. In 6th Grade STEAM, students are currently in the prototyping phase of a backpack design challenge in which each student creatively reimagines the typical backpack construction, tweaking it to suit the specific needs of their partner. Click here to read more.
In Social Studies, 5th Grade students have been learning about the lives of prehistoric humans, using timelines, maps, and artifacts to explore how these first humans used the natural environment to meet their needs. This includes the invention of pottery, and 5th Graders looked at examples of ancient pottery before stepping in the role of early makers themselves as they worked to construct large clay vessels in Art class. Click here to read more.
With Woodshop classes back on, students in K-5th Grade are once again experiencing the unique satisfaction of building both functional objects and art pieces with their own hands. A VCS tradition! Click here to read more.
Hispanic Heritage Month was an opportunity for students of all ages to examine America’s rich Hispanic history and learn about some of the Hispanic/Latino/Latinx individuals who have made an indelible mark on the U.S. – including in Library class, where students engaged in discussions about the importance of celebrating the contributions of these communities year-round, and some pursued independent research into changemakers of Hispanic/Latino/Latinx heritage. Click here to read more.
Learning a new language is a complex and challenging process, and it can be difficult to feel confident in one’s burgeoning skills – especially at the start of a new school year. One approach to building confidence is through project-based learning (PBL) is a pedagogical method in which students create an artifact to present their gained knowledge. In 3rd Grade Spanish, students are wrapping up a review of all they learned last year, and recently demonstrated their mastery of these topics by conducting interviews with 8th Grade Spanish students. Click here to read more.
Enjoy this look inside the first month of school at VCS! Click here to see photos.
Music students in 3rd Grade are learning the difference between melody (what you sing) and accompaniment (a different instrumental part) through an arrangement for a game song called "Bounce High, Bounce Low." Click here to read more and see photos.
Upper Schoolers built relationships as a divisional community over the course of two consecutive day trips. The first, to Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, centered around introductory activities and team-building challenges, with students organized into five mixed-grade groupings. On Day 2, students traveled to Boundless Adventures, where they reconvened with the same groups to tackle elaborate ropes courses. Click here to read more.