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. 

VCS Book Fair 2022

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. 

Pod KA Completes Their First Science Experiment

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.

Reading “The Idea of America" in 7th & 8th Grade Social Studies

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.

Makey Makey-ing Music in 4th Grade Tech

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.

7th Grade Poetry Workshop

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.

A Taste of Mesopotamia in 5th Grade Social Studies

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.

International Travel Itineraries in 8th Grade Mandarin

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.

4th Graders Present Social Studies Learning in Self-Designed Websites

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.

Discussing Effective Social Movements with Author Gal Beckerman

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.

Backpack Design Challenge in 6th Grade STEAM

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.

Clay Vessels Inspired by Ancient Civilizations in 5th Grade Art

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.

Exploring Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Changemakers in Library

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.

PBL Interviews in 3rd Grade Spanish

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.

Upper School Day Trips

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.