Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall Festival

Last Friday night was Fall Festival at school. This is a large event that draws many families into the school with their student(s) for an evening of fun social activities. The evening began with carnival games for the kids. Here I am running the mini-golf game. Some of my fifth grade students dropped by to say hi and pose for a picture.

This was my second post for the evening - a game called Blow 'N' Go. Students raced to blow their ping-pong ball across the finish line before their competitors. The kids loved this game and quite a few came to play even after the prizes were all gone. One of the most exciting parts of this game was watching the players dodge people who happened to step out of the bathrooms in the frenzy of a race. The hallway location may not have been ideal, but the kids took on the extra challenge like pros.

Fall Festival concluded with choral performances by the elementary, middle-school, and high-school choirs. One of my favorite pieces was "All Things Bright and Beautiful", sung by the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Field-Trip to the U.N. Center

Last week, fifth graders took their first field-trip of the year. We went to the U.N. Center to participate in a celebration of "50 Years Exploring Space Together". One nice thing about field-trips in Austria - no need to reserve and pay for a yellow school bus to get the group there and back. We took the u-bahn both ways.
Here we are getting all checked in before going through security to enter the U.N. facilities. Each student had to wear an official ID tag and all accompanying adults had to show their passport to enter. Thanks to Miss Woodbury, this field-trip was well organized and lots of fun!
Once inside the U.N. Center, we saw pictures and video clips about space exploration. Our guide shared a summary of all that has been accomplished in the past 50 years of space exploration and the goal to put astronauts on Mars within the next 50 years. Students got to drive a remote-control rover on fake Mars terrain and try on astronaut gloves. We left with posters and astronaut figurines as souvenirs.

Staff Retreat Weekend

VCS staff members enjoyed a weekend retreat at the Karl Beck Sportschule. The camp facilities included beautifully manicured sports fields, a newly remodeled cafeteria, and dorm rooms for all. The camp provided kitchen staff who cooked in an authentic Austrian style.

A highlight of our weekend away was enjoying time with other staff members in a relaxed environment. Here I am with Sandi (left) and Yvonne (right). The weather was beautiful and we took advantage of the chance to hike nature trails during the day and watch the stars at night. Some parts of the weekend were also spent in structured group activities, such as the "No Talent" talent show on Saturday night. It was great to laugh together!