St. Martin Lantern Walk 2017

On a chilly day our lanterns brought light and cheer to the neighborhood. Lantern songs, campfire bread, roasted marshmallows, hot cider — what could be better? Thanks to everyone who came out and celebrated St. Martin with us and especially to all those who helped organize — Krista Spiro, Philipp Müller, Mary Ellen Rutemeyer, as well as several parent volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you! All pictures © Ralph Grunewald.

Enjoying good company (Schwalben teacher Jo Drury)…

… roasting Stockbrot

..admiring and…

…showing off lanterns…

.. while walking and singing, accompanied by a piccolo flute.

Don’t you wish you would have been there?


Join us for our annual St. Martin lantern walk

Our youngest students had great fun making lanterns in preparation for our St. Martin lantern walk next week. Thanks to Krista Spiro for the pictures and for hosting the workshop!

Please join us next Saturday (Nov. 11) for our annual Laternenfest! This year, we’re doing things a little differently, to tie in better with our regular classes. We will not have a potluck and we will meet at right after our regular Saturday classes.

  • Entchen and Spatzen families: Please pick up your children at 3pm and join us at the celebration room on the 2nd floor in the church, for music, arts and crafts, and Stockbrot (campfire bread baked over an open fire).
  •  Schwalben, Falken, and Eulen: Classes release early and will move to the celebration hall at 4.15 (teachers will be around until 4.45pm). 
  • Möwen: Regular classes until 4.45 pm. 

Our lantern walk starts at 5pm at the fire pit at the church parking lot (4200 Buckeye Road). Younger students, up to Eulen, need to be accompanied by an adult. We expect to return around 5.30 pm and will enjoy some hot beverages at the open fire (or, in the case of rain, in the celebration hall).

All welcome! This event is not just for current GSoM students and their families.

Movie night

3 great words starting with P?

Pizza, Popcorn, Potter.

Our students had great fun dressing up for German Movie Night. They also learned essential vocabulary, such as der Zauberstab (wand), die Narbe (scar), und der Zaubertrank (potion).

It seems that everyone is ready for Halloween. And don’t forget: If you’re a GSoM student, you get to wear  your costume again when we celebrate Karneval/Fasching at the end of winter!

Movie night

Movie Night

Thanks to Krista Spiro for organizing and to Delaney Jacobson for the pictures.

Zoo Outing

Our first field trip of the year was to Henry Vilas Zoo, on a glorious late summer day. Ask your children if they got to see the 6-months-old Löwen (lions) or the Dachse (Badgers) at the news Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit!

Did you know that there is a connection between the Vilas family and the German language? Henry Vilas Zoo was named in honor of a son of Madisonians William and Anna Vilas, who donated the land to the city in 1904. William Vilas was a law professor at UW Madison. He later became a US Senator. In 1889 he supported the movement against a law in Wisconsin that required the use of English in schools (Bennett Law). Up to then, many schools in Wisconsin used German in the classroom as the main language of instruction. Backlash against the law was strong and it was repealed in 1891.

Thanks to everyone who chaperoned and volunteered!

10 days to go!

Just 10 days to go! We have been busy preparing for the new school year: tweaking the curriculum, holding teacher orientation meetings, hiring assistants, planning community events, and reaffirming our connection with the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad.

We are excited to introduce our new Eulen (5th/6th grade) teacher Elizabeth Allaby, who joins us after two years as a Fulbright teaching assistant in Austria and a year as a STEM educator and German instructor with AmeriCorps. Herzlich willkommen, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Allaby

This year, we are going to reach more families than ever. As always, our classes for our youngest students have filled quickly. We currently have a waitlist for our preschool classes (Entchen/Spatzen) as well as for our Schwalben class (1st and 2nd graders). For all other classes, you can still register here.


Join us for our August Sommercamp!

Our campers had so much fun at our June “Märchen” (fairy tales) Sommercamp. They learned German songs and games, read stories, played soccer, and built a room-filling fairy tale castle. A big thank you goes to our outstanding counselors, who made everyone feel welcome.

Considering joining us for our second session? You still can! There are a couple of spots left in our August Sommercamp. You can register through this link.  Beginners welcome. If you have any questions, please email us at germanschoolofmadison at gmail dot com.


Not sure if German Sommercamp is right for your child? Here are some parents’ comments on our June session:

  • No complaints or recommendations. Thought camp was great!
  • My child really liked all of his counselors and it sounds like they did a great job. They made learning German fun for my child.
  • I thought that the counselors were very sweet to the children. I loved to see that children felt really comfortable around them
  • I love the individualized attention. The camp counselors made my children feel comfortable and loved which made them open to learning and making mistakes with the language without fear or worry. Keep up the good work!
  • My son LOVED ___ [name of counselor]. He was fantastic with the kids. My daughter loves the singing and continues to sing the songs.
  • Both children loved the songs and the counselors.
  • Fun and educational.
  • Keep up the good work. Well organized. Nice program!
  • Thank you so much for the great week.

Happy and silly faces at Sommercamp

In June we welcomed 19 campers to the first session of Sommercamp 2017. For the first time, camp extended into the afternoon, which gave us more time for activities like soccer, crocheting, T-shirt decorating, and, of course, singing and dancing! The session’s theme of “Märchen” (fairy tales) could be seen in group learning activities and in a large castle-building project.
There are still a couple of spots left in our August Sommercamp (August 21-25). Come and join the fun! You can register here. Registration for the school year 2017-18 is also open.


School’s out!

Our students celebrated the end of the school year with performances, crafts, and treats. Thanks to our fabulous teachers and volunteers and to everyone who joined us! It’s been a great first year at our new location.

Registration for 2017-18 will open later this month.