ABS Thursday Notes- December 8, 2016

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                           December 8, 2016




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo


This year’s third grade Renaissance Spectacles is a study in opposites from a production standpoint, as director Heidi McIver adapts creatively to a temporary performance space in the intimate dance classroom. For students, the bulk of learning occurs in developing this performance, not in delivering it, so the students gain as much as before…the parents will simply be relocated. At the other extreme, we have a full set of spectacular new costumes, designed for us by our own Lee Ann Farrell (fourth grade teacher and accomplished seamstress) and sewed by Ms. Farrell with the assistance of parent volunteers. Ms. Farrell worked with dance teacher Jan Adams and director Heidi McIver to create designs that will suit a wide range of student sizes, will look tailored without detailed fitting, fit into the color scheme of pre-neon Renaissance clothing, and are fun to wear. She even made them reversible, so we can use them for other shows, yet to be created. We are very excited to debut these gorgeous new threads, as we learn in class that people of the Italian Renaissance literally wore their wealth in their clothing. There was no WalMart, no “growing out of” clothes, no closet full of various outfits, and no Goodwill. Everything was hand woven, hand dyed, and hand sewn, and passed along, back then! We shall convey our new costumes as regally into the dance space as we would have in the theatre.

Third grade students study the Italian Renaissance as part of an exploration of innovation and its power to initiate change. They study the solar system and body systems through the art of Leonardo DaVinci, who helped create breakthroughs in those scientific fields. The artist and his work are introduced in both art and the classroom. Italy is located on a world map Leonardo’s biography is explored. Students study Leonardo’s scientific precision in drawing the muscular and skeletal systems, and learn that he sometimes created dramatic spectacles for the Duke of Milan. Meanwhile, students sing the music of Monteverdi, the superstar Italian composer of the late Renaissance, with new lyrics detailing the functions of the muscular system. In drama class they study the ancient characters of Commedia dell’Arte, which were prevalent during Leonardo’s time but still appear throughout drama and literature and even in today’s cartoons. Traditional masks from Commedia are created in art class. In language arts, students assist with generating lines for their play, by telling and retelling a traditional Italian story, and improvising each scene to capture new ideas. They learn about observation and descriptive writing by recording these moments precisely, in writing. Together, they develop a play which incorporates their ideas and preserves the story itself. In dance, they study the posture and traditional movements of Renaissance dance, and prepare a grand entrance, a short performance dance, and a celebratory romp.

This is all made possible by the ongoing, detailed cooperation of classroom and specialist teachers. No traditional textbook can hope to compare to this constellation of connections! The result is summed up for me by a comment a 3rdgrade boy made yesterday. “Ms. Siebert,” he said, “I think this school is a Renaissance school.” I asked him why. “Because,” he answered, “we learn about things by using everything. Math, science, reading, and all of the arts.”


Band and Chorus Concerts Monday, December 19!

All 7th – 8th grade band and chorus students will perform Monday, December 19th at Brendle Recital Hall on the Wake Forest University campus, at 1834 Wake Forest Road. We are very excited to perform in this distinguished venue! Students should be in place by 6:30. (Parking can be puzzling for first-timers, so please plan accordingly.) Students should wear all black, or black & red. The concert begins at 7:00, and will last under one hour. For more information and a map to the location, contact Ms. Cooper at acooper@artsbasedschool.com


ABS Spelling Bee

We will be holding our annual spelling bee for third through eighth grade students on Friday, January 6th. The top three winners from each classroom will participate in the school wide event.   Winners will proceed to the Regional Spelling Bee.

High School Information Night

December  15, 2016

Lead counselors from several local high schools will be on campus to participate in a high school information night. The meeting will include information about course selection and registration as well as time for questions and answers with individual counselors. Parents of 7th and 8thgrade students are invited to attend on Thursday, December 15 at 6pm in the 7th St. building.


Flu Season

As you know, flu can be easily spread from person to person.  We are asking for your help in reducing the spread of flu at ABS.  The symptoms for the seasonal flu and H1N1 are the same: fever of 100 degrees or more, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired.  Students with these symptoms will be sent home.

You can help us by taking these simple steps:

  • Teach children to wash their hands often.
  • Teach your children not to share food or drink.
  • Teach children to cough or sneeze into their elbows to avoid spreading germs.
  • Keep sick children home.

Get the flu vaccine for you and your children.


ABS Garden Work Day-Cancelled

ABS Garden Workday for Dec 10 is cancelled due to forecast of extreme cold weather.  See you next month!


Parent Council News:


January Jam – Jan. 20th 2:30-4:00pm January Jam is a dance party that the school holds as a fundraiser event. If you have any questions please contact, Ryan Leigh Runyon. (ryanleigh@gmail.com)

Volunteer opportunities available, view link below:



Parent Council Meeting – Dec. 16 

Our next meeting is Friday, Dec. 16th at 8:15am in the Cafe of the MLK Building. If there is a topic you want considered for discussion, please contact Lindsay Deibler (lindsaydeibler@gmail.com) or Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net)



The holidays are around the corner! Want to give our teachers and staff a gift they’ll love? Use the ABS Teachers and Staff Survey to find out your teacher’s favorite…everything!



Crisis Control Can Drive

The K-Kids are sponsoring the Crisis Control Can Drive, extending until December 16. Please bring cans or dry boxed foods to help the hungry in our community. Each grade level in the MLK building will be collecting cans in a common area outside of their classrooms. Let us show the world we care!


Around town…

Tessa Turner(1st grade), Sam Spach (4th grade)and Ceilidh Woosley (4th Grade)  have wonderful roles in  Twin City Stage’s “Yes, Virginia” which will be playing Dec 16 and 17 at 7:30 pm and Dec 18 at 2:00 pm.

Upcoming Events

African Drumming

Mon, December 5 – Fri, December 9

3rd – Renaissance Spectacles- Ms. Christian

Tue, December 13, 12:15pm – 12:45pm

ABS Board Meeting

Tue, December 13, 5:45pm – 6:45pm

3rd – Renaissance Spectacle- Mrs. Campbell

Wed, December 14, 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Thu, December 15, 9:30am – 12:00pm

3rd – Renaissance Spectacles- Ms. Quintal

Thu, December 15, 12:15pm – 12:45pm

High School Info Night

Thu, December 15, 6pm – 7pm

Parent Council meeting

Fri, December 16, 8:15am – 9:15am

7th & 8th Grade Band / Chorus Concert

Mon, December 19, 7pm – 8pm

Brendle Recital Hall, WFU

7th Street: Dads’ Jazz combo welcome

Tue, December 20, 7:45am – 8:15am

MLK: Dads’ Jazz welcome

Wed, December 21, 7:45am – 8:15am

Early Dismissal

Wed, December 21, 11:45am – 12:00pm

No School -Winter Break

Thu, December 22 – Tues, Jan 3