ABS Thursday Notes- February 2, 2017
Published for the Arts Based School Community February 2, 2017
How We Do It and Why
By Mary Siebert
“I sing the body electric.” – Walt Whitman
The Lion King cast is ready for next steps: costume, make-up, and a move into the Hanes Brands Theater. Director Nick Zayas and Musical Director Ashleigh Cooper struggled with only one problem…the ensemble sang too quietly! Anyone who recalls their middle school years can imagine the self-consciousness that might arise when your entire class is asked to sing together; self-consciousness being a hallmark of those years. ABS 8th graders, however, have sung together for nine years. They sang an opera together last year. We know what they’ve got. So, how to break through the pianissimo barrier?
A quick brainstorm supplied a scientific solution: let’s play with decibels! Vibration, sound, hearing, and the properties of sound waves were studied in 6th grade, but will be included in the 8thgrade EOG science test. This seemed a great opportunity for review.
The teachers downloaded a free decibel meter app onto their phones. Curriculum Coordinator Liz Green researched how to feed the visual of the meter through a projector and onto the Promethean board, so students could see it. She quickly trained Mr. Zayas on how to implement the projector in the drama room.
The next day, all 8th graders gathered in the drama room, chatting and laughing. Unbeknownst to them, Mr. Zayas measured their decibel level (“dB”) and recorded the average: 85 dB. Ms. Cooper then led them through a vocal warm-up, and they rehearsed a song from the show. Lo and behold, the volume levels plummeted.
Mr. Z led the students through a brief review of the science of sound. The teachers divided the students into two “teams” who were directed to watch the dB levels, now projected onto the screen. They were to sing music from Lion King, to be adjudicated Olympics-style by faculty judges. Mr. Zayas monitored the sound levels to see that they sang consistently at 85 dB; Ms. Cooper monitored tonality and pitch; (it can be a challenge to sing lyrically and keep your volume up!) Ms. Micka monitored diction, and Mr. Eric monitored energy and commitment.
The students rose to the occasion. Their teams began with rankings of 2 and 4, and ended with rankings of 9 and 10.
Once they reached consistent levels, they were directed to close their eyes as they sang and take a “snapshot” in their minds of the sensation of full-body singing. That sense of resonance will be recalled, in the larger theater space, where Ms. Cooper plans to carry an ipad with the same app, and hold it high to help students find their levels.
Science teacher Ms. Dickson will capitalize on this opportunity for review, reminding students of the increasing distance between sound waves as one gets further from the source. This is a case of science assisting art, to the benefit of the audience members in the back row.
Parking and Traffic Update
As we continue to work toward solutions to alleviate the traffic congestion, we have implemented two new measures. During the afternoon dismissal we have lined 7th Street with cones and “No Parking” signs. We hope this will increase the safety and flow of traffic through that area during that time. Secondly, we now allow cars waiting for dismissal to enter ABS parking lot and begin queing at the dismissal tents beginning at 1:45. This allows approximately 30 cars to stack in the dismissal line and reduce back up Chestnut Street. Thank you for your patience and support as we work toward a safer and more efficient dismissal procedure.
New Faces at ABS
Each year we are delighted to host student teachers and observers from area universities. Welcome to Destiny Yates from Salem College. She will be working with Mrs. Campbell in third grade. Also we have a counseling intern, Maddie Saveliff from Wake Forest University working with our counselor, Ms. Sullivan.
Welcome to our new speech teacher, Meredith Abernethy. She will be partnering with Mrs. Carter in working with our students needing speech services.
Raffle Tickets help fund ABS Hospitality!
ABS Hospitality hosts events throughout the year from new parent orientation to faculty and staff lunch on conference days. We rely on food contributions from families and the proceeds from the assistant principal raffle. Students from all grades may participate in the raffle and the money goes to a good cause. Drawings are held each month usually during First Friday Sing. For February, we will hold the drawing during the Parent Council meeting. You can purchase tickets at the front office of school before Friday Sing.
Parent Council Meeting – Feb. 17-
Our next meeting is Friday, Feb. 17th at 8:15am in the Cafe of the MLK Building. If there is a topic you want considered for discussion, please contact Lindsay Deibler (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Julee Nunley (email@example.com)
Class Rep Meeting in February!
Please join us on Friday, February 17th immediately following the Parent Council meeting for a brief Annual Giving training session. We will discuss the logistics of the campaign and your role in helping to communicate with your classroom. Don’t worry – it’s easy and won’t take much time! Can’t attend or have questions? Please contact Annual Giving Co–Chairs Emily Ball (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Shannon Wright (email@example.com). Thank you!
Box Tops Collecton: Friday, February 17th
Please send in your Box Tops with your child this Friday morning, February 17th. Volunteers will be at the doors to both buildings to collect box tops. This is a simple way to support the school financially. There is a new Box Top App that families can download on your phone to make redeeming funds easy as well. Any questions please contact, Gwen Ashburn (firstname.lastname@example.org) http://www.boxtops4education.com
Read to Feed
The K-Kids are once again sponsoring the very popular school-wide fund raiser for Heifer International called “Read to Feed.” Heifer International is an organization which contributes livestock and training to families in need around the world and helps them build sustainable businesses.
Avalon Cotillions is a social dance program directed by Ann Guill, who also brings the Dancing Classrooms program to ABS for 5th graders. Fifth grade and middle school students are invited to attend fun and educational Avalon Cotillions classes on 5 Sundays, as well as a special dinner etiquette class and a dinner dance on March 10. Some scholarships are available. See attached flyer for more information or call Ann Guill at 336-409-0672.
Kinder Performance – Peter and the Wolf
Thu, February 2, 12pm – 1pm
2nd Audiologist visits classroom
Mon, February 6, 8:30am – 10:30am
2nd- Reynolda House
Tue, February 7, 9:15am – 11:45am
2nd-Twin City Stage
Thu, February 9, 9:30am – 11:15am
Lion King attended Dress
Thu, February 9, 12pm – 1pm
5th-Twin City Stage
Fri, February 10, 9:30am – 11:15am
Lion King attended Dress
Fri, February 10, 12pm – 1pm
8th – Lion King
Fri, February 10, 6pm – 7pm, 8-9pm
8th – Lion King
Sat, February 11, 6pm – 7pm, 8-9pm
ABS Board Meeting
Tue, February 14, 4:45pm – 5:45pm
ABS Board Meeting and Lottery
Tue, February 14, 5:45pm – 7:45pm
3rd- Old Salem
Thu, February 16, 9:15am – 12:15pm
5th-Freedom Train-Reynolds Auditorium
Thu, February 16, 11:15am – 12:30pm
Parent Council meeting
Fri, February 17, 8:15am – 9:15am
No School- President’s Day
Mon, February 20
K-3 opera “Jack and the Beanstalk” Fletcher Opera
Wed, February 22, 9:15am – 10:00am
ABS Garden Workday
Sat, February 25, 9am – 1pm