ABS Thursday Notes- November 17, 2016

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                        November 17, 2016



Conference Days- November 18- Early Dismissal

                        K-4 Dismiss at 11:45

                        5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

How We Do It and Why

Mary Siebert


“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles M. Schultz (“Peanuts”)


While focusing on challenges faced by Kindergarten teachers, our curriculum coordinator, Liz Green, considered an intimidatingly long list of “sight words” that the state requires our youngest students to learn. Liz brought the list to me and suggested that I partner with the teachers in creating a “Sight Words Song.” Since this is one of my favorite things to do, I was all in. Typically the content of a curricular song is my only restriction, and I can mold the lyrics to fit whatever melody I choose, as long as the content is delivered. In this case, the words themselves were already provided, but the story was undetermined; a unique challenge.

Most of the sight-words are two to four letters long. (Some exceptions: mother and father.) There are few consonant blends, and more nouns than verbs. With a little nudging, the words finally began to sort themselves into a little story in which the singer finds a dog, and begs the parents to keep it,” to no avail:

Can we keep it? Do say yes!

“No,” said Mother. “Dogs make a mess.”

The melody is a familiar one, originally an old children’s circle song and game called Tideo. We learned the song and the game. We shared dog stories. I told the children about my own dog, who sometimes makes a big mess. We agree that she can’t help it…she’s just being a dog. Then we learned the song, to the same tune, now familiar. The next steps: memorize it. Read it from a big chart as we sing. Highlight the word “dog” wherever it appears, in yellow. I express shock that sometimes there is an “s” at the end of the word “dog”, and the children explain patiently that this is indicative of more than one dog. The teacher selects a student to point to the lyrics as we sing. Finally, we brainstorm an ending to the song. What could the dog do, to persuade the mom? Here are some samples from the list of happy endings the children proposed:

– The dog could do a rescue.

– The mom could fall in love with the dog.

– The dog could bark because there’s a fire and save everyone.

– The dog could learn to cook.

– The dog could learn to drive a truck.

– A baby about three years old could fall in a lake and the dog could jump in and tell him to grab his leash, and pull the baby out.

The movie and game make learning the melody easy. Fascination with the dog stimulates interest in the words, and singing engages the whole brain, keeping students attentively re-reading and practicing those sight words. Just a suggestion to Kindergarten parents: you might want to visit the Humane Society. Those kids all want dogs, and one of those dogs just might learn to drive your truck.


NC School Report Card

Each year the North Carolina School Report Cards provides a comprehensive resource for information about student achievement, the school environment and student safety at the state, district and school levels.


School performance grades (A-F), as required by the state law, are included on the school-level Report Cards for traditional and charter schools. The law requires student proficiency to count 80 percent and academic growth to count 20 percent of the grade. In addition, the statewide end-of-grade and end-of-course tests are reported for five achievement levels.     While the NC School Report Card snapshots offer a helpful summary of school-level information, we encourage you to visit the school and speak to the principal, teachers and perhaps even other parents to learn more about the special programs, school structure and learning environment to decide what may best meet your child’s educational needs.

To see our school’s report card click on the following link:



ABS Science Fair

ABS will hold its annual science fair on January 19, 2016.  All students are invited to participate.  Information packets will be sent home via Thursday packets this week.  Science Fairs give students an opportunity to think and work independently, develop and refine individual science interests, and engage in critical thinking. Please help your child choose a science fair project topic that aligns with the science standards at his or her grade level. Science standards can be found for each grade level on the ABS website under “Our Students”. Science Fair applications are due to your teacher by Friday, January 13.

Have you ordered your yearbook yet?

The cost is only 20$! Pay online via this link – http://www.strawbridge.net/order-online/  the ABS online code is 106312

Or, if you prefer to pay by check, you can order with the one of the forms that are on the front table of the entrance to the MLK building or at Donna’s desk in 7th street building. Forms can be turned in to Donna in the 7th st. building or Angela in the MLK building. Don’t miss out on all the memories!

Dental Screening

When children have dental problems, their overall health and ability to learn can be seriously compromised.  As part of our regular school preventive dental health program, the NC Oral Health Section, Division of Public Health, and Lynn Kelly, RDH, Public Health Dental Hygienist for Forsyth County, will conduct dental screenings for children in grades K, 3rd, 5th on November 29.  She will use gloves, mask, flashlight, and will use a new tongue depressor for each child.  The screening serves as an educational, positive dental experience and also collects information to help improve the Children’s Dental Health programs.  Children who see a dentist regularly will also benefit from the screening for the educational opportunity.  A form letter will be sent home to show your child’s results.


If you do not want your child included in this dental screening, please send a note to your child’s teacher.  If you have any questions, please call Lynn Kelly, RDH, at the Forsyth County Health Department.  (336) 703-3375


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 and we are looking for an awesome DJ. If anyone has a contact, please contact Ryan Leigh Runyon. (ryanleigh@gmail.com) Volunteer opportunity as well, starting early recruiting volunteers:)

Raffle at First Friday Sing

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the assistant principal raffle. The proceeds fund the hospitality budget for Parent Council.

Holiday Reminder

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!


Roll and Stroll, for Arts for Life

The K-Kids invite you to walk, bike and wagon your way through the Festival of Lights next Thursday, November 17, at Tanglewood Park,  supporting Arts for Life in their Roll and Stroll. The doors open at 5:00 p.m. with fun, art and food trucks.The roll is at 6:30, and the stroll begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students, and are free for children under 5.


Crisis Control Can Drive

The K-Kids are sponsoring the Crisis Control Can Drive, from now until Friday, December 9. 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!


Lost and Found

Please check lost and found for items you may have forgotten.   All items not claimed by November 18 will be donated.


Around town…

Friday, November 18 from 4:00-5:30pm – Harry Potter Party for Teens. Come dressed as your favorite character to celebrate the new movie! Snacks, crafts, and more! For ages 12-18. Kernersville Branch Library, 130 E. Mountain St.

Upcoming Events

2nd-African Tales-Parris

Thu, November 17, 12:15pm – 12:45pm

8th – Walking Field Trip

Fri, November 18, 8:30am – 11:00am

Early Dismissal-Conference Day

Fri, November 18, 11:45am – 12:00pm

No School-Conferences

Mon, November 21

No School- Thanksgiving Break

Tue, November 22 – Fri, November 25

Dental Screening K,3,5

Tue, November 29

1st – Quintet visit

Wed, November 30, 8:30am – 10:30am
2nd – Museum of Anthropology Speaker visits ABS

Thu, December 1, 8:45am – 10:15am

African Drumming with Tam Tam Mandingue

Mon, December 5 – Fri, December 9

7th – Mr Bob poetry

Mon, December 5, 8:20am – 10:20am

5th grade – Reynolda House Grant Woods Exhibit

Tue, December 6, 9:20am – 11:30am