ABS Thursday Notes- June 21, 2018

Thursday Notes                            Published for the Arts Based School Community                                       June 21, 2018 www.artsbasedschool.com     Staffing Updates I am excited to announce several staffing updates.  It’s an exciting time of the year as we look for the next great teachers to join the ABS team.  We get to meet many wonderful educators during the process that are excited about the way we teach children.  Here’s the casting list for 2018-19…   Kindergarten: Trish Goldberg, Nicole Londono Ashley Rudd First Grade: Kathie Fansler, Nicole Howard, Sherell McArthur Second Grade: Jess Broughton, Tiffany Parris, Ashley Setser Third Grade: Anne Campbell, Becca Lard , Lauren Quintal Fourth Grade: Alex DeJarnette, Kelly Robertson, Renee Meeks Fifth Grade: Leni Fragakis, Laura Lynne Frazier, Becky Koza Sixth Grade: Alysha Christian, Courtney Hedgecock, New Hire Seventh/Eighth Grades: Kimberly Dickson, Lisa Hendrix, Jennifer Lewis, Lenora McNamara, LeeAnn Farrell The Arts: Jan Adams, Angela Allen, Mary Boudreault, Betsy Messick, , Heidi McIver, Elizabeth Gledhill, Nick Zayas Spanish: New Hire PE: Whit Holcomb-Faye   Hellos and Goodbyes… Ashley Setser will be teaching second grade with Jess and Tiffany at ABS.  Ashley comes to us from Raleigh, NC where she taught at a Creative Arts and Science Magnet School.  She has a Master’s degree with a K-6 license.  She has been teaching for 3 years. Becca Lard will be joining the third grade team.  Becca comes to ABS from Kimmel Farm.  She has a bachelor’s degree with a K-6 license.  She has been teaching for 3 years.   Whit Holcomb-Faye will be joining the ABS team teaching PE.  You may remember Whit from his days subbing at ABS.  He played professional basketball for ten years in Europe and coaches high school basketball after school at Parkland High School.    Last year, he served as a long term sub at QEA Charter teaching PE, Health,and Science to middle school and high school students. Eric Smith is leaving ABS.  We appreciate the four years he spent with our school, building relationships with students, and making PE fun for kids.  We wish him the best in his next adventure.   Please Donate Your Stringed Instruments! ABS will be introducing stringed instruments to our music program this year. We would love your donated instruments! We will particularly need ½ and ¾ sized violins, but welcome all full-sized violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. As a non-profit organization, we can offer tax letters for the value of the instrument. Please drop your donation off at the MLK building, or email Mary Siebert at msiebert@artsbasedschool.com with questions. Thank you!   Rising 5th Grade Band All 5th graders will play in beginning...

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ABS Thursday Notes- June 14, 2018

Thursday Notes                            Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                                  June 14, 2018 www.artsbasedschool.com     How We Do It and Why By Mary Siebert   “Music should always be an adventure.” – Coleman Hawkins   The music department at the Arts Based School is undergoing a transformation. Two new teachers will preserve the great stuff we already do, including beloved ABS traditions, (Friday Sing, grade-level performances, integrated lessons, etc.) while putting their personal twists on these projects. They will also bring unique skill sets and ideas to the design of a new program that will incorporate music technology, composition, leveled band and orchestra, singing, and integrated music industry lessons such as branding and publishing.   In building these ideas, I have been fortunate to receive inspired and ongoing mentorship from Brian Cole, an ABS dad and board member, and Dean of the UNCSA School of Music, who is a natural optimist with rich experience in envisioning and building new music programs. I look forward to receiving the input of other ABS parents and community music leaders as the program continues to develop.   I am deeply grateful to Ashleigh Cooper for setting a high and elegant standard for singing, both chorally and in productions, to Chloé Micka for her dedicated and perfectly documented development of a demanding bands program, (built on the pioneering work of Peter Perret, ABS co-founder and Conductor Emeritus of the WS Symphony,) , and to Peter Wilbur for his inspired and multi-faceted leadership of the eclectic K-4 program. With the work of this talented, departing triumvirate as starting ground, here is an overview of the plan:   ABS’ goal in music is to develop students who love listening to and making music. They will be musically literate performers who are capable of creatively working with new musical ideas and technology. Our graduates will be skilled musicians and/or informed, enthusiastic, open-minded audience members.   Kindergarten – 4th Grade: Comprehensive overview with an emphasis on joy, creativity, and ensemble participation, with energized focus on standards-based skills progression in music notation and the elements of music. We introduce and work with music of a variety of cultures and times, emphasizing traditional American folk songs. Implementing the Suzuki model of learning note- reading through known music, we sing these songs first, then employ simple notation of those now-familiar melodies, learning to play them on a variety of instruments. Singing in harmony (beginning with rounds,) African drumming, listening, critical thinking, introductory keyboard, recorder, strings and guitar, integrated performances, and concert attendance all may be included. MusikGarten curriculum is included where appropriate. All K-4 students gather monthly for First Friday Sing, when they sing together for half an hour before dismissal.   5th Grade: 5th grade is...

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ABS Thursday Notes- June 7, 2018

Thursday Notes                            Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                                    June 7, 2018 www.artsbasedschool.com     How We Do it and Why? -Mary Siebert   The Year in Review… Try to Say it in One Breath… Back to School Night, Friday Sing, 5th Dancing Classrooms, 1st BB&T sky-high Visit, 4th Diana Greene writing, 4th “My Inside-Outside Self” with John Ray bass and Diana Greene, K Dixie Classic Fair, 6th Math & Science dances with Thao Nguyen and Ms. Adams, 2nd African dance with Miss Dawanna, , Georgia O’Keeffe exhibits at Reynolda House,  Kinder & 1st Farmer’s Market, African Drumming with Mr. Bill, 3rd Natural Science Center, Drama games with Mr. Bob and Ms. Heidi, 1st Triad Farmers Market, 6th Olio Glass Blowing demo, 5th “A Wrinkle in Time” at The Little Theatre, 2nd “African Tales”, 1st Old Salem, 1st Caves of Lascaux, Book Fair, 3rd Millis Health Center, 6th Blacksmith Demos, 4th “Legend of 2-Path” film at UNCSA,  Jazz Dads morning performances, 8th Alamance Battlefield, WFU Museum of Anthropology visits: Africa, Drama games and combat training with Heidi McIver, 4th Old Salem, Snow days, Introduction to Guided Math, 8th Visit to water treatment plant, Kaleidium visits, Movie Day, 8th Winston Cup Museum math project, 5-8 January Jam, Positive Discipline parent workshop, 4th Landform Documentaries, K – 2 SciWorks, 1stWoodwind Quintet, 4thGuilford Battlefield, 4th UNCSA Nutcracker, 3rd “Renaissance Spectacles”, 8th Bowling at Northside Lanes, Spelling Bee, Science Fair, K-Kids Skate parties, 2nd Audiologist visit, UNCSA “PLUCK” dancers visit Kinder, 8th John Railey journalist visit, 2nd Home Moravian pipe organ, 7th bookmaking with Terry Schupback-Gordon and Mr. Bob with Wayzgoose, Reynolda House visits, 3rd Grade “The Orchestra Sings” Carnegie Hall/WS Symphony, Reynolda Gardens visits, 5th and 8th Triad Stage “South Pacific,” 5th Cowboys with Ms. Siebert, 3rd Old Salem, Kinder “Peter and the Wolf” with UNCSA PLUCK, Mad Science, 8th “Text + Context” photo project with Diana Greene and the Pulizter Center; 5th “Romeo & Juliet on the Border”, Open-Air all-school Friday Sing, 3rd Police, Courthouse and Fire Station visits, K-2 Piedmont/Fletcher Opera “Tales of the Brothers Grimm”, SciWorks visits, High School info night, Kinder puppet visits with Mr. Bob, Visits to Tanglewood, Art Club, Crazy Running, 4th “Like a Family”, with Reel Shady Band, 8th band and chorus Carowinds, 7th Creek Crawl, K Mrs. Hanes Cookie Factory, 4th trip to Raleigh, Builder’s Club and K-Kids, 7th and 8th band-John Ray improv demos, Jump Rope for Heart, 7th opera “Brundibar” with professional orchestra and Maestro Perret, 8th dance class with Thao, Community Creates Fundraiser, K-Woolsey Farm, 4th Pilot Mountain, 7th Proximity Hotel Sustainability visit, Spirit weeks and pajama days, 6th short films, 2nd Haiku with Mr. Bob, Winter and Spring Band & Chorus concerts, K Bethabara Park, 1st Piedmont Environmental Center, 2nd Stonecutter, 8th“The Lion King”, 1st Grade “Great Dragon and the Laughing Baby”, 4th Band “Instrument Introductions”, SECCA visits, 8th Graduation, Field Day.   End of Year Checklist Pick up medications from the front office Be sure all fees and lunch balances are paid Let us know if you will not be returning...

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ABS Thursday Notes- May 31, 2018

Thursday Notes                            Published for the Arts Based School Community                                       May 31, 2018 www.artsbasedschool.com     How We Do It and Why By Mary Siebert   “We all got a poem in us somewhere.” – Larry “”LB the Poet” Barron, Jr.   The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting sponsors independent journalists covering underreported global issues. The organization engages students in learning about both the topics their journalists. Our 8th graders received a visit earlier in the year from Pulitzer Fellow Daniella Zalcman, a photojournalist who shared her work on her project: Signs of Your Identity. She uses photography and interviews to share the experiences of native Canadians who experienced forced relocation to a network of Indian Residential Schools. Ms. Zalcman created multiple exposure portraits to suggest that, while these places are gone from the Earth, they are painful, ever-present memories within each survivor. The 8th graders worked with visiting artist Diana Greene and ABS art teacher Elizabeth Gledhill to photograph their own self-portraits, and then incorporate a similar technique to Ms. Zalcman’s to identify themselves with a space at ABS that is meaningful to them. Meanwhile, students worked with resident artist Bob Moyer and ABS teachers Ms. McNamara and Ms. Farrell on poetic responses to the news, both past and current. Playing off the Pulitzer work and the idea of photo overlay, they looked at moments in time. They examined images of world events and protests, with no headings. They described what they believed had happened on and off screen, what people were seeing, what they might be thinking, and noted their own responses. They then moved to pictures related to civil rights and visited the The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro. When they returned, they looked again at related photos and wrote words and feelings with fresh background knowledge. The teachers encouraged them to think about the moment they saw in the image and to report their thoughts from different points of view. They collected and layered words to express their response to the world around them, much as they did with photography. This is journalism through art. Finally, the students were visited by a group of professional poets: Joe Mills, E’laina Barron, Bob Moyer, and L.B. Barron, Jr. (“L.B. The Poet.”) These poets performed their own insights about civil rights and life in general. They marveled at the work the student poets shared with them in turn. Here are a few examples:   Impossible yet Possible How did it happen It did We are colors- Were colors Grouping by colors Saturation of pigment Murder Associate me with them Define us by it Kill...

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ABS Thursday Notes- May 24, 2018

Thursday Notes                            Published for the Arts Based School Community                                            May 24, 2018 www.artsbasedschool.com     How We Do It and Why By Mary Siebert   “Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.” – Confucius   For several years, our first graders performed a group of Cinderella stories from various cultures. It was an opportunity to study and compare cultures, and it was a lot of fun. But there was one Cinderella and one Handsome Prince in each story, and we found ourselves teaching against the whole point of the thing. We kept asserting that: beauty is not about gowns and glass slippers. Women do not need a man to rescue them. Men are not just rescue engines, and partnerships are not made happily-ever-after by owning a castle.   We set out to find a story that would incorporate more lead players, would avoid antiquated gender stereotypes, and would still lead us into some fascinating cultural studies. We settled on China, because we had a lot of rich resources for teaching about China at first grade.   Heidi McIver, the ABS drama teacher who created and directed the new first-grade play titled Great Dragon and the Laughing Baby, is a detail-oriented teacher. She takes ABS’ commitment to deeply researched cultural studies very seriously. She found a Chinese native to coach her cultural accuracy and to check against stereotypes. She researched the story behind the play deeply, beginning last summer, and found multiple versions of the old Chinese tale. The paper program she designed includes Mandarin figures for each character name. She worked closely with dance teacher Jan Adams to develop movement that would incorporate the participation of every student, as much as possible, in retelling the tale.   In this new story, every student has an opportunity to play a character with a superpower, or to play stone, water, fire, iron chains, animals, a dragon, (they are good luck in China, you know. And they don’t breathe fire. Those are English dragons.) And when these characters run into trouble, the warriors have a “dance-off.” These little actors dance and sing and perform with remarkable focus, ensemble, and commitment.   That confidence comes from weeks of working with their teachers and specialists to take a deep dive into Chinese culture and this adapted folk tale. The exposure and use of written language through development of the script are potent and fueled by the excitement of potential performance. Each student was given a mini-script to wear on a lanyard necklace during rehearsal. They could flip mini-pages to see their...

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ABS Thursday Notes- May 17, 2018

Thursday Notes                            Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                  May 17, 2018 www.artsbasedschool.com     How We Do It and Why By Mary Siebert “…if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.” – Neil Gaiman The culture of our school is so positive that visiting artists, who travel from school-to-school around the community and the state, report being struck immediately by the elevating atmosphere. Students and staff are noticeably relaxed, high-spirited, cheerful, and full of creative ideas. When the visitor asks for input, many hands shoot up and children are excited to share. Teachers have built this culture by requesting student input for everything from social problem-solving in the classroom to problems that our world leaders struggle to solve. Our students appear confident that their opinions will be respected and heard, and they offer many solutions, understanding that failure is the road to discovery. These are the skills that create successful entrepreneurs, artists, and citizens.   In making art, you will make mistakes. They might lead to new, better ideas. If you examine your mistake with curiosity instead of harsh judgment, that slip-up may lead to a lateral slide, instead of a fall. When we make an unexpected mark in a drawing, it might lead to a new, more exciting shape. When we rehearse attentively and playfully, we become supple and responsive, not rigid. Improvisation is a key to both success and delight.   Even parents on the other side of the world seek this kind of learning environment for their children. Eighty percent of EB-5 Visas, which grant permanent U.S. residency to foreigners who invest half a million dollars in U.S. based development projects, are given to Chinese citizens who wait up to ten years for acceptance. When NPR reporter Ari Shapiro investigated who these citizens were, he met applicants who are middle-class families, cobbling together the investment to give their children educational opportunities in the U.S. He quoted a mother who said of her son’s education: “He is in a good local school, but all they do is study for tests. The Chinese education system turns everyone into the same type of person.” She said that she and other EB-5 applicants want their children to think more creatively and analytically. This parent can see that her child will have the best chances for a rich, rewarding life, both emotionally and financially, if he is both well-trained and innovative.   We take testing very seriously at ABS, and we are intentional about...

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