Thursday Notes – October 2nd, 2014

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.” – Moliére

Dancing Classrooms is a program of twenty lessons taught at the 5th grade level at ABS, by visiting artist Ann Guill and her assistants. It’s well underway, now. ABS piloted the program with Ms. Guill five years ago. The Dancing Classrooms mission is “… to build social awareness, confidence and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance. Through standards-based, in-school residencies, we use the vocabulary of ballroom dance to cultivate the positive feelings that are inherent in every child. The maturity necessary to dance together fosters respect, teamwork, confidence and a sense of joy and accomplishment, which we hope to bring to every child. Ballroom dance is the medium we use to nurture these qualities.” Students learn the fox trot, waltz, swing, tango, merengue, and other dances while also learning how to treat one another with respect and social grace. This is a perfect match for us, particularly because Ann and her assistants are teaching the child, not the subject. They are all expert ballroom dancers, but the priority is the social progress of the individual child. It’s challenging at first to 5th graders, because of the “cootie” factor, but that passes quickly. They have been dancing with partners since Kindergarten, so it’s not an enormous leap, and our students are accustomed to public performance. This makes them ideal exhibition dancers, and there is a performance for parents at the end of the program. Meanwhile, they will be figure drawing from live models in the art studio (their own peers will model, frozen in dance positions that every student knows by heart.) They will also write poetry and prose about the experience, and these drawings and writings will be exhibited at the final program. Students’ familiarity with ballroom dancing leads easily into their work in Romeo and Juliet on the Border, in which they perform Northern Mexican and cowboy partner dances from the late 1800s.



mClass results sent home

Kindergarten through third grade students will receive mClass results in their Thursday Packets today.  Please take some time to review these results.   mCLASS: Reading 3D helps teachers assess, track and support each student’s reading skills.  Each student will be assessed every trimester using the online assessment program.  mCLASS:Reading 3D will instantly analyze your child’s development in grade-appropriate foundational reading skills. Teachers will use this data to focus their instruction around your child’s specific needs, in areas that may include:

  • Hearing and using sounds in spoken words (Phonemic Awareness)
  • Knowing sounds of letters and sounding out written words (Alphabetic Principle)
  • Reading words in stories easily, quickly, and correctly (Accuracy and Fluency)
  • Understanding what they read (Reading Comprehension).


After each assessment period you will receive a letter outlining your child’s specific assessment results and progress as a reader. The letter will also include learning activities you and your child can do together at home to reinforce skills learned at school.  Parent support and reading at home are a vital part of your child’s education. The teacher’s efforts, combined with your support, will help your child read with mastery and confidence.  If you have any questions about the assessment, the activities, or your child’s classroom work and progress, please talk to your child’s teacher.



Congratulations to Matt and Erin Davis on the birth of their baby girl.  Adalyn Meredith was born Sept 28.   5 lbs 14 oz, 20 inches long.  Mrs. Davis will be taking this year off from teaching to be with her family.


Parent Council October Meeting

Our next Parent Council Meeting will be held on Friday, October 10th at 8:15am in the Teacher Resource Room.  If you have suggested agenda topics, please submit them no later than today, Thursday, October 2nd to Michelle Lawrence ( and Shannon Wright (  Thank you!


Fall Festival –OCTOBER 25th 

Mark your calendars for family fun at the ABS Fall Fest on Saturday, October 25th from noon-3pm at the 7th Street Building & Courtyard!  We’ll have games, music, food trucks and more!  Interested in volunteering?  Contact Tommy Priest (


Picture Day-Oct 3

Smile!  October 3 is Picture Day!  All students will be photographed to be included in the school’s yearbook.  Proofs will be sent home along with information if you would like to order.


Friday Sing Tomorrow

On Friday, Oct 3, we will all gather in the 7th Street courtyard for an ALL-SCHOOL Friday Sing from 1:40 – 2:10. K – 4 students return to their classrooms afterward, to gather belongings for dismissal.   If the weather prevents an outdoor gathering, Friday Sing will be for only K – 4th graders, in the back space, from 2:00-2:25.


ABS Scholastic Book Fair

The Annual Scholastic Book Fair is coming Oct. 6-10 to ABS. Mark your calendars! The online fair will run until Oct.14. Check out our school’s book fair homepage: The online book fair has many more titles than we will be able to include at school, so make sure you check it out and share with grandparents and people that live out of town. See the attached letter for more information. Both fairs help the school earn money to buy books for our libraries and teachers!

Also, please consider donating to our gift certificate fund so that all of our students are able to purchase a book. Angela Wise in the front office will accept those donations.

There are still volunteer opportunities available. Please click on the link and sign up to help if you can! There are still several empty spots that need to be filled!




K-Kids do Clean Sweep

The K-Kids will meet at Salem Lake on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 9a.m. – 12:00 Noon to participate in the Clean Sweep clean-up. Pizza will be served to the participants at the end of our clean-up duties. Please join us to keep our waterways beautiful!


Around Town… 

The Winston-Salem Symphony invites students to attend a FREE rehearsal of BRAHMS’ FIRST SYMPHONY on Friday, October 10, at 7:00 pm. Tickets are required and must be reserved by October 3. Students under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Call336-464-0145 or  reserve tickets at: