ABS Thursday Notes- December 5, 2019

How We Do It and Why
by Mary Siebert

“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo

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. They sing the music of Monteverdi, a superstar composer of the late Renaissance, with new lyrics detailing the functions of the muscular system. Renaissance banners are created in art class, along with the Leonardo studies. In dance, the posture and traditional movements of Renaissance dance are studied for a grand entrance, a short performance dance, and a celebratory romp, all to be performed at a “Renaissance Spectacle” in two weeks.

As a culminating activity, we present an “Intermezzo” (also known as an “Intermedio.”) During the Italian Renaissance, exquisite, miniature presentations were developed to be performed between the acts of a play. These “Intermezzi” became more popular than the plays, themselves, and eventually gave birth to opera. Intermezzi were lavishly produced portrayals of Greek myths and other stories, in which performers posed progressive scenes in fluid tableaux. Leonardo DaVinci designed elaborate stage mechanisms for the Medici family’s Intermezzi, dazzling the wealthy at celebratory events.

We have created an Intermezzo of the Greek myth “Jason and the Golden Fleece,” taking advantage of our new theater with beautiful new sets designed and painted by Elizabeth Gledhill, with additional set pieces and props by Ms. Christian. The story, pre-recorded two years ago by sound engineer/composer Bill Stevens (also an ABS dad,) at Ovation Sound, is played during the pantomime. All third-grade students observed filmed re-creations of Renaissance Intermezzi and are working with Ms. Heidi on gesture and facial expression as isolated elements of acting.

This is 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 by a 3rd Grader. “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.” 

3rd Grade Performances of “Renaissance Spectacles”
All performances are 12:15 at the Alex Ewing Theater at ABS

  • Campbell- Tuesday, December 17
  • Tate– Wednesday, December 18
  • Lard– Thursday, December 19

Friday Sing Change
No Friday Sing tomorrow.  Our students will be seeing the Nutcracker performed by the UNCSA Preparatory program in our theater throughout the day on Friday.  Friday Sing will be Friday, Dec 20 at 1:50.

Crisis Control Food Drive
K-Kids and Builders Club are sponsoring a canned food drive for Crisis Control Ministries, a non-profit organization that provides food for the needy in our community. Please bring non-perishable items in cans and boxes (no glass containers, please). Items will be collected in a hallway location outside each grade level and in the lobby of the 7th St building. This drive will continue until Friday, Dec. 13. 

Staff Update
Ms. Amani El Sayad recently informed us that she will not be able to continue as a teaching assistant in kindergarten this year. She will be leaving to support her husband in his business. We are sad to see her go but know that it is important for her to be able to support her family. Her last day will be December 13.

We are excited to announce Mrs. Mary Rogers will be filling the position of teaching assistant in Mr. Greene’s class. Mrs. Rogers is completing her Master’s in Teaching from Salem College and recently completed her student teaching at Moore Elementary in second grade. She is also an ABS parent.  

ABS Spelling Bee
We will be holding our annual spelling bee for third through eighth grade students on Thursday, Dec 12. The top three winners from each classroom will participate in the school-wide event.   For more information about word lists, check with your classroom teacher.

ABS Science Fair
ABS will hold its annual science fair on January 9, 2020.  All students are invited to participate.  Registration forms 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 Monday, January 6.

Inclement Weather
In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School”.  This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).

Prospective Parents’ Tours
School tours for prospective parents are scheduled weekly on Thursdays at 9:30am.  Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms.  Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023.  Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held on the second Tuesday of February.