ABS Thursday Notes- May 5, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

May 5, 2022

Last day of Clubs-May 13

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“Teachers open the door; you enter by yourself. “ - Chinese Proverb

First graders are preparing for their performances next week, of a play based on a traditional Chinese folk tale. This coincides nicely with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and is a great opportunity to introduce our young students to music, dance, language, clothing, and stories from China. In the classroom, they made topographical maps of China, and learned about Chinese landmarks, animals, and the terra cotta warriors.

In first grade, Ms. Heidi, the drama teacher, joins the classroom as part of language arts studies, to familiarize students with the story and develop the script. The performance is predominantly narrated by Ms. Heidi, with students speaking and responding as a group. They have occasional individual lines, for those who are ready, prompted liberally by the narrator. The students themselves typically devise the lines during class, once they are familiar with the story. Focus is on the basics of onstage etiquette, noticing space, and making spontaneous staging choices that make sense and allow the audience to see and understand. Students also work on projecting their voices (a special challenge for those wearing masks,) and on courageously focusing and doing their best.

One of the biggest benefits to this process is the embodiment of story sequence. Students become acutely aware that a story progresses in a particular way, with one scene following another, and they must remember what comes next. If they forget, the adult narrator is standing by to give them a hint, and it’s perfectly OK in this low pressure setting to accept that little bit of help and move on. They also learn the directions of the stage, and they learn that “upstaging” is bad manners.

Music and dance are integrated into the show, with students singing a traditional Chinese song (in English) as part of the story, and performing Chinese inspired dances as well. Of course, China is a massive country with many traditions stretching back thousands of years, so these tastes of Chinese culture are meant to awaken curiosity, and awareness. We hope it will excite wonder and respect for the wide world around them.

First Grade Performances Next Week

First graders will perform Great Dragon and the Laughing Baby next week on the following days and times:

Howard’s Class, Tuesday, May 10, 12:00-12:40

Fansler’s Class, Wednesday, May 11, 12:00-12:40

Sherell’s Class, Thursday, May 12, 12:00-12:40

Family and friends are welcome to attend. There are no limitations to guests per family, but you may wish to wear a mask.

Friday Sing

Friday Sing is scheduled for tomorrow, May 6, from 1:50-2:20. In case of rain, this event will be canceled. Friday Sing is a monthly sing along for K-4th grades. This year we will be singing in the outdoor courtyard of the 7th Street building. We will need volunteers to help us set up tomorrow! Details below.



This week the ABS Parent Council is sponsoring Teacher Appreciation Week and who deserves our thanks and love more than our wonderful ABS Teachers & Staff?!? We are thrilled to have planned a full week of fun ways our ABS students can help show their teachers how much we all appreciate them. The schedule is below and the list of teacher favorites is here. Be creative and put your own fun spin on ways to shower our teachers with thanks next week. Don't forget our fantastic specials teachers & staff! 

Monday, May 2: Write a special note or draw a picture for your teacher

Tuesday, May 3: Bring a special treat for your teacher or a gift card from their favorite restaurant/bakery/market/etc.

Wednesday, May 4: Bring your teacher a favorite school supply or purchase something for the classroom from their wishlist 

Thursday, May 5: Bring a special drink (coffee, tea, juice, etc.) for your teacher or a gift card from their favorite coffee/juice/smoothie/bubble tea shop

Friday, May 6: Bring your teacher a flower (can be picked from your yard or garden) or a small spring plant. Teachers will have a vase in their room for these flowers.

Please contact your Class Rep if you have any questions or have ideas on ways your class can collaborate on Teacher Appreciation Week. There aren't enough ways for us to thank our wonderful teachers...but let's do our best next week! We appreciate your participation! 

Want to be the Assistant Principal?

You can still purchase raffle tickets to give your child a chance to be Assistant Principal of the Day! Assistant Principals have their own desk, name tag, and list of "Principal Duties" for the day. You can stop by either front office to purchase your tickets ($1/ticket, $5 for 6 tickets), or you may also purchase tickets online, and we will fill out the physical tickets for you in our front office. (This form will close at noon on the day of Friday Sing.) All proceeds from the raffle support our Hospitality fund and allow us to do special things for our staff throughout the year.

Strike Up the Band!

Beginning this week, every 6th grader will have one week’s introduction to each of flute, trumpet, and clarinet. Although we had arranged for parents to contribute to costs of maintenance and repair, the long delays on delivery of the instruments caused us to discontinue that program. If you would like to contribute, to help us defray the cost of our reemerging band program, please make your donation at our website under the “Giving” tab, or drop off a donation at the school with a note that it’s for the band program. Thanks for your help!

May 13 Garden Work Day with Forsyth Early College!

Next Friday, May 13, members of the National Honors Society from Forsyth Early College are coming to ABS from 3pm-6pm to help us prepare the Terrace Gardens for sunflower planting. Please bring your shovels and gloves and join us!! The Terrace Gardens are currently planted in a blend of cover crops: vetch, crimson clover, and daikon radish are (mostly) suppressing weeds while affixing life-giving nitrogen into the soil. We’ll also be weeding the strawberry patch, and sprucing up as many spaces as we’re able to cover. Please let us know if you’re thinking about coming by signing up here!

Volunteers Needed

In case of good weather on Friday, volunteers will be needed to set up for Friday Sing. If you can help move courtyard tables and chairs, set up the sound system, and put things away afterward, please sign up here and meet Mrs. Siebert at the 7th Street Courtyard at 1:00.

ABS Regular Board Meeting

The ABS Board of Directors Board will meet on May 10, 2022 at 5:45pm using a virtual meeting platform. Board meetings are open to the public. If you would like to view the meeting, please email Principal Hollis [email protected] for the link.


Parent Council Meeting - Friday, May 13, 2022 

Please join us for our monthly Parent Council meeting at 8:30 am in the MLK building cafeteria. We will discuss field day preparations and other exciting upcoming events. All are welcome!

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