ABS Thursday Notes- March 2, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

March 2, 2023

  • March 3- Early Dismissal
      • K-4 Dismiss at 11:45
      • 5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon
  • March 6 No School

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“Never memorize something that you can look up.” – Albert Einstein

Many songs and raps are created to help kids memorize their times tables, but they don’t always help. They must be individualized, to stick in the brain. Melodies composed for times tables aren’t usually inspired, and times tables set to pre-existing songs often fit awkwardly. But those skip-counting patterns, when memorized, can accelerate understanding as students progress in math. If they have to stop and look up the answer each time it is needed, the teacher may have moved on, the test might time out. This is one group of facts that is worth memorizing, Mr. Einstein!

Songs designed to help children memorize facts, words, or letters are called mnemonics. They are most effective if they are cleverly crafted, because children sense and recognize the pleasure of rhyme, pattern and the well-tracked lyric. The “ABCs” song fits “Twinkle Twinkle” pretty well, which is lucky for all of us who still sing quickly through it, to find the 12th letter of the alphabet, for a crossword puzzle. If the song fits artfully to the lyrics, we will remember them well into our lives, even into old age, and they can serve to help young children gain quick, playful confidence as they familiarize themselves with skip-counting.

We have been tapping away at original and unique skip-counting songs, for the “Twos” through the “Twelves” for some years. Teachers at K-4 have said these are valuable, and that it’s even helpful if children memorize the songs and patterns before they are introduced to the concept of multiplication. 

We select snippets of multicultural music which are, in themselves, valuable. They are tunes we’d like children to know, which are more sophisticated than “Twinkle, Twinkle” or “Farmer in the Dell.” When possible, we fold in a little bit of information about the song or the composer too, so that the kids get a double-dose of information.

“The Tens”, for example, include the fact that Beethoven’s Ode to Joy comes from his final symphony, and that he was deaf when he wrote it. “The Threes” fit the traditional Japanese folk song Sakura, and the lyrics remind us that the sakura is a flowering cherry tree in Japan. Traditional Blues structure fits “The Twos”, and so-on. Next trimester, I’ll introduce third graders to a new version of “The Twelves,” to the Russian traditional song Kalinka at third grade. 

4th grade teachers, incidentally, have become expert at popping these songs into their day as little music breaks. Their students might suddenly be asked to stand on their chairs and sing out “The 10’s” along with a recording featuring an ABS 1st grader and the entire UNCSA chorale. You can check out the song, HERE. And here are the LYRICS, so you can memorize them too. And it might show up at Friday Sing!

Friday Sing is a Thursday Sing

Friday Sing for the ABS North K-2 students will be today, Thursday, March 2 at 1:50, instead of Friday, due to early dismissal tomorrow.


Assistant Principal for the Day

Does your child want a chance to be Assistant Principal for the day? We hold drawings every month at Friday Sing! You can purchase raffle tickets online or in the front office of your campus to give your child a chance to be Assistant Principal of the Day. Assistant Principals have their own desk, name tag, and list of very important duties for the day. All proceeds from the raffle support our teacher appreciation fund and allow us to do special things for our staff throughout the year. Thank you, and good luck!


Half day Bus Drop-off Schedule

The bus is still providing PM service on a half-day release.  The times are modified and listed below. 

YMCA-12:05 +/- 5mins

Hanes Mall 12:15 +/- 5mins

Sherwood 12:25 +/- 5mins

Around Town

Reynolds High School’s production of The Wizard of Oz is coming in March! Follow the link at the end of this announcement to purchase tickets, and please help spread the word. The Munchkins are representing several schools, including ABS, The Downtown School and Meadowlark, and they are working hard!  https://gofan.co/app/school/NC1938?activity=Performing%20Arts

Camp Oonie Koonie Cha is an early childhood music camp that blends a variety of musical experiences with art, instrument construction, science, dramatic play, xylophone orchestra, and a final performance.  Do you have a 4 to 8 year old?  Camp OKC is a great way to start the summer.  Camp is Monday-Friday 9am-12pm with an option for lunch bunch.  

Go to www.campokc.com to learn more.  Registration is open now. 

Saturday Youth Ping Pong at Miller Park

Saturday youth ping pong sessions are open at Miller Park Community Center 12:00pm - 1:30pm.