A national benchmark in
Educational excellence through integration of the arts

1st Grade

Professional Development in the Arts Offers Teachers New Skills

Professional Development in the Arts Offers Teachers New Skills

Each year ArtSpace Charter School schedules early release days as a part of the school calendar.  When the students go home the teachers stay to plan, meet with other teachers, and most often to attend professional development workshops to learn more about effective teaching.  In December teachers chose to attend one of two arts workshops offered by teaching peers at ArtSpace.  Teachers either attended a printmaking workshop or a music and dance language workshop.  

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1st grade teacher Ms. Claire inks up a fish for a print.

The intention of these workshops was to give the general education teachers more tools to integrate the arts in their own classrooms, creating more opportunities for two-way integration.  Two-way integration means arts objectives and “academic” objectives from the NC Essential Standards and/or the Common Core, are taught in conjunction with each other. Two-way integration is a consistent goal at ArtSpace and other A+ Schools who seek to use arts integration as a philosophical approach to educating children.

Kindergarten teacher Andrea Giglitto and third grade teacher Melissa Redden were two of the printmaking workshop facilitators.  These teachers received a scholarship to attend a week long retreat hosted by the Nature Printing Society at Wild Acres in Little Switzerland, NC earlier this school year.  It is a common occurrence for teachers at ArtSpace to teach workshops after returning from a professional development opportunity off campus.  Teachers and administrators at the school are always seeking new and interesting arts integration trainings that can be shared with the entire community upon their return. Ms. Melissa and Ms. Andrea rotated staff through a fish printing class and a basic brayer class, while ArtSpace parent and Nature Printing Society Education Coordinator, Bridget Benton, taught staff how to use a pasta machine as a printing press with watercolors. In Bridget’s class, participants also were exposed to ecodying with a rice steamer over the course of the afternoon.

Music and Dance Specialists Meg Boerner and Rebecca Triplett shared samples of music and dance recordings to illustrate vocabulary important to dance and music creation and performance.  Teachers who attended this workshop can use this information when assessing students in projects using dance to demonstrate knowledge of a unit.  Middle school science teachers Nick

Rebekah

Kindergarten teacher Ms. Rebekah helps a student create a print.

Rogowski and Lyn VanOver are happy to have vocabulary to use with the kids as they create movement or dance pieces in their classroom. Middle school language arts teacher Leila Wheless is eager to use the terminology in conjunction with the writing process.

Kindergarten teacher Rebekah Walker was very excited to attend the printmaking workshop.  She employed some of the techniques she learned with her kindergartners just days later.  She is also looking forward to employing Gyotaku (fish) printing to compare and contrast characteristics of animals which is a large part of the kindergarten science curriculum.

STEAM Expo

STEAM Expo

SWANNANOA, NC – March 3rd – Students at ArtSpace took part in the school’s third annual STEAM Expo.  STEAM is an expansion of the National Science Foundation’s acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to include an “A” for Arts.  ArtSpace and other organizations have joined the movement that links artistic thinking with STEM through creativity, critical thinking,

5th graders demonstrating chemical and physical change.

5th graders demonstrating chemical and physical change.

communication, and collaboration. ArtSpace’s STEAM Expo highlights inquiry based projects that integrate and utilize art in some way as well.

The highly interactive event involved half of the student body demonstrating projects while the other half toured the building and recorded observations. After forty-five minutes, the students switched roles and the demonstrators became presenters and vice versa.  Many concepts were covered across the grade levels from Forces and Motion to Ecosystems to the Law of Conservation.

5th graders demonstrate energy conservation through dance.

5th graders demonstrate energy conservation through dance.

Students at all grade levels took great pride in the projects they presented.  They explained the concepts from their experiments as they interacted with observers.  The inquiry based projects give

1st graders with their balloon cars.

1st graders with their balloon cars.

students the opportunity to create hypotheses, test them, gather results and create conclusions based on the results.  The EXPO requires students to understand the conclusions and concepts they have learned well enough to present them to a live audience, not just to a teacher.  This extension requires a deep sense of understanding from each young scientist taking part in the EXPO.  ArtSpace believes that integrated experiences like these “stick” with students, making their learning richer and deeper resulting in a life-long passion for learning.

Grandparents Day and Community Cookout

Grandparents Day and Community Cookout

SWANNANOA, NC – ArtSpace’s inaugural Grandparents Day and 2nd annual Fall Community Cookout were met with great enthusiasm on September 11, 2015.  Over 140 Grandparents showed up for the day.  Grandparents were treated to lunch with their students, a tour of the school and an “expert panel” of ArtSpace students.  “The response was overwhelming!  It was wonderful to have the children’s extended family in the school,” said Ms. Lori Cozzi, the school’s Executive Director.

Grandparents participate in hands-on activities in Ms. Claire's first grade.

Grandparents participate in hands-on activities in Ms. Claire’s first grade.

After the Grandparents Day festivities concluded, the school hosted its 2nd annual Fall Community Cookout.  Hundreds of ArtSpace students, teachers, parents and staff crowded the field over the course of the the three hour event.  Hundreds of hot dogs were gobbled while families got to know each other and children played on the field.  

Grandparents gather for an "expert panel."

Grandparents gather for an “expert panel.”

The day also marked the opening of the 2nd ACT ArtSpace Community Thrift Store!  The store is now up and running:  Wednesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.  The store is accepting donations and is looking for volunteers.

Community members gather in the shade for the cookout.

Community members gather in the shade for the cookout.

 

Ms. Meg Implements Music Stations for Rewards and Assessment

Ms. Meg Implements Music Stations for Rewards and Assessment
Second graders playing musical memory

Second graders playing musical memory made with recycled materials. Students are looking for musical symbol matches.

Swannanoa, NC September 17, 2015- This year, in music classes, ArtSpace K-5 grade students have the opportunity to earn reward time for Music Stations.  Each class has set a goal and will work to earn “music money” to bank towards that goal.  Music money can be earned through  individual participation, group work, meeting classroom expectations and following directions.
When the music station goal has been reached, students rotate between activities such as keyboard skills, listening and responding, writing, literacy and games.

Second graders reading musical picture books.

Second graders reading musical picture books.

 This process is a reward for the students, but it also allows Ms. Meg to collect data and assess students on a variety of levels – writing and literacy, aural comprehension and musical responses, interpersonal skills with classmates, and productivity through independent work.

Second graders engaged in listening station completing response sheets.

Second graders engaged in listening station completing response sheets.

 It is not surprising that ArtSpace’s 2015-16 Teacher of the Year found a fun and engaging way to reward her students that is an enriched assessment as well.

ArtSpace Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school serving approximately 400 elementary and middle school students in the Asheville and Buncombe County areas of North Carolina.  The ArtSpace vision is to be “a national benchmark in educational excellence through integration of the arts

A+ 20th Anniversary Conference: Celebrate Arts Integration

A+ 20th Anniversary Conference: Celebrate Arts Integration
A+ Fellow Michelle Pearson leads attendees in an energizing movement celebration.

A+ Fellow Michelle Pearson leads attendees in an energizing movement celebration.

DURHAM, NC, August 3-5, 2015 – The A+ Schools program of the North Carolina Arts Council celebrated 20 years of arts integrated teaching and learning during its recent conference in Durham.  The A+ Schools program is a network of schools that use arts integration to reach students and ensure student success.  

Officially launching in 1995 (though the seeds of its existence stretch back even further), the A+ Program started as a challenge from the Winston-Salem based Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts as an answer to the charge to “do something positive for the school children of North Carolina.”  Since then it has expanded to over fifty schools in North Carolina and six states.  The program has received international recognition for its effectiveness.  Participants from across the United States were in attendance at this, the second national A+ conference.

The A+ program has a reputation for success in transforming schools.  The program was the subject of an 18 month longitudinal study by Dr. George Noblit, funded by the Ford Foundation.  His research, published in 2002, proved the A+ Program to be highly effective in developing positive school culture, engaging students in their learning, and improving educational outcomes for all students.  The program has drawn the attention of educational luminaries and public figures such as British creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson, PBS NewsHour Education Reporter Dr. John Marrow (who also served as a keynote speaker at the conference), current Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and former President of the United States, Bill Clinton.

ArtSpace has been a member of the A+ Schools network since 2012, but members of the ArtSpace staff have been associated with the program for many years.  Many ArtSpace faculty currently serve as teaching fellows in the A+ Program including,  Lori Cozzi (since 1999), Josh Batenhorst (2007), Steve Lipe (2011), and Claire Spence (2013).

ArtSpace was well-represented at the national conference.  A group of 8 teachers (Lyn VanOver, Mary LaBianca, Meg Boerner, Beth Lexa, Melanie Meador, along with Lipe, Cozzi and Batenhorst) were in attendance.  The group of ArtSpace teachers presented three workshops:  “Creating a Collaborative School Culture” by Cozzi, Batenhorst and LaBianca; “Visual Literacy” by Lipe and Cozzi, and “Sensational Song and Script Writing” by VanOver and Batenhorst.  

Participants engage in "Speed Dating," an activity that allows attendees to share their questions and expertise quickly.

Participants engage in “Speed Dating,” an activity that allows attendees to share their questions and expertise quickly.

Through its commitment to excellence in education through arts integration, ArtSpace works to achieve the vision of reform for public schools that was started by the A+ Program some 20+ years ago.  Dr. Marrow, in commenting on the program said, “At this point in the history of our public education system, I truly believe that you have the opportunity to take this idea and turn it into a national movement.”  In working toward the school’s “national benchmark” vision, ArtSpace is proud to be a leading voice in that effort.  

To learn more about the A+ Schools Progam of the NC Arts Council visit: http://www.aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov/.

 

ArtSpace Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school serving approximately 400 elementary and middle school students in the Asheville and Buncombe County areas of North Carolina.  The ArtSpace vision is to be “a national benchmark in educational excellence through integration of the arts.”

First Grade Summer Letter

First Grade Summer Letter

Dear First Grade Families,

We are excited to have you join the first grade! Partnering with you will make this year fun, meaningful, and enriching for your child. There will be many interesting highlights for your child in the coming year, such as:

  • Taking field trips related to our standard course of study
  • Experiencing theatre in and out of school, both as an actor and an audience member,
  • Experiencing the traditions and customs of our families and people around the world
  • Writing and performing a class play and building giant puppets

Plus a myriad of other engaging learning experiences concerning habitats, plants, the moon, fairy tales, and fables!

We hope you and your child are enjoying summer vacation. As an enjoyable and enriching way to prepare for this coming year, we encourage your child to read often (on his or her own, and with you) and join a summer reading program at your local library.

Ms. Claire will be joining us in first grade this year. She has worked in kindergarten at ArtSpace for the past three years. One of her favorite things is traveling and she was lucky
enough to teach English in China this summer. Ms. Claire also loves her little dog named Luna, who is a true princess at her house. She can’t wait to meet you and is looking forward to the school year.

Ms. Melanie will also be a first grade teacher for the 2015-2016 school year. She has worked at ArtSpace for four years. A few of her favorite things are phonics, puppets, and painting. She is so excited to begin the school year and looks forward to starting our adventure together.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, August 12th, at the required Meet the Teacher & Registration Night. You can drop in any time between 4:00-6:00 pm. Your first day of school will be Thursday, August 13th.

Ms. Claire and Ms. Melanie

Recycled Flower Garden

Recycled Flower Garden

Every student from the 2014-15 school year created a flower for this garden. Flowers were created from recycled vinyl records. The Old Depot Association in Black Mountain donated the money to finance this project. It was installed by Ms. Lori with the assistance of Ms. Blythe, Mr. Chris and many others!

First Grade Ocean Performances

First Grade Ocean Performances

We are so proud of our first graders for their wonderful performances in “Goldie Clam and the Three Sea Otters” and “The Three Little Shrimp and the Electric Eel”.  Both puppet shows were wonderful as the first graders commanded the stage.  It is hard to believe how young  these performers are. They did such a great job with delivering their lines and manipulating the puppets.  It will be amazing to see what these students can accomplish as they continue their careers at ArtSpace.