A national benchmark in
Educational excellence through integration of the arts

2nd 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.  


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


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.

ArtSpace Charter School Elects and Inducts 2016-17 Student Council

ArtSpace Charter School Elects and Inducts 2016-17 Student Council

On Wednesday, August 31st ArtSpace Charter School had their elections for the 2016-17 Student Council. Student Council img_20160902_110918328_hdrserves as a student government program which provides opportunities for leadership and a “channel” for students to voice their concerns or requests for the school. Students in 2-8th grade vote for a class representative in their homerooms.  The entire student body votes for the executive council, comprised of the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  It was a tight race for all positions and the winners were inducted the following day (see below) and were ready to serve the student body immediately.

The student council run various fundraisers throughout the school year in order to purchase items to better the school.  The drinking fountain in the arts wing of the building was purchased with funds raised by the  student council.  Funds from the 2015-16 Student Council were used to purchase the most unique school chairs and a new gas grill for the school that will be used at the upcoming 3rd Annual Community Cookout on Friday, September 16th.

img_1960Class Representatives

Mr. Eric’s Class:          Max Condon
Ms. Ali’s Class:           Phoenix Anderson
Ms. Annabell’s Class: Lucille Connor
Ms. Mary’s Class:       Evan Swanson
Ms. Melissa’s Class:   Hayden Tilson
Ms. Tonya’s Class:      Wyatt Carroll
Ms. Victoria’s Class:   Arabella Lusk
Ms. Marni’s Class:      Killian Hoyer
Ms. Heather’s Class:   Ian McDuffy
Mr. Hall’s Class:          Aralyn Crandle
Ms. Lyn’s Class:         Jackson Knoll
Mr. Nick’s’s Class:      Ora Kerr
Ms. Megan’s Class:    Maya Diehn
Ms. Leila’s Class:        Indigo Glenn
Mr. Ian’s Class:           Mason Sneed

Executive Council

Secretary:                    Jayde Hadley
Treasurer:                    Judah Cooper
Vice President:            Grace Williamson
President:                    Ava Yurchak

The World’s Fair at ArtSpace

The World’s Fair at ArtSpace

2nd graders completing their tango

Wednesday, April 27th – ArtSpace 2nd graders took part in their annual World’s Fair. The fair is the culmination of a two month study of the continents of The Earth and the diversity of cultures.  The fair represented that diversity by including each art form, dance, theater, music, visual arts and technology from around the world.

Leading up to the performance students researched a chosen country and created tourism posters that were displayed outside of their classrooms.  Students tie dyed t-shirts the assigned color of the continent where the country is located, and decorated a sash worn during the performance. 2nd graders also created a copy of their country’s flag which they waved when entering the theater to the Olympic Processional.


Anansi gets his waistline.

For the music portion, students from Ms. Annabell’s class sang a  song in Japanese while Ms. Ali’s class sang an  Italian lullaby.  They played on glockenspiels and Orff instruments, conducted by Ms. Meg. Audiences, were treated to a stop-action animation created by the students with Mr. Steve that represented the filling of 2nd grade’s passports with stamps, which were created with Ms. Joceyln in Visual Arts.
Ms. Ali’s class presented an Anansi folk tale from Africa,and  Ms. Anabell’s class re-created a story from the Cook Islands.  These mini plays were sandwiched between a powerful Argentine tango from Ms. Anabell’s class (representing South America) and a high energy hip hop routine from Ms. Ali’s students (for North America).  The performance closed with the entire 2nd grade singing and signing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”.



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.

Collaboration: The Art Of Working Together

Collaboration:  The Art Of Working Together

This is the third part in a series on the 4 C’s of 21st Century Skills – Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication – by long-time arts integration specialist, “Capt.” Josh Batenhorst – Enterprise and Development Director at ArtSpace Charter School, a K-8 public charter school of 400 students in Swannanoa, NC.

Of the 4C’s, “Collaboration” is probably the most important skill for students to develop in order to find success in their professional life.  This summer, The American Journal of Public Health published a study that found that “pro-social” skills – the ability to share, cooperate, and resolve conflicts with peers, – were a predictor of success for students 15-20 years into the future!  In short, it is absolutely imperative students learn to work on a team.  Let’s consider how the arts help develop collaboration skills in students.

The performing arts require obvious collaboration.

The performing arts require obvious collaboration.

First of all, the arts teach collaboration by giving students the opportunity to be a part of a team.  A band is not a band if it is just one instrument (One-man bands excluded!).  Theatre, music and dance are almost always done in tandem with a group of other performers (See a great ArtSpace example here).  Even one person shows and solo artists must be a part of a large support crew that takes care of direction and production elements.  Inclusion in performing arts groups teaches children how to value others’ efforts and how to develop and maintain relationships while accomplishing a common goal.

Ms. Annabell leads her class in a collaborative analysis  of a visual art piece by Henri Rousseau.

Ms. Annabell leads her class in a collaborative analysis of a visual art piece by Henri Rousseau.

But what about visual art? Art projects tend to strike me as individual accomplishments, not “team sports.”  I tend to think of Picasso, not Picasso & Company.  

Since I am not a visual artist myself, I took this question to a number of members of the ArtSpace staff who have significant experience in the visual arts:  2nd grade teacher, Ms. Annabell Lisa, 7/8th grade science teacher, Mr. Nick Rogowski, and 5th grade Science/Math teacher, Marni Flanigan.

Annabell (2nd Grade): “Collaborating on a piece can be very hard in visual art. Nevertheless, we do it in the classroom all of the time.  For example, today we are each making colored paper that we will use for an all-class project that coincides with our study of Matisse.  The key is giving the students some time to do individual work, and then time to also work collaboratively.”

A group art piece created by 2nd graders during their study of Matisse - "Painting With Scissors."

A group art piece created by 2nd graders during their study of Matisse – “Painting With Scissors.”

When asked about how she collaborates to create her own art she said, “Sometimes it can be as simple as finding the time resources and support to do it.  As a mother of a pre-school age child, I may not collaborate with another artist, but I definitely use support to help balance everything.  However, I collaborate on art work with my students a lot.  They often build off of my ideas and I build off of theirs.”  

Nick (7/8th grade):  “Actually, I have collaborated with my wife (artist and ArtSpace parent Mae Creadick) on several pieces.  Sometimes she will draw a piece for a specific print, since that is her specialty.  

Mr. Nick prepares 7th grade science students for their next visual art project.

Mr. Nick prepares 7th grade science students for their next visual art project.

Then, I may carve a lino-cut, since that is my area of skill, in order to make the print.  In fact, while we’re talking about prints, the printer often gets left out as being valuable in the art making process, but a bad print can be really bad, while a great print is a work of art in itself.”

Ms. Marni (5th grade):  “Recently we completed a visual art/science project that was very collaborative (You can see more  about that project here).  Students studied different body systems and then created life size replications of those systems.  They also created songs and dances that reinforced the learning.”

Completed 5th grade body systems "life size" art work.

Completed 5th grade body systems “life size” art work.

ArtSpace is fortunate to have a number of visual artists on staff to help students learn to build collaboration skills in all of the art forms – even the ones that don’t seem like an obvious fit.  Students who learn to collaborate are set up for success, and they are learning to do it through all of the arts at ArtSpace!

Charlotte’s Web: 2nd Grade Arts Integration

Charlotte’s Web: 2nd Grade Arts Integration

As part of their 2nd grade arts integrated programming, Ms. Ali and Ms. Annabell’s second grade classes study the E.B. White classic, Charlotte’s Web.  While the students experience the book during “read-aloud” time, their study of the concepts of the book goes well beyond hearing about the book.  Charlotte’s Web serves as a springboard for learning in science, social studies, drama, and visual art.  


Charlotte’s Web ties in directly to our standards & themes,” says Ms. Ali. “First, there are seasonal changes: Wilbur is born in Spring, as are the other barnyard babies. They go through the lazy days of summer and into Autumn, which is both County fair time and the time for Charlotte to prepare her egg sac (and then to die). There’s another direct science connection: life-cycles.  Come Spring again, Charlotte’s babies hatch. BTW, we’re always at the Fair part of the book right around when the Mountain State Fair is happening, which leads to another intrinsic tie-in: Community. The book allows us to teach about the communities of Fern’s family, the farm community, the barnyard community, while we are building our classroom community and teaching the kids about the school community (and the Four Pillars), and our broader Buncombe County community.”

Ms. Ali's class shows their finished products.

Ms. Ali’s class shows their finished products.

Parent volunteers helped the students to create their sculptures.  Once the sculptures were dry, the students in Ms. Ali’s class used tempera paint to give their creations color, while Ms. Annabell’s students used colored tissue paper.  To finish the products, students used Modge Podge to help harden and shine the exterior.
This arts integrated project is an example of the kinds of hands-on learning occurring every day at ArtSpace.  It capitalized on the students’ enthusiasm for their book, taught them new art techniques, and allowed them to express ideas about the characters in the book and their learning by adding expression, color and shape to their sculptures.

Charlotte, Wilbur, and Templeton (from left to right).

Charlotte, Wilbur, and Templeton (from left to right).

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

Second Grade Summer Letter

Second Grade Summer Letter

Greetings from 2nd Grade!

We are so excited to learn and grow with you in second grade. You will get to spend time with both Ms. Ali and Ms. Annabell, as well as participate in activities with everyone in 2nd grade. This year we will learn many exciting things, go on great field trips, and explore other cultures and countries in our “World’s Fair”. Please practice your reading, writing, and addition over the summer!

About your teachers:

Ms. Annabell is originally from France but has lived in the United States and Asheville for over 15 years. She went to Warren Wilson College, and loves taking students on hikes on the beautiful college campus. She loves all forms of dance, music, drama, and visual arts, especially painting and drawing. Outside of school, Ms. Annabell enjoys hiking, gardening, and swimming with her son, Coltrane. Students enjoy the French and Spanish lessons she gives throughout the school year. This will be Ms. Annabell’s twelfth year teaching 2nd grade at ArtSpace.

Ms. Ali is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and has lived in Asheville for twelve years. She began her teaching career in California, and has taught Kindergarten, 2nd, and 3rd grades. She enjoys gardening and grows vegetables, herbs, and flowers! Ms. Ali loves all animals (especially dogs), reading, art, and hiking throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. She also loves spending time at her Swannanoa home with her friends and her two dogs, Owen and Lulu. Students enjoy Ms. Ali’s sense of humor and hugs. This will be her eleventh year teaching 2nd grade at ArtSpace.

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. We hope you have a fun and relaxing summer and can’t wait to meet you!

Ms. Ali & Ms. Annabell

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!