A national benchmark in
Educational excellence through integration of the arts

4th Grade

4th Grade Exercises Their Right to Assemble

4th Grade Exercises Their Right to Assemble

This fall 4th-grade students were immersed in the study of the constitution, The Bill of Rights and more specifically the 1st Amendment. Tonya Clanton, 4th-grade language arts and social studies teacher, led her students in an examination of the peaceful protests of the Little Rock 9, the Greensboro 4k, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, learning how non-violence, determination, and endurance can lead to positive change over time. 

Students drawing a poster

Fourth grade also studied the history of Earth Day through climate science, current events, and writings by environmental activist Rachel Carson.  Fourth graders were also introduced to the efforts of youth activist Greta Thurnberg. And how one person can make a positive change. 

4th graders then created a plan to demonstrate to ArtSpace the right of Americans to assemble and speak to the cause of protecting the Earth. Students made posters in small groups for the big day. Ms. Tonya guided them to work with a limited color palette and simple eye-catching phrases for a more powerful impact. Students also choreographed a dance routine that spoke to the cause as well.

On September 20th, the 4th graders performed a “flash mob” on the field.  They created a chant with hand motions to act out the freedom of speech, religion, the press, the right to petition, and the right to assemble.  Their efforts were featured on WLOS’ Never Stop Learning on September 23rd. You can watch the story here.

The Little Prince: Time Bandits – A Multilayered Performance

The Little Prince: Time Bandits – A Multilayered Performance
One of the Little Prince's

One of the LIttle Prince’s

Recently 4th grade students at ArtSpace Charter School performed an original multi-layered social studies play entitled “The Little Prince Time Bandits”.  This piece combined puppet theater segments adapted from Antoine St. Exupery’s existential fable, The Little Prince and scenes that illustrated historical moments and people of North Carolina as Europeans settled and clashed with indigenous peoples.  

Ms. Tonya, 4th grade social studies and language arts teacher, shared The Little Prince with her students early in the school year.  They spent time diving into the “moral of the story” as the Little Prince encountered the many characters in his story. IMG_6656As they explored the Little Prince in language arts, students were learning about NC history beginning with the natural history, and ending with westward expansion of the United States. Ms. Tonya watched her students make connections to the archetype characters in The Little Prince to the people in NC history. With the necessary background knowledge in their “toolboxes” students wrote scripts, created the puppets and and stages for the puppet segments which technology teacher Steve Lipe helped film.

The stage action in the productions was written using excerpts

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One of the puppet theaters. Students are preparing to film their segment.

from poems and historical fiction the 4th graders had written from the perspective of the plants and animals of Pisgah Forest, the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears, and Daniel Boone.

This experience offered 4th graders at ArtSpace a layered exploration of the patterns of change in history and character development in fiction.  The students applied the information they learned through their research and reading to a dramatic production they will never forget.  When asked what they enjoyed the most about the production, the students were eager to share.  “I

A dance representation of the Cherokee Trail of Tears

A dance representation of the Cherokee Trail of Tears

loved making the puppet stages for the videos,” one student exclaimed.  Another student said they enjoyed collaborating with their friends to make the puppet pieces happen.  Students were also asked how they thought the lessons of the Little Prince and the experience of North Carolinians in history could apply today. One student summed it up and said if we could apply the moral of the story from the play today, things would be a lot nicer. The moral of the story is summed up by the closing dialogue of two railroad engineers contemplating the stories they have just watched. “Perhaps the children are lucky because they know it is all about time.  When you spend time getting to know a person, creating a work of art, or building a railroad, it becomes very important to you. . . You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. “

 

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.

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

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.

Good-Bye Old World: 4th Grade Colonial Night

Good-Bye Old World: 4th Grade Colonial Night

SWANNANOA, NC- On Thursday, February 11, 2016, ArtSpace 4th graders demonstrated their knowledge of  NC colonial history through an evening filled with performances.  Students opened the evening by dancing a traditional reel common to colonial times.  Students transitioned to a performance of the play Good-Bye Old World, an original work by former 4th grade teacher Brian Mahoney.  This play offered the audiences and 4th grade actors a glimpse into the perspectives of people who lived during colonial times – both European settlers and indigenous peoples.

chief in colonial play

The chief of the Chow-an-oak trying to make peace.

In the play, students from Ms. Tonya’s and Ms. Victoria’s homerooms enacted the difficulties colonial settlers and indigenous peoples encountered in the era of first encounters – from the Chow-an-oak’s fear of the alien arrival of the European settlers, to the motivation of the settlers to start all over in a new and strange land.
Combining dance, theater and social studies, the students were able to put themselves in the historical context of the play and gain empathy for these characters from the past.  Audience, actors, and faculty all took pride in the production and are excited to take up the stage again before the year’s end.  Rumor has it, a science play about the phases of the moon featuring hip hop is in the works.

Claymation Rocks in 4th Grade (Literally)!

Claymation Rocks in 4th Grade (Literally)!

The study of rocks and minerals is a large part of the NC Essential Standards in Science for 4th graders.  Of course, a

An example of a student storyboard to use while shooting images

An example of a student storyboard to use while shooting images

study of rocks can’t be complete without exploring the three main categories of rock; sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic.  Ms. Victoria Baxter’s 4th graders at ArtSpace researched these three categories and applied their knowledge to create claymation films about the formation of an individual rock.

Students create clay pieces to be manipulated when they start shooting their images.

Students create clay pieces to be manipulated when they start shooting their images.

The creation process required the students to work in groups assigned to a specific formation category.  They were instructed by 4th grade science and math teacher Victoria Baxter to treat the rock like a real character. Each team had to create a storyboard that included all of the character elements needed to tell the rock’s story before they could begin manipulating the clay.

When storyboards were complete students created their “characters” out of the clay and created an appropriate background for shooting their films.  Students learned quickly that 10 seconds of claymation video takes a significant amount of time to shoot.  It can’t quite be compared to the time it takes for a real rock to form but the experience of creating these videos allowed them to demonstrate a scientific process in earth science while learning a process in the technology arts.  

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.”

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

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!

Fourth Grade Claymation Videos

Fourth Grade Claymation Videos

4th Graders have created some awesome claymation videos. Click below to view each video.

Wolf adaptations

Red Wolf adaptations

White tailed deer adaptations

Some more deer adaptations

Raccoon adaptations

Some more raccoon adaptations

Beaver adaptations

Some more Beaver adaptations

Bear adaptations

Some more bear adaptations

Bat adaptations

Some more bat adaptations