A national benchmark in
Educational excellence through integration of the arts

7th 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.

Stress Management for Middle School Students

Stress Management for Middle School Students

Everyone gets stressed during the holiday season… everyone.  ArtSpace Charter School Guidance Counselor Adina Arden-Cooper understands the students she works with on daily basis feel this stress too, so she and Ms. Sue organized an introduction to positive stress management for 7th and 8th grade students.

She talked with many students about how they manage their stress and many of them surprisingly said that they use CBD, FluxxLab is known for delivering on the entourage effect with no THC.

For two days during the week leading up to winter break, 7th and 8th graders got to choose two workshops to attend from a

Students stretching to prep for some lessons in Kung Fu.

Students stretching to prep for some lessons in Kung Fu.

varied list of offerings including mindfulness and meditation, taking kratom strainsreportshealthcarebest CBD Oil for inflammation, drumming, Kung Fu, making herbal teas and bath salts, stretch class, basketball, and crochet. Some classes were led by ArtSpace staff but several were lead by community members who donated their time. 7th and 8th graders were excited to have the opportunity to do something a little different than their regular schedule and hopefully learned a few new approaches to stress management, we are realistic, we know that stress is a common issue among society, for this same reason children need to understand the importance behind taking care of their mental health.

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Students in the drumming workshop

Students in the drumming workshop

Students in the crochet class were eager to learn a stress management technique that would help with fidgety energy and produce a product as well.  Some of the students introduced to the art of Kung Fu are eager to seek out more instruction and saw the benefit of releasing their stress through physical activity. CTFOCBDonline has a descent selection of hemp oils.

While we talked to many students about different ways to control your anxiety and stress, one of them came up to us and told us that the best natural treatment he has ever used and that has actually helped him get better is CBD oils. Try giving you kids some cbd sour kids gummies to help them feel better.

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Middle school teachers and Ms. Adina and Ms. Sue were so pleased at the success of the workshops they are hoping to offer more in the spring.

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.

History Day 2016

History Day 2016

On Thursday, January 21, 7th grade students participated in the first ever History Day competition on ArtSpace Campus.  Students chose to present their History research through a variety of media including

7th Graders Ronin and Logan exhibit their research.

7th Graders Ronin and Logan exhibit their research.

documentaries, exhibits, websites, and research papers.  

The National History Day program allows students to research topics that they are passionate about and present their work in a wide range of formats. Students gain research skills, learn to properly cite sources, and develop the ability to manage time during a long-term project.

17  students will be continuing on to the regional competition in Cullowhee on March 19th.  We look forward to watching them compete and wish them luck!

T-shirts, designed by an ArtSpace student, were generously donated for the event by Dr. Jojo Yonce of Asheville Brain Training.  

Koresh Dance Company Workshops at ArtSpace

Koresh Dance Company Workshops at ArtSpace

SWANNANOA, NC- ArtSpace 5th, 7th and 8th graders took part in dance workshops with Philadelphia based Koresh Dance Company last week. School closings due to inclement weather kept these students from enjoying a performance the previous week by the renowned dance company but this didn’t prevent them from being inspired to do great work with the company when they were on campus.

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7th and 8th grade dance elective students learning a combination from Koresh dancers

7th and 8th grade dance elective students experienced a jazz/ballet/modern fusion technique class  much like those the Koresh Dancers experience when they are preparing for a new performance.  Students warmed up and learned a short combination that emphasized line, dynamics and phrasing.  The Koresh dancers were impressed by the elective students’ focus and drive during the lesson.

According to ArtSpace dance teacher Mary LaBianca one of the qualities Koresh Dance Company is known for is their use of non-traditional music or the spoken word as their instrumentation.  When working with the company 5th graders choreographed a dance to the words of a Tupac Shakur poem (seen below). In small groups, students created a routine, rehearsed and then recreated it for their audience. Each group of students,

5th graders performing their Tupac piece to music.

5th graders performing their Tupac piece to music.

working with the dancers, created dynamic movement pieces that followed a rhythm while telling a story. Collaboratively, students offered movement to illustrate each part of the poem.  After an evaluation period, the groups then adapted their work based on the feedback.  All of this work was done without musical accompaniment. After the the groups had performed using the lyrics of the poem they circled up and performed their routine to an instrumental piece of music. In that moment students realized that although they had not choreographed to music the poem had it’s own inherent rhythm.

ArtSpace is very thankful to Rae Geoffrey Associate Director of Diana Wortham Theater who facilitated this exciting opportunity for these students

The Rose That Grew From Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew

from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature’s law is wrong it

learned to walk with out having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,

it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete

when no one else ever cared.

Tupac Shakur – From the book The Rose that Grew from Concrete

 

Middle School Band Students Skype with Composer Michael Story

Middle School Band Students Skype with Composer Michael Story

“Music is the one gift that makes us human” – a direct quote from composer Michael Story as he skyped with the 7th/8th grade band at ArtSpace on December 1st.  Story is a well-respected composer of elementary and middle school band charts.  The ArtSpace band is playing his arrangement, “Holiday Carol Collage” at the winter concert this week.

During the Skype interview students asked Mr. Story a plethora of questions including:

  • What inspired you to become a composer?
  • What do you consider your biggest success?
  • Do you have any tips about creating a career in music?

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The band members listened as “Mike” answered with very clear and thoughtful responses.  He shared his experiences as a young piano player with his mother as his teacher. Her inspiration led him to choose to play the trumpet as well.  Mike admits that his middle school band was not very good, and almost dissuaded him from continuing with music.  However, his high school band opened up the possibilities of what a great music program and director can do for a young musician.

During his sophomore year he became very curious about the possibility of writing music.  There are so many fields to go into when pursuing a music career, to Mike, composing was his niche.  Mike believes that film music composers are the new classical writers of our time, and really enjoys listening to the greats like John Williams and Howard Shore.  The students were also pleased to learn that Mike enjoys the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers as well!  He is an appreciator of all different genres, and really encouraged ArtSpace students to listen to as much music as possible – artists who play the instrument they study, as well as others.

IMG_20151201_104616936When asked if he still gets nervous before performances, Mike responded, “Oh yeah. You’re nervous because you care.” ArtSpace music teacher Meg Boerner believes these words have resonated with the band as they prepare for their own concerts this Wednesday.  The students were grateful for the opportunity to meet and gain advice from a successful music composer, someone who generously donated of his time and revealed himself to be not only a remarkably accomplished artist, but a friendly, relatable person.

 

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You!

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You!

SWANNANOA, NC- The ArtSpace stage will be filled with exciting performances, informances and special events throughout December and January!  This week is the 4th Annual Medieval Faire hosted by ArtSpace 6th graders.This is not a traditional performance; attendees will have the chance to wander the Faire to learn about “products and services” available during the Middle Ages.  Students will also present traditional mystery plays, choral music, and traditional social dances from the time period.  

6th graders prepare for their Medieval Faire performance.

6th graders prepare for their Medieval Faire performance.

Next week on Wednesday, December 16th, middle school students will present the Winter Arts Festival.  This night of entertainment will include performances from the 6th and 7th/8th grade bands under the direction of Ms. Meg Boerner, movies created by students in technology with Mr. Steve, and dance performances choreographed under the guidance of Ms. Mary.  This diverse group of  performances will highlight the skills and arts understanding the students have developed in their specific art forms over the past two quarters.  There will be a school performance at 2 PM and an evening performance at 6:00 PM.

In January, after winter break, the action ramps up again with a puppet performance created by the 7th and 8th grade drama elective.  Students have created big puppets and written stories to perform for the kindergarten- 5th grade classes at ArtSpace.  This performance is scheduled for Wednesday, January 13th.

The next day, January 14th, 3rd grade will host the 12th Annual Dinner Party Project.  This is a project inspired by a collaborative art piece created in the late 60’s and 70’s with the same name.  Third graders have researched an

Third graders prepare their plates for The Dinner Party.

Third graders prepare their plates for The Dinner Party.

individual who has had an impact on the world in some way through philanthropy, invention, etc.  They have used this research to create table place settings to represent this person.  On Thursday, January 14th the dinner table will be set and 3rd graders will present monologues as the person they researched.  The Dinner Party Project is one of the oldest event traditions at ArtSpace and one well-worth experiencing.

On that day, too, the school will be holding Musical auditions for students interested in participating in this year’s musical GO DOG GO!  It is shaping up to be a busy winter in the theater and we are excited to collaborate witho our students to create these wonderful learning opportunities.

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You!

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You!

SWANNANOA, NC – The ArtSpace Stage has some exciting theatre and multi-media productions coming in October that promise to engage, educate, and entertain.  Coming next week, on October 8, the 7/8th grade Theatre Arts elective will present S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.  This play is a one hour version of the classic young adult novel

Make plans now to see The Outsiders!

Make plans now to see The Outsiders!

chronicling the tale of Ponyboy Curtis, his brothers, and the rivalry between street gangs the Greasers and the Socs.  Addressing the important social issues of gangs, violence, and class struggle, the play is an opportunity for students to think deeply about the lasting consequences of momentary decisions.  “The play shows that no matter how much money you have,” says 8th grader Daniel Stearns, “you still have to deal with stress and tragedy.”  The play will be presented at 10:00 AM for school audiences and 6:00 PM for the community.  Please note that some of the play’s themes may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Next up, on Wednesday, October 14, the sixth grade will present their annual exploration of the Greeks and Homer’s Odyssey with their production Greek Lightning!  This show uses parodies of music from the musicals Grease and A Chorus Line to explore the tale of Odysseus and his treacherous journey home from the Trojan War as he tries to be reunited with his wife Penelope.  “This is the third time we have presented this version of The Odyssey,” said sixth grade language arts/social studies teacher John Hall, “It was something (former theatre teacher) Mr. Josh and I wrote several years ago and I think the students really enjoy it.”   

“It is really fun!  My favorite part are the songs because they are fun and help you remember the story,” said Chloe Raines, sixth grader.  

ArtSpace student, Kai’ana Ghassabian, added, “We’ve been studying it in pretty much every class – music, drama, theatre and social studies.  We sing the songs in (science/math teacher) Ms. Lyn’s class too.  They get stuck in your head.”

“What was really fun was getting to choreograph the dance for the song One.” said Emile Rizzo-Banks.  “It was more fun to do that than to just do what the teacher asked us to do.  (Dance teacher) Ms. Mary asked us what our ideas were, we would show her, and she would help us put it together to tell the story.”

The school show of Greek Lightning is at 2:00 PM, Wednesday October 14, and the community show is at 6:00 that same night.

5th grade students collaborate on their art/science projects.

5th grade students collaborate on their art/science projects.

Finally, on Wednesday, October 21, students from the fifth grade will present a multi-media show about the human body systems.  Students have been studying the different systems of human anatomy.  As collaborative teams they create life-size drawings of the various systems during their science class, write songs in music about the systems that include vocabulary from the science curriculum, and choreograph dances that illustrate how each system supports the body.  “We study about the systems and then work together in all of the classes to put together songs and dances and art.  Not every group has the same system, but we learn about the other systems from each other,” said fifth grader Autumn Young.  

A finished work.  That project takes guts!

A finished work. That project takes guts!

The fifth grade body system performances are at 2 PM and 6 PM on Wednesday, October 21.

 

Seventh Graders Experience the Age of Discovery with a Mock Trial

Seventh Graders Experience the Age of Discovery with a Mock Trial

SWANNANOA, NC – Seventh graders at ArtSpace closed out their unit on the Age of Discovery with a mock trial experience.  Students read about the life and times of Christopher Columbus and created an illustrated timeline of his life and adventures in the Americas.  Students then explored various characters in order to represent them in the mock trial.  The characters included in the trial were Columbus, his crew, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain and a group of indigenous peoples from the Americas (The Tainos).  

A lawyer questioning the King and Queen of Spain about their choices.

A lawyer questioning the King and Queen of Spain about their choices.

Each of the characters involved were given a chance to defend their actions during the Age of Discovery.  Some students played the roles of the characters mentioned above, while others took on the role of lawyers asking difficult questions to the participants.  Whether prosecutor, defender, or witness, all parties needed to be well-prepared in order to play out the trial.

After the trial was complete students wrote a 5 paragraph essay in response to the question “who should be blamed for the death of 2-3 million Tainos?”  This project was designed so students could experience history in a variety of ways, accessing individual learning styles. Mr. Ian used the trial to assess students’ knowledge of the time by noting the detail of the lawyers’ questions and the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of the responses of the witnesses.

Mr. Ian guided students through this difficult time of history.  Columbus’ discoveries

Columbus' men being questioned on the witness stand.

Columbus’ men being questioned on the witness stand.

opened a New World to Europeans, but caused great suffering for native peoples.  By requiring his students to “live in the shoes” of the characters involved in this controversial time, students were forced to see the experience from both sides.  In the end, the students were left with a greater understanding of the time period, as well as increased awareness about the interplay of multiple perspectives in history.

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