Monday, November 25, 2013

The Ammons Sisters to Headline Claxton Storytelling Festival

Get ready for the 7th annual Claxton Storytelling Festival, coming on December 12!

In addition to the many professional storytellers and talented Claxton storytellers who will be performing, we are excited to report that the Ammon Sisters, who tell stories about North Carolina Mountain heritage will be appearing.

Both Amy and Doreyl have written beautiful books of Appalachian stories that will be available for purchase at the Festival or can be ordered ahead of time by visiting the Catch the Spirit of Appalachia   website.

Mark your calendars and come join Claxton students for a full day of storytelling on December 12!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Check Out Our New Henhouse!

The hens have come to roost on the K-1 playground, and they're living in style, thanks to the artistic talents of Claxton's kids, teachers, and parents.

Mr. Godleski built the house for the hens he has generously brought to live at school, and the Bear Pack helped complete the roof.

All those colorful signs? Compliments of Claxton student artists—demonstrating their mad humor, composition, and design skills.

How lucky are our kids to be able to spend time with the chickens, observe oviparous animals first-hand, and, come spring when the rooster comes to visit, have the chance to watch chicks hatch?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

K-3 Have a Great Time with Children's Book Author and Illustrator David Biedrzycki

David Biedrzycki—author of fabulous children's books like Me and My Dragon; Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective; and Santa's New Jet, and illustrator of The Beetle Alphabet Book, How Will I Get to School This Year?, and many others—wowed Claxton students in grades K through 3 on Monday.

He showed students how he creates his illustrations on a computer without ever using any paper and described taking an idea—a small boy walking a big dog—and turning it into something original—a small boy walking a dragon.  He even changed one image into a picture of our own Mr. Butler! 

Mr. Biedrzycki also told students about his "idea notebooks."  He keeps notebooks all over the place—under his pillow, in his car, in his pocket—so he can jot down ideas he has for things he'd like to write about.  Some of the kids were so excited about this idea that they are now carrying their own ideas notebooks!

Our sincere thanks to Mr. Biedrzycki for such a fun and informative presentation—and for inspiring our students to become greater writers and artists.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Get Your K-3 Student Ready for David Biedrzycki (and Send a Book for Signing!)

Children's book author David Biedrzycki is coming to speak to grades K through 3 on November 18.  With the holidays coming up, what a great time to ask Malaprops to order you one of his books, read it with your child, and send it along for a possible author signing if he's willing.

Here's one we love:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Signed Blockheads Arrive

Visiting author Joseph D'Agnese provided personal inscriptions for the Claxton students who ordered copies of his book, Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci.

Anyone who'd still like a signed copy of this lovely look at learning to be yourself, discovering math all around you, and, of course, what exactly the Fibonacci Sequence is (think The holidays are coming!), can order one from Malaprops—Mr. D'Agnese will inscribe it for you.

Click here to order your copy—and tell Malaprops that it's for a Claxton student.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

K and 1 Rock Claxton's First Student Showcase!

Claxton held its first ever Student Showcase on Friday, November 1, featuring performances by Mrs. Powell's, Mrs. Head's and Ms. McNair's classes and by Mr. Butler's first grade Roots and Wings group.  

Congratulations to our brave and talented kindergarteners and first graders for kicking off this new arts-integration program!

Student Showcases are a chance for every student at Claxton to perform in front of his or her peers—and to gain the confidence, skills, and knowledge that come with performing on stage.  Over the course of the four quarterly Showcases, students will get to show off their knowledge of a curricular subject embodied in performance art at least once.

Mrs. Powell's class sported apple costumes they made themselves and labeled with their favorite kind of apple while reciting poems and singing songs about apples—and of course spelling A-P-P-L-E.

Ms. McNair's kindergarteners sang and danced to a song about rainbows, inclusion, and community while showing off their knowledge of the colors of the rainbow.

Mrs. Head's class. also wearing hand-made costumes, performed a musical number using percussion instruments, demonstrating the integration of their academic studies with their music specialist time, which teaches them rhythm and fractions.

And Mr. Butler's first grade Roots and Wings showed off their xylophone skills—and their knowledge of rhythm (math) and sound creation (science).

The next Student Showcase will be held on January 24.  Find out if your own Claxton star will be performing!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Open Dream Ensemble Is Here!

The Open Dream Ensemble—a group of actors, musicians, and arts educators trained at the NC School of the Arts—are visiting Claxton for a three-day residency this week.

They kicked off the residency on Wednesday morning with an exciting performance for the entire school.  According to student reviews, it was, by turns, funny, fast-paced, and sad.  (They laughed, they cried ....)

Since then, the actors, working in pairs, have been visiting 14 classrooms to work with students on movement, music, and drama—all with an emphasis of teaching them science concepts.

For example, a visit to Mrs. Powell's first grade class included a discussion of why a trombone makes a low note when the tube is extended and a high note when the air within it is compressed:

a movement exercise in which students we asked to identify animals that live in various habitats and then to move like them:

and a chance to help play the saxophone and identify different genres of music.

We are so impressed with ODE's talent, enthusiasm, and the joy they brought to our children.  Special thanks to them for the grant they provided Claxton to help fund this residency!

Find out more about Open Dream Ensemble and all they do—including web series that incorporate science concepts into fun shows—at their website.