Friday, April 24, 2015

Second Graders Rock the Orange Peel

If you've been hearing a lot of noise coming from the second floor lately, you could just be stumbling upon a science lesson.

Claxton second graders have been working on the Science of Sound, a curriculum created and supported by the Bob Moog Foundation's Dr. Bob's SoundSchool. The 10-week curriculum teaches second graders the physics of sound and gives them a chance to use both acoustic and electronic instruments, including a theremin, and technological tools like oscilloscopes. (Check out the theremin in Mr. Butler's music room!)

The study culminated in a performance at the Orange Peel last Tuesday, and Claxton students rocked it!

They experienced the work of the road crew as they helped Mr. Butler load instruments into his truck.

Ms. Wertheim's and Ms. Morris's classes combined forces to replace popular music lyrics with their own about how sound works.

Mr. Williams' class wrote their own song, with students singing, playing instruments, and dancing.

And Ms. Henderson's class wrote an entire play about traveling through the ear to show how we process sound.

Not only did the kids have a great time learning science, but they made Claxton proud at this district-wide performance.

Thank you to the Bob Moog Foundation for all the work you do enriching our children and making science fun!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ms. Fields' First Graders Learn Traditional Appalacian Basket Weaving with Artists Carla and Greg Filippelli

Artists Carla and Greg Filippelli recently completed a five-week residency with Ms. Fields' first-grade class.  The Filippellis are professional weavers of baskets and sculpture with a deep background in Appalacian culture.

Students learned different weaving techniques and how they can be used, the history and tradition of weaving in Appalacian culture, and how it is used today. They gained hands-on experience with the tradition by weaving reeds together to make tissue box holders, weaving bracelets on a loom, and making gods' eyes. Along the way, they picked up an impressive working vocabulary, learning words like design, warp, weft, loom, dimension, interest, and color and using them to discuss their own work.

The residency ties into the class's learning about Ghana. Basket-weaving is an important part of Ghanian culture, so after the students learned about Appalacian basket-weaving with the Filipellis, they studied Ghanian basket-weaving with their assistant teacher, Mr. Polich. This allowed them to compare and contrast the methods and cultures, an important, foundational academic skill. Kudos to Ms. Fields and Mr. Polich for coming up with this wonderful arts-integration method of strengthening their students' skills!

The students plan to sell weaving projects to raise funds they can use to purchase livestock for a Ghanian community through Heifer International. Right now they have their sights set on a flock of chickens ($20), but they are hoping to be able to provide even more animals! (Every first grade class is studying a different country and working to raise funds to purchase livestock for a community in that country through Heifer International. Way to go, first grade!)

Once again, Claxton thanks the Asheville City Schools Foundation for providing the funding for the Filippellis' residency through its TAPAS program.  We are truly indebted to them for nurturing arts integration at our school.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fifth Graders Carve Directional Boulders with TAPAS Artist Joe Dinwiddie

Claxton fifth graders enjoyed a residency with stonemason Joe Dinwiddie just before Spring Break.

Dinwiddie taught the students how to design and carve one of the Art Garden boulders with symbols correctly establishing North, South, East, and West from our campus. To figure out the designs, students were required to absorb and employ math and science concepts, including those of force and motion. 

The results?...

They are captured in this piece from WLOS News, which visited to talk to Dinwiddie and the kids, and to share with Asheville the exciting arts-integration taking place at Claxton.

Many thanks to Joe Dinwiddie for the wonderful lessons and hands-on time with our students, and to the Asheville City Schools Foundation, whose TAPAS grant program funded his residency!

Why We Teach the Arts

A lovely reminder of why Claxton has chosen an arts-integration approach to education, from Americans for the Arts: