Thursday, February 25, 2016

Congratulations TAPAS Grant Recipients!

Once again, Claxton teachers have rocked the TAPAS grant award season, with FOUR exciting funded artist residencies this semester!

Hip Hop Headucation -- Breakdancing

Third graders are in for a treat with breakdance artist Joseph Adams. Mr. Joe has been teaching the art of  Bgirling and Bboying (that's breakdancing to the uninitiated) since 2003. His aim is to teach students how to express themselves through movement, introduce them to Hip Hop culture, and instill them with pride and self-confidence.

Awesome work, Coach Swain, Ms. Rigsby, Ms. Hartman, Ms. Gregg, Ms. Webster, and Ms. Strain for bringing this great opportunity to Claxton!

Life Cyles and Puppetry

Second graders will learn about the life cycles of plants and animals through puppetry with TAPAS artist Lisa Sturz of Red Herring Puppets. She performs for schools and libraries, with orchestras, and even on film and television. She's been doing puppetry for over 30 years and has worked with Jim Henson Productions, Walt Disney Imagineering, the Asheville Symphony, and many others.

Kudos to our second grade team—Ms. Wertheim, Ms. Morris, Ms. Henderson, and Mr. Williams—for a great residency idea!

Celebrating the History and Diversity of Asheville

TAPAS artist Leslie Rosenberg returns to Claxton (after a terrific residency with Ms. Gebhard's class last fall) to work with fourth graders on creating wood panels depicting the history and diversity of Asheville. The panels will become a permanent part of Claxton's arts campus!

Ms. Rosenberg has been teaching art since 2007 in such far-flung locales as Ghana, West Africa, and Juneau, Alaska. We're so lucky she's chosen to settle in Asheville, where she can share her talents with our kids!

Way to go, Mr. Cassara, Ms. Locke, Ms. Lotter, and Ms. Quinn!

Student Creativity and Music Recording Technology

Once again, Mr. Butler is bringing Dave Hamilton, recording technology artist and teacher extraordinaire, to Claxton to work with fifth graders. This residency, in which students record their own electronic music while learning the math and physics of sound, has become a much-anticipated tradition!

Hamilton explained his philosophy in a 2014 article in the Citizen-TimesFor Dave Hamilton, music is a lesson on tape. “It’s the passing of oral history and played a huge role for me in understanding how to live better and how not to live,” said Hamilton, an Asheville musician, engineer and teacher. “People have done a lot of living before us and there are a lot of lessons in songs.” Check out his TEDx Asheville theremin and synth performance:
Thank you, Mr. Butler, for making this residency happen!

And of course we can't thank the Asheville City Schools Foundation enough for their support of the arts at Claxton—and for everything else they do!  Show your support for their support! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Lion Dancers Return!

February 8 was the Chinese New Year, and on February 17, Mark Small and Mountain Dragon Long-Shan Gong-Fu performed their annual lion dance through the halls of Claxton.

This traditional dance rids our hallways of bad spirits and helps students start off the new year right!

Grades 2 through 5 were treated to an assembly where they learned more about the tradition and technique. 

For a taste of what it was like, here's a video we love from the Morning News in 2014:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Miss Adams' Kindergarteners Make a Rap Video About Penguins!

We cannot think of a better way to learn about penguins than writing and performing a rap song full of facts about these arctic oviparous animals—as Miss Adams' kindergarteners show in this awesome video:

What an excellent example of arts-integration. Students used their love of the arts, their songwriting and performing skills, and their knowledge about penguins in a way that guarantees they will remember this part of the kindergarten curriculum for years to come.

Thanks, Miss Adams, for sharing! And special thanks to our Digital Lead Teacher, Kimberly Eggett, for the video production!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Paul Klee-inspired Geometric Cityscapes!

Ms. Wertheim's second graders are learning their geometric shapes in the best way possible—through the arts, of course.

They began this lesson by becoming familiar with Paul Klee, a well known painter who uses geometric shapes in his own work.

Then, students drafted cityscapes made entirely out of the geometric shapes they have been studying.

Finally, they painted their pieces, inspired by the Klee's colorful works.

Way to go, second graders! And thanks, Ms. Wertheim, for an awesome example of arts-integration at work!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Tuvan Throat Singing!

Yes, you read that correctly. Claxton's first through fifth graders attended a performance of Tuvan throat singing last week.

Alash Ensemble played traditional Tuvan music and taught students about the country of Tuva, Tuvan musical instruments, and their remarkable throat singing, in which a person produces several pitches at once. It is a skill possessed by few people in the world outside of Tuva, a small country nestled between Siberia and Mongolia. Tuva is considered a part of the Russian Federation, but many Tuvan citizens prefer to view themselves as an independent nation.

Our on-site reporters tell us that the manager of Alash Ensemble is an American who moved to Tuva in his early twenties after falling in love with the music. He now tours with them with the goal of educating people about Tuva and its music.

We are incredibly lucky to have this world renowned group visit Claxton. Our students were drawn to the music and culture, and excited to learn about this part of the world.

You can see a bit of the Claxton performance on Ms. Rigsby's Twitter feed.

And learn more about Alash Ensemble and see more of their performances on their website.