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  Thursday, May 25, 2017

ASA Creative Movement show on June 7

By Ariel Arsac-Ellison

This is the third and final trimester of the 2016-17 school year.  Many of the students in this activity have participated in the previous trimester(s), but a few are new to the class.

Our class begins with stretches and isolation that we do sitting in a circle on the floor.  (This includes things like “butterflies”, “Supergirl”, and sitting in a wide-legged second position stretch, so that our toes touch and create a “pizza” circle.)  From here we move on to basic ballet positions and technique, reviewing the terminology, and counting repetitions, often in English, French and Spanish.  Continuing students are asked to help our new friends learn what we do.  They demonstrate how to make a “diamond” (plié), how our toes “kiss” our knees (passé), and how we dip our toes in the “water” (tendu and piqué).

We move across the floor, generally two-by-two with various steps and movements from chassé, to bourée, to skipping, and hopping (sauté), etc.  (The children have fun executing different ways to chassé: regular, “horsie” chassé, and sideways chassé.)  Our new favorite step has been the “’scuse-me” step, a fun way to remember how to move sideways in a step-together, step-together pattern.

As we will be performing for our families on June 7, much of the class time focuses on the dances we will be doing for the show.  We practice on stage so the children become familiar with their entrances, exits, and formations.  We are working on moving into a circle, traveling in the circle and then moving back to a line formation, as well as moving toward and away from the audience.  In addition to choreography that is set, the children are encouraged to do a bit of freestyle, or “improv”, using the skills they are learning, or moves that they just have fun doing!


  Tuesday, May 23, 2017


By Ariel Arsac-Ellison


Our young actors are are shining stars!  Every week, they vivdly and creatively express themselves with more confidence!  Through theatre games and acting in short plays, they are practicing stage presence and etiquette, movement, voice projection, emotional expression and becoming characters in stories.  They especially enjoy being the lions and jugglers in the circus play they will soon perform!

Picture below: students expressing how they like to wake up


Picture below: after the students wake up, they react to their parents saying “Guess what we’re going to do today!”


Picture below: students interpreting how an animal shows it is “fierce”


ASA Drumming

By Ariel Arsac-Ellison

Our ASA World Hand Drumming participants are actively engaging in the rhythmic musicality of percussion instruments!  In addition to learning a few world music rhythms (specific to djembes and other world drums), they especially enjoy creating their own music … using syllables of their names (and the names of family members), favorite foods and animals to create rhythm patterns; exploring the different sounds and tones each instrument can make;  and writing their own Boomwhacker music!


  Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ASA Kids Dance Adventure

By Ariel Arsac-Ellison

In the ASA Kids Dance Adventure, children are working on the Circus theme, and the Circus act is coming along great. We have a clown act, hula hoop tricks, and a sweet little intermission dance.



  Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ASA Mathematical Problem Solving

By Ariel Arsac-Ellison

In the Math Problem Solving ASA this week we thought about sharing cookies evenly among 9 children, and figured out properties of remainders (les restes) when numbers are added or multiplied.  After solving the problems on the worksheet below, we deduced the rule for deciding if a number is divisible by 9, without doing the division.

Having learned how to do this kind of problem fast, we divided into two teams and competed to solve a sequence of speed problems.

02nines 5.3.17