Behind The Scenes

Have you ever wondered what happens during the summer to prepare for the opening day of school? We certainly have. So we decided to interview a select group of people to figure out what happens behind the scenes. In order to gather information we asked the following two questions of Administrators, Support Staff, and all teachers.

What were your feelings the night before school and the first day of school?

How did you prepare for the first day of school and how much time did it take?   

Support Staff and Administration

The support group is very important. They help the school get ready over the summer for the first day of school.   The people in the support group are the custodians, the cafeteria ladies, the IT Technician, Sam Twining, the people that work in the office, our principal, Dr.Nugent and assistant principal, Dr. Reinemann. They all have very different jobs, but they all have very important jobs. The custodians clean up the school. They spend all summer cleaning, Entrance to the Chickering Schoolsweeping, waxing, mopping, and so much more. We are very thankful for their hard work. The Cafeteria Ladies prepare food for the first three days of school. It takes them about three days to do this. The IT technicians work all summer. They update all the computers and install new software and new computers. They update the servers and Internet connections for the school. The office needs to know who is in each class. They also need to order supplies for each of the classrooms and put them in the correct classroom. They make many handbooks for teachers, teacher’s aids, and the family handbook for parents. They work all summer doing this. We talked to Dr. Reinemann, our Assistant Principal, about what she does during the summer. She spends a good “chunk of the summer” coming to school. She spends part of July and most of August getting ready for the students to come back. Dr. Reinemann makes sure that the custodians have the school ready. She orders supplies and buys math journals and sends them out to the teachers. For example, if you are going up to 5th grade, she has to make sure your 4th grade teacher tells your 5th grade teacher all they know about you. It takes her a little less then a month to do this. That is how the support staff helps prepare school for us.

Classroom teachers

Do you ever wonder what your teachers do during your summer vacation? We did and decided to interview one teacher from each grade: Kindergarten – grade 5. We discovered many similarities and differences. We learned that, every classroom teacher has to go out and buy supplies for their class. GO binders were introduced this year to help students organize their homework, notes for home, and an extra folder for miscellaneous items. Another similarity is that, all the teachers were sad that summer was over. They were also excited to meet their new students and learn about them.  For almost every teacher it took 1-2 weeks, to prepare the classrooms for the school year.

Some different things that teachers do during the summer are… The kindergarten teachers have to clean the toys, and put all the different markers, and crayons, and colored pencils in all the different bins, so it’s easy and clear for the kindergartners to find things. Grades 1 and 2 set up math, reading, writing, and science areas. The older grades focus on organizing their classroom and classroom libraries. The last difference is that every grade gets different level books.

The Specialists

The Specialists, in our school, are the teachers who teach Physical Education [P.E.], Art, Music, Band, Library, and Technology. We noticed there were similar tasks as well as unique tasks for their subject. The average time it took for the Specialists to prepare during the summer was 4-5 days. Most Specialists had lots of new supplies to organize and put away.  They also put up bulletin boards and posters. The Specialists had many different tasks to complete before the first day of school, for example, the Technology Integrator had to set up new network accounts, while the P.E. teachers had to work on writing new curriculum. All their feelings, the night before school started, were the same; they were all nervous and excited to start a new year.

We were surprised at how much the school staff has to do, behind the scenes, to prepare the school for the new year. Our curiosity is finally fulfilled.

Reported by: Adam, Chetan, Will G., Alexis, Ryan, Martin, Lauren, and Claire



CSI: Who dunit?

Are you a suspect? Did you steal the golden apple bell?

Sadly, the golden bell that Mrs. Power earned for being a teacher for 15 years was stolen. What we found at the crime scene was a ransom note, a hair sample, plus a hair clip. We sprang right into action! The fifth grade CSI investigation had just begun!

What was stolen? The bell is used by Mrs. Power to quiet her class down when they get too noisy. She is very upset that it’s missing.

Who are the suspects? We were assigned teachers to interview.  We asked “Were you a teacher here for 15 years? “Were you at Open House?” and “Were you in Mrs. Power’s room during Open House?” Since the teachers were all around the Two microscopes in the science lab used in the CSI, we went to meet them face-to-face. People who lie, tend to not look you in the eye or they stop talking; These are some ways to figure out if they are telling the truth. Based upon their answers and their behavior during the interview, we asked if we could borrow the suspect’s black pen or marker. Using the note left at the crime scene, we compared the pen or marker from each suspect.

Finally, we found out who did it! From our pen/note comparison, we narrowed it down to three suspects: Ms Varley, Ms Wood, and Mrs. Anzivino. We cut up the note and gave everybody a piece of the ransom note, then we took the pen we borrowed and we made a dot on a coffee filter. We put water on all the dots and the cut-up note. You would not believe whose dot matched the note! It was Ms.Varley!  With some additional clues, we figured that Ms Varley gave the stolen bell to Mrs. Anzivino. They were both guilty!

So it turns out we got our bell back, and we all got back to our normal lives. Moral: “Crime doesn’t pay!”

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Reported by Grace, Garrett, Carter, and Louis

Dover Days

Did you go to Dover Days? Did you smell the food? Did you play the games? Well, if you did not attend, you missed a good time! This town fair had over 40 booths; a few examples are the following organizations and businesses who sponsored booths:  PTO, Dover Girls Scouts, St. Dunstan’s Church, Precious Beginnings, The Dover Church, Beth Israel Deaconess, Cub Scouts, Most Precious Blood Church, Dover Market and more. This fair was held at the Dover town square on Sept. 8, 2012 and has been held annually every year since 1976.

At Dover Days, there are many activities to fit everyone’s interest every year, Dunk Tank at Dover days fair with fun water toys.such as the following games and amusements from the past years’ fair. There was a Hay Ride for families to ride on around the center of town. There were also many inflatable structures for children to play on such as the bouncy house, obstacle race course, big inflatable pizza play house, big slide, and the bouncy pole fighting arena. Sand art was another activity where you could layer, in a bottle, different shades of colorful sand. The best part was the delicious food available at the different food booths, … hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, Italian ice, slushies, beverages and an ice cream truck.

When everyone had had enough to eat, they wandered over to be entertained by the multiple PTO games. Plinko, Basketball Shoot, Duck Game, and the Lollipop Tree game. But the most favorite  activity appeared to be – the Dunk Tank. A few volunteers were Officer Harry, a Dover policeman, the Vice Principal, the technology teacher, a 5th grade teacher, and a former 5th grade Teacher’s Aide, all from Chickering School.

It was another great and successful fair. Be sure to make it next year if you didn’t make the awesome experience this past year.

Reported by: John S. and Will F.

A Chat with Author Jacqueline Davies

Jacqueline Davies, an author, came to Chickering School to work with the fifthAuthor, Jackie Davies, models how to use a story map to help guide your writing. grade students. She worked with each of the 5 classrooms during her 4-day Author Residence.  There are five items, she explained, which can be included in our stories: humor, mystery, dialogue, voice, and conflict/action.  She shared some strategies to assist us with our writing.  For example, draw a map of your favorite memories and circle one that you might like to write about.

We appreciate the opportunity to interview Ms Davies during a lunchtime.  She shared interesting answers to our questions.  Please click on the link below to watch our “Chat with Jacqueline Davies”.

Jacqueline Davies talking to fifth grade students about writing.

We wish to thank Jacqueline Davies for being so generous with her time and expertise by meeting with us.

Reported by: Jake, Kevin, Lindsey, and WB



Respect Assembly

Whoa! Look at those blocks switch around. How does she do it? The Respect Assemblies showed kids from Chickering School not to bully and respect each other. They used many fun activities and plays to show many types of lessons to demonstrate why you shouldn’t bully; such as teamwork and complimenting, to make someone feel better after being bullied. They didn’t just tell you to stop bullying, they acted it out so kids could laugh and enjoy learning about different ways to handle bullying. The presenters were a man and a woman who came to our school on September 25, 2012. They taught us how to respect each other in a fun way. They performed entertaining skits and acts. They also juggled to show how to work in a team and to share. They showed that complimenting people after being bullied makes them feel better. They showed us that practicing helps you get better at things that need improvement. What made this assembly enjoyable is that they didn’t just give a speech and tell you not to bully, they showed you how to be kind and how it affects others.

Y stands for you. E stands for everybody, and S stands for start and special and that was what the respect assemblies explained to us. In the assemblies the performers juggled blocks around. Three of the blocks had letters on them. The letters were Y, E, and, S. The lady flipped them around and did a bunch of tricks with them and eventually it came out to spell yes. That was one of the many lessons they taught us. Another thing they taught us to do was teamwork and to practice. The two performers worked together and juggled to show teamwork. They did this by tossing a lot of bowling pins in the air thus showing teamwork. The man said when he was little he had trouble reading. His friend told him to read five minutes a day to get better. When he practiced reading he got better and thought to use this for juggling as well.

They taught us everything from a person believing with a rope and a knot to juggling tennis rackets and skits about how people feel after being bullied. They brought up a volunteer to show how to believe and what it feels like after being bullied. They also brought up several volunteers throughout the assembly to do many different things such as balancing a peacock feather on your hand and nose. Another thing they did with a volunteer was that they had a knot to represent how you feel after being bullied, and they had the volunteer say believe and they  pulled off the knot to become one.

The performance included a lot of skits like the man performed the book “The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein”. They acted it out and didn’t read the book as they went instead they already had it on a tape recording so they could focus on their acting. The lady performed a skit about how she tried out for the tennis team. She too, didn’t speak any words and had a tape recorder that spoke for her. The story was about how she couldn’t hit the tennis ball until the coach taught her and she made the team except until one day she juggled tennis rackets and became a performer and her teammates became tennis players.

A woman named Mrs. Matarese was the organizer of these assemblies. A couple days before the assemblies we interviewed her. Here is some feedback we received. We asked her what the main focus was, and she replied saying its to help students be kind to each other. Also to respect the people around them. The second question we asked was the differences between the K-2 and 3-5 assemblies. She did not know much about that question. So at the assemblies we observed our selves. After watching the assemblies we realized the older grades had more of a stronger approach for jokes and skits, and also they taught the students with a more sophisticated language. Another question we asked was why did the administration decide we needed an assembly on respect. She replied saying that a parent saw this performance and thought it was an excellent example for the Chickering School. Although this show has been happening for 15 years this is the first time for the Chickering students to witness it. That was what happened during the interview with Mrs. Matarese.

We learned a lot watching the respect assemblies, so we hope you learned and enjoyed our information about it.

Reported by: Emily, Julia, Caroline, and Diana

New Fifth Graders and Returning Chickering Staff

Have you ever been a new student? Do you remember how it felt? Maybe that’s how the new fifth graders felt this year. These are the new fifth graders, Garrett, Kirby, Rahul, Sophie, Clare, Christopher, and Emily.

We asked the new kids a series of questions, the first one was what are the differences between your old school and Chickering. Most people thought that Chickering is a larger school then their previous school. One student was grateful they didn’t have to wear school uniforms anymore and another

Some of the new fifth grade students.

student said that the students were nicer here.

These are their favorite activities shared in order of popularity:
1. Gym, 2. Recess,
3. Art, and 4. Writing.

The next question we asked people was how they were fitting in. Almost every student felt that they were fitting in well, and all of them said that that they were meeting new kids.

Several students told us that their favorite subject was science, especially CSI. (Crime Scene Investigation) and Electricity units. Math was a favorite subject for a couple of students; one shared it “gets their brain working”. Two students said that they liked Social Studies and History because they like learning “about the past”.

Two teachers, Mrs.Bedell-Healy and Mrs.Wasik, returned to Chickering after an absence of several years. Room signMrs. Bedell-Healy shared a few things that have changed from the last time she was here. She said there is a new principal, and  more plants are growing in the outdoor garden. She went from second grade to kindergarten. Now she has to tie more shoes, and kids are learning to read. It is probably a much more difficult grade to teach.
Mrs.Wasik also shared a few things since the last time she was here.  She told us that there is a new principal and she is in a new classroom. Also, there are new sets of state standards called Common Core forroom sign English Language Arts and Mathematics, which need to be taught. The last change is, she teaches a new science unit. She used to teach Oceanography, now she teaches Technology & Engineering. The good thing is, she still teaches 4th grade.

Thank you for reading our report, we hope you enjoyed it!

By George B., Peter, Declan, and Kirby

Spirit Day 2012!

Do you like Spirit Day?  Spirit Day is when we celebrate and support our town’s sports teams as well as the DS Regional Middle & High School teams. This year Spirit Day was requested by the regional football team’s coach, according to our Assistant Principal, Dr. Reinemann. We’ve had Spirit Days in past years to support our professional teams such as, New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, Boston Red Socks, New England Revolution, and the Boston Cannons.

 To show our support, students and staff wore DS colors – blue, black and white. Here are what students and teachers think of Spirit Day. Some said that they like it because of the clothes they get to wear; town team jerseys, professional team jerseys, regional school team jerseys, and gym shorts or sweat pants. Others said that they like it because all the kids get to wear the same clothes. We wondered what the teachers would think.

The teachers like it because they think it is a fun time for kids to express their spirit for their town! One teacher said that she likes it, but thinks it needs to be “more exciting.” She also says that she likes the idea of spirit day because she likes having the whole school dress up and build a sense of community. Her favorite part is that everybody in the school can participate and be proud of Dover and Chickering.

After a teacher shared that Spirit Day should be “more exciting”, we started thinking of ways to make it more exciting. We thought that we could add to the school lunch football-shaped cookies; it might help to get everyone excited about the games. We could also have one of the DS regional teams come to our school and teach us some of their tricks or skills. We like Spirit Day because it is a fun way for kids to wear team colors and support our town, and we think every school should get a chance to try celebrating a Spirit Day.

Reported by: Nora, Tom, Lucas, and Patrick


Remember the live show with juggling, cartwheels and lots more? Well you can thank the director of the FoodPlay Productions Melinda Beasi for the fun-filled performance!Logo for FoodPlay Productions - program to teach children good eating habits.

The FoodPlay program has been going on since 1982 and has already won 10 prizes for their great performance and messages about eating healthier. FoodPlay sends out a great message: Eating healthy is very important for your health. Eating healthy will make you strong as you grow up and even help you live longer. 

Over 4 million school children love FoodPlay! “About 75% of children are reporting dramatic improvements in their eating and exercising habits following the FoodPlay experience. More than 90 schools have rated this program excellent and many have said this was the best production they have ever seen.” This production is for grades K-9 and/or families. Tons of teachers have written comments that they love the FoodPlay Productions.

FoodPlay Productions came to Chickering on 10/15/2012, to teach everybody about eating right. The students and staff loved and enjoyed this production and many times we heard laughter from all grades. There was also lots of reactions from the audience to the play during the production. They make eating healthy fun! While doing tricks they are also teaching kids how to eat right. To learn more go to: .

Reported by Olivia, Loren, Katie and Matty