In the spring this year, a group of actors/ historians from History Alive came to Chickering School to present a play called “Cry Innocent: the People vs. Bridget Bishop”. The following radio show depicts an interview with 2 towns people who attended the trial.
Do you like to try and guess what something is by listening to the sound it makes? If yes, you would have loved the game we did in Mrs. Atkinson’s class in science! Everyone in the class received one film canister containing an unknown object or substance. Our assignment was to identify what was inside by listening to the sound it made by shaking it. About 1/3 of the students succeeded. Some of the objects or substances were salt, water, air, marbles, dice, rubber bands, stale marshmallows, and other items.
We interviewed Mrs. Atkinson on what she wanted the students to understand about energy. She wants them to understand that energy is all around us; wind, solar, hydro, thermo, and light. The second idea she wants them to understand is “sound is vibration.” We were curious to know if she has a favorite part of the unit. She shared her favorite part which are the students’ projects. She likes the variety of creative ideas the students’ show. Her favorite day is when the students present their musical instruments they designed and created. We wondered, if she could teach any science unit, what would it be? She answered “space and/or solar system” because there is so much we don’t know about space and the possibilities are endless.
One of our experiments was to demonstrate that sound is more efficiently transmitted through solids than through air. We received wire clothes hanger, with 2 – 3 foot long strings. Next we were told to wrap each end of the string around one finger on each hand and touch our ears with our fingers. Then we hit the clothes hangers against objects around the room. The sounds were louder when we touched our ears with our fingers. The sound was louder when it vibrated up the string from the clothes hanger to our ears and quieter when it vibrated through the air when we took our fingers off our ears. This is a great experiment to teach us how the tighter packed molecules in a solid transmits sound faster rather than the sparsely placed molecules in a gas.
We both liked the Sound and Energy Unit. When we each reflected back on all the science units Nolan liked the Engineering and Technology Unit and Rico liked the Sound and Energy Unit best. Nolan liked the discussion of forces that a bridge has to fight to stay standing and the forces the bridge produced. Rico liked how they told the explanation on how sound travels to our ears and that pitch influences the loudness of sound. The Sound and Energy Unit was appealing and an enlightening experience.
There was excitement in the air as people of all ages arrived at Art’s Night. Visitors were greeted with an explosion of color. Art’s Night is a time when our students showcase their singing, playing, drawing, and painting. Celebrating “the Arts”! We interviewed Mrs. Barry, instrument teacher, Mr. Harte, technology integrator, Ms Pappas, music teacher, and Mrs. Pelletier, visual art teacher, who are responsible for organizing Art’s Night. We asked them why do we have Art’s Night? They all agreed that it is a time for families to view all the wonderful “Art” created during the year. All students showcase how they have learned to play instrument’s, sing, paint, draw and create with technology. We asked what they like about Art’s Night. They responded “it makes the building feel alive,” “kids, parents, grandparents enjoy the arts,” and “loves to see how excited their students get to play and sing for others.” We asked Mrs. Pellitier why the format for Art’s Night changed this year. She explained that “they wanted to try something different” and “they decided that the format should be theme-based: some variations of a self-portrait”. We asked Mr. Harte what projects were being shown in the computer lab. He shared “in grade one, they created an ‘All About Me’ KidPix slideshow about what they like — five slides long and it took five weeks to create then 30 sec. to view. Grade two created a PowerPoint, which is also an ‘All About Me’ but about their life; past, present, future — learning how to add transitions and customs animations”. These students also presented a “growing plant” slideshow — made with Animationish and shared as a QuickTime movie.”
The school was alive with color and sound as students shared their visual arts, singing, instrumental music with all! You won’t want to miss Art’s Night next year.
This project began when Dr. Reinemann asked if the Chickering Reporters would create a virtual tour of our school for the homepage on our school website. The four of us, Amy, Coleman, Nathan and John Z. said, “We are up to the challenge!”
Working as a group, we had to decide:
What to film,
What part of each clip to use,
What order should the clips be in to show the school,
Write the script for the voiceovers,
Record the voiceovers,
Decide on music for the introduction and ending,
Decide on transitions,
Should we use text screens to divide sections of the school, and
Make sure we didn’t film anyone who shouldn’t be filmed
Following the viewing of the virtual tour movie, we are curious to see if you can see which part was our favorite.
Do you ever wonder what a day in the fifth grade class of Miss Yorston is like? Well after you read this post you will have experienced an average day in this classroom.
We interviewed four students from Miss Yorston’s class. Those student were Bridgit, Alex, Joanna, and George. We asked the following five questions and here are their responses:
1.) What your favorite part of the school day? And Why?
George: Recess; because you get fresh air and see friends from other classrooms.
Alex: Recess; because you get energy out
Bridgit: Reading; because she can read books that she is interested in.
Joanna: Reading; because it is really quiet and relaxing
2.) What is your favorite subject to learn? And why?
George: Reading; because it is very relaxing and you get to read about an adventure
Alex: Math; because there are games you can play
Bridgit: Didn’t ask that question.
Joanna: Math; because it is challenging
3.) Do you enjoy 5th grade? And why?
George: yes; great teacher and you get to go places such as natures classroom.
Alex: Yes; because you get more freedom
Bridgit: Yes; because she has a very good teacher and class
Joanna: Yes; do a lot of things that you can’t do in 4th grade such as student council, natures classroom
4.) Do you think you get to little work or to much? And why?
George: perfect amount; because he has a little time to catch up on missed work.
Alex: Just right; (no reason was given)
Bridgit: Too much; because she doesn’t have enough time to play soccer and other things she likes
Joanna: Just right; because some days you get more than usual and some days we get less.
5.) What is your favorite character trait about Ms. Yorston? And why?
George: Didn’t ask question.
Alex: Didn’t ask question.
Bridgit: She is really patient and explains things that we don’t get.
Joanna: Smart, friendly
We also interviewed Miss Yorston! We asked her 5 questions that reflect on her day. Here are the questions we asked:
1.) What is your favorite part of the school day? And why?
2.) How long have you been teaching fifth grade? Have you taught any other grades?
3.) How do you plan out the school day?
4.) What is the hardest subject to teach? What is the easiest subject to teach?
5.) What is your favorite part of teaching? Why?
We will have a podcast of Miss Yorston’s interview. If you want to hear her responses please check out our podcast [mp3] below.
We would like to tell you how the day works because we have experienced it ourselves. First we come in the classroom put down our chair, order lunch and do the work that is written on the whiteboard. Then we go to our special according to the day that it is. On Monday and Thursday we have gym. On Tuesday we have band or reporters it depends on what you signed up for. On Wednesday we have music and if it is a long day we have band or reporters and library. Lastly on Friday we have art. Then when we get back from special we have snack. Next we have math. Then we transition into reader’s and writer’s workshop. At about 12:45 we go to lunch. After lunch we go to recess. After recess on Tuesdays and Thursdays we have science. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday we have social studies after recess. Then we pack up, write down our homework in our GO-binders and get our mail and homework. Then we settle down with a read aloud to end our exciting day. That was a sample of a typical day in Miss Yorston’s class.
I hope after you have read this you have understood what it is all about in Miss Yorston’s 5th grade classroom.
Being a Chickering Reporter is a great experience. We brainstorm what we want to blog about. And we go out and do it with our group. Reporters interview people to learn about their point of view and gather information. When you’re a Chickering Reporter you have to listen, be kind, be flexible to change, and be efficient. If you are a fourth or fifth grader and you don’t want to learn how to play an instrument, you can participate as an astonishing reporter. As a reporter you can report on what happens around Chickering School.
We interviewed a few current reporters to find out what they liked better, band or reporters? We asked three people and they all liked reporters. George B. said he liked it because “if you get a job as a reporter you will already have some experience.” Another reporter, Peter answered, “reporters better then band because it can help you be a better writer.” “There is not as much homework as in band.”, answered John S. As you can see, these students preferred reporters.
We also asked what is your favorite thing to report on. Nathan said “virtual tour because we could show kids how are school worked.” When he reported on the aquarium because we got to take pictures of all the animals like stingrays and fish”Martin shared.
We also asked which do you like better band or reporters. George B. answered “reporters because, it’s fun to interview people.” Peter replied “reporters because,it can help you become a better writer.” John stated” reporters because, there’s not as much homework as in band.
We interviewed Kirby about if he would change, he answered, “I would not change because, in Millis I did band and I didn’t like it.
As you can see from our interviews reporters is a very entertaining class but, so is band. Both bring out different learning styles and interests to address all students. It really is a personal decision as to weather you do band or reporters.
Do you dislike getting stung by a bee? Chickering has bees but they don’t sting, in fact, they don’t even buzz! These bees are robots called BeeBots. They are used to teach kindergartners and first graders programming skills.
BeeBots are bee-shaped, simple robots. To program the robots you need to use the seven buttons on the top of the BeeBots: forward and back arrows, left and right arrows, go and pause buttons and a clear button. The students use the BeeBots with number, coins , shapes or letter mats and they also use blocks to create mazes. The students need to learn to be precise in their commands for the BeeBots. (Please click on the underlined words to see short video demonstrations.)
We were wondering why Mr. Harte was using robots with the kindergarten classes, so we asked for an interview. He explained that programming teaches students cause and effect and problem solving skills. It is challenging for kindergartners to work in groups but they learn to share, take turns, be patient with each other and with the BeeBots.
We were curious about how his instructions differ between kindergarten and grade 1 students. He gave us two examples. A simple task for kindergarten would be to program the BeeBots to go from a red circle to a blue square on a mat with shapes. First grade’s task would take a trick spelling word and program the BeeBot to stop on each letter, on a letter mat, to spell the word. The examples that Mr. Harte provided certainly gave us a good idea about how the programming gets more difficult as the children get older.
We were surprised how the BeeBots worked when we saw the students working with the robots. We were impressed with how well the students worked together. We were also amazed with how well the students programmed the BeeBots and they didn’t get frustrated when the robot didn’t do what they wanted. It would have been cool to have the experience of programming the robots when we were in kindergarten and first grade.
What is B.A.T.? Is it a flying mammal that eats mosquitoes at night and sleeps all day? No B.A.T. is an acronym that stands for Basic Aid Training. It is a unit taught to all 5th graders. It teaches them about what to do in case of an emergency situation. Kids learn how to make slings and splints, how to perform rescue breathing, the Heimlich maneuver, and stop minor bleeding. It’s all hands on and it’s something you can perform for the rest of your life to help and save other people.
Students say that B.A.T. is very important and all business. Teachers also think that B.A.T. is important because it is a life skill. There are true stories of 5th graders using B.A.T.. For example, a girl was babysitting her little sister and was called upon to use the Heimlich maneuver. She did so successfully. She was mentioned in a Red Cross article. A few years ago, a 5th grader was choking on a cough drop. A classmate remembered what to do. The student performed the Heimlich maneuver and the cough drop popped right out like it was supposed to. Mrs. Bugajski and Ms Riordan say B.A.T. is very important because 5th graders spend more time being home alone looking after younger siblings. If an Emergency situation comes up you know how to use and perform the right technique. All students agree with the teachers that B.A.T. is a life skill which can use for rest of your life.
Students say that B.A.T. is both fun and not. Half said “Yes”, because you get to work with your friends, practice hands on activities and learn together in a team. all in one. One student, for example, says that its not fun because its too more serious. Others expressed it was creepy and they didn’t like the hands on training. Missing P.E. for 8 classes was not fun. We were surprised that the answers to our question about B.A.T. being fun split 50%/50% yes/no.
When we asked students if B.A.T. was helpful in real life they all said yes for several reasons. They said it can last forever. Also they said it teaches a great skill to know. We learned that in a real emergency the first thing to do is stay calm. Plus it is helpful in case you’re babysitting because it will make parents feel more comfortable knowing that you know what do in an emergency situation. Knowing how to do these life-saving procedures just takes 8 classes, believe it or not, to know the steps.