Kindergarten Performance

Have you ever heard of the song, Oh, Mr. Sun? Well, the Chickering kindergartners do! On May 30th, 2014, it was one of the 11 songs the kindergarten classes sang in their performance. The crowd was mostly made up of parents, siblings, relatives and some Chickering Reporters, too. It was amazing how well these kindergarteners can sing and dance, with the help of Ms Pappas and Ms Conklin, a high school senior.

Playbill for the Kindergarten Performance

The songs they sing are what they learned throughout the year. They start learning their songs on the very first day of school. When you are teaching kindergarteners you can only teach them a little bit of a song at a time, then you have to repeat it for at least three weeks. Ms Pappas says it was a challenge, at first, when she started teaching kindergarten, but then she became used to it. Ms Pappas teaches the kindergarteners what each word in the songs means. Most children want to perform, but a couple do not want too. They have a choice of sitting with their parents, or performing the songs. One or two students don’t participate every year, but they are really listening very closely. Most Kindergarten students have a beautiful voice they don’t even know about! People underestimate what they can do sometimes, shared Ms Pappas. The kindergarten performance is an annual event under Ms Pappas’ direction.

Reported by Abby, Ava B. and Bethany

Celebrating the Arts!

Sign and self-portrait boxes at the school entrance for Art's Night 2014.Do you know what we do with all our art after we finish it? We don’t just take it home, we celebrate it! On this special night the Arts are presented in 3 ways. One is putting up paintings and sculptures, which is done by Mrs. Pelletier, another is displaying children’s projects on the computers, done by Mr. Harte, and the last is sharing Chickering School’s fabulous musicians and chorus, with the help of Ms Pappas and Mrs. Barry. We interviewed all the teachers involved in this occasion. The 3 questions we asked gave us details on what they like about Arts’ Night, what they would change, and how they prepare for the evening. It’s time to celebrate the Arts!

What is your favorite part of Arts’ Night and why? Mrs. Barry and Ms Pappas, the music teachers, both said their favorite part was having their Art being a celebration. They and the students worked hard all year, so they deserve at least one night to show off what they had taught our students. Mrs. Pelletier answered that she likes how the students work so hard all year for this very night, to let family and friends see their artwork and for them to take it home with them.Parents and students viewing the computer projects at Art's Night 2014. Mr. Harte mostly enjoys watching families come in and appreciate their children’s hard work and art creations.

If you could change one thing about Arts’ Night, what would it be and why? Again, both the music teachers thought the same thing. They both would love a larger and better auditorium, because they want their music to be shown in an auditorium with less echo, not a hot, stuffy, crowded gym. They want real seats or movie-style seats, not the cafeteria benches. Mrs. Pelletier wishes Arts’ Night was on a cooler day, because Arts’ Night always seems lands on a hot day. One ‘con’ to that idea is that if Arts’ Night was earlier in the year, the students wouldn’t have as much artwork in their portfolios. Mr. Harte would like it if he could have a larger area to show off his pupils’ work. Even though he only has first and second graders’ work being displayed, he still thinks the computer lab is small with such a lot of people!

Picture of Chorus and Band in the Gym at the beginning of the Art's Night music performances.How do you prepare for Arts’ Night? Ms. Barry spends a lot of her time helping 4th and 5th grade students practice their instruments or strings. She teaches them little by little instead of giving them a truckload of notes on the first day and practicing them everyday. Ms Pappas prepares for the occasion the whole summer! She admits that she spends over 40 hours finding the perfect music. That’s almost two days straight! Her technique is if the song get stuck in her head all day, it’s good! Mr. Harte’s job is to make sure everyone’s projects are finished. After that, he makes it easy for parents to find their children’s work by logging on to all the computers and having the projects ready.

We are very fortunate to have the special Art programs we have, here at Chickering. They are so fabulous, they deserve a celebration. If it weren’t for Mrs. Pelletier, the art teacher, Mr. Harte, the technology teacher, and Ms Pappas and Mrs. Barry, the music teachers, this special night wouldn’t be possible. It’s Spring – the time to celebrate the Arts of Chickering School!

Reported by Ellie, Lauren, and Ryan

Dribble, Aim, Shoot, Score!

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Chickering Student





The fourth grade students were very excited about our Basketball Unit so we decided to investigate why we have Basketball from our Physical Education instructor, Ms Riordan, and then talk with some 4th grade students who play basketball on travel teams and those just learning to play basketball. We hope you enjoy our discoveries.


Reported by Cyrus, Katana, Olivia, and Zach

Chickering Winter Olympics

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Chickering Student




Every 4 years, a country hosts the Olympics. At Chickering School, every 4 years, we hold the Chickering Winter Olympics. Please join us as we chat with Ms Riordan and Mrs. Hayes, our Physical Education instructors and several fourth and fifth grade students about our Winter Olympics.


Reported by: Drew, Kyle, Rico and Will A.

The Adventures of Peter Lourie

Boom! Splash! Crash! On a hot summer day, a great canoeist, Peter Lourie, author and adventurer, navigated the rapids on the Hudson River, New York, USA, from its source to the New York Harbor. He is an amazing nonfiction writer, who came to our school to work with the fourth graders. His advice to the students is “Good writing is detailed writing.”

Peter Lourie speaking with students about his journey on the Hudson River.We had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Lourie. We wondered what are the pros and cons of his job. Sadly, he doesn’t have enough time to do the research he’d love to do. He wishes he had years to learn and know a subject to become an expert. The best part of his job is working with people who are “passionate” about a topic. Being in exotic environments such as the arctic and working with Inuit as they catch whales, or Africa with experts studying human evolution are favorite parts of his job.

Peter Lourie did not always want to be a writer. If you can imagine he had many interests in different jobs. Surprisingly, at age nine or ten Mr. Lourie wanted to be a pilot. A little later, he wanted to be an oceanographer. Next, an underwater archaeologist then, a physical anthropologist but he never ended up doing any of those jobs. As a writer he spends more time researching and locating experts then he does the actual subject.

We were curious if it was difficult to be away from his family for long periods of time. When his children were young it was hard for everyone. Now that his kids are older it is easer and his wife enjoys the break ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! He misses his family and appreciates coming home. Being away from his home is exhausting, but talking to people and gathering the research he needs to write a great book is helpful for him.

After listening to Peter Lourie, we received more strategies to use in our writing. We’ve learned how to incorporate interesting details in to our nonfiction writing. He not only inspired  our writing but encouraged a sense of adventure. So if Mr. Lourie motivated you to explore and have some fun, then go ahead and enjoy an adventure and don’t keep it to yourself …  write about it!

Reported by Caden, Beck, and Kris.


Cool Globes

five foot diameter globe depicting wind speeds around the earthAn amazing object arrived at Chickering School on October 23, 2013, 9:10 am. We were surprised to see that the globe was 5 feet in diameter and 6 ½ feet tall. We thought it was made of clay, but when we heard the man hit it with his fist, it sounded like hard hollow plastic. Colors show the wind speed around the world; here are some of the colors: red, pink, dark blue, light blue, white, yellow and many other colors. For example, red shows very high wind speed and light blue show a light wind speed.

Four boys have a blog that is called Cool Globes – Kids. We talked to four boys about their blog. Two boys, Charlie and Ian, are in third grade and two are in fifth grade, Nico and Aidan.  All of the boys said that they have been blogging for about half a year and started in March or April.They said that they would be blogging till the end of the exhibit or longer. Their oldest brothers were blogging and it looked fun, explained Nico, Charlie, Ian, and Aidan. We asked them how they got their ideas for the blog. They either looked up some idea’s on the Internet or in books and magazines. We asked them how long are you going to be blogging. The answers were, about a couple months or longer said Ian and Aidan, until the end of the exhibit said Charlie, or until Cool Globes ends in Boston said Nico.

Cool Globes has been traveling around the country and the world. Cool globes is a public art exhibition designed to raise awareness of solutions to climate change.  Cool Globes grew out of a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005, and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2006. The idea was to put sculptures on the sidewalk, each depicting a solution to global warming, forcing people to confront the issue, but in a non-threatening manner.

The globe’s arrival was a spectacular moment. It was an amazing place to be and to get it all on Cool Globe depicting wind speeds around the earthvideo! It was a long time wait in the brisk wind for the globe to arrive. We had our cameras ready and video tapes to watch the globe being put down by the forklift. We took a lot pictures and then headed back inside.

Our globe is a wonderful way of showing people the  wind speed around the world and reinforcing the use of wind power. The globes are traveling the world, but last August – October 2013 they were in Boston. It was a fabulous exhibit with lots of conversations on the sidewalk.

Reported by Sara and Eddie

What Are You Excited About in Fifth Grade?

We were curious about what people like and were excited about for 5th grade. We interviewed 10 – 4th graders.

We interviewed 2 people from each of the 5 fourth grade classes. Ellie said, “I’m very excited for 5th grade graduation and Nature’s Classroom”. Ryan told us – Graduating from Chickering, and Nature’s Classroom, and science. Alec said the Wax Museum and Nature’s Classroom. Rachel shared Nature’s Classroom because she wanted to be away from her parents telling her what to do. 😉 LOL Jenna said meeting new teachers and new friends. Beck said earlier specials and new teacher. Audrey shared being the oldest in the school. Sam said one year away from middle school. Andrey said Nature’s Classroom and 5th grade graduation. Ella shared Natures Classroom, Taiko drums, and the Jazz Band.

The most popular things that the fourth graders are excited about in fifth grade are Nature’s Classroom and graduating to Middle School.

Reported by Robert, Matt, and Sam


Favorite Day Ever!

Two boys reading together in an elementary school.Do you love to read? Then you’ll love our Read Your Heart Out Day [RYHOD]. Students prepare for RYHOD by gathering their stuffed animals, books, pj’s, blanket and a pillow. Then they put their gear in his or her backpack or another bag. You can pack or wear your pj’s and slippers. It’s winter, so we pack our slippers.

At school, in your classroom you claim your spot. That’s where you put all your items. You don’t stay there all day, but that is where you read your books or read with friends. Some of the other classrooms move furniture to make room for tents or canopies where students can read, play games and have fun. Some classrooms have book buddies, so they meet in another classroom and read to each other. We also have parents or other adults who come in and read to us or we read to them.

We wondered what the teachers thought about RYHOD. So we talked with Ms Wood, Guest reader sharing a book with a classroom of students.a third grade teacher, Mrs. Atkinson, a fourth grade teacher and Mr.Wadness, a fifth grade teacher. We were curious to know if they liked RYHOD and they all like this special day. Ms Wood shared, she likes that we celebrate reading as a school community, and one of her students claims “reading makes your brain grow bigger”. She also thinks it’s a day to keep our brains healthy and active. Mr. Wadness said that he likes it when parents come in and read. All like that students can hang out with friends and read and share good stories.

All the teachers explained some activities their students do on this day. Students read independently, buddies read with a younger class, and partner read. Some other activities are sharing their favorite books with classmates, creating crafts which use words and having guests/parents come in and read aloud. Their favorite activities are having people read aloud and sharing books with younger students in the school.

There are a lot of different genre and we wondered if they had a favorite. Mrs. Atkinson and Mr. Wadness both love fantasy, Mr. Wadness especially likes the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ms Wood likes all genre.

Two second grade boys sharing a book on an iPad.We wondered what type of book format that the teachers like to read. Mrs. Atkinson, Mr. Wadness and Ms Wood all  agreed that they all like paperback because it is easy to hold and they like to feel a book in their hand. Mr. Wadness does not like hardcover because he thinks it’s too big. Ms Wood and Mrs. Atkinson also likes electronic devices because it’s easy to turn pages and it saves their spot. Ms Wood also likes digital devices because she can download a book on the App Store and just lie in bed and start reading.

We were interested to know what some fourth and fifth grade students liked about RYHOD. They all agreed, they love it. Several talked about how they have a time to read books they like. A couple said it feels like a day off from school, because you get to relax and hang with your friends.

Stuffed animals, blankets, pillows and lots of books are what students shared they bring with them. Wearing pajamas and slippers is a cool thing to be allowed to do at school. These fourth and fifth grade students have enjoyed RYHOD since kindergarten.

Reading was the favorite activity for all of the fourth and fifth graders we talkedTwo fourth grade girls sitting on a counter in their classroom read by themselves. too. One fourth grader really liked reading with their kindergarten buddies. Some other activities they liked to do are reading by yourself, with friends, and with younger reading buddies. Others shared they make games based on books read, and when it happens to fall on Valentine’s Day, they enjoy creating valentines for their classmates.

Adventure seems to be a favorite genre of the kids. They like mystery because of the suspense and fantasy for the magic and wizards. Books come in all different formats: paperback, hardcover, audio, digital, so we wondered if they had a favorite. Most like digital but pretty much all of them like print.

On Read Your Heart Out Day, you can hear kids and teachers laughing and talking excitedly as they arrived at school. The energized students quickly claim their spots in their classroom. Then, you can hear a pin drop … everybody’s reading! It’s definitely one of the best days of the school year for both the students and teachers.

Reported by Rachel and Tommy

Chickering Chorus Rocks!

Every Wednesday, we hear “Mommy made me mash my M&M’s”. What could that be? It’s Chickering Chorus warming up for their voices. A group of 4th and 5th graders rehearse for their next concert while their classmates are doing morning work on Wednesdays. The 3rd graders practice on Tuesdays during their lunch-recess. All of their beautiful voices ring on the stage of Chickering School.

The leaders of Chickering Chorus are our very own music teachers, Ms Pappas, and when she is absent, our band teacher Mrs. Barry substitutes. Mrs. Barry plays the piano for the Chorus when they perform in front of the school and town. Ms Pappas plays the piano while the Chorus practices. We interviewed both of these teachers to see what happens and what Chorus is like.

One of the questions that we asked both, Mrs. Barry and Ms Pappas, is what is chorus like? Ms Pappas answered this question by saying what Chorus used to be like. For instance she said that Chorus used to be about 40-50 minutes long and that it was really early in the morning so sometimes they even had breakfast. She also said that the Chorus used to get to school and have time to warm up their voices and bodies. Some of the things that Mrs. Barry said, …”in one word Chorus is fun. It is a chance to learn to sing and develop your voice.” She also said you get to learn different languages and lots of different types of songs. Finally, she said that it is a chance to sing with your peers and sing different parts together as a family. The main answer that both teachers gave is that Chorus is really fun for everyone including them and they think of the Chorus as one big happy family.


Reported by Addie, Will G., and Calvin

Fit and Lit … ever heard of it?

multi colored plastic sneaker charmsDo you exercise your whole body? We have a tradition at our school that encourages us to exercise our mind and body. For 6-weeks each year we count the number of minutes we read and exercise each day. After we’ve done 10 hours of reading or exercising we receive either a book charm or a sneaker charm. This is our ninth year and some students’ necklaces are very full. Each year, one class in each grade level, with the most number of total minutes receives a trophy and each student in that class receives a trophy charm.

To kick-off Fit and Lit we have an assembly. First, we have a slideshow of students exercising and reading around our school. This year the music for the slideshow was “What does fox say?” and “Chickering Rocks!” our new school song. In P.E. class, we learned some dances and during the assembly we danced one of our new line dances (representing the Fit aspect). Our librarian, Mrs. Chase dressed up as Tacky the Penguin and read the story, Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester (representing the Lit aspect). These activities demonstrated two ways we can count minutes for exercising and reading. It was great to move and listen to a story instead of just sitting during the whole assembly.

Each Friday, we hand in the completed logs of 600 minutes of either Fit and/or Lit. When we come in on Monday, we have our charms: sneaker for Fit, book for Lit. On the last Friday, we celebrate Fit and Lit with “Read Your Heart Out Day”. It is a fun day where we spend the day reading with our friends in the school. Sometimes we have a guest reader and/or read with a younger class. An added bonus is that we wear pajamas and slippers to school. We can also bring pillows and a blanket. It is one of our favorite days of school.

To wrap up Fit and Lit, we had an assembly to celebrate all the minutes we read and exercised. The slideshow was different this time it showed “Read Your Heart Out Day” and Winter Olympic events in P.E classes. The music was the Olympic Theme Song and the Chickering School Song. The librarian again dressed up as Tacky the Penguin and read Tacky and the Winter Olympics in honor of the winter games held at school and in Sochi, Russia.Small blue sneaker on a book with a blue banner saying " 2012 Fit and Lit Grade 4 Winner" Trophies and classroom charms were presented to each of the 6 grade level winners.

Kindergarten: Mrs. Disch 84,000 minutes
Grade 1: Ms Cronin 77,310 minutes
Grade 2: Mrs. Moran 75,150 minutes
Grade 3: Mrs. Bedell-Healy 51,000 minutes
Grade 4: Mr. Keohane 94,770 minutes
Grade 5: Mr. Wadness 65,220 minutes

The entire school celebrated reading and exercising 1,477,800 minutes! WOW!

We were curious about what some of the fifth graders thought about Fit and Lit. So we asked several students how many charms they had earned. Three students lost or misplaced their charms,1 has 20, 2 have 30 charms, 1 has 36, and 1 has 25 Fit and 30 Lit, for a total of 55 charms. Four students said it was easier to earn Fit charms than Lit and 2 shared the opposite. Several have lost their charm necklaces, one keeps their necklace in a drawer next to their bed, another hangs her necklace on the corner of a mirror, and 2 keep theirs in a shirt drawer or sock drawer. We wondered what is their favorite part of Fit and Lit. Two like to challenge themselves to see how many minutes they can exercise and read and a couple like to see how many minutes they can earn for Fit. 1 likes Read Your Heart Out Day”, 1 likes seeing how many minutes in all they can earn, 1 likes to see who won in each of the grades, 1 likes both the exercising and reading, 2 students like the Fit component greatest, and another 1 likes all the assemblies. The last question we asked was were there any changes they would like to see in the program and most said “No.” 1 wants it to be longer than 6-weeks and 1 wants it to be shorter for the younger kids. It’s clear the students love the fantastic Fit & Lit program.

We chatted with our new P.E. teacher about Fit & Lit. Mrs. Hayes likes how it multi colored plastic book charmsencourages everyone to keep track of their minutes so you know whether to read or exercise more. Reading, she discovered was an area that she needed to spend more time on. Now that you know about Fit & Lit you might want to consider joining us next year to exercise your whole mind and body.

Reported by Tommy, Ben, and Sam