Preschool Superhero

Picture of the Preschool doorway with a tree and pictures of students in colored circles.Mrs. Call is one of many teachers here at Chickering School. But she is special. She takes on the challenge of running the preschool with educational assistants. The kids come in at nine in the morning and have a wonderful learning day full of  amazing activities and opportunities!  So come and learn about the little known Chickering PreSchool!

We were curious to know why the school decided to make the preschool. Mrs. Call’s immediate response was that some kids had disabilities that needed extra special attention that they could nurture. Before they had sent the kids with disabilities to other preschools. Pine Hill’s school  (a school in Sherborn) was overflowing with bright toddler’s. Many of them could not get in because the school was too full. In the end, Chickering thought that they should have a preschool.

The benefits to the students is very important when they come to preschool and Preschoolers enjoying lunch in their classroomschool in general. When we questioned Ms. Call on this matter she explained that the preschooler’s get to grow and talk with each other and that it allows them to be active members in the Chickering community. Plus many people such as students, teachers, and parents see them around the school. Many benefits contribute to the preschoolers experience at Chickering.

When we inquired about the students schedule’s  Mrs.Call had a very long response. The kids neatly line up at the lobby of the school and walk to their classroom. Next they unpack and hang up their coats themselves. Displays chart for calendar and weather.They talk about the calendar and then rush off to the play at stations where they can pick what they want to to do or play for the next period. Some students do half days and some do full. The students who do half days only stay for snack; but the students who stay for a full day, stay for a quiet civilized lunch in their classroom. And go out for recess on there own private playground. At the end of the day there is more free time. And then they pack up and get picked up.

We inquired of Ms. Call on the matter of:  was she always teaching on her own or if there was another teacher with her. She responded that she has other teachers with her. Although Ms. Call is the main teacher in preschool there are other teachers with her like Mrs. Yanco the speech pathologist who helps kids with talking or swallowing disorders and Mrs. Hoffman who is an occupational therapy specialist who helps preschoolers nervous systems function. Other teachers include classroom teaching assistants who help with the children and things around the classroom. Teachers help the preschoolers prepare to be on on their way to kindergarten.

Ms.Call adores her students and  loves them but what is her favorite thing about them? Let’s get the scoop! Throughout the year Ms.Call has loved to watch them grow and get more mature and learn to love school. She remarked that watching them is an amazing adventure to go on with colorful learning experiences. Ms.Call truly enjoys teaching her wonderful class.

Part of the children’s days include play time so we asked Ms.Call what are the students favorite activities. And Ms.Call had a winner, Artwork created by children making different colored hand prints.triangular magnetic tiles, when she takes them out their inner engineer comes out and they create masterpieces. When she takes them out they’re so excited, they immediately want to play, play, play. The kids like to build with the magnetic tiles after a pleasing day of fun, it is exhausting!

Even though in the classroom kids learn many things there are so many opportunities that require them to get outside the classroom. We were curious to know if the toddlers’ specials are different from the other grades. Ms. Call told us that there were many specials like Gym or Motor Group where children stretch out from a long day at of learning. Another special that the kids have is Library where kids get engaged in books. Finally, music is a chance for preschoolers to sing songs. All in all, every part of the children’s day is fun but specials are extra exciting for the kids.

Ms. Call has been at Chickering for a jaw dropping 13 years. But what did she do before she came to our lovely school? Let’s find out. Ms. Call taught in another school district, but she felt she needed something fresh and new so she came to Chickering! 

We’ve always had that one dream job that we always wanted. We wondered if that dream came true for Mrs. Call or if she stumbled across it one day. She explained that the wish was sparked when she started babysitting at just 11 years old! When she babysat for a little girl she decided that she wanted to teach little kids for the rest of her life.  

Ms. Call is clearly a fantastic teacher. Ms. Call’s amazing connections with her students, help from other special education teachers, and the patience to set up individual play stations so her beloved toddlers can make the right choice … At the end of the day Ms. Call is truly a preschool superhero!

 

Reported by Emma and Alia

Meeting the New 4th Graders

Entrance to the Chickering SchoolEvery year many new students enroll at Chickering School. In addition to our new kindergarten students, Chickering also had new students in grades one through five. In fourth grade, which is our grade, we had ten new kids. We thought it would be interesting to know these new students. We asked each of these students a set of questions.

Most of our new students are from Massachusetts. Look down the 4th and 5th grade classrooms' hallway. 5 classrooms of each grade.Two are from New Hampshire, a neighboring state, one is from Texas and another from California. Students move for many different reasons. Four students moved here because one of their parents had a new job close to Dover. Wanting to move to Dover was the wish of the families of four students. Two students didn’t know why they moved.

We were curious to know if they missed anything about their old home. Four didn’t miss their old home. Missing friends was a shared feeling by three students. One of our new students missed their old house because it was larger, another missed their house because it was on a lake, and one missed their bedroom and swing set.

As students, we don’t think we have enough free time, but what do our new students say. Their indoor activities are reading, watching TV, playing computer games and board games. Playing outside is one of the best ways to start your weekend. Our new students enjoy being outside, as well, they like zip-lining, playing soccer and ice hockey.

Students we interviewed had a number of different reasons for missing their old school. As you would expect, a number of students missed their friends. In addition, some students missed the teachers at their previous school. There were also some unique reasons for kids missing their last school. One student shared missing air conditioning in her classroom. Another reason was having two recesses instead of one like we have here. Playing tug-of-war was another unique reason they missed their previous school.

We were curious to know what they like about Chickering School. Several students mentioned liking their new teacher, a larger school with more people, school lunches, and having band in fourth grade. Others mentioned making new friends, having technology classes and learning in fun ways. One surprising answer shared was that our school day is one hour shorter than their old school.

Nine out of the ten students liked Chickering more than their old school. Most said they enjoyed Chickering because there are more children to play with and it’s “more fun.” One student liked their old school better. She is more familiar with her old school and misses her second grade teacher and all her friends.

Many new students like more than one subject. Image of the gym at Chickering School.Clearly, math is liked the most, followed by writing and science. Other subjects students liked are physical education [P.E.], reading, spelling, and social studies.

We inquired of all the new students if they had a favorite special. Specials for Chickering’s fourth grade include: Art, Band/Reporters, Music, P.E., and Technology. Seven students said P.E. was their favorite special. One student said Art, one said Band, one said Reporters,  another said Technology were their favorite specials.

It was interesting to learn from several students some differences between their old school and Chickering. One student mentioned air conditioning, something we would love to have here! Another student shared they went to school an hour longer at their old school. We might want to go to school longer but it depends what we do in that extra hour. We play tug-of-war only during Field Day; one student shared that they played it all the time. It is interesting to see how all the new students are similar; how they all miss their friends and old homes. Their schools are so different, from tug-of-war at recess to air conditioning in every classroom. We are happy to see that our new students have acclimated to Chickering School.

Reported by Molly, Owen and Reece