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

The Incredible 4 Critters and Plants Company

Brown colored anole with green eyes, poking its head over a bundle of leaves.
We looked closely inside the glass tank, which is located in the upstairs hallway. Inside the tank we saw lots of live plants and some not alive. We saw branches, some thick and twisted, and one that looked like it came from someone’s backyard. A small, round, dish containing mealworms was sitting on a brown substance covering the bottom of the tank. We looked closely into all the green leaves looking for the three anoles. Finally, we walked around the tank and spied all three in a clump of leaves on the back wall. We saw one large green anole and a large and small one that were brown.

We were curious to know why we had a Critter Corner and why anoles were our new neighbors. Dr. Reinemann, our Assistant Principal, established the Critter Corner. View of the entire body of an anole from his nose to his tail.We interviewed her to learn more. She said, “it’s a way to learn about a critter that doesn’t live outside” [in the Northeast region of the United States of America]. Anoles are easy to take care of, she shared. They don’t need to be fed everyday. The anoles live in tropical environments; you might see them climbing on screens in Florida. One died over the summer and she bought another anole at the beginning of school, this year.

We heard there might be a new critter living upstairs. She explained, “Something that’s not an anole.” She’s considering a turtle because they live on land and in water and are different from anoles. They are also vegetarians; the anoles are carnivores. She’s still thinking of having something different from anoles. Dr. Reinemann can’t choose an animal with fur or feathers because of people’s allergies. She’s still open to suggestions.

Most people name their pets, so we could have a naming contest? She remarked, “we need to see him or her first before we name it”. We didn’t name the anoles because it is to hard to tell them apart. Maybe we could have a contest to name the new critter.

Finally, we wondered what other plans she has for the Critter Corner. Dr. Reinemann informed us that she would like to have posters to tell people about the animals. Convincing more kids to be involved with the Critter Corner would be a great thing.

Glass shapped open donunt housing an air fern plant which doesn't require any soil.
Since we last spoke with Dr. Reinemann, there is no new animal but there are changes in the Critter Corner. She has added some plants to the corner. These plants require different amounts of water; a plant that lives in water with a Betta fish to keep it company, there’s also some desert plants that only need to be misted once a week, to an air fern which requires no water or soil to grow. Please check back in and we will let you know wPlant that lives underwater with a friendly Betta Fish for company.hat the new resident, in the Critter Corner, will be.

Reported by Abigail, Jenna, and Samuel