Michael J. Allen

Class of 2017 - 2018

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Teacher Plans

December 4th - 22nd


We did get to most of the things I was aiming for over the last almost-two weeks: the Social studies project got finished in time for the big collective project starting this week, the latest Math assessments were completed and analyzed, the Fountas and Pinnell assessments were completed.

We finished the work based on Jared Diamond's, 'Guns, Germs and Steel' accounting for why some countries are rich and others are poor. The students also got to hear about Ghengis Khan and his pivotal role in provoking the European Age of Exploration (Invasion). The students have not quite finished the Science work on Chemical changes, as planned, but we can wrap it up in due course.


From this week to the vacation


We are now embarking on one of the busiest and potentially most exciting parts of our year together so far: Parent Conferences and 'The Show'.

As usual, the first week of our working on the Show is happening during the Parent Conferences week.

The Parent Conference information and schedule is posted here for you.

When you meet with me, don't be alarmed by the state of the classroom – we are doing a complete redesign of the room to create the environment for the complete immersion our theatrical endeavor demands - an event that Mass. College of Art would die for! However, we will be early in the process when you come to visit me, especially early this week.

This is the last Teacher planning page you will be getting until the return to school on January 2nd.

From this point on, there will be a 'news blackout' about the Show, notwithstanding information leaks from your own child! All the students are sworn not to divulge the secrets of the Show, to heighten the devastating majesty of the event itself.

The process of building the event is an extremely organic and creative affair. We start work at 8:30am and, aside from breaks for Math, recess and lunch, we work on the aspects of the beast till 2:30pm (4:00pm on the second week of the event). It's a fluid and mysterious, genuinely artistic process. It refuses to be parsed into forty-five minute chunks. It's fundamentally holistic, organic and mysterious.

From this point we have a two-week, almost mystical experience ahead of us: how can a team of twenty one people start from a novel to create and produce a finished multi-media experience in just over two weeks?

Come along on Wednesday, December 20th and find out...

We're doing the show for you twice on Wednesday, December 20th: at 6:00pm and again at 7:30pm.


The Opposite Universe

Here are the confirmed reservations for our Show,

on Wednesday, December 20th

Room 411 at the Brooks

6:00pm and 7:30pm


 Please make seating reservations for the show by writing to me here letting me know:

Seating for the event will be done in the order that reservations were made!

Please note that graduate students will be allowed to come to the show if they have made a reservation. They will be seated only after all current class families are seated!

It's critical for the success of the work that all students stay in school as consistently as possible during the two-week long preparation period and are available to practice and perform up to and including the evening of Wednesday, December 20th.

Thanks for your support!


See you at the conferences!


Project Period

In many ways the show is the culmination of much of the work we've done all year in Language, in Math, Art, in Music, in Dance and Drama.

It's a summary and celebration of our journey together academically, socially and creatively.

Here are some notes about the process and the journey.




This week's project is the final homework week before the December vacation!

See you back here next year!


Science-class teacher plan

This is the route to the 'Specialist Class' page.

This page is for the students and parents of Ms. O'Donnell to find out about what happens during the Science class!