Michael J. Allen

Class of 2017 - 2018

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Teacher Plans

February 27th - March 3rd


I hope you are having a peaceful and rewarding vacation. I also hope that the beautiful quiet time you are no doubt enjoying has been occasionally scratched by the results of our musical endeavors before the vacation.

I think you would agree that we have a healthy amount of musical talent in our little group. Ask your child for the history behind the choice of '7 Foot Niners' as the name for the project.

I can tell you that from my point of view, despite sporadic hiccups, the project was a thoroughly enjoyable one for me and, I believe, for the majority of the students too.


This week

This week we have three main and two minor areas to focus on:

  • We will complete a series of lessons, detailed below, on the subject of the science of light.

Sound and Light

  • The second main focus will be to type, edit and prepare our second term personal essays for publication on the website.

  • In Math, we move onto the next Unit on the subject of Multiplying decimals.

We will be returning to a major Social Studies project for much of March and early April. In preparation for this work, we will be returning to finish our work on the 'Explorer' Coronado during this week. Finally, we will also return to our 'Wind Vehicle challenge'.


Morning meeting

As part of the whole-school philosophy each class begins each day with a thirty-minute long class meeting.

The meeting is structured into four phases:

  • Message - topic of the day, often with academic angle.

  • Greetings

  • Sharing - short news items from members of the class

  • Activities - short, fun community building activities



Writing Workshop

In addition to the Journeys program lessons, I will be using lessons based on, 'Breathing Life into Essays' by Lucy Calkins for this phase of our year.

The main lessons are to be found here. Pardon my obtuse simplifications Ms. Calkins!

Essay core structures and elaboration tools

We will be heading down to tge computer lab each day to type then edit and improve the essays the students should have handwritten during the previous project. Each lesson will be preceded by a review of the most important lessons from the unit with three main focus areas:

  • Paragraphing
  • Elaboration
  • Comma use



We are reading a stunning read-aloud called, 'You Don't Know Me' by David Klass.

This book is in the realistic genre.

We will be using this book as a springboard for Journeys lessons. We will be also reading each day after recess for twenty minutes.

We will be introducing a new reading challenge this week since the majority of students who chose to take part in the 'National Book Award finalists 2016' challenge have read all six of the books.

The new challenge is called 'Champions'.

The challenge will be to try to read the Newberry winners and runners-up for the last five years then decide which book should be awarded the 'Champion of Champions' class award!


Reading Research Guidelines:

Research by Dick Allington suggests:

  • Students should read about 15 pages in 20 minutes, as a rough guideline, when reading a 'just right' book (a book the student can read with 96% accuracy or better).
  • Students reading rate should be somewhere between 100 and 200 words per minute.
  • Examples:
    • Hatchet - Gary Paulson 192 pages - level R - should take between four and eight hours to read.
    • Stone Fox - level P - 82 pages should take one and a half hours to read.




We will start Unit 6: Multiplying decimals.

The lessons for the week looks like this:


Monday, February 27th:

06-01: Multiplying Decimals by 10, 100, or 1,000

(Math homework - P6-1)


Tuesday, February 28th:

06-02: Estimating the Product of a Decimal and a Whole Number

(Math homework - P6-2)


Wednesday, March 1st:

06-03: Number Sense: Decimal Multiplication

(Math homework - P6-3)

Thursday, March 2nd:

06-05: Multiplying a Decimal by a Whole Number

(Math homework - P6-5)




Light and Sound Project

Follow the link to see the lesson plans for the new project.

This week, we focus on the subject of light!


Light and Sound Links


Technology Challenge 2

Wind Vehicle Challenge

Design a vehicle to enter a road race powered only by the wind. The top five race winners will enter into a 'crash-derby' competition. The top five will be reduced to last vehicle rolling by a series of head-on crashes!
Can you design the winner - not only one of the fastest, but also the strongest vehicle?

This week we will restart the project after a few weeks lying dormant.



Students will have another light week of homework, featuring daily Math and Reading.
Homework Projects will return on Friday.

Students will usually receive their homework jobs for the whole week each Friday. Look for it in the student's backpack. I am helping the students to plan when they will complete each homework job. You should review the homework plan with the students and help them stick to the final plan as you agree on it as a family!

Good luck!

Each project will be up on the 'Homework' page here at the site each Friday evening.

Check out the 'News’ page for the 'Parent's Guide to Homework', as well as other delicious treats for the start of the year!

See you back here in two weeks.


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!