Michael J. Allen

Class of 2016 - 2017

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Teacher Plans

January 30th - February 10th

Review

We had another excellent week together. There were a lot of hands-on Science explorations during the week, a number of excellent writing sessions, some deep and meaningful discussions, especially around the Witness story, and strong and focused Math lessons.

These guys are really good fun to be around: while they are capable of scattering to the four winds, they are also capable of really bringing themselves to lessons, even ones which they find challenging. Much of the Science work on Simple Machines is very challenging, especially trying to account for the strange phenomena of the reduced force needed to lift objects when using simple machines. The students gave it a good college try.

The essays we wrote in preparation for the new MCAS ELA tests on comparing and contrasting multiple articles with multiple points of view went as well as could be expected. This latest practice test was especially challenging. Despite this sobering exercise, the latest information on the tests seem to be hinting that they may in fact be a slight improvement on the rigors of the old MCAS. Another piece of good news is that the tests are not to be timed, as we had feared that they would be. The test questions are, however, fiendish in a way that the old MCAS questions were not: you really have to read the questions VERY carefully and even the multiple choice questions are very tricky indeed. I’ll write to you again about this as the information on the nature of the new test’s demands comes in to me!

On an extremely positive note, we are now starting another really popular project in the grade.

The excitement builds as our fabulous year continues with the next epic project: The Recording Studio Project!

 

This week and next

We will attempt to write, compose, play and record original music to be published on this site over the vacation.

The nature of the project involves a 'multi-station' approach to the week – it's a little like being back in Kindergarten!  The students are organized into groups of four students. Each group will spend roughly forty-five minutes at each 'station', then move on to the next one.

Each station should be visited two or three times during the week by each group – roughly two hours at each collection of tasks each week, subject, of course, to the vagaries of reality: timetables, weather and schools!

Station 1: Recording studio

The group works with me to record a musical piece in our classroom recording studio.

Station 2: Writing Workshop station

Station 3: Design Station

Station 4: Sound Station

Station 5: 'Building Big' Station

Follow the links to find out the specific details about the activities at each station.

I will be inviting interested students to stay after school to work on the music project the week after this one until 4:00pm on: 

  • Monday, February 6th

  • Tuesday, February 7th

  • Thursday, February 9th

  • Friday, February 10th

The students from the respective groups will be invited to stay on their day - Monday group can stay on Monday, etc.  (I will find a different time during the school day for the Wednesday group.)

Parents need not send in notes, etc, however, each student needs to have prearranged with their parents whether they're staying after school, or not. I cannot make last minute phone calls, etc.

The students should be picked up at the main office. I will be there no later than 4:05pm, I promise!

If your child attends the Brooks After-School program, you will need to provide a note to Ms. Ciavatti if you want them to work with me during this project. Such students will be deposited at the After-school program at 4:00pm.

The timetable for this project looks like this:

 

Monday, January 30th

8:45 –  9:15 – Meeting - switch groups/revisit class contract

9:15 - 10:05 - Simple Machines wrap up - part 1 - making the models

10:05 - 10:50 - Simple Machines wrap up - part 2 - why they work

10:50 - 11:40 - Math

11:45 - 12:30 - Italian/strings/brass

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

1:30 - 2:00 - Reading

2:00 - 2:30 - Witness - Act 4

2:30 - 2:35 - Wrap up/Clean up

 

Tuesday, January 31st

8:45 –  9:15 – Prep for project - intro to Station activities.

9:15 - 10:05 - Cycle 1

10:05 - 10:50 - Cycle 2

10:50 - 11:40 - Math

11:45 - 12:30 - Art

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

1:30 - 2:15 - Cycle 3

2:15 - 2:30 - Witness

2:30 - 2:35 - Wrap up/Clean up

 

Wednesday, February 1st

8:45 – 9:15 – Meeting

9:15 - 10:05 - Cycle 4

10:05 - 10:50 - Cycle 5

10:50 - 11:40 - Math

11:40 - 12:30 - Computer

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

 

Thursday, February 2nd

8:45 –  9:15 – Library

9:15 - 10:05 - Cycle 1

10:05 - 10:50 - Cycle 2

10:50 - 11:40 - Math

11:45 - 12:30 - Music

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

1:30 - 2:15 - Buddies!

2:15 - 2:30 - Witness

2:30 - 2:35 - Wrap up/Clean up

 

Friday, February 3rd

8:45 –  9:15 – Witness

9:15 - 10:05 - Cycle 3

10:05 - 10:50 - Cycle 4

10:50 - 11:40 - Cycle 5

11:45 - 12:30 - Gym

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

1:30 - 2:00 - Homework

2:00 - 2:30 - Witness

2:30 - 2:35 - Wrap up/Clean up

 

Monday, February 6th

8:45 –  9:15 – Meeting

9:15 - 10:05 - Cycle 1

10:05 - 10:50 - Cycle 2

10:50 - 11:40 - Math

11:45 - 12:30 - Italian/strings/brass

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

1:30 - 2:15 - Cycle 3

2:15 - 2:30 - Witness

2:30 - 2:35 - Wrap up/Clean up

 

Tuesday, February 7th

8:45 –  9:15 – Meeting

9:15 - 10:05 - Cycle 4

10:05 - 10:50 - Cycle 5

10:50 - 11:40 - Math

11:45 - 12:30 - Art

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

1:30 - 2:15 - Cycle 1

2:15 - 2:30 - Witness

2:30 - 2:35 - Wrap up/Clean up

 

Wednesday, February 8th

8:45 –  9:15 – Meeting.

9:15 - 10:05 - Cycle 2

10:05 - 10:50 - Cycle 3

10:50 - 11:40 - Math

11:40 - 12:30 - Computer

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

 

Thursday, February 9th

8:45 – 9:15 – Meeting

9:15 - 10:05 - Cycle 4

10:05 - 10:50 - Cycle 5

10:50 - 11:40 - Math

11:45 - 12:30 - Music

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

1:30 - 2:15 - Buddies!

2:15 - 2:30 - Witness

2:30 - 2:35 - Wrap up/Clean up

 

Friday, February 10th

8:45 –  9:15 – Meeting.

9:15 - 10:05 - Review Sound station activities

10:05 - 10:50 - Review essay station activities

10:50 - 11:40 - Review Building Big station activities

11:45 - 12:30 - Gym

12:30 - 1:25 - Lunch/recess

1:30 - 2:30 - Review music

 

The nature of the project requires a certain flexibility from students – by the end of the project, teams will have all spent roughly the same amount of time at each station – but it may take the whole two weeks before that becomes true!

 

Math

We will finish Unit 12: Volume.

We will be reviewing and taking the assessment at the start of this week. We will then bash through Unit 14 over the course of the following week. The subject of Unit 14 is Data.

The lessons for the next two weeks look like this:

 

Monday, January 30th:

Unit 12: Volume - problem solving.

(Math Homework - P12-4)

 

Tuesday, January 31st:

Unit 12: Volume

Prep for assessment.

(Math homework - prep for assessment)

 

Wednesday, February 1st:

Unit 12 Math assessment

(No Homework)

 

Thursday, February 2nd:

Unit 14: Data - Line plots

(Math Homework - P14-1)

 


Monday, February 6th:

Unit 14: Data from surveys

(Math Homework - P14-2)

 

Tuesday, February 7th:

Unit 14: Making line plots

(Math Homework - P14-3)

 

Wednesday, February 8th:

Unit 14: Measurement data

(Math homework - prep for assessment)

 

Thursday, February 9th:

Unit 14: - assessment

(No Math Homework)


 

Homework 

Students have daily homework this week.

Next week, students who stay late to work on the Music project will NOT have other homework (except for Math) on the day they stay late at school.
Students who do not stay late to work on the project will have daily homework worksheets on that day.

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!