Michael J. Allen

Class of 2016 - 2017

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Teacher Plans

March 14th - 24th


(I hope everyone enjoyed the snow days.

I've decided to just add to this plan rather than redo the whole thing!)

Another fun week with the class.

The students have produced some brilliant work for the opening of our latest group project – and they all finished it by the first deadline, too! The students are currently very motivated by the fact of receiving 'fake' dollars for jobs associated with this project. They are also responding to the competition aspect that is a part of this project. Of course, I keep reminding them that the competition and the cash are just additional spice elements – that the real focus is for the students to get to understand – for the first time, for the majority of the students – the epic story of their own country's birth!

Each group has a page here on the website.The 'Tavern pages' are updated weekly with all kinds of juicy work – as well as the results of that week's activities – including the amount of cash earned for the various ancillary tasks connected to the project such as dressing up in Revolution era outfits, using Revolution era language, and using the sort of good manners for which the period was justifiably renowned!

We have completed Unit 6 and are underway into Unit 7 in Math.

I had a fantastic surprise when I last took the student's classwork books home for the next grading cycle.

What I discovered inside those books was that the vast majority of the students were really working hard and were focusing on trying to become great students.

It is a real pleasure to write my comments to the students in their books when every single one of those comments is a genuine compliment.

If they carry on working as they are, they will be unstoppable students in Middle School!


This week (and next)

This week (and next) will be dominated by two subjects during my time with the class: the Tavern project, and the Math Unit 7!

We are going to focus almost exclusively on the story of the causes of the Revolutionary war.

There will be daily 'story-telling' activities, followed by sections of the 'Liberty' documentary and diary writing. In addition, the students will be  completing the Tavern activities detailed below:

We will be looking into the causes of the American Revolution, focusing on 1765-1774. The students will focus on learning about the following important precursor events:

  • The Stamp Act (1765)

  • The Boston 'Massacre' (1770)

  • The Boston Tea Party (1773)

  • Intolerable Acts (1774)

They will pick up and work on all of their next tasks, for which they will be paid bountifully in the vapid currency I'm using for this project.

The rescheduled DARE graduation ceremony is next Wednesday, March 22nd at 9:30am.

Next Friday, March 24th and Saturday, March 25th will be the fabulous Viva Variety Show!

It's going to be a fascinating period of time at the Brooks School!



MCAS 2.0 practice

We will continue with our preparations for the new testing regime next week in school with the final 'Mock' ELA test provided by the District Administration. We will plan the essays and write them next Thursday and Friday. We will be working on rewriting a narrative from a different point-of-view based on reading a text.



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.


The main language work this week will be about the American Revolution.

Students will understand and acquire/absorb the stories associated with the main causes of the American Revolution.

The students will then write a 'fake' diary about some of the early causes of the Revolution from their invented characters point-of-view.


Thursday, March 16th:

The French and Indian War (1754 - 1763)

The students will write a diary entry about the French and Indian War. Focus on point-of-view.

They will write from a Colonist's point of view or from the point of view of a British/French soldier.


Friday, March 17th:

The Stamp Act (1765)

Writing a diary entry about the Stamp Act. Focus on Point of view.

They will write from a Colonist's point of view or from the point of view of a British soldier.


Monday, March 20th:

The Boston 'Massacre' (1770)

Writing a diary entry about the Boston 'Massacre'. Focus on Point of view. Was it really a massacre?

Write about a Colonist's point of view of the incident.


Tuesday, March 21st:

The Boston Tea Party (1773)

Write a diary entry about the Boston Tea Party as if they had been one of the participants.


Wednesday, March 22nd:

The Intolerable Acts (1774)

The students will discuss whether they would be a Loyalist or a Patriot. Focus on point-of-view.

They will try to understand a Colonist's point of view and the point of view of a British soldier.


Friday, March 24th:

Lexington/Concord (April 18th/19th 1775)

The 'shot heard around the world' rings out and everything changes for ever...



We will finish Unit 7: Dividing decimals.

The lessons for the week looks like this:


Thursday, March 16th:

7-4: Dividing by a whole number

(Math homework - P7-4)


Monday, March 20th:

7-5: Dividing a Whole Number by a Decimal

(Math homework - P7-5)


Tuesday, March 21st:

7-6: Dividing a Decimal by a Decimal

(Math homework - Practice assessment)


Wednesday, March 22nd:

Review Practice assessment

(Math homework - Study)


Thursday, March 23rd:

Unit 7 assessment

(Math homework - None)




The American Revolution

This is a three to four week plan for the next Social Studies unit, the American Revolution.

There are three main parts:

  • Causes of the War

  • The War itself

  • The Meaning of the War

This week we will be concentrating on life in the Colonies. We will try to immerse ourselves in the language, dress, and style of the times. Students will be encouraged to come to school dressed in Colonial era fashions, and to use Colonial era language throughout the project.


Causes of the War

Life in the Colonies

The French and Indian war

The Stamp Act

The Boston Massacre

The Boston Tea Party

The Intolerable Acts



The War Itself

Lexington and Concord, Breeds Hill/ Bunkers Hill/ Dorchester Heights/ Ticonderoga

New York/ Trenton/ Princeton/ Winter in the war/ Franklin in France

The Grand Strategy/ Germantown/Brandywine/ Howe takes Philadelphia/ Gentleman Johnny and Saratoga- the turning point.



The Meaning of the War

The Declaration of Independence

The Compromise over slavery

The Constitutional Convention


The students will be working in teams of four or five. Each group will be formed around a ‘Tavern’ that they will create, using historical data to inform their choice. The 'Taverns' work on various projects each week and are rewarded using ‘Revolutionary dollars’ for completion and quality of finished products.


Activities for ‘The Causes of War’

Create a Tavern

Create a Tavern logo, sign, cheer, secret handshake, and scarf.

Create a fictional journal – based on Joseph Plumb Martin’s journal – life during the Revolutionary war

Find out about the Stamp Act, the Intolerable Acts, the Boston Tea Party, and the Boston Massacre

Make a timeline of the precursors

Watch DVD  'Liberty' part 1

Patrick Henry speech competition

Loyalist vs. Patriot – drama activity


Activities for ‘The War itself’

Continue with timeline

Journal entry – on the battlefield

Making diagrams of the Grand Strategy

Revolutionary replicas – life sized portraits of famous characters

Codes and Spies – inventing codes, Washington’s ‘mask’, and a real life spy mission!


Activities for ‘The Meaning of the War’

The musical ‘1776’

Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hancock

How to make a fair system – The House of Representatives and the Senate

Best form of Government?

Diagrams of the Constitution

The PBS series ‘Liberty’ is a main source of information for this unit. The students will watch and discuss selected pieces of the series.


Liberty - PBS website linked to the series.


Causes of the Revolution - pictures



Portraits of the Revolution



Battle Maps of the Revolution

Here are some maps we'll be using in class to show the early action in the Revolutionary War.


Technology Challenge 2

Wind Vehicle Challenge

Design a vehicle to enter a road race powered only by the wind. The top three race winners will enter into a whole grade competition.

Can you design the winner?

This week we will test the vehicles out doors - weather permitting!



After this MCAS prep, the students will have a light homework week to allow for Viva Variety participants to have a chance to breathe!

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!