Michael J. Allen

Class of 2018 - 2019

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Teacher Plans

October 23rd - 27th


The class had their strongest week yet.

Milo returned from his sojourn in India, and we will be hearing from him in a special morning meeting on Tuesday this week all about his epic trip.

The students have now relaxed into most of the routines of Fifth grade life. I continue to be amazed (and appalled) by how little time I have to work with the students, but, as usual, I just heave a sigh and put one foot in front of the other...

We did not start our 'writing workshop' work this week. This was due to the Science program swallowing up more time than planned, as well as because of my decision to incorporate more of the Science into the week. We will be getting down to the writing workshop work this week with more alacrity.

As mentioned, the Science activities provoked enthusiasm from both groups of students as potions fizzed, boiled over and turned purple much to the delight of the students.

Another activity that absorbed more time than planned was reading, reviewing and discussing The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz.

It seems that almost all of the students are doing more reading than earlier in the term and are approaching reading with a more positive attitude in school. Obviously, the avid readers continue being avid, but it is nice to see the enthusiasm for reading spreading across the class to most of the students.


This week

We push into Unit 4 in Math and Module 2 in the Science Pilot. We start the personal narratives journey and push deeper into The Inquisitor's Tale. Hopefully, the focus and drive I am looking for from the students continues to blossom across the group.


Morning meeting

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

The meeting is structured into four phases:

  • Message - topic of the day, often with academic angle. This week, we're back to Math practice.

  • Greetings

  • Activities - short, fun community enhancing activities

This week's activities may include the Math game called Pico-Ferme-Nada and the popular game, Alibi.

We will sing our small collection of classics this week: Radioactive, Eleanor Rigby and Stand by me.

Our Friday Meetings are spent with our Kindergarten buddies from Mr. King's class. Last Friday we visited the Buddy classroom and played Math games - we were 'Math Buddies'. This Friday the buddies come up to our class and we will read together with Kindergarten selected books - we will be 'Reading Buddies'!




We will continue reading a new read-aloud using this story as a launch pad for various Journey's based lessons. The book is the 2017 Newbury awards list Honorable Mention winner,

The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz.


I will be reading chapters of the book to the students. The students will be taking part in various activities including topical discussions, Reader's Theater and analysis of the text:

The Journeys focus lesson this week is on characters in stories.

This week, we will also complete and discuss the previous lessons, including lessons that we didn't manage to get to:

  • Students will list the main events of the book so far.
  • Character problems and resolutions - using pictures and T charts
  • Compare and contrast main characters - using Venn diagrams

We will also have a regular twenty minute long private-reading experience on most days after recess.

We are also reading Non-fiction for the research element of our Science program.

We will be reading and writing about Physical changes in matter.



We will be continuing the attack on the student's writing skills this week. The next branch of this will be a focus on the students developing short personal narratives through an approach called, Writing Workshop.

'Writing Workshop' is where the students develop their writing skills working on personal projects of their own choosing.

I've posted a special page of the rough lesson plans for this project for those of you who are interested and are willing to dig through my slightly obtuse notes. Page references are all from the source I'm sticking closely to for this project; 'Launching the Writing Workshop,' by Lucy Calkins and Marjorie Martinelli.

This week, the students start working on their individual projects. The students each will select one or more pieces to develop and eventually publish here on the site.



We enter Unit 4, this week, on the subject of Division.

The lessons for this week look like this:


Lesson 4.1 - Division terminology, dividing using 10's and 100's

(Homework: P4.1)



Lesson 4.2 - Estimating Quotients using rounding, compatible numbers and multiplication.

(Homework: P4.2)



Lesson 4.3 - Dealing with remainders - checking for reasonableness in the answers.

(Homework: P4.3)



Lesson 4.4 - Dividing by 1-digit divisors

(Math homework: P4-4)


Math Homework

There will be daily practice worksheets, Monday - Thursday (this week) for Math homework.

Each worksheet will be due to be handed in the following day.

The worksheet number will be posted in the student's Assignment book each day as well as here in the Math section.



Science Project 

Properties of Matter

We have a few lessons left to complete the first Science module; a research activity on metals and non-metals and a performance task to build a boat, described below.


This module culminates with students designing, building, and testing their design of a boat that can float and hold the most amount of cargo without sinking. Students will apply their understanding of the structure and properties of matter to determine the best material to build their boat, and how the material compares to other materials.

Physical and Chemical Changes - week 1

The focus of this week's lessons are that matter can undergo various changes. Physical changes involve the matter changing state, shape, or size while maintaining its identifiable properties. Students will investigate that matter is conserved during physical changes in a closed system.


Invention Challenge 1

The 'final' happens on Monday!

Tune back in here next Sunday for the next thrilling full plan!!


Homework will be take another project break to allow for the hedonism of late-October.

The next project will be launched on Friday, November 3rd.

Students will usually receive their project homework jobs for the whole week each Friday.

Look for it in the student's backpack.

The students have included a plan in their assignment book for when they intend to complete each job. Please review this plan with your child and advise them on the practicality of their plan and make adjustments accordingly!

I will be doing a detailed introduction to the next project in school on Friday.

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 next week!

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!