Michael J. Allen

Class of 2018 - 2019

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Class Information and Events

This will grow into a chronological list of the events of the year...

This is our story...


        Your introduction and welcome to fifth grade.

  • Specialist Timetables

    A list of all the classes the students take part in outside the usual classroom setting.



  • Parent Guide To Homework

    Homework help for those who want it.
    I think that grade five homework, like that of grade six and beyond, can be an area of stress for many students and their families. Here is a page to help you understand my homework expectations.



Here's a provisional list of items students will need for Grade 5.



Reading Journal Information

The reading journals have started again.

Forgotten what Information needs to be recorded?

What day do I bring my reading journal in?



Specialist Class

This link takes you to the special page for Ms. Moll's students.

This page will be updated each Sunday to review the previous week's work and show plans for the upcoming week.





Curriculum Night

Wednesday, September 19th

Room 411

5:30pm - 7:30pm

Bring a snack!!

I'll try to entertain you, if possible!




Here is an artist's rendition of what an opabinia looked like. Follow the link to find out more about the Burgess Shale...



Photo Day

Monday, September 24th

Dress in your finery!!


PTO Meeting

Thursday, September 27th

Brooks School



Ice Cream Night

Friday, September 28th

Brooks School

It's going to be delicious!!!





 Mystic River Celebration

Saturday, October 20!

Come check out Mr. Allen and Ms. Moll rock out on stage at the Mystic River Celebration! We're performing at the Condon Shell in Medford off of Rt. 16 sometime around12:15pm (time still tentative). The celebration is free and runs from 11:00am-4:00pm. Prepare to rock!




To Kyle for the donation of K'Nex!

To Maddie for Dead City book!

To all the parents and families who donated supplies from the beginning of the year.

Your genorosity is truly appreciated by me and by all of our little community!




Field Trip to Science Museum

When: Tuesday, October 23rd

9:00am - 2:00pm

Who: Fifth Grade

Why: To culminate our study of space.

How: Local Bus

Cost: $10

I'm looking for four chaperones for this field trip.


Confirmed Chaperones:






Cost for Chaperone is Free!

We're going to see a special presentation in the Planetarium about The night sky at 10:30!



Photo Retake Day

Unhappy with your photo? Feeling like you look like a waxwork effigy? Frozen smile? Bad hair day?

Monday November 5th is the day for you!!

Dress it up and do it again!




The Phantom Tollbooth

Cancelled due to the Nor-Easter!

Refunds on the way home today - Monday, November 5th.





Math Assessment Unit 4 Study Guide

Here is the Unit Four study guide for students!

The assessment is coming on Tuesday!

Use it and improve your scores!




Report Cards and Conferences

Students will be receiving their first term report cards on Monday December 3rd.

Conferences will be offered on Monday, December 3rd,  Tuesday, December 4th, and Wednesday, December 5th.

Here are the confirmed conference times as well as a note about what to expect at the conference.

See you there!



 Staying late to work on the show

We were working so hard and having such good fun that I forgot to dish out the homework project!

I'll be presenting it on Monday instead. Sorry about that! I've moved the deadline to accomodate this change!

Please note: If the student stays to work on the Show till four pm on three days, including Wednesday, you don't have to do this week's homework project.

For each day the student stays late you can remove one homework task.

  • Staying late working on the show will happen on Monday, December 10th, Wednesday, December 12th, Thursday, December 13th and Friday, December 14th till 4:00pm.

  • Parents should notify me in advance of which day or days the student will be staying late to work on the show.

  • Dismissal from the usual location at 4:00pm.

  • All after-school plans and arrangements should be made in advance by email and cannot be made on the day (except for Monday).


Thanks to the families of Sarah, Kaleigh, Tristen, Kieran, Max!!

Thanks for donating supplies for our show!!

Very kind of you all!

(Let me know if I missed anyone off the list!)




Don't be scared.

It's just a lawn... right?

Come to our December drama!!

Pop it in the calendar!

Thursday, December 20th

6:00pm and 7:30pm

Room 411

Please make reservations by writing to me here letting me know:

  • Which show you want to attend.

  • How many will be in your party.

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

Please note that graduate students will be allowed to come to the show. They will be seated only after all current class families are seated!



Arrival information for the Show

Due to our enhanced security measures, all visitors must report to the main office door, where Ms. Moll or Mr. Andrews will let you in.

Please don't hold the door or allow anyone into the building.

Thanks guys!

Students should show up at the main office entrance at 5:30pm sharp.

Adults will be allowed up to the room at 5:45pm (and 7:15pm) at which time they will be seated by me and the students in the order that reservations were made.

Enjoy the show!!



Cell Phones Policy

As a result of a couple of minor but significant incidents involving students using their cell phones during class time, please be advised that students should no longer bring their phones with them into the class. They can choose to leave their phones in their lockers, if they want, however be advised - the lockers have no locks!

In the event of a student bringing a phone into class, I will be taking the phone from them and leaving the device with the Principal for the parents to collect by appointment.

I hope you can see that this rule is necessary when some students are using their phones rather than taking part in lessons!



Happy Holidays!!

Thanks for coming to the show last night everyone.

Thanks, also, to all the families for their generous support!! :)


I hope you all enjoyed the show as much as I did.

I was very proud of the student's achievements!

Bravo, you talented young people!

I hope you could see all the effort, energy, passion, team-work and learning that took place over the last two weeks as we built the story, the set and the complete Show.

If you want to help Mr. Andrews to preserve and develop these sorts of projects at the Brooks, why not send him an email about your experience? The more support for these epic projects in the community, the more likely they are to develop and prosper to the benefit of everyone!!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Holiday with family and friends.

I'll see you all in 2013!



Reboot of Science Journals

All students will need a new classwork journal for Science on Monday. After taking a course in teaching Science at Wheelock last term, it became obvious that I needed to revamp my approach to science record-keeping. Hence the need for a new book!

My preference is for the type of journal pictured above - the pages don't come out easily.

Some students may prefer the graph version of this journal (each page contains a grid of squares), and that is fine.

Some students have already brought in and started their new science journal. As for the rest - it's a Monday kick off!



Where is Love?

Isabella performs the classic song from the Musical Oliver in her star performance on Saturday night!

Isabella rules!





Thanks to Sarah's family for making 23 copies of the Grassland DVD!

We love you!

Thanks also to Alanna for the containers.

If I've forgotten anyone who donated to the class please remind me!

Thanks to everyone who has donated to our class during the year!

You're the best!



Eric Martin and the Anybot

Phaidra's Dad visited the Fourth floor today with his Anybot Robot Tele-presence. The Anybot was driven by Phaidra from class to class as Eric did an excellent introduction to the Anybot to each Fourth and Fifth grade class.

I snapped a couple of pictures for you.

I think Eric might have inspired a lot of young inventors to pursue their dreams today...

Thanks for the visit, Eric.

We loved it!


MCAS Dates finalized!

Language Arts MCAS tests

Thursday, March 21st - Session 1

Friday, March 22nd - Session 2


Math MCAS Tests

Monday, May 6th - Session 1

Tuesday, May 7th - Session 2


Science MCAS Tests

Thursday, May 16th - Session 1

Friday, May 17th - Session 2



1 Billion Rising

We're singing and dancing around the school from 9:00 to 9:20am in support of woman and girls all around the world. There are events happening all over the World today in support of ending violence against woman and girls - and we're joining in!!




  • To Max's family for the three rolls of Duct tape and the contribution to the Shelter Project.

  • To Bianca's family for the contribution to the Shelter Project expenses!!




Shelter Project is on!!

It's not likely to be a perfect day for it, but we're going to go for it anyway! The final activity in this epic project is going to happen on, Thursday, March 14th.

We're going to leave at 9:00am. We will carry our shelters to the park, camp there for a while, eat snack and play, then return to school shortly after lunchtime to dismantle our shelters.

Shelter Project Instructions:

  • On the day, students should not wear Colonial costumes - come dressed to be
    outside for most of the morning!
  • Students should bring a packed lunch, drinks, snacks, games, cuddly toys and even a thin blanket, if they want, preferably in a back-pack.

Wish us all luck!!



Middle School Open Houses

Middle School Open House

Andrews Middle School
Tuesday, March 12th
McGlynn Middle School
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Parent/Guardians and all current grade 5 students invited.

International Women's Day

Friday, March 8th is International Women's Day!

Follow the link to fascinating portraits of 100 important woman on International Women's day...

International Woman's Day: Political rights around the World mapped:

How have women's political rights changed around the globe to get to this International Women's Day? This interactive map by Lustlab's Lizzie Malcolm in Amsterdam shows the long history of the fight for suffrage and political representation around the globe. Click and drag on the year slider to see the changing face of women's political representation over the years
Who made this map? 
Lizzie MalcolmLustlab

(From 'The Guardian', the UK's finest news source!)


Language Arts MCAS Dates

Thursday, March 21st

Friday, March 22nd

There are TWO test sessions to be completed, one each day.

We will aim for 9:00am starts. On the first day we have to do all the preliminary guff which means we won't start till roughly 9:30am. The tests are untimed - they are intended to take one hour, but they usually take between two and four hours for the majority of students!

Eat well, sleep early, relax and dominate the tests!

Don't worry - we'll be more than ready!

Windmill Workshop

Monday, March 25th

9:00 - 12:00pm (one hour for each class)

The Science Museum arrives to conduct a brilliant hands-on science experience for the Fifth grade classes.

Can the students generate power with their windmill designs?

First Session: 8:45am to 9:45am - Ms. O'Leary
Second Session: 10:00am to 11:00am - Ms. Moll
Third Session: 11:15am to 12:15pm - Mr. Allen and Ms. Snow



Field Trip to Commonwealth Museum

Ms. Moll's class and our class will be going on Tuesday, March 26th to the Commonwealth Museum. The trip will tie into our Colonial Studies.

We leave at 9:00am. We return at 1:45pm. The trip is free.

Students should bring a lunch, drinks and snacks - in a backpack.

If anyone can come along,  you'll be more than welcome, although there may be issues about space on the bus. Two parent volunteers per class should be fine!



DARE Graduation Ceremony

Thursday, March 28th

Cafetorium: 9:30 - 10:30am (approx)

Selected students will read their essays, DARE officers, the Chief of Police and other dignataries make speeches, then all the students receive their graduation certificates and merchendise. Many parents usually attend this event so get there early to get a good seat!

Students should dress in their finery!

Tufts Chemistry Outreach Demonstration

Jeff and Sam are studying Chemistry at Tufts University. As part of an outreach
program to get children interested in chemistry and science in general, Tufts chem students, over the past several years, have visited many schools in the Medford area and done some fun science demonstrations to classrooms full of fascinated students. These demonstrations range from the creation of foam and slime, to colorful acid-base reactions, a “firefly” demonstration involving luminescence and much more.

Jeff and Sam will be visiting our school to present the demos for the Fifth grade on

Thursday, April 4th.

First Session: 8:45am to 9:25am - Ms. O'Leary and Ms. Snow
Second Session: 9:35am to 10:15am - Ms. Moll
Third Session: 10:25am to 11:05pm - Mr. Allen




Old Sturbridge Village

Field trip to Sturbridge Village!

When: Monday, April 8th.

How: By 'Big Yellow Bus'.

Who: Our class and Ms. Moll's class.

Why: Culmination of Social Studies learning.

How much: $5 (Chaperones also $5)

Departure: 8:45am (It's a bit of a long bus ride!)

Arrival: 10:00am. Self guided tour of village in groups of five.

Depart: 1:00pm. Meet for lunch at  12:30pm.

Arrive back at school: 2:15pm

We have the four chaperones we need: Betsy, Kim, Tanya, Jessica.

Thanks for bravely volunteering.




Old Sturbridge Village

Here's a photo album of my small group at Sturbridge Village today..

Send me your photos and I'll post them too!




Come and see a flotilla of excellent student bands, as well as graduate students and teacher and parent bands this Saturday, April 27th at the Brooks school...

Be there or be somewhere else..




After-school MCAS prep Science Classes

I will be staying late on Tuesday this week to review Fourth Grade Science work.

Tuesday, May 14th: Electricity and Magnetism

I would strongly encourage students to attend these classes to answer any questions and address any doubts they may have about these subjects. Roughly forty percent of the content of the Fifth grade Science MCAS test is material last taught during the Fourth grade!

The students who do a good job reviewing the Fourth grade material are the ones who typically make the Advanced category in the final tests.



Pollen Pictures

How amazing are these?

The fabulous magical beauty of pollen...


Memorial Day Event

Thursday, May 23rd

Brooks School Gym

1:00 - 1:30pm




Moving-On Ceremony

Friday, June 14th

Time: 1:00pm in the Gymnasium at the Brooks

Followed by the Student Party: 6 - 9 pm!

A fantastic culminating celebration for the Fifth Grade students: A brilliant ceremony, dressing-up, singing a fabulous song, collecting 'Moving-On' certificates and yearbooks, chowing down on fantastic nosh, and all of this is followed by a giant disco-dance party, as well as cake, a gymnasium and lots of laughs without too many adults in the way!

What's not to love?



Fifth-Grade Junior Olympics

Monday, June 17th (rain date, Monday, June 24th)

Hormel Stadium

Parents are welcome at this wonderful annual event designed for prospective Middle School students to meet other students while engaging in good-spirited physical endeavor.

The aim is not so much to encourage competitive behavior as to support and promote collegiality and the expansion of social horizons for all students as the Middle School future approaches.

This is always a great and exciting event.

Come along and support our cherubs!



The Eggdrop Challenge

Prevent your egg from perishing when cruel Mr. Allen chucks it off the roof of the school!

When: Monday, June 17th at 1:45pm.

Parents welcome to watch the flights!

Mr. Andrews has reviewed the procedure and has given the 'go ahead' for launch.

Follow the link to see the Eggdrop challenge from a few years ago!



Fifth Grade Canobie Lake Field Trip

All fifth grade classes will visit the Park on Tuesday, June 18th (rain date Thursday, June 20th).

Come and celebrate our fantastic year - and learn some science while you're at it.

Bus leaves at 9:00am. Return to school at 2:30pm

All students should bring lunch and snack.

Cost: $25:50 per student

Chaperones and teachers cost: $25:50

Confirmed chaperones: Geeta, Jessica, John Z, Lisa, Chuck, Sharon (and Shelby) Johanna, Kristine, Shanon.



Slideshow from 5th Grade Moving-On Ceremony

Here is a link to Chuck Nease's brilliant slideshow from the Graduation ceremony!

Nice job Chuck!




Field Day

Friday, June 21st (rain date: Monday, June 24th)

Playstead Park (and Brooks School)

9:00am -2:00pm

Great fun for all!!




Fifth-Grade End-of-Year Show.

We read an amazing collection of short stories together in class this year called 'Mindstorms' by Neal Shusterman.

Now we're going to try to retell one of these amazing and spectacular stories in our own version as a play.

It's a time-travel story called 'Opabinia' with some delicious science-fact at its heart!

Come and see our work on...

Tuesday, June 25th

6:00 and 7:30pm (followed by Ice cream at CB Scoops!)

Click on the links to find the updated reservation list.

Updated June 24th!



The Show

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.




Last-Day Pool Party!!

When: Friday, June 28th


The Hollings family home

53 Woburn Street, Medford!

More Information: starts at 1:00pm and ends much later than that...

Say goodbye to Elementary school and hello to summer with the students and their families!

Be there or be somewhere else!




Teacher's Plans Archive

Here are all the lesson plans from 2012/2013.



Want to follow Mr. Allen's summer fun?

Follow this link to his new summer blog!

You can read about other tours here too:

European tour - Summer 2012

West Coast Bike ride - Summer 2011

Hope you enjoy the journey!


Older blogs for those of you interested can be found here:

Australia.  - Summer 2010

New Zealand - Summer 2010

Brasil - Summer 2008

 Cross Country Bike Ride 2 - Summer 2007