Elementary Curriculum Newsletter


Big picture
Big picture
The purpose of Open Office Hours is for teachers to receive support regarding content and resources. The curriculum coordinator will be available via Zoom to answer questions. You do not need to stay the entire time. You can join the session using the Zoom link, ask your question, and leave or remain to collaborate with other teachers. Throughout the year, the office hours may focus on a specific resource or topic question instead of just open for general content questions.

Below are the current dates and times for the office hours.

This Smores Newsletter will be updated if the office hour time frames change throughout the month.

English Language Arts

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

3:30 - 4:30 pm

Open office hours - ask questions and receive support with HMH: Ed Your Friend in Learning, Fundations, i-Ready, RIMPs, or any other component of the Literacy Block!



Wednesday, January 13, 2021

3:30 - 4:30 pm

Open Topics including questions about the Math Framework and Curriculum Resources


Science & Social Studies

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

3:30 - 4:30 pm

This will be an open forum for asking questions about science.


Library Services & Instructional Technology

Thursday, January 14, 2021

4:00 -5:00 pm

This will be an open forum for asking questions and receiving support with instructional tech.


Spruce Run Resources/field trips with Geri Granger

Every Thursday from 3:30 - 5:30 pm


Meeting ID: 396 325 2269

Passcode: 3SsAit

Big picture

CCS Professional Development Offering

Elementary Social Studies: Integration Opportunities with HMH Into Reading

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Location: Online via Zoom

Sign up on PDS: # 40526

Have you wondered how to make links between elementary Social Studies and the HMH Into Reading curriculum? We will explore some ways to make these connections. The goal is classroom instruction with a sense of continuity, such that your students see the academic disciplines as interdependent--as they are in real life!

Big picture

Professional Opportunity

Would you like to write for Sesame Street?

A Creative Opportunity

Are you a creative mind from an underrepresented racial background who loves children’s television? If see yourself contributing in this area, Sesame Writer’s Workshop has an opportunity that may be for you! Applications for its Sesame Writers’ Room summer experience are open now. As an effort to increase diversity in children’s programming, writers from underrepresented racial backgrounds are encouraged to submit scripts by the January 8, 2021 deadline. https://sesamewritersroom.org/

Big picture

Winter Packets


2020 Reading Winter Packets

2020 Math Winter Packets

Posting the Packet in Google Classroom as an Assignment:

Make a Copy for Each Student: You will need to make a copy of the file to your drive. Follow the steps below:

  • Open the Reading Packets Google Drive Folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1d4nXPMiSASz-BJn72SDe5xMB3X2t45Oi?usp=sharing
  • Right click on the grade level packet and select Make A Copy
  • You can now assign this copy in Google Classroom as "make a copy for each student"
  • The student can edit their copy using Kami.
  • The student needs to be sure to save their edits in Kami and you will be able to view it in Google Classroom.

Student can View File:

  • You can post the original file as a student view file in classroom.
  • The student can open with Kami and will be forced to make a copy. However, the student will need to save the file in Kami to their Drive in order to turn it into Google Classroom. You will not be able to view the student's work unless they add the file from their drive to the assignment post.

Columbus Metropolitan Library is offering a Winter Reading Challenge from Dec. 1 - Jan. 30.

  • All students K-12 may sign up individually through the Columbus Metropolitan Library to participate.
  • This year K-6 teachers may sign up for their classrooms to participate in the CML Winter Challenge. Teachers may sign up for their classroom before December 20 (and while supplies last) at https://columbuslibrarywinter.readsquared.com/
Big picture
Big picture


If you are looking for virtual field trips with live educators, pre-recorded field trips, lesson plans, interactive websites, webcams, etc. click the link below to see the Virtual Field Trip Google Document.

This document will change over time when new field trips are discovered.

If you know of a good opportunity for K-5 students, please email Heather Allen, hallen704@columbus.k12.oh.us so it can be added to the list.

Here are a few webinars COSI is offering during our winter break.

Feel free to share the link with parents so they can register.

Big picture


The Grange Audubon - 4th grade opportunity

The Grange Audubon Center has a few different opportunities to help support you and your students this year. Through generous funding they are able to offer one of the following programs or toolkits at no charge to 20 remaining 4th-grade classrooms in Columbus City Schools this school year.

The new Audubon Adventures Resource is also available, free, to 20 schools for their entire 4th grade.

Please contact Allison Clark allison.clark@audubon.org ASAP to book dates for programming or toolkit check out this year or to reserve your Audubon Adventure resource! They will be opening remaining opportunities to classrooms who have not partnered with them in the past on January 1st. When space runs out, the charge will be $75 for each of the programs listed below per classroom and $25 for the Audubon Adventure resource (supplies for 1 classroom).

Virtual Conservation Classroom Lessons

(Prerecorded Lesson with Live Zoom Follow-Up with our Educators - single option)

They have prepared the core program topics for virtual viewing. These lessons include an engaging presentation about the topic at hand as well as hands-on and interactive activities to reinforce learning and assessments to measure understanding. Program topics to choose from include: All About Birds, Habitat Connections, Exploring Aquatic Habitats, Plants for Pollinators and Operation Conservation. The Grange Audubon educators will follow up with your students one week later so they can share what they've learned from their activities and they can answer any questions students may have!

Audubon Teacher Toolkits

(New for Classrooms During the 2020-2021 School Year)

The Grange Insurance Audubon Center is excited to offer a resource for teachers and their classrooms across Central Ohio during this unprecedented school year! Teachers will have the option to reserve Teacher Toolkits with lessons, activities, scientific equipment for observation and exploration in the schoolyard and support from our education staff. Please contact Allison Clark, allison.clark@audubon.org, Education Program Manager, to schedule your toolkit check out this school year! The following toolkits will be available January 1st, 2021: All About Birds and Habitat Connections

Audubon Adventure Resources

(Also New for Classroom Teachers during the 2020-2021 School Year)

Do you remember those fun and engaging Weekly Readers from your childhood? The Grange Audubon is now offering a similar resource, Audubon Adventures! Each Audubon Adventure topic will be accompanied with an engaging activity for reinforcement. We have a variety of topics to choose from to help support learning in your classroom!

Link to Grange Audubon Educational Programs

Big picture

CAPA Offers CCS Students Free Tickets to Virtual Concerts and Performances

CAPA Offers CCS Students Free Tickets to Virtual Concerts and Performances

The show must go on! Even though this COVID crisis has canceled most concerts and performances, our partners at the Columbus Association for Performing Arts (CAPA) are making sure Columbus City School students can still experience nationally-renowned shows… for free.

CAPA’s virtual Passport to Learning Student Matinee Series has two special programs coming soon: “Black Violin” in January and “Full STEAM Ahead with Mister C” in March.

Because COVID-19 has limited the ability for students and families to visit theatres, CAPA created exciting new virtual content, and thanks to generous donors and sponsors, all of the content - including virtual tickets to these shows are being provided free of charge.

The programs will feature interactive videos and a resource guide to help connect the performance to curriculum benchmarks and extend the experience with fun activities. All of this can be done from home or from a Learning Extension Center.

CAPA shared a preview of these two upcoming shows during a recent Virtual Family Engagement Session:

  • Black Violin (January 11-29) - The world-renowned, virtuosic duo of violist Wil Baptiste and violinist Kev Marcus crosses classical, jazz, and funk in their performances as Black Violin. Their 40-minute, multi-camera presentation for students in grades 3-12 offers a new, educational performance and answers many common questions about the duo with a previously recorded, student-moderated Q&A session. Link to learn more and register before January 8 at www.capa.com/events/detail/black-violin-2/.

  • Full STEAM Ahead with Mister C (March 5-19) - In this virtual program for students in grades 3-8, scientist and educator “Mister C,” also known as Kevin Cornell, brings his regional, Emmy-nominated television show, “Full STEAM Ahead,” to life with hair-raising experiments, toe-tapping music, and media that captures the imagination of students and parents. Join Mister C for an action-packed adventure that inspires students’curiosity to explore science found in our everyday lives. Link to learn more and register before March 4 at www.capa.com/events/detail/full-steam-ahead-with-mister-c-vol-2the-world-in-motion/.

Educators, parents, and Learning Extension Centers can register for each engagement at www.capa.com/education/passport-to-learning. A link to access the content will be sent on the day the engagement begins and all content can be used as many times as desired for the duration of the engagement.

Big picture


Each nine weeks Spruce Run produces a newsletter.

Please check back to the newsletter link throughout the grading period, as it is updated often. Any new information added during the grading period will be placed at the top of the current newsletter.

Big picture


Ready Classroom Mathematics

Ready Classroom Mathematics integrates language through the Try-Discuss-Connect instructional routine to help students engage in productive struggle, participate in mathematical discourse, and make connections between different models and solution strategies. During the Try portion of the routine, Ready Classroom Mathematics also encourages the Three Reads routine. This is a routine that helps students interpret the language in mathematical tasks or problems. A problem is read three times, each with a specific focus to ensure that students fully understand the problem situation and what is being asked of them.

Check out the resource on the Digital Binder or click the link below for more information on how these routines can support student learning.

Ready Classroom Language Routines


Big picture
Big picture

ELA News

University of Florida Literacy Institute

University of Florida Literacy Institute - - - Virtual Teaching Hub https://education.ufl.edu/ufli/virtual-teaching/main/instructional-activities/

Explore new ways to teach foundational reading skills using technology. This site has tools for reading instruction and intervention with children in the elementary grades.

Reading Interventions in a Digital Environment

Reading Interventions in a Digital Environment PD videos


Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

January 18 - Martin Luther King, Jr Day

Each year on the third Monday of January, America honors the birth, life, and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Born on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. grew to become one of the greatest Social Activists the world has ever known. At 35, he became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace prize. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 while making a speech from the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee.

His birthday became a National Holiday by an act of Congress in 1983. Many consider it a day to serve your community.


National Geographic Kids

How to explain Martin Luther King Day to kids - Care.com

Martin Luther King, Jr Biography - Ducksters

Martin Luther King, Jr - Kiddle

YouTube Videos:

The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. by Kid President (3:26 min)

The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - MLK Day! (Animated) Black History Month Video (9:37 min)

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Minister & Civil Rights Activist | Biography (4:47 min)


Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford and James E. Ransome (YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6XJwKzWwV4)

I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos (YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xajQz49mRU)

I Have A Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Kadir Nelson (YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-dAi5LE5Ts)


Power Vocabulary Martin Luther King from Kids Discover

PBS Kids - I Have a Dream speech as visual text - for older students

Education.com - Activities

Holidays in a Hurry: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Big picture

January 20 - Presidential Inauguration

“I Do Solemnly Swear…”

America 101: What Happens on Inauguration Day? | History
Big picture

January 23 - National Handwriting Day

National Handwriting Day was established by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association in 1977. Their motive is to promote the consumption of pens, pencils, and writing paper. January 23rd was chosen as this is the birthday of John Hancock. John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence. National Handwriting Day encourages us to put pen to paper and write out our thoughts. According to the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association, it is a chance for all to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting.

While technology speeds up the writing process and makes communication more efficient worldwide, there’s something to be said for writing something out longhand. Whether it’s a journal, notes, or even a letter to someone, the act of writing with pen and paper is a supremely tactile and patient practice. If it does anything, it forces the body and the mind to slow down and resynchronize.

Look around. In merely seconds, letters and words form when we text or email. Phones transmit our voices in realtime. Once sent or said, those words cannot be recalled. Meanwhile, writing longhand feels like taking a deep breath. Jumbled thoughts must be sorted before the ink spills onto a white page. They must count and be worthy of the lines that will fill it. It’s an exercise in faith. And it requires practice, too.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalHandwritingDay

Whether you’re out of practice or execute some beautiful handwriting, share a little handwritten message with us. Here are a few other ideas to try:

  • Start a journal.
  • Send a handwritten letter to a friend or family member.
  • Write a short story or poem.
  • Take a calligraphy class.
  • Write out a to-do list.
  • Leave a love note for someone dear to you.
  • Compliment someone with a handwritten sticky note.
  • Pay with a check – if you dare.
  • Leave your server a tip and a handwritten word of thanks for their service.

8 ways to celebrate National Handwriting Day - website

6 National Handwriting Day activities - website

Big picture
Big picture

SAVE THE DATE - February 3

February 3, 2021

We believe that everyone should have the chance to share stories.

LitWorld founded World Read Aloud Day in 2010 in celebration of the power of reading aloud to create community, to amplify new stories, and to advocate for literacy as a foundational human right. Over the last eleven years, World Read Aloud Day has evolved into a global movement of millions of readers, writers, and listeners from communities all across the world coming together to honor the joy and power of reading and sharing stories and continue expanding the definition and scope of global literacy.

World Read Aloud Packet:

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture