Spitzmiller's News

For the Week of Sept. 19th

General News

  • Scholastic Book Order: Complete your online order or send in your check/cash by Thursday, Sept 29th. Register at scholastic.com/readingclub. Enter class activation code: GV2RZ
  • In-School Field Trip: October 14th - Walk-Thru-California. Students will dress in character representing a time in CA History. They will also be pre-assigned a vocabulary word and accompanying question that they will present to the group that day. More details to follow.

Academic Updates


  • We'll be continuing our work in Module 1 around Place Value, Rounding, and Addition/Subtraction. Students will take a Mid-Module Assessment this week to assess their progress toward meeting this module's standards. I will be reviewing it afterwards in class to use it as a teaching tool.


  • #Bookaday Read Alouds: This week we'll be reading Dear Mrs LaRue, June 29, 1999, How Smudge Came, Testing Miss Malarkey, and Baseball Saved Us.
  • Close Reading Text: Our close reading text will be Dear Mrs. LaRue, where we will focus on the contrasts and contradictions that we note from both the text and illustrations. Our culmination will be a written response to the text where they stake a claim and provide evidence and explanation to support their claim. While reading with your child at home, notice when contrasts and contradictions appear in the reading (i.e. when a character does something that contrasts with what you'd expect or contradicts his/her earlier acts or statements).
  • Class Read Aloud: Wonder The main character realized the friends he thought he had made at school were not really his friends at all. They LOVE this book!
  • Fluency: We've now established and practiced our daily fluency routines. Our goal is to find the 'sweet spot' (in rate/speed - not speed reading yet with fluency), add expression and rhythm, and pay close detective attention to punctuation (taking a breath at commas and end punctuation). Your child is matched with a student with similar fluency goals. They will work together daily to do repeated practices of texts and create a digital oral portfolio using their iPads.


  • Personal Narrative: We are working on generating a working 'story ideas' list so that we will always have much to draw from. The kids are also beginning to work with their writing partners this week to 'rehearse' their first selected story idea.

  • Transfer of Energy in Collisions - We will investigate this week what happens when cars collide. How are the effects of the collision lessened or amplified? Students will have the opportunity to test how energy is physically transferred.

Social Studies

  • Physical and Human Geographic Features of CA - We will continue our investigation into how climate, natural resources, and landforms affect how plants, animals, and people live? Last week, we focused on the Central Valley region and we will turn to the Coastal Region this week.