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Week 25- Snakes and Rainforest

March 6, 2020 by Timbra Vaughn

This week, we continue to add to our knowledge about rainforests. Reading a variety of nonfiction and fiction books about a similar topic gives us several opportunities for making connections and comparisons. We will also zoom in a bit on snakes with nonfiction books about snakes and an Eric Carle (and Richard Buckley) book about a Greedy Python.

We continue our PBL work on our desert animal as well. This week’s focus is on fun facts about our animals. Last week, our 8th grade buddies helped us select photos for our dioramas.

In math, we expand our work in creating combinations to include various sum amounts. Fluency is a big part of mastering this skill so multiple experiences with combining smaller amounts to make larger amounts while discussing the parts and the whole is super important.

The students had a great time celebrating our 100th day of school with necklaces, tootsie roll pops, and hidden chicks! They even received treat bags from a very generous parent!

Student binders are getting a bit thick. It may be a good idea to move some of the older poems and sight word lists to an “at home” binder. This would keep them handy for review, but free up some space in their at school binder.

We’ve noticed that some of the student work folders are also getting a bit full, if you could empty them out at your earliest convenience, it makes it easier for students to put in papers when asked to do so. Thank you!

Another resource was shared with me that your child may enjoy: Homer (I believe this app is about $8 a month after the free trial.)



10 minutes each night. Reading can include reading stories, the poems in the binder, and sight word fluency.

Your child should ideally be spending time with familiar texts (such as the printed books they bring home), as they help reinforce sight words in context and using word solving strategies. However, these books are not real meaty when it comes to comprehension, so they should also be spending time with trade books (high quality children’s literature- like from the local library or bookstore). These books lend themselves better to conversations. When you read to them, you are also providing important modeling of a fluent reader and a pleasant reading experience.


Remember, math should be done for 10 minutes each night.

IXL does offer several objectives that allow for practice with Addition up to 5 (skill section I), however they use the math symbols + and =. These are not yet included as a focus in our math instruction. We are working on laying a strong foundation with the important part-part-whole concept so we emphasis the language of ___ and ___ make___ at first.

For homework this week, if you wish, you may try out the IXL I skills and simply connect the symbols to the language used in class. If this makes sense to your child and is not causing confusion or stress, this can be your child’s homework practice.

ALTERNATIVELY, you may continue to have your child practice any skill in IXL that you wish. This is also a great time for your child to play math based games, preferably with an emphasis on solving math stories or addition based dice or card games. It is best to start with lower numbers/amounts and work up to larger amounts as your child builds confidence and fluency. You can use materials that were sent home, online or printable activities, or traditional board/card games that have a math component.