Have a Great Summer!

This should be my last post.  I want to thank you all – parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, nannies, drivers, etc. – for your help and cooperation during this long (but fast) school year.  As we move in to the summer, here are a few educational resources that should be helpful for your child:

1. Math and Writing Journal – I asked the students to take these home and try to complete any pages we did not finish.

2. Math Worksheets – Here are some math worksheets on Google Docs in pdf format.

3. Spelling City – As I’d posted here, there are several essential spelling lists to practice before 3rd grade.

4. Educational Websites – Click here for a list of educational websites.

It really has been great teaching your children.  There is something special with each and everyone of them. 🙂 I wish you a fun, safe, healthy, and happy vacation.  – Mr. Rongcal

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School’s Out?! Now what are we going to do?!

Well, not quite…we still have a full day tomorrow and report cards are to be picked up on Thursday.

It’s that time of year again.  The changing of the seasons and the growth spurts of our children remind us that nothing stays the same, and we can only do our best to keep up with that law of our world: everything changes.

So, you ask: “Mr. Rongcal, what can I do with my child at home to make sure they continue learning and are ready for 3rd grade?” The first thing I would say is that learning is woven into our lives; it’s not something that should feel like work 1 or 2 hours a day then completely forgotten about.  Here are a few things you all know already, but is worth repeating:

– Talk and converse

After you watch a movie, ask: “Why did the main character choose to read books instead of watch TV?  Why did the superhero become evil all of a sudden?  If you could change the ending, how would you change it?  Why? Could that really happen in real life? Why?”

– Encourage their curiosity and interests

Side Story: When I was 12 years old I was in a school play (Hamlet in 6th grade, I know…It was a big deal.  We were in the paper and everything!).  I wanted to be an actor, but all my siblings played sports…so, I had to play sports too.  I can’t remember why my family didn’t encourage me more to do pursue acting, but I wish they had.  7 years later: I stopped playing sports, tried acting again and performed in a community college production of “The Odyssey”.  However, I felt out of place with the other acting students, and never had the same interest in acting since playing a 12 year-old Polonius.

Answer her questions. Ask her questions. 

The only way that you can really be sure REAL LEARNING is happening is by having a conversation of inquiry with both questions and answers (or hints towards answers).

– Connect learning to real life.

Example 1: If you are buying an ice cream cone, ask your child if they can find the price on the menu.  Ask: “Can I pay with 5 dollars?  Can I pay with 7 quarters?  How much change will I get back? etc.”

Example 2: While driving in a car, ask: “If we pick up 10 monkeys and each of them have 3 bananas, How many bananas will be in our car?  What if 3 of those monkeys jump into a tree?  How many bananas will be in our car now?  How many bananas are in the tree?  How many Banana Splits can we make?” You get the idea.

Example 3: While on a plane, looking at a map: “Where are we? Where are we going? What direction is that?  North? North East? What is the temperature there?  Is that hot or cold?  Do you know which ocean that is?  etc. etc.

– READ, READ, READ

This one is self-explanatory.

I hope that’s helpful.  It’s a long summer, and we want to make sure our children don’t risk falling behind when September comes.

I will make one more post on this website this week before the year is over.

Also, scroll down this page for this week’s schedule, or click here.

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Library Update and Field Trip Details

Thank you to those of you who attended the Kuwait Feast.  The food was delicious, and it was great to talk after having not seen many of you for awhile.

This week, we are continuing to work hard with our Insect Projects.  We have started writing our final drafts, and we also have made all the necessary slides in our PowerPoint documents.  We are currently looking at how our insects compare to other insects, and how they are connected to the environment.

Many students in our class have overdue library books.  So, if you have any at home, please bring them back ASAP.  All library books are due tomorrow, Monday, May 28th.  They are taking inventory of the all the books, and getting the library ready for next school year.  It’s a long process, so starting this Tuesday the library will be closed, and we will no longer be able to check books out from the library.

This Thursday is our much-anticipated field trip to Cosmo Bowling.  Here are a few important details:

1. The bus will leave school at 10:30 and we will be back at school around 12:30.

2. We will still have specials classes, and Arabic, Religion, and Spanish.

3. Lunch will be at McDonald’s (but still bring snack for the morning)

4. It is a Free-Dress day.

Have a great week 🙂

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Summer Spelling Words

I updated the Homework Page with “new” spelling words.  A lot more words (NOOO!).

BUT…

The good news is their will be no more required spelling homework for the rest of the year!  Which means… we will NOT have any more spelling tests (YAY!).

I added 10 new spelling lists.  They are a list of the most commonly used words in Childrens Books.  The expectation is that all students should be able to read these words quickly and fluently.  Also, it’s expected that students should spell most of these words correctly as they enter 3rd grade.

Even though we will not have formal spelling tests anymore, I encourage you to keep the same study routine at home with these new words.  Also, spellingcity.com provides the option to print out worksheets and flash cards for additional support…and will help give kids’ eyes a break from the computer screen!

If you would like the full list of Dolch words, visit: www.dolchword.net 

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Important Dates

Below are some important dates to know from now until the end of the school year.

Monday, May 21st: Kuwait Project are due.

Thursday, May 24th: Kuwait Feast; Field-Trip permission slips are due. (If you haven’t turned in your slip yet saying what item you will bring to the feast, we need more main courses.  Many have been bringing in desserts.)

Thursday, May 31st: Field Trip to Cosmo Bowling

This is what the last week of school will look like in June.  I am very sorry to those of you I told June 11th would be the last day of school (especially if you’ve already made travel plans).  I failed to mention that Report Cards are to be picked up on Thursday, June 14th.  You and/or your child can pick them up in the classroom between 7:10 and 8:30.  After 8:30, you can pick them up in the elementary school office.  If you or your child is unable to pick up the Report Card on this day, it can be picked up in the office for a week after June 14th (check with the office for exact dates).  June 14th will not be a normal school day, but a chance to pick up the report card and say good-bye.  The busses will still be running on this day.

Sun

June 10

Mon

June 11

Tues

June 12

Wed

June 13

Thurs

June 14

Regular

School Day

Regular

School Day

No School

for Students

No School

for Students

Pick up Report Cards between 7:10 and 8:30.  After 8:30, pick them up in the office.Bus pick up for students at 8:30.

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Spelling Test Moved to Sunday

Amazing job to those who participated in the Talent Show!  Because of the half-day today, we will move the spelling test to Sunday.  This will allow a couple more days to practice the words.  Have a great weekend!

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May 10, 2012 · 10:49 am

Two Projects

Hi Everyone –

As usual, May will be another busy month.  Since we have started our Insect Research Project, we will be taking a break from our Daily 5 and Guided Reading routine.  This project will nicely integrate Reading, Writing, and Science.  Actually, this is a great project also because we will be able to directly integrate technology as well.  In a few weeks — with the help of our Instructional Technology Teacher, Ms. Christ — this insect project will be completed as a PowerPoint Presentation.  Further, as I’m sure your child has shared with you, we are continuing to observe the growth of our mealworms, which we hope by the end of May will turn into Darkling Beetles.

Here are some of the key understandings that will drive this Insect Research Project.  Keep these in mind in the coming weeks as conversation topics with your child:

– Insects have 3 body parts (head, abdomen, and thorax).  Some have wings, antennae, and/or stingers.

– Living things are connected to, and interact with their environment.

– Living things adapt to survive.

Another project your child will soon begin is a Kuwait Project.  In class as we learn about Kuwait’s culture, land, history, etc., your child will choose a topic that interests him or her.  Students will work on this at home, and it is due on Monday, May 21st.  I will send home a form this Sunday discussing it in more detail.

Here are some important dates to know for May:

Thursday, May 10th (Day 0)- Talent Show; Half-Day (dismissal at 11:10)

Thursday, May 31st – 2nd Grade Field Trip

That’s it for now.  Looking forward to another great week!

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