Free Dress Day Tomorrow!

They just announced this afternoon that tomorrow will be a Free Dress Day for the elementary school in celebration of the progress we are making with the “Million Minute Challenge”.  Currently, we are at 828,600 minutes!  So, make sure your child is recording his or her minutes and bringing it into the library.  🙂


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Welcome Back!

Welcome back, everyone!  I hope you had an enjoyable break!  Just two more months before the summer vacation!  The new spelling words are up for this week.  Also, today I sent home reading homework, and tomorrow I will send home the math homework.

Some reminders about this week:

– Thursday, April 19th: Report cards come home

– Thursday, April 19th: Pizza Day

– Thursday, April 19th: Crazy Hair Day!

Here is a quick look at what we are doing in 2nd grade.


We are continuing with Unit 9: Measurement.  Some things to review with your child are the following.

  • Measuring in centimeters and inches
  • Calculating the perimeter
  • Ballpark estimates
  • Median, mode and range
  • Addition and subtraction with two-digit numbers


We will begin our science unit on insects next week.  Students will be looking at the physical structure, development, and metamorphosis of meal worms.  Later in the unit we will be learning about the interdependence between insects and plants.  This unit is integrated with Language Arts and Technology.

Language Arts

The final quarter of grade 2 will focus on non-fiction material.  Students will be reading and writing about non-fiction topics.  They will be working on an in-class research project throughout the quarter.  We appreciate your support and will keep you updated on the specifics of the project.  This quarter is very important and will be the final preparation for 3rd grade.

Social Studies

Next week, we will begin our Kuwait unit.  The children will be learning about the customs, environment, people, and animals of Kuwait.  To culminate this unit the students will work on an at home project and we will have a traditional Kuwaiti feast inviting grade 2 families!  I’ll give out more information as we progress through the unit.

All the best,

Mr. Rongcal

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Math Tracker and 4-Point Rubric

Good Afternoon –

Just a few more days before Spring Break!  This week will be the end of the quarter 3, so report cards will come home after the break.

Below is a picture of the new “Math Tracker” we just started using in class.  It is pasted on the inside of your child’s blue planner.  Check it on a daily basis to see what we did in math that day.  We started using something like this last unit, so your child should be able to explain it to you.

For each math lesson (9.1, 9.2, etc.) students will complete a short “Exit Slip” with a few math problems on it.  I will give them a score 1 through 4 (see rubric below), and they will fill out the Math Tracker with their score on the appropriate lesson.

This is not different from how I normally grade, but now you and your child can see right away how she is doing in math, what she is doing well, and what she needs to practice.

Again, these are in your child’s blue planner.  Please feel free to send me a note or email me with any questions.  I am very eager to see how this may effect students’ achievement in math, and I hope you find it helpful and easy-to-use.

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Thanks and a Few Updates

Thankfully the dust cleared away fast and we can all breathe normal again!  If we have another day like this, please check the ASK website for any possible delays or cancellations.

Thank you all for coming last week to student-led conferences.  The children were very excited to show you their work, and I am very proud of how well they were able to show you what they learned.  It’s these kinds of conversations when students can really take pride and responsibility in the hard work they do.

A few quick notes for this week:

As you probably noticed, I finally figured out how to add photo albums to this website!  (If you are uncomfortable with me posting any picture of your child on the internet like this, please email me and let me know.)

Also, because of the short week last week – and getting ready for the student-led conferences – I did not give the weekly Literacy Quiz last week.  Since we had conferences and no school yesterday I thought it would be unfair to give it today.  So…we will skip this one and continue with a new quiz this Thursday (with the spelling words for this week).  Sorry for any confusion.

Talent show audition forms are due tomorrow if your child would still like to try out for the show in May.

Lastly, please remember to keep filling in the new reading logs for the Million Minute Challenge.  Students also need to bring them to Ms. Amal before or after school, or during recess.

Thanks again for all your continued support 🙂

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March 19, 2012 · 11:57 am

Student-Led Conferences

Good morning – Here are a couple quick notes about this week. 

– Tomorrow (Tuesday) students can wear green and/or gold in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. 

– Math homework will be sent home today. 

– There is no scheduled classes for Wednesday and Thursday this week, only conferences. 

Here’s a letter from the 2nd grade teachers explaining Student-Led Conferences this week.  A proposed date was sent home yesterday showing the day and time of your conference.

Dear Second Grade Parents,

On Wednesday March 14 and Thursday 15th, we will have Student-Led Conferences for all second grade students. This is an opportunity for your child to exhibit his or her achievements during this past quarter. It is a time for you to be involved with your child’s learning and to gain some insight into where he or she is at in relation to the curriculum and expectations at ASK.

        “If educators wish to have parents involved to a greater degree in their children’s educational experiences, and we wish for students to be more involved in setting personal learning goals and accepting greater responsibility for their academic process, it makes sense to include students at the table when parents and teachers discuss their progress,” Donald G. Hackmann.

Although your child may be leading the conference, you will also play a role. Please keep the following points in mind as the meeting progresses.

  • Listen attentively to what your child has to say. (please turn cell phones off)
  • Ask questions during the meeting to clarify any points your child is making.
  • Try to be positive in the comments you make.

Of course your child must be present for this conference to take place. Parents please come WITH your child. This is strictly a student-led conference.  Your children have been working hard and are looking forward to showing off their great work to you.  

We look forward to seeing you and participating with you and your child in recognizing his or her accomplishments. 


The Second Grade Teaching Team

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Two Challenges!

Good Afternoon!  Your son or daughter may have told you, but I made a deal with the class.  If the whole class turns in their homework by Thursday this week, I will let them sit anywhere (carpet or chair) they want during lunch time, instead of their normal assigned seats. 

Also, as you probably know, your child took home a new Reading Log this week.  Ms. Amal, our school librarian, has given these out to the entire school for our Million Minute Challenge!  So, these new reading logs will replace the old ones. 



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Thanks and Student-Led Conferences

Welcome back from the long weekend!  Now into a short week.  Since it’s a short week, we will take a break from homework and spelling words.  I told the class today if they’d like to practice spelling they can still get to the old spelling lists on the spelling website.  Also, I want to thank you all for coming and supporting International Week and the Parent Fair.  I saw many parents working hard and getting involved with the festivities, something that’s always great to see.  And I know the children had a blast learning about other cultures.

Also, I informed the class today about the upcoming student-led conferences.  Families that were here last year participated in this.  Student-led conferences are a chance for students to take pride, responsibility, and ownership in their learning.  The last conferences in November, I spoke with you about your child’s progress.  This time, your child will speak to you!  This will take place on March 14th and 15th, so please make sure you are available at least one of these days.  I will inform you with more details about the conferences and scheduling as we get closer to the actual day 🙂

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