## Happy New Year!!!

We hope all of you had a happy and healthy holiday break! We are excited to return to the classroom and start a productive 2016 with your children. Many exciting days are planned full of fun and learning!!

During our first few weeks back, we will talk a bit about New Year's Resolutions. The children will take time to reflect on their hopes and dreams from the beginning of the year and decide whether they want to make a change. We will revisit routines and expectations and continue to work on building our community in accordance with Quaker values.

## Measurement, Multiplication and Division

This week, we will continue working with measurement, including the use of different tools and units of measurement, estimation, and meaningful applications. In addition, we will continue to review skills previously taught, especially addition and subtraction, with regrouping, using the left to right method of operation

What is repeated addition? Multiplication!! In January, we will introduce multiplication to the children. We will start with 2, 3, 4 and 5 times tables by adding equal groups of items. Logically, division will be introduced as well by taking items and grouping them into equal groups. As with all units we will continue to use model drawing to solve word problems.

## Biographies and Autobiographies

As we continue to delve deeper into character traits we begin our biography and autobiography unit in reading. We will start by reading about Ruby Bridges, and work on different comprehension activities surrounding her biography. Through further read-alouds and investigations, second graders will learn about the elements of a biography, paying attention to the relationship between cause and effect in a person's life, and recognizing the words that tell the order of events over a period of time. This unit will continue into February when more skills will be taught.

Through January, we will also continue to review skills such as retelling, reading fluently, reading for comprehension (including cross-checking), and recognizing and understanding an author's intent and craft.

## Writing

In this unit the children begin to understand that writing is done for an audience of readers. By examining books by authors, the children will learn that authors use a variety of strategies to draw the readers in and to maintain their attention. The children's goal is to use such strategies in their own writing. For instance, by using interesting situations and problems that need to be resolved. This is very similar to the story elements we learned about in reading last month; characters, setting, problem and solution.

Another goal this month is to begin exploring steps and strategies of the self and peer editing processes. We will work on recognizing mistakes in grammar, punctuation, organization and missing details in our writing and each others writing, in order to focus on ways we can improve our final products.

## Civil Rights and our continued Continent Study

We will spend time this month discussing the civil rights movement, including watching films and engaging in discussions and activities about Ruby Bridges, Martin Luther King, and other civil rights leaders. We will take time to value their contributions to our society, and focus ways that we can influence and create positive changes in our community today.

Later this month, we will continue to locate, label and learn about more countries in Europe. Eventually, we will focus mainly on England. As we zoom in on England, its unique location in relation to the rest of Europe, its culture and some of its history.