Week 9 October 16 -20

It is hard to believe we all had a break last week! It has been a busy week back but your children have brought a lot of energy. It was wonderful to hear about their time with family and friends.

We continue to look at narrative writing. Many are drawing to the end or have just finished drafting a narrative of their choice. As we wrote we looked at important aspects of narratives including point of view, paragraphing and speech. As they complete this piece we edit and reflect on how well we are meeting Grade 5 benchmarks.

As a class we continue to read, A Long Walk to Water. The children’s ability to question and predict have been highlighted. Take a minute to talk with your son or daughter about the premise of this story.

We are investigating large numbers and what they mean. This means being able to read large numbers correctly, order them and understand their magnitude. We extended this to recognising the pattern as we move to a million and beyond. This will culminate on Friday as we come together to construct a million.

Perspective has been a focus this week. What do the students really think about migrants and refugees, what do countries think about migration. Carry this into conversations at home by sharing your own country’s view on refugees and migration and your own view.

5C have been planning, researching and writing their ‘Migration’ stories in anticipation for their ‘Migration Museum Extravaganza’ on the 27th. Students have received the criteria and are expected plan their time to ensure they make the deadline. Come along to this event and celebrate your child’s learning. Please click on the invitation below.

Migration Museum Extravaganza Invitation


Your children performed with enthusiasm and ease at this morning’s spirit assembly. It was a pleasure to watch.  Thanks Ms Ronke 

Please come along to the Mathematics Evening tonight in the Community Room 7 -8.

UN Day is approaching, we will celebrate together on November 3.

Week 8 – Oct 2 – Oct 6

Thank you so much for attending Parent Conferences on Tuesday. It was great to meet so many of you and learn more about your children. I am so pleased that we can work together this year to celebrate your children’s successes and help them achieve their goals.

Following up from last week, we have a wonderful time away. It was a pleasure to get to know your children outside of school. They were truly a pleasure to be around and we look forward to many more shared experiences. We hope they had as good of a time as we did!

Enjoy some photos from our last day at camp together.

We reflected on our time at camp by using strong questioning words to ask others about their experiences. Using a variety of question and answer words and the correct punctuation and formatting, we wrote up these interviews. The hope is that the students translate their new knowledge of how to include speech into their writing into the narrative drafts they are working on.

We continue to engage with Long Walk to Water and other texts in our reading groups with a focus on predicting, questioning and making connections.

We are exploring migration data. This has involved examining different types of graphs, carefully categorising data and looking at magnitude of numbers into the millions. We have also ensured that we are able to properly say numbers above 1000. Help to model this at home by identifying and naming large numbers in both English and your Home Language.

The effects of migration are all around us. This week we looked more carefully at how people and environments change because of migration. We did this through stories but also by looking at our own cafeteria menus at the influences of food from other countries. As you spend time together over the next week point out any things you may see that are a result of migration; restaurants, architecture, words, clothing.

No School: There is no school next week. We look forward to seeing you return on Monday, October 16. Safe travels!

Recommended Books: Under the resource tab on each blog you will find a recommended reading list. Use this to help your child choose books that are age appropriate, enjoyable and loved by the teachers at UNIS.

Week 6 – Sept 18 -22

Happy # 30 UNIS. It was wonderful to begin a year of celebrations with all of UNIS on Tuesday. It is sure to be an eventful year.

Today we also finished MAP testing. Those students who were absent have the chance to make up whatever sections they missed. The students were focused and put forth a good effort throughout the week

Come and have a look at our new classroom furniture. We arrived Monday to new furniture and the students have enjoyed discovering their best place to learn. It looks fantastic.

Not to forget our celebrations of UN Day for Peace, The World’s Largest Lesson linked to food production and consumption and our class representatives for Blue Dragon and Student Council. There was much to celebrate and so many opportunities for your children to get involved and make a difference in their school.

In English we continued to look at effective narrative writing. We discussed 1st, 2nd and 3rd person as well as possessive apostrophes and looked for them in our own writing. We will finish the week planning a narrative to draft next week.

We also continued on with reading groups where the students engaged in comprehension activities through a variety of texts.

We completed our Inspirational Math lessons, looking at the value of making mistakes and believing in yourself. You can find the students’ summaries of these on their blog by the end of this week. We then moved into Place Value. The students are asked to identify, compare and read increasingly large numbers. You can help support at home by pointing out and naming larger numbers.

We labelled push and pull factors this week and demonstrated a greater understanding of why people migrate. Mapping migration stories helped with this understanding. Please continue to share your family migration stories. Next week we will begin to look at the change that takes place when people migrate.

Thank you to Talya and her family for sharing their culture with us. It is wonderful to see the traditions that migrate with you when you move from place to place. We welcome all families to come and share part of their migration story and their culture with the class.

Trip Week
You should have received various forms and information regarding Trip Week. These included an overview of what your child will be doing, when and where to drop off and pick up your child. A clothing list and Trip Week Essential Agreements. Please ensure you and your child go over the ‘Trip Week Essential Agreements’ together, then sign and return the form to your child’s homeroom teacher by Monday 25th. It is important to label your child’s belongings so misplaced items can be easily returned. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher.

Week 5 – September 11 – 15

It was so nice to see many of you at back to school night last week. I love sharing what we are learning and hearing from your perspective how we can best help all children to learn. This week we finish up in class assessments and more thoroughly set up routines that we shared last week.

As we read personal migration stories we determine if they are historical fiction, biographies or memoirs. It has been emotional and interesting to delve into so many different journeys. Through these stories we have examined character traits and setting, looking at their place in our own writing.

We also begin reading groups. We will spread ourselves across all Grade 5 classes to best meet the reading needs of all students. For three periods a week your children will engage in reading in mixed class groupings with an assigned teacher.

We continue to follow Inspirational Math. We have been looking at our mistakes and how important they are in finding answers. Help us to celebrate mistakes by sharing mistakes you have made, mathematical or not. We also prepare to outfit our classes with new furniture over the weekend. The students have capitalized on this opportunity and are measuring, scaling and designing the classroom.

We continue to look at migration stories. We are mapping the journeys these stories take and delving into the reasons behind migration. You can help support this unit by sharing your own migration stories from your families and extended families with your children. Using words like immigrate, emigrate or refugee would help solidify these new terms.

Thanks to Hanne for volunteering to be our room parent. Please help her with whatever she may need.
Wear dots on Friday. Help your child remember to wear dots to celebrate making a mark and creativity.
Healthy snack sale happens on Wednesday. Please send money with your child so they can buy snacks.
Measures of Academic Progress testing begins next week.

Week 4 – September 5 – 8

A short but busy week in 5C!

UOI – You may have heard, and hopefully you did if we did our job correctly about our unit provocation on Tuesday. After enjoying the long weekend, students were literally on the move as we began our unit on migration with a provocation that required students to migrate from classroom to classroom for various “push/pull” reasons. While some students wasted away waiting for visas, others were forced to flee their homelands or perform hard-labor. Meanwhile other’s benefitted from corrupt systems and enjoyed prosperity. In the end, a natural disaster brought us all back together and we reflected on our experiences. Throughout the next few weeks, students will use this experiences to make connections to real-life stories of migration. Hopefully the student’s thinking was provoked in a way that has them asking questions.  We used the remainder of the week to share migration stories, look more deeply at unit words and map our own experiences.

English – We used our migration stories to uncover character traits. We attached character traits to our reading and justified our reasoning for choosing the specific traits. This use of character descriptors crossed over into writing as we made our own characters and attached traits and experiences to each.

Math – A Week of Inspirational Math, from Jo Boaler out of Stanford University was this week’s Math. Inspirational math looks at unique activities and games to build up strategies and mindsets for working mathematically. Look up Jo Boaler to learn more about her innovative approach to both elementary and upper level math. We also began math assessments this week, these are done in a conversational approach so that students can explain their true thinking.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday evening at 6:00pm or 6:30pm at Back to School Night to learn more about your son or daughter’s school day. A copy of the presentation can be found here.

Thank you for returning the camp forms. Please send in any remaining forms quickly.


Week 3 – August 28 – Sept 1

It has been another busy week in 5C.

This week we have been working to continue to establish community and a sense of responsibility. We have determined our Essential Agreements, whittled down from 67 to the six below. These will guide our interactions as a class.

As important as it is for us to grow together as a community it is also important that I get to know your children academically. This week has encompassed assessments including, spelling, reading and writing. Next week we will assess Math.

In English we completed our first individual written piece, a poem entitled I Am. It is a great way for us to get to know each other as a class but also to showcase our talents as writers. Students continue to read daily and engage with each other about books.  We will begin a class read aloud next week.

We have continued our investigation into math in our world, completed an equations activity related to Math About Me and have been looking at Mathematical Practices and what it means to be a mathematician. These Mathematical Practices include the following 8 aims for UNIS mathematicians:

Our kick start to our unit on Identity will be paused at the end of this week. Throughout the year, the students will take a moment on their blogs to take a “SNAPSHOT” of themselves at that moment.  This may include but is not limited to an object, song, book, quote or person they feel connected with. You can find these on your child’s blogs in the next few days.

We will begin looking at Where we are in Place and Time with a focus on Migration beginning after the break.

Help us grow in our learning. We have been looking in depth at the Languages represented in our classroom. Please comment with the languages you can speak so we can see the wealth of languages in our extended community.

Enjoy your long weekend. Why not ‘kick up your heels’

Week 2 August 21 -25

You’ve made it to our class blog!  This will be our primary means of communication in regards to what is taking place in the classroom.

Week 2
It was a wonderful first week of school last week. Your children are excited and endearing, making up a wonderful group of 22 in 5C. I look forward to the year ahead.

This week we will be continuing to build up routines. Much attention will be given to figure out our own needs as a class and coming up with Essential Agreements that will help us work best. The activities around establishing a classroom will remind the students of the importance of their voice.

Our first Unit of Inquiry begins. This unit will look a little different from units in the past in that the unit will run all year. The unit How We Express Ourselves, with a focus on Identity, will allow Grade 5 to tap into the many factors that contribute to who we are and how we demonstrate this sense of self. This week we share artifacts, write quotes or mottos for the year, represent ourselves as a line, a number and discover our multiple intelligences.  Some of these activities will be with me and some with the other Grade 5 teachers.

Mathematics will involve looking at math in our world, the importance it holds in our lives and who we are as mathematicians. Mathematical thinking and a growth mindset are the objective of these math lessons rather than computation.

And here we are…




Grade 5 Reminders

Some back to school reminders from the Grade 5 Team:

Upcoming Dates:
Grade Level Social – August 31
Back to School Night-  7th Sep
National Day 4th Sep – No school
Save the Date:
Grade 5 Excursion 27th -29th October 2017
By now your child should have brought home their Chromebooks and associated paperwork to fill out. Please return the paperwork to their homeroom teacher ASAP, to ensure your child has full access to their Chromebooks.
A reminder that G5 students are working towards developing their independence and growing responsibilities, therefore, they are responsible for looking after their ID cards
Outside Play
A reminder to send hats with your children for outside play to protect them from the sun.
Reusable Water Bottles
We are an environmentally aware school and want our students to understand the impact they have by simply using a water bottle that is reusable. To ensure your child never loses their reusable bottle, please write their name and class on the bottle to ensure its safe return.
G5 Activities and Physical Education Requirements
Your child is a pre teen and with this comes the responsibility of organising their needs. As the weather continues to be hot and sticky, all G5 students need to think about their hygiene requirements. Some suggestions are as follows:

  • Use an antiperspirant each day
  • Bring a change of clothes for after lunch play
  • Have a change of clothes to change into after PE lessons
  • Air out shoes to avoid foot odour

With 22 students in a class, you can imagine the range of smells each person delivers and receives. Please have a discussion with your child to decide on their needs and how they may implement these.

Grade Level Social
What:  A short (1 hour) social event for families, hosted by the SCO, with cold drinks, snacks, and an opportunity for parents and students to mingle.Purpose:  To bring new and returning families together to connect with one another; to build and reinforce a sense of community within new classes.When:  Tuesday 29th August (Discovery – Grade 2) and Thursday 31st August (Grades 3-5)

Where:  Inside homerooms (10 minutes) followed by outside eating, drinking and socialising (till 4.30)

 Curriculum Update
As we get underway, the Grade 5 team will construct a “Live Curriculum Update” page for you to view current areas of learning your child will focus on each month. This will be updated on the first of each month starting from September. Keep an eye out for this.
Class Parent
Is your forte in building and strengthening a community?
Do you enjoy communicating and bringing people together?
You will be great at being our Grade 5 Class Parent!We need Class Parents volunteers who will liaise and assist communication between the SCO and Grade 5 parents all through the school year.Class Parent responsibilities include:

  • Organize a social gathering for parents in the class and grade level to get to know each other.
  •  Create a Class Directory to share with the parents in your class.
  • Encourage/promote participation in school community events.
  • Help to communicate information from the School Community Organisation (SCO) to families
  • Support homeroom teachers with their requests. This may include helping to coordinate parent volunteers for a class project, party or field trip.
  • Welcome New Families to a class (especially when joining mid-year) and help new families with the transition process.
  • Share  information, concerns, issues & initiatives with the SCO Elementary School (ES) Chair and Vice Chair, so that such information can be passed on to the ES Principal.
  • Help organize the UN Day Community Lunch for the Early Childhood Centre and Elementary School.
  • Liaise with the Grade 5 Team Leader (Tina Carew)


Welcome to 5C – Day 1

Dear Parents,

We did it, our very last first day of Grade 5! We had a wonderful day getting to know your children and learning more about them. Thank you for sending them to school eager to learn. Today we attended an assembly, took part in some team building, writing, world languages, and some work as a whole Grade 5 group. Overall, it was a fantastic experience meeting all of your children.
For those of you I have not met, my name is Angela Brienza and I am from Canada. I have been teaching for 12 years, 7 of those being in Grade 5. I have taught in Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia and most recently Indonesia. This is our second year in Hanoi and I am joined by my husband who teaches Grade 3 and our two daughters Harriet (2 1/2) and Estella (5). We look forward to exploring the city and its food and making some new family friends. I am pleased to be joined in Grade 5 by Ms. Huong who has worked at UNIS for 8 years.
I have sent home a schedule with your son or daughter today. For this week much of our time will be used to build up routines and set expectations and we will adhere to the timetable more closely starting next week. You can learn more specifics about these subjects and curricula at our back to school night.
It is my pleasure to teach your son or daughter and I look forward to a great year. In the coming weeks we will communicate through the Grade 5 blog but I wanted to welcome you to the 5C community.
Please do not hesitate to come to me with any questions. I firmly believe that together we can help your child have a wonderful year of growth and engagement in Grade 5.
Take care,
Ms. Angela

Welcome to our Blog

Hello Parents, Students and Friends of 5C,

This is our class blog. As the year goes on you can visit this site to find useful links, updates and a showcase of student learning. I look forward to joining you on this journey of Grade 5 learning and growth.

See you soon,
Ms. Angela, Homeroom Teacher Grade 5C