Open Classrooms

Thanks again for your support last week.  For those of you who were part of our 3 Act Math tasks on Friday, you will find the solution below.  We explored a number of different ways we ended up at the same answer and modeled it below.

Watch here to see the progression on how students learn fractions, it helps to know all the steps they are taking to arrive at a true understanding of the what and most importantly the why.

Please keep asking them why:)



Week 16 – November 27 – December 30

Did you know that UNIS uses 13,000 kilowatts of electricity every day?
Thanks to a visit from our Senior Operations Officer we were able to learn more about our own energy usage and next steps for UNIS.

The focus this week was around energy and its sources. The students have been investigating energy sources and crafting their new knowledge into information reports they are co constructing in groups.  This involves research skills, paraphrasing and negotiating about importance of the information. These reports will help fuel our knowledge as we approach our summative assessment.

We also met in continent groups to begin to research energy usage in our world.  Many of you witnessed this first step in Open Classrooms on Thursday. The initial step was to investigate a continent and from there we will move to allocating an energy source. The students will then work in groups to present their energy source to a panel of “sharks’, Shark Tank style, competing with other groups in their continent. This will continue to develop into a design challenge, backed by research. Watch this blog for your official invitation to our Energy Shark Tank on Friday December 15.

In Math, we continue to explore fractions. Our initial investigation, as displayed on our blogs, has migrated into looking at the values of fractions. One way to do this is by placing fractions on a number line and justifying their location. Tomorrow we will apply this knowledge to a real world problem as we work through a 3 Act Math Task in Open Classrooms.

Thank you for coming by and witnessing your child in their own environment as they grow in their inquiry. 

Another opportunity to engage: ask your son or daughter about Billions in Change or watch it together. See what a difference innovation can make when working to bring energy, water and health to all.

Week 14 Nov 21 – 24

Another great week of learning in 5C!

We have delved into our new unit of inquiry focused on the consumption of electricity. This exploration was done two fold, by beginning a design challenge to make something using electricity and finding information to complete a class generated ABCs of Electricity. We are now ready to look more closely at the sources of electricity.

Next week we will begin our summative assessment which will combine research and design related to electricity. This will culminate in a small group presentation. Please advise if your son or daughter will be absent on the last Friday before Winter Break so they too can be assessed on this assignment.

To balance our unit of inquiry we are investigating information reports. We are focusing on the structure of the text and how to make our introductions showcase the elements of the topic. In reading we are also looking at reading nonfiction texts. We have begun our book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Ask your son or daughter about magical life in Malawi.

We have deepened our problem solving strategies by looking at multiple ways to solve problems and how to model problem s on new ways. We now are exploring fractions and what they represent in different situations.

We welcome you next week to Open Classrooms.
Please click here for information on the day in more detail.
These are the times your child will be welcoming you to experience their learning.

Week 12 – November 6 – 10

Blue Dragon Walk-A-Thon
Thanks to our class parent and especially to our Blue Dragon Ambassadors for making the Walk-A-Thon memorable and reflective of our school’s values; Learning, Community, and Responsibility. From what we learned about children supported by Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, fifth graders partook in an activity, putting themselves in the shoes of a homeless child. Their task was to find a safe and secure place on the school grounds to hide from ‘authority’ as being homeless is illegal in Vietnam. The aim was to further develop empathy, an ability to understand and share how these children might be feeling in order to help break the cycle of poverty.

We began a new unit; How the World Works with a focus on electricity.  This began on UN Day as we acknowledge how lucky we are to have access to energy and looked at country usage of electricity per capita. Have a look at our display outside 5A and 5B.This week we sparked student interest with a hands-on activity to introduce our unit on electricity. Students were introduced to the idea of circuits (power, inputs and outputs) and are learning to play like scientists, using the scientific method to ask questions, form hypotheses, experiment and draw conclusions.

We carried over our brainstorm from last week and looked carefully at an artifact important to us. We then wrote a piece from the perspective of that artifact. Some chose stories, letters and riddles. The focus was being very selective about vocabulary.

We also looked back over our collection of writing and have chosen a piece to revise and edit more thoroughly to publish.

In Math we continue to uncover decimal fractions. We are much better at correctly naming decimals and fractions, understanding their connection and reporting out findings. As a class we completed a 3 Act Task where we were asked to pose questions and share what we noticed. From there we looked for missing pieces of information and solved.  Ask your son or daughter how much it costs for 9.52 gallons of gas/petrol. In number talks we are solidifying our understanding and use of strategies like making 10, 100, 1000 and landmark numbers.

Thank you again for your support on UN Day and for the Walk a Thon.

Teacher Professional Development Days: Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th of November. No school for students.
Collecting ‘Blue Dragon Walk-a-thon’ Money collection deadline is 22nd November. Please ensure your child gives their money to their teacher along with their forms.

Week 11 October 30 – November 3

UN Day Celebrations are here this Friday starting at 10:15am. This is one of our school’s highlights of the year and we are looking forward to sharing this event with you and your family. Student’s have been hard at work practicing singing, and for a large group of students, practicing carrying and waving flags. After the ceremony we will enjoy sharing a meal with you and your children.


We were able to reflect on our journey into migration and the stories we shared at the end. I know the students were proud of their efforts, as was I. It is evident they understand how migration can lead to change, the causes of migration and the different perspectives surrounding the issue of migration. We delved back into identity, looking at cultural items and their importance to us.  Look for their visual representations on UN Day.

We revisited narrative writing. The students completed a post assessment. It is amazing to see how much they have grown as writers and their command of the elements of a narrative.

We also looked at perspective and how different forms of writing can come from the perspective of an object. We will carry this over into next week as we write from that perspective.


We spent 2 and 3 tenths (or was it 56 hundreths?) of a day looking at decimals.  We timed ourselves in various challenges and reported out our decimal findings. We also attempted to break our day, represented by 100 squares, into what decimal fraction we spend doing certain activities. No easy task. We will analyse this data next week.

Please support your son or daughter in our Walk A Thon next week.  It will raise money for Blue Dragon of Hanoi.

Early release on Friday November 3rd after UN lunch



Week 10 – October 22-27

Did you hear? This Friday, during the Migration Museum Extravaganza, over 80 activists, artists, athletes, authors, and revolutionaries will be coming to talk to G5 students and parents about their migration experiences!

This week students applied their knowledge around the topic of migration to present the story of a migrant. Throughout the process the students used the following skills: reading and researching for historical and cultural information, organizing information into chronological order, reading aloud and presenting, providing feedback, revising and editing.  They should feel very proud of their efforts in sharing knowledge in a clear and concise manner as well as helping their classmates reach their potential.

Each session will run for 20 minutes. Parents are highly encouraged to come for the full 40 minutes to support all students as they present.

There will be a world map and a Vietnamese map set up in the center for the arts for parents to visually demonstrate their own migration journey. This will be a great talking point for G5 students later in the day.

We began the week with a visit from Ms Joan who tapped into etymology. This helped focus our thinking around words and their origins. Just like people migrate, words migrate too. Ms Kristi and myself then extended this thinking to include new words, words that have changed and idioms. Can you think of words from your culture that we use in English?  Please add these to the comments below to help further our learning.

We also self assessed our own narratives. This helped us to ensure we were meeting Grade 5 benchmarks and allowed students to set goals for future writing.

At the end of last week we built a million. Come by and see it outside our classroom. It was interesting to see what a million actually looked like and your children’s responses to the prompt: I see, I think, I wonder.  We then came together as a Grade 5 ensemble to dig deeper into our thinking. This has led to deeper exploration of place value and saying numbers above a million. You can see the students reading and interpreting numbers within a million as found on a migration graph on their individual blogs.

Watch us Making a Million below:



  • Dress Up Day Oct 31 – appropriate dress up encouraged
  • UN Day Nov 3 – cultural dress and food
  • Blue Dragon Walk-a-Thon Nov 8  – sponsor sheets to be coming soon

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.