What’s happening in Grade 1C

Expert Interviews…

To conclude our inquiry into systems and routines in our community we conducted interviews with both Chef Adam and Nurse Susan to find out more about the complex Canteen and Health Care Systems at UNIS. We created questions together as a group before our visits and used these questions to develop our understanding of both systems. We thank Chef Adam and Nurse Susan for the time, enthusiasm and expertise in helping us to develop both understanding and appreciation of how these systems work and help our community.

Daily 5…

We continue to develop stamina and independence in both reading and writing by following the Daily 5 system. This week we have been focussing on response writing both in pairs and independently. We have become more proficient with our initial 12 Golden Words and as a result have integrated 32 Red Words into our Word Work programme. Guided reading with Miss Anna, Miss Sharon and Miss Deirbhile provides daily opportunities for focussed and explicit reading instruction as well as having time to follow up and reread texts independently.

Buddy Time with Grade 5A…

We were joined this week by our Grade 5 Buddies who brought along their iPads to share photo and video footage of their wonderful class trip last week to Hòa Bình. We very interested in all the great activities they took part in over the three days and were most impressed with the dragons they created in teams. As a connection to this dragon task we played a dragon game of our own involving rock-paper-scissors, we had a lot of fun playing it together and recognised how these gatherings helps to build a strong sense of community between our two classes.

Thank you Enrico…

Thank you to Enrico for sharing some delicious moon cake treats with us on Thursday.


  • Autumn Break: October 9th-13th. School will recommence Monday, October 16th
  • If you are looking for age-appropriate books for you and your child to enjoy please check out the wonderful collection of books put together by our teachers. It is located under the resources tab of our class blog.

Our news…

Moon Festival Assembly

Today we had the opportunity to join the upper elementary school in the theatre for a special moon festival assembly. We were treated to a variety of performances including music, dance and the tale of Cuoi and the Moon Festival.

Moon Festival Traditional Crafts

Thank you to Ms. Dung for teaching us about the significance of masks during the Moon Festival and for leading our mask painting activity. We had a lot of fun creating our own unique masks and took time and care with our designs. Check out our blogs to see our mask creations.

Thank you to our Class Parents Aya and Eriko

We greatly appreciate both Kanata’s Mum (Aya) and Hiroshi’s Mum (Eriko) for taking on the joint role of classroom parents this year. We wish to thank them for representing our class and for keeping us informed throughout the year. Thank you Aya and Eriko.

Unit of Inquiry

This week we continued our investigation into important systems at UNIS. We each chose a particular system that we wanted to find out more about and become an expert on. The two systems with the greatest number of votes were the Canteen System and Health Care System. We look forward to meeting the people behind each of these systems on Friday. We plan to interview both Chef Adam and Nurse Susan to deepen our understanding of both systems.

Daily 5 in full swing…

Thank you to everyone for bringing in headphones, we have been putting them to good use during the Listen to Reading portion of our Daily 5 routine this week. We continue to practice reading and writing trick words and are developing greater independence for written response tasks.

This week’s reminders…

  • Please sign up for Parent-Teacher Conferences taking place next Tuesday, October 3rd (10:00-18:00). Looking forward to seeing you all, please note that there is no school for children on this day.

Week 5 news…

A week of birthdays…

It has been a week of birthdays in 1C this week. On Tuesday we joined the whole school community in celebrating UNIS’s 30th Birthday. We gathered in the sports hall for a special birthday assembly and marked the occasion by taking a group photo in the shape of the number 30th. We were also treated to a birthday cupcake as part of the festivities, yum!! Minh An and Sophie also celebrated their birthdays this week, Happy Birthday 🙂

Math Time…
Ms Beth joined us for another fun math lesson this week. Together we worked through a math problem that challenged us to estimate, record our thoughts in picture and number form and derive an answer as a result of additional information given. We started out by sharing our noticings and wonderings as we watched two m&ms packets being opened. We worked towards finding out exactly how many were inside and used this information to compare with our initial estimates.
We have been working on developing our subitising skills by identifying and applying strategies that we can use to quickly determine quantity when presented with a group of objects. We worked together in pairs and found out that there are many different ways to reach the same answer…visualising, adding, counting on, use of doubles and even triples!
Systems hunt…
As we inquire further into the systems and routines in our school community we decided to get out and about and identify systems and their component parts. Our systems hunt around the campus not only strengthened our understanding of how systems help our school to function but highlighted parts of systems that we never knew existed. Here are some of the photos we took along the way…can you name a system that each part belongs to?
Healthy Snack Sale…
Thank you for supporting our first healthy snack sale of the year and thank you to all the parents who made this yummy tradition possible. It was a big hit!
Thank you Mr.Jeff…
We are hugely grateful to Mr.Jeff for taking the time this week to entertain us with the story Mortimer by Robert Munsch. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to get together as a Grade 1 community and enjoy a theatrical and highly engaging retell of a much loved story. We look forward to Mr.Jeff’s next visit.
Reminders for this week:
  • Please note that swimming will take place during all P.E. periods for the few weeks (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays).
  • Moon Festival Celebrations will take place next Thursday, September 28th. All students are invited to wear a traditional Ao Dai on this day.
  • Please support our Listening to Reading programme by sending in a pair of headphones for your child.



Week 4 news…

Math fun…

We have been working hard towards our goals of mastering numbers to 30. Our areas of focus are: Numbers before and after, forwards and backwards counting from any number, combinations of 5 and 10, and building up strategies for adding and subtracting to 20. We will continue to work on being able to clearly show our thinking using pictures, words and numbers. 

New Routines…

We started off this week with our new home reading routine which coincides with our discussions about systems and routines during our Unit of Inquiry lessons. It has taken a few days to get the hang of it but we now feel confident that we know the expectations are before and after we choose a book to read each night. A big thank you to everyone in supporting us in this important routine each evening.

  • We re-read our books each morning before choosing a new one...

Systems and Routines…

We continue to inquire into different systems and routines that exist in our community. We worked collaboratively to complete puzzles that led to much discussion regarding the components that allow systems to function or become dysfunctional. This lesson was followed up with the reading of the story, If Everyone Did by Jo Ann Stover. We created our own class version to highlight what would happen in our school community if systems and routines were ignored.

A Visit from Ms. Deirbhile…

Ms Deirbhile, our learning support teacher, came to visit early in the week to introduce herself and get to know us better. We enjoyed listening to the story that she read to us and had a lot of fun reading to self and sharing connections that we made while reading. We look forward to more visits from Ms. Deirbhile and her support throughout the year.

Buddy time with 5A…

We had a wonderful time connecting with our Grade 5 buddies today. We enjoyed reading their reflections on our last visit and were surprised by how many connections were made in just one visit. We look forward to our next get-together in two weeks time.

Dot Day with our Buddies…

To celebrate World Dot Day, we read the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds together with Grade 5A. Afterwards we joined our buddies and the rest of the school community in “making our mark” together and celebrating our collective creativity. Thank you to our art teacher Ms. Emma for leading this initiative.

A visit from Willy Wonka…

Wednesday, September 13th is Roald Dahl Day and we were very lucky to have Mr. Willy Wonka come to visit! Well done to David for taking action and sharing his favourite Roald Dahl book with us. As a result we have implemented a Golden Ticket system in our class and reflected on the principled actions that we can take as a class to earn a golden ticket. Well done David for inspiring us!


  • New parents of EAL children are invite to join Ms. Sharon for a coffee morning tomorrow, Friday, September 15th from 8:30 – 9:30. It will take place in the Community Room in the Administration Building.
  • Daily Home Readers: Please note that your child’s blue folder, communication booklet and home reader need to be returned each day. Thank you for your support.
  • UNIS 30th Birthday will take place Tuesday, September 19th. We invite you to join us at our celebration assembly at 14:00 in the Sports Centre. Please wear blue if you plan to attend.
  • The first Snack Sale of the year will take place next Wednesday, September 20th. Please support by providing your child 20,000VND to spend on a healthy treat or two!
  • Please send in a set a headphones with your child to support in our Listen to Reading Programme.
  • Swimming during P.E. periods will commence next week. In order to participate your child will need a bathing suit, swim hat, towel and goggles.

Back to School Night…

Dear all,

Thank you very much to those of you who attended our back to school night on Thursday. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to come and hear about our goals and aspirations for the year ahead. We are still looking for a classroom parent volunteer and hope that someone will step up to fill the role to ensure strong classroom-parent connections this year. Please see a copy of the Back to School Presentation below, if you have any questions please feel free to email.


Week 3 News…

This week we continued to inquire into the different systems and routines that exist at UNIS and help our school to function. Thank you to Ms. Conroy and Ms. Quynh for showing us how the library system for checking out and returning books functions. We really enjoyed having the opportunity to return our own books and came away with a much better understanding of the different components of this important school system.

  • System for Returning Books: First feed the crocodile...

Unit Letter

Please see our unit letter below for an overview of our current learning objectives and some upcoming important dates and information.



A visit from Ms.Anissa

Ms.Anissa, from our counseling department, paid us a visit to discuss how she supports our school community. We enjoyed a read-aloud together followed by an introduction to some of her soft toys. You may recognize them from the movie ‘Inside Out’. These characters help us to identify specific feelings and helpful strategies to deal with them. We look forward to Ms. Anissa’s next visit.

  • Discussing a range of feelings...

Launching the Daily 5

Read to Self: Three Ways to Read a Book!

This week we launched the first component of our Daily 5 literacy routine: Read to Self. Our focus has been on identifying and practicing three ways to read a book: Reading the pictures, reading the words and finally retelling the story. This foundational lesson gives students the opportunity to explore different approaches to reading which provides greater choice when asked to read independently or “Read to Self” for increasing periods of time. Our goal is to develop greater stamina for independent reading and to equip children with a variety of alternatives to maintain both interest and stamina for independent reading.

We applied this method when reading the story “Lost and Found” by Oliver Jeffers. The language and ideas generated by first reading the pictures established a strong foundation for when we re-read the book using the words. We highly encourage you to try it out next time you introduce a new book at home. Here are some of the beautiful images we encountered…maybe you will notice something that we didn’t!

Word Work: Golden Word Study

Another component of the Daily 5 literacy routine in Word Work. We start this week by studying 12 “Golden Words”. These select words make up, on average, one quarter of all reading. We have been familiarising ourselves with these words and are quickly becoming Golden Word Detectives. During our closing circle we have been observing how frequently these words appear in our read-alouds.

Our Second Assembly 

We joined our friends in the ECC today for the second assembly of the school year. We were greeted by Ms.Megan who led us in singing Happy Birthday to friends who have recently celebrated their birthday. Ms. Megan also spoke about another upcoming birthday that is of great importance to the whole school community….UNIS’s 30th Birthday on September 19th. Dr.Barder also paid us a special visit and engaged us all in a sing-along. Well done to William who participated as Dr. Barder’s assistant, he too had us all smiling with his theatrical gestures!

  • Discussing UNIS's 30th Birthday celebrations that will take place soon...

Gumboot Dance Performance

Following assembly we were treated to a performance of Gumboot Dancing from some very special guests to our UNIS community. The dance troop travelled all the way from South Africa to perform and promote this traditional Afro-Fusion form of dance. They taught us some moves and we had a lot of fun trying them out. We learned that this form of dance originated as a form of communication and friendship amongst miners in South Africa where 11 different indigenous languages are spoken.


  • The annual Moon Festival is fast approaching (Thursday September 28th)…don’t forget to have your Ao Dai ready for the fun day of festivities that are planned.
  • Regular library returns and exchanges will be on Mondays.
  • To support with the launch of our Daily 5: Listen to reading we ask that each student bring in a pair of headphones. Thank you for your support. 

Week 2 in Grade 1C…

It has been another busy week of getting to know some of the systems and routines that we have in place at UNIS to help our school function. We started off with a provocation to our new unit which led to much excitement on Tuesday morning. The children arrived to school to find all four Grade 1 classes in total disarray! As the conversations amongst the children developed many ideas and questions emerged….who was responsible? why did they do this? what should we do? who should we inform?

From Self to Others….

We continued with our self portraits this week but this time with a twist. We created a portrait of a friend by observing them closely and later reflecting on what we noticed about our friend as a result of the task.

A week of visits…getting to know people in our community

Ms. Michelle visited our class on Monday to lead an introductory lesson on getting started with student blogs and portfolio posts. We enjoyed creating our first blog post and worked together to include a title and brief voice-over to explain the work shared. Please check out our blog posts and leave a comment with any questions, comments or wonderings you may have. We look forward to hearing your feedback.

Grade 5 Buddies

We had the pleasure of connecting with our Grade 5 Buddies during Period 1 on Thursday. We will alternate between Assemblies and Buddy Meet-Ups throughout the year and look forward to getting to know each other. Our Grade 5 friends brought along some interesting artefacts that represent important aspects of their identities. They also asked us some questions that they will later use to write a biography about the members of Grade 1C. We are very much looking forward to our next get together.

  • Grade 1C and Grade 5A Buddy Classes!

Ms. Nitasha’s Read Aloud

Ms. Nitasha stopped by on Thursday morning and treated us to a read aloud of one of her favourite stories: The Quangle Wangles hat by Edward Lear. We loved the use of rhyme and silly words throughout the story. Thank you Ms. Nitasha, we look forward to your next visit.

  • Saying hello to our new classmates...

Ms.Beth’s active math lesson

Ms. Beth also stopped by to get us motivated and excited about active math lesson this year. She introduce a fun, new game called 8 for 8. We first reflected on ‘What is Math’ and had fun together identifying different patterns that emerged as we play the game.

This week’s reminders:

  • We are looking for a class parent volunteer, please email Miss Anna if you are interested. This position is an essential link between classroom and parents and we are hugely grateful to anyone who wishes to take on this role.
  • Thank you to all who attended our Grade 1 social on Tuesday, we look forward to getting together as a community for our upcoming Back to School Night on Thursday September 7th.
  • Back to School Night Information: Time: Session 1 (6.00 – 6.30pm), Session 2 (6.35 – 7.05pm) please note that both sessions are the same, we invite you to join whichever time suits you best. Location: Our Classroom (G26, Building 9)
  • Please note that due to the National Day Holiday there will be no school next Monday, September 4th.
  • Autumn Session 1 of After School Activities (ASA’s) commence next Tuesday, September 5th.
  • Library Returns will take place each Monday during period 3, starting next Tuesday September 5th.

First days in First Grade…

Our first few days in Grade 1 have been fun-filled and very enjoyable!

New Year Traditions…

We started off the new year with the traditional Dragon Dance and ringing of the Gong. Dr.Barder welcomed us all back after the summer holidays and we loved every moment of the dragon dance performance.

Welcoming new friends and reuniting with old ones…

We have welcome our new class members (Martin, Enrico and Masashi) with open hearts and have expressed our excitement for the year ahead.


There have been many opportunities to engage with old and new friends during open classroom and recess times. The elementary playground has been a big hit and we have had a lot of fun exploring all the different play opportunities that are available to us.

Cooperation, Community and Essential Agreements…

Checking out our new school plans…

We have spent lots of time getting to know each other and are well on our way to becoming a community of independent learners. We have been familiarizing ourselves with our school environment and have adapted wonderfully to new routines. We did a tour of the elementary school to familiarize ourselves with important places and people along the way.

To coincide with our upcoming Unit of Inquiry (Communities have a set of routines and systems that help them to function) we have been exploring the idea of community. During class discussions we inquired into What is a community?, What makes a community? and What communities are we a part of? We have had a lot of fun taking part in Kahoot quizzes to strengthen our awareness and appreciation for members of our school community.

In the spirit of community we gathered today for our first lower elementary assembly. We discussed. We look forward to connecting with our Grade 5 buddies next week during assembly time.

Busy at Math

This week we have been working through a number of independent and teacher-guided math centers that focus on different objectives such as number ordering, sequencing, pattern creation, addition and graphing.

During our math talks we have been discussing different strategies that we can use to solve problems and become better mathematicians. We tested some of these strategies during our emoji sorting task. We noticed how we can make different arrangements with the same resources and worked both independently and in teams to justify our groupings and explain our thinking.

Developing Language and Literacy…    

We have been enjoying daily read alouds as part of our hometime routine and look forward to recommendations from home. In order to get to know each other better we talked about our Family, Favourites, Flag and Friends. We also illustrated and described some snapshots and special memories from our summer holidays. There have been many opportunities to share our work and present it to our classmates.

We started our review of single sounds this week following the Fundations phonemic awareness programme. During this time we review letter names and sounds as well as revising letter formation.

Self Portraits…

With the help of mirrors we observed our facial features and discussed all the things that make us unique. We created wonderfully detailed self portraits that reflect the time and care we put into them. We encourage everyone to take some time to view and appreciate the beautiful self portraits we created, they will be on display in our classroom. Next week we will observe our friends and create a portrait of a friend.

Reminders for next week…

  • Please join us next Tuesday, August 29th for our Grade 1 Social. We kindly invite all parents to join us in the classroom from 15:30-15:40 before joining all classes in the garden for some refreshments. We look forward to seeing you all and to welcome new friends and families to the UNIS community.
  • Say cheese…individual student photos will be taken next Monday, August 28th.




A note from our librarian…

Dear Parents,

Ms. Conroy here, your Grade 1 student’s Librarian and Information Fluency teacher!  Welcome to UNIS Hanoi.

A few notes on book borrowing from the UNIS Library:

With their Homeroom teacher, Grade 1 students shall be able to borrow two books each week to take home to share with you.

Please supply a water resistant book bag for your child to use to carry their Library books to and from school.  Books can be easily damaged by food, dirt, and water.  As we are a green school, we would encourage the use of something sustainable.

SCO offers water resistant Book Bags available for purchase in the SCO store in the Sports Center.  

We offer a few weeks grace period for borrowing without a bag to support families in preparing for the new school year.

Borrowing books is an important part of your child’s learning journey and we encourage you to repeatedly share the book your child brings home from the Library over the course of the week.  

Please note that lost books or books damaged beyond repair must be paid for in order to replace the book and resume borrowing privileges.

As a parent and UNIS community member, you are welcome to borrow up to 6 items from the Library.  Library hours are M-F 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please email me at eslibrarian@unishanoi.org

Ms. Conroy, Elementary School Librarian