Hello 2018!

Welcome back parents and Happy New Year!  I hope that you all had a joyful holiday break and are excited to be back.

As we ease into the new year and to the routine of school, we had the children take the time to reflect on their holiday vacations.  As you can see below, lots happened over the break and the kids’ drawing and writing skills are improving by the day.

This week starts the new Unit of Inquiry, ‘Sharing the Planet’.  Students will think about how our personal choices can impact the environment.   In class, we will be discussing reusing, recycling, and reducing our personal waste, as well as understanding the types of pollution we cause.  Hopefully this will bring about discussions at home.


  • Mystery Reader will be back in February. Sign up will be up soon.  We encourage all families to participate.  Remember, if the time and date does not suit you, please contact Ms. Ania and we can work together to find a time that’s right for all.

Week before Winter Break

Dear Parents,

On Maker’s Day last Friday, the K2 students were given a real-life problem to solve. “What does the ECC playground need?”. They were to work in teams designing and constructing stable structures for use in the playground.  With loads of recycled materials, the kids had an opportunity to show their learning linked to the current Unit of Inquiry and of course…have some fun.

We did it.  We have completed building stamina for the five parts that make up the framework of the Daily Five.  When students return from their vacations, they will be able to work independently and choose from the five reading and writing choices during literacy time.

Our dear and beloved class member Lucinda is leaving UNIS and going back to her home country of Australia.  We wish Lucinda and her family the best. We will miss you!

As this is the last week before our Winter Break, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Mystery Readers: Flavia (Lian’s mom), Tammy (Addie’s mom), Angela (Estella’s mom), Wei Wei (Thea’s mom), Akiko (Ippo’s mom), and Grace (Karis’ mom).  It is moments like these that make school special and memorable for our children.

I wish you all a relaxing and joyful Winter Break.  See you on Monday, January 8th, 2018!

Open Classrooms

Dear Parents,

Thank you for joining us last week for Open Classrooms.  The children were so happy and proud to share their learning with you.  We hope you have a better understanding of your child’s daily school experiences.  It was wonderful to see you all engaging in the activities and creating memories.

To make meaningful connections to our inquiry into structures, we invited Carl the Senior Manager of Operations here at UNIS to  share and answer questions about the construction happening around us on campus.

With only a little more than a week before Winter Break, the kids are busy building stamina for the last of the five essential building blocks of The Daily Five – word work.  Children are practicing spelling, vocabulary, and deconstructing words to enrichen their literacy, knowledge of words, and increase writing skills.

Next week, we will highlight the fabulous Mystery Readers that have visited our class and to say goodbye to a cherished member of K2A, Lucinda.


  • Winter Break: Saturday, December 16 – Sunday, January 7.  Return to school on Monday, the 8th of January
  • Mystery Reader will return following the break

Listen to Reading

Dear Parents,

For the past two weeks, students have been building stamina for the fourth part of the Daily Five – Listen to Reading. Children are using an app called RazKids on the class ipads.  RazKids is an online guided reading program that is interactive.  Kids listen to, read, and answer comprehension questions to developmentally appropriate leveled ebooks.  The students can read at their level to help increase comprehension and fluency.  They practice reading to become better and more confident readers.

  Next week and the week after, students will be working on building their stamina for the last part of the Daily Five – Word Work.


-Open Classrooms continues: Friday, Dec 1st.  K2A is Open Period 1 (8:25-9:05).  You can also visit Vietnamese and Music classes. (please check the schedule).

-Friday, December 15th: last day before Winter Break


Field Trip Fun

Dear Parents,

We are happy to say that we have been on two field trips and we have returned safe, happy and ever more curious.  The children went out into Hanoi to discover the fascinating structures in our environment.  In particular, we focused on bridges – observing their designs and understanding their purpose.

A huge ‘Thank You’ to the parent volunteers that accompanied us on our two excursions.  We couldn’t do it without you!

You are invited to the ES Open Classrooms – next Thursday 30th and Friday, December 1st. Please click to receive more information.

We are on our way! We are on the fourth part of building stamina for The Daily Five.  For the next two weeks kids will learn to listen to reading on Raz Kids.

Special Reminders:

ES Open Classrooms: Thursday, Nov. 30th & Friday, Dec. 1st

-Please bring in headphones if you have not already done so.

Winter ASAs begin next Monday

Work On Writing

Hello again parents,

This was a short week and we hope you had a wonderful long weekend.  On Monday and Tuesday, teachers were taking part of professional development.  Taking time to reflect on our practices, our students, and being inspired to be the best teachers we can be.

After almost two weeks of building our writing stamina, the students are engaged, excited, and aware of their own growth as writers.  Students are able to focus on the writing practice continuously for almost 15 minutes.  They have shared funny, real, and make believe stories.  It is amazing to watch their growth and development.

Important Reminders:

-Tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 17) K2A and K2B will be heading out on our first field trip of the year to the Red Bridge at Hoan Kiem Lake from about 8:30-11:15.  This excursion is to help support the Unit of Inquiry’s focus on structures.  Children will be encouraged to sketch, observe, talk, and document about the structures in their environment.

Tuesday, Nov. 21st is the second part of our structures field trip.  We will be going to the Red River Bridges viewed from Tre Place Restaurant.

-Special thank you to parent volunteers who have signed up to join in our two excursions.  Thank you for your time and support.

-There is still one space left to sign up for Mystery Reader before winter break. Also, please note, mystery reader is not limited to only the days and times available.  Please email me and we can find a time and date that works for you.

Open Classrooms for parents: Nov 30th & Dec 1st.  More information to come.

I would like to take this opportunity to say how blessed I feel with such a wonderful class.  I feel lucky everyday to be part of their amazing transformations into independent, enthusiastic, and confident young learners.

Marshmallows and more…


Wasn’t last Fridays UN Day incredible? It is so wonderful to see all the different nations being represented and celebrated.  Thank you for joining and helping on that special day.

On UN Day, before the celebratory assembly, our buddy class, Grade 4, came down to paint and write special goodwill messages on rocks.  We then made a beautiful mandala to symbolize unity and harmony.

This week we began the third part of The Daily Five. It is called Work On Writing. We are building stamina for writing.

Last week ended our ten day stamina building of Read To Someone. We ended the two week challenge by reading to our friends in K2C.

As you can see, the children really enjoyed practicing their reading skills with others.

As part of our new Unit, Where We Are In Place And Time, we began with a challenge to provoke their thinking and have have them begin wondering about structures.  The provocation is called The Marshmallow Challenge.  The rules are simple.  In twenty minutes with a few items, build the tallest free standing structure in teams that can hold a marshmallow on top.  The activity was challenging and fun.  Kids were learning to work in teams, think critically and creatively.  It went so well, we are planning on doing it again.

Important Information:

Next week and the following week, the K2 classes will go on two field trips.  Both excursions are to help support the new Unit Of Inquiry.  The kids are to observe and look critically at different structures, in these cases bridges.

On Friday, November 17th, we will go to the Red Bridge at Hoan Kiem Lake.

On Tuesday, November 21st, we will go to the Red River Bridges (viewed from Tre Place Restaurant).

The Field Trip Information and Consent Form will be sent to you shortly.  Please complete and return by Wednesday, November 15.  Email me if there are any problems with viewing the Consent Forms.  Copy link and paste to search bar.


We will be needing 6 parents total to assist us on the field trips.  Three for the first field trip and another three for the second trip. Please contact our Class Parent, Joongwon, if interested. 3hwangmom@gmail.com

Important Reminders:

No School: Monday and Tuesday November 13 and 14 (Teacher PD Days)

Student headphones: for the next part of The Daily Five: Listen to Reading

Mystery Reader sign up: one spot left


Friends, Flags, & Fun

Hello Parents,

This was a crazy week…in a good way.

We have a new friend in K2A  named Ruoyi.  Here’s a picture of our new class.

We celebrated Halloween by coming to school dressed in costume.

We prepared for UN Day celebrations by making flags of our countries.

Back by popular demand is Mystery Reader.  Come to class and read a story (in any language).  Shhhh…it’s a surprise.  Don’t tell your child.  We will have Mystery Reader every Thursday at 2:55-3:10.  Sign up to be a Mystery Reader here.


  • Early dismissal Friday, November 3rd at 1pm.  Please do not leave without informing Ms. Vu and Ms. Ania
  • Sign up to be a Mystery Reader.
  • ES Walkathon on Wednesday 8th November, from 12:45 – 14:30.
  • Bring headphones to school.  In a few weeks time, as part of the Daily Five, students will be Listening to Reading.  They will need their own headphones at school.

See you tomorrow!





Reading and Writing to Friends

Dear Parents,

We are on the second stage of building stamina for The Daily Five: Read To Someone.  As you can see, the kids really enjoy reading to one another and building important skills.

Not only are the children excited to read to partners, but they are asking me everyday whether they can read a story time book at the end of the day to the class.  How can I refuse?!

Reading and writing skills go hand and hand.  When students have authentic reasons to write they are eager to do so freely.  I put out a class mailbox with some paper and envelopes and waited to see what happened.  Take a look…..

UN Day is coming up next week.  Friday, November 3rd.  Its is a day of celebration.  There will be a UN Day Assembly and following the Assembly families will join their children for grade level ‘pot luck’ community lunches.  Dismissal will be at 1pm.  To avoid any unnecessary worrying on that day, please make sure to tell Ms. Vu or Ms. Ania before leaving.  

A big THANK YOU to Joongwon (Dongkyu’s mom) for volunteering to be our Class Parent and helping to organize UN Day celebrations.

Special Reminders:

  • K2A will be getting a new student this coming Monday, Oct. 30th.  Please welcome Ruoyi to our K2A family with warmth.
  • Dress Up Day – Tuesday, October 31st.  Children can come to school wearing an appropriate costume.  Please check out the ES Blog for further explanation of costume guidelines.
  • UN Day – Friday Nov. 3rd
  • Mystery Reader.  Back by popular demand.  I will be sending out a sign up sheet within the next week.  Every Thursday beginning the week after UN Day.  Shhhh…don’t tell your kids.

Back from Break

Hello Parents,

Welcome back from Autumn Break.  This week we began with looking at Math in a new way.  Ms. Beth (D-5 Extension and Enrichment Coach – our Math coach) came to visit and lead a math class.  She introduced us to Three Act Tasks. A Three-Act Task is a whole-group mathematics task that consists of three distinct parts: an engaging Act One, where we look at a video or a picture from daily life.  (This week was a video of a birthday cake).  Act two is finding a solution to the problem.  The problem was, How many candles were on the birthday cake?  Act three is a discussion and revealing solutions.

Kids are taught how to make observations of the video, find a math problem, and show their thinking while trying to solve the problem.  These types of math activities help students look at math in a different way and teach them to show their thinking, rather than just give an answer.

In literacy, children were taught the concept of setting – understanding where a story takes place.  Kids  were put in small groups to discuss pictures taken from story books and discuss the setting or where the story takes place.

Please take a look at the beautiful art work children made from collecting data about themselves.

We have been building our reading stamina for two weeks now.  The kids were able to read to themselves quietly for fifteen minutes! Wow..great job kids!

Next week will will start the second part of The Daily Five: Read to Someone.

Special Reminders:

  • UN Day: Friday, Nov 3rd.  Come dressed in your nations traditional attire and celebrate the diverse community of UNIS.