April 12

Dear Parents,

This week we started our final K1 unit of inquiry  – an inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme sharing the planet with the central idea:  understanding living things helps us share our environment and resources. The students came in on Monday to find the classroom transformed.  We have a veterinarian clinic, an insect dress up and role play area, some new friends in the block area, and plenty of insects and bug hunting tools to use for exploration and discovery.  The students have been very engaged in exploring in the classroom and have posed many ideas and questions that will help to take the unit forward.  We also reflected on the story we created for our previous unit of inquiry and put on some finishing touches.  We are excited to present our story at Student Led Conferences next week!  Please be sure to sign up for a 40 minute block on Veracross so that your child can share his/her learning with you.

Please see this link for photos from this week and last week:  K1B Photos

Please note:

*Please ensure your child has a hat at school for outdoor play.

*Student Led Conferences on Wednesday.  Children only come to school during scheduled conference times and to visit specialist classes before or after.

*Please help out by checking your child’s bag to ensure s/he is not bringing any toys or cards to school.

*We are hunting for tadpoles and caterpillars (and any other interesting critters) for our unit of inquiry. If you spot any at your home or in your travels, please scoop them up for us!

*Please see this link for information about a documentary screening organized by Grade 5 students: Plastic Ocean Screening

*Show and tell next week – cancelled due to Student Led Conferences.

 

March 29

Dear Parents,

This is the final week of our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme how we express ourselves with the central idea:  storytelling allows us to share ideas, feelings and experiences. The students have been working hard on writing a story (narrative) based on the characters we created in class.  We described the community of creatures we created, then used this as a launching point to write a story together.  The students came up with the story settings, problems for the characters to make the story interesting, ways to resolve the problems, the conclusion and the story title.  Small groups of children worked together to create collages to use as the backdrops for the different settings.  Today we have been very busy putting everything together.  We can’t wait to share with you our final masterpiece! This has been a rich learning experience for the students as we naturally incorporated math, visual art, drama, and literacy skills/knowledge throughout the project.

I hope that you all enjoy the April Break and I look forward to seeing the children again on Monday April 9th.

Please see this link for photos from this week and last week:  K1B Photos

Please note:

*Tomorrow morning is Sports Day for K1!  Please read Ms. Nikki’s blog post for details . http://blogs.unishanoi.org/physicaleducation/2018/03/22/elementary-sports-day-2018/

*No school next week!

March 22

Dear Parents,

This week we continued our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme how we express ourselves with the central idea:  storytelling allows us to share ideas, feelings and experiences. The students continued to work on their masks by adding a layer of papier mache and then decorating.  We will work together to find out what stories our creatures have to share.

This week we really enjoyed the change in weather with extra outdoor play.  Thank you for sending in the hats!  The students have been noticing changes in the plants and animal life in our gardens as Spring begins. These observations and wonderings will help us get off to a fantastic start to our next and final unit of inquiry in K1, which will begin after the April Break.

Last Friday was a busy day with an assembly to welcome visiting schools to the Soccer Tournament followed by Open Classrooms.  Our K1 students stole the show with their spirt and enthusiasm and the students enjoyed watching part of a game between UNIS and HIS.

On Wednesday we watched the dress rehearsal for the upper elementary music concert.  It was really wonderful and the students were a fantastic audience.  Congrats to older siblings who performed.

Please see this link for photos from this week and last week:  K1B Photos

Please note:

*Next Friday morning is Sports Day for K1!  Please read Ms. Nikki’s blog post for details . http://blogs.unishanoi.org/physicaleducation/2018/03/22/elementary-sports-day-2018/

*Show and Tell next week: Student choice

March 15

Dear Parents,

It was wonderful to see so many of you today, and I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow morning.

Reminders about tomorrow:

-Please wear blue to show school spirit

-Open classrooms from 10:10-10:50

-Please ensure your child has a hat to wear as we will be cheering on UNIS at an outdoor soccer game

Next week:

-Show & Tell – please send in an animal/creature (real or imagined) toy, puppet or photo that can be described

-I will post photos from this week in next week’s post

Sincerely,

Charla

March 8

Dear Parents,

This week we continued our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme how we express ourselves with the central idea:  storytelling allows us to share ideas, feelings and experiences. The students continued to show a lot of interest in animals and, more specifically, endangered animals. We researched some endangered animals using the internet, books, and photos.  The students described their chosen animal using the descriptive language structure (colour, number, size, doing/action and we’ve now added position and texture/feeling).  I’m so impressed by the students’ curiosity and the work they did in recording their observations using colours, drawings, invented spelling and copied words.  Please be sure to check your child’s own blog to see his/her amazing work!  We will begin using the students’ interests to create narratives and some creative work.

Our Math Coach, Ms. Beth, joined us on Monday to show us photos from her recent safari.  We talked about what groups of animals are called (a herd of elephants, a dazzle a zebras, a tower of giraffes….) and counted the animals we saw in the photos.  We started our March calendar and Ms. Nhung has been making numbers each day with all of the children to help them remember the shape and direction of each numeral.

There are some important reminders below about next week, including Open Classrooms and a PD day.  Please be sure to check the notes.

Please see this link for photos from this week:  K1B Photos

Please note:

*Next week is Open Classrooms.  Please join us at any of the following times:

Thursday:  10:10-10:50 homeroom, 10:55-11:35 PE

Friday: 10:10-10:50 homeroom, 12:30-1:10 Library, 1:15-1:55 Music

*There is no school for students on Monday March 12th as it is a Professional Developmen Day

*On Friday we will support our MS soccer players at a special assembly.  Please help to show school spirit by sending your child to school in blue clothes.

*I will be absent on Tuesday as I am participating in a conference in Beijing over the weekend.  Ms. Nhung and a substitute will take excellent care of the children in my absence.  Please be sure to contact Ms. Nhung and the office if you need to communicate any important information.

*Please make sure your child has a hat to wear for outdoor play.  Students who don’t have hats will be asked to stay in the covered area outside of our classroom.

*Show and Tell next week: Cancelled due to the short and unusually busy week!

March 1

Dear Parents,

It was lovely to see all of the students this week and to hear about the Tet adventures.  Happy Year of the Dog!

This week we continued our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme how we express ourselves with the central idea:  storytelling allows us to share ideas, feelings and experiences. The students chose a way to share a personal story about their Tet holidays and these stories were published on their blogs. We continued to explore wordless books and discussed the unique role of the author/illustrator in this type of book.  Upon reading an alphabet book featuring endangered animals, the students showed a very strong interest in the animals and in the distinction between animals that are vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered.  Many students posed questions about why animals become endangered and what we can do to help.  Many students also made a connection to a book we read before the break, called Uno’s Garden by Graeme Base. This story features fictional creatures that are in danger of becoming extinct. The students have been dressing up as animals, and small animal toys have been incorporated into their play in the block area.  It was a complete coincidence on my part to read these two stories, but this coincidence sparked a strong interest in K1B and I look forward to seeing where this inquiry takes us.  Stay tuned! If you have a background or strong interest in wildlife preservation, please let me know as we would love you to come in to share your expertise and passion.

I will be using the students’ interest in animals to further our learning in both English and Mathematics.  We will focus on describing and creating imaginative narratives featuring animals in English. In mathematics, our Math Coach will be joining us next week to share photos of her recent safari in Tanzinia to focus on subitising irregular patterns and counting groups of objects.

Please see this link for photos from this week:  K1B Photos

Please note:

*Many students have been bringing toys and playing cards, such as Pokemon cards, to school recently.  This is proving to be a big distraction during class and recess time.  I’d like to ask that these items stay at home unless specifically for show & tell. Thank you for your help!

*Please make sure your child has a hat to wear for outdoor play.  Students who don’t have hats will be asked to stay in the covered area outside of our classroom starting on Monday.

*Show and Tell next week: Do you have any fiction or non-fiction books at home that feature animals? If you, please bring these in for Show & Tell next week. If not, please bring in any favourite story.

February 8

Dear Parents,

This week we continued our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme how we express ourselves with the central idea:  storytelling allows us to share ideas, feelings and experiences. We read several books by author/illustrator Graeme Base and the children really connected to the creativity of the stories and the hidden/deeper messages in both the text and illustrations. We made a variety of puppets, including fish puppets for Tet.  The students each chose a favourite story from the classroom and drew about it.  Some students are beginning to add print to their drawings, which is exciting to see.  Some students are copying words from their environment, some are writing random letters, and some are beginning to represent letter sounds.  All of these are beginning writing behaviours. Additionally, adding details to drawings is an important skill to encourage at this stage and the children have shown a lot of growth in this area. Please encourage any such behaviours that you see at home.

Wednesday’s Global Play Day was a big hit.  We had an opportunity to play with some grade 1 friends in our classroom and out on the playground. Ms. Nhung made springrolls for Tet with the class on Wednesday and we shared them with our Play Day buddies.  On Thursday our grade 3 buddies helped us with some Tet crafts and activities.  Don’t forget that there is an ECC Tet Assembly next Wednesday, and the students are encouraged to wear ao dai.

Please see this link for photos from this week:  K1B Photos

Please note:

*Show and Tell next week: cancelled as it is a short week

 

February 1

Dear Parents,

Thank you for coming in today – it was lovely to see all of you.  Due to Parent Teacher Conferences there will not be a blog post today. I will send an email update about our week instead.

Take care,

Charla

January 25

Dear Parents,

This week we continued our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme how we express ourselves with the central idea:  storytelling allows us to share ideas, feelings and experiences. We continued reading Robert Munsch books as well as many other fabulous children’s stories.  We read a book called ‘Imagine a Place’ and discussed setting – where a story takes place.  Using the green screen, we took photos of the children without any background and each child drew an imaginative setting around him/herself. Our trip to the water puppet show on Wednesday was a wonderful experience.  We even had an opportunity to go backstage to see all of the puppets and costumes, and saw a demo of how some of the puppets are controlled.  The children have been playing with water puppets back in the classroom and are starting to create their own puppets.  Your child will post on his/her blog what s/he thought about the water puppet performance and support his/her opinion. Ms. Michelle, our EdTech Coach, is helping the children create electronic books using the app Book Creator.

In math we continued to work on subitising. The children are learning to very quickly recognize quantities to 10 – in regular dice dot patterns, irregular patterns (random dots), and in 5 frames (a row of 5 boxes with dots inside).

We’ve been lucky to enjoy some warmer weather and better air quality and have had extra outdoor play time!

Please see this link for photos from this week:  K1B Photos

Please note:

*Please ensure your child has a hat at school

*Show and Tell next week: Please help your child choose another favourite story to share with the class.

Show & Tell Schedule:

Mondays: Basti, Bella, Calliope, Duc Tam

Tuesdays: Hoang Linh, Hugo, Jenna, Jimmy

Wednesdays: Jonah, Katie, Lena, Rafael

Thursdays: Rahan, Sasha, Yaara, Yuji

January 18

Dear Parents,

This week we continued our new inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme how we express ourselves with the central idea:  storytelling allows us to share ideas, feelings and experiences. We began an author study of Robert Munsch and are enjoying his very funny stories.  We are working on developing ideas about what we can say to share our appreciation of stories – for example, ‘it was funny,’ ‘I like the pictures,’ ‘I thought it was surprising,’ ‘it wasn’t for me.’ We are also adding to our list of ways that people can share stories – books, puppet shows, oral storytelling, etc.

Next Wednesday we will go to see a Water Puppet performance in the old quarter.  Please check your child’s bag for the permission form and return it as soon as possible.

In English we are starting to focus more on recognizing and correctly forming both uppercase and lowercase letters.  Each morning the children carefully write their names and add them to our ‘name tree.’ Ms. Nhung and I support them to begin their name with an uppercase letter followed by lowercase letters, to form the letters correctly (starting at the top), and to use a correct pencil grip. We are continuing to work on rhyme and beginning letter sounds.

You may have noticed from your child’s blog that we are working on the ability to instantly recognize quantities. This is called ‘subitizing’ and is very different to counting. “Subitizing is the ability of looking at a group of objects and recognizing patterns that allow us to ‘guess’ the total number of objects, without having to count them.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB71PqQ3yHk  This week we learned a number of subitizing card games and a subitizing song.

Here is some more information about subitizing:

Seeing the World in Numbers
Over time, number recognition develops into more sophisticated abilities, such as instantly seeing how many (an ability known as subitizing, from the Latin word meaning suddenly). Subitizing is the direct, immediate recognition of the number of a group. For example, if someone shows you four fingers for only an instant, you recognize how many they are holding up without counting. This kind of speedy recognition is important because later it will help children with adding. Many children add 4 + 3 by counting out four objects, then three objects, then counting all seven. The trouble with this is that their memory of the three and four is too far away from the total seven for the child to make a connection. But if a child is able to subitize the four, she is more likely to count on, starting with four, then five, six, and seven. Then she learns a more sophisticated counting strategy and start learning the “fact” that 4 + 3 = 7.     http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/thinking-skills-learning-styles/easy-1-2-3

Please see this link for photos from this week:  K1B Photos

Please note:

*Show and Tell next week: Please help your child choose a favourite story to share with the class.

Show & Tell Schedule:

Mondays: Basti, Bella, Calliope, Duc Tam

Tuesdays: Hoang Linh, Hugo, Jenna, Jimmy

Wednesdays: Jonah, Katie, Lena, Rafael

Thursdays: Rahan, Sasha, Yaara, Yuji