11 January

Welcome to 2018 !

“We’ve been working in the classroom for 83 days..” Can your child sing the rest of this song?” 

K2C have been talking a lot about concepts of time and how to use a calendar to keep count of days, months, years and plan for important events. We are looking forward to our 100th day of school! We are also thinking about Tet and we wonder how many days until the next holiday?

In English, K2C are learning about recount writing. Thank you for sending in a photo to help your child recount an event that happened during the holiday.When you open your own child’s easyblog, you should be able to hear him/her giving his/her oral recount of a holiday event Here’s my recount! !

Here’s a recount of Ms Mi’s birthday . Can your child hear the correct past tense word in each sentence? On Monday morning K2C celebrated Ms Mis birthday. First we surprised her with our cards and letters.Then she read our messages. Next she opened a present from Toby bear. After that we ate special cookies. Finally we sang Happy Birthday to Ms Mi.

Please watch the following videos with your child. Can she/he  recount  what happened: When, where, who and what happened first, then, next last etc .

  1. This week we also started our new Sharing The Planet Unit of inquiry.

Ms Cathie was wondering if anyone noticed the bins were missing ! Who in K2C makes good choice about waste? How much rubbish does K2C make each day? How can we reduce the amount of waste?

K2C shared their prior knowledge and are thinking hard about What happens to the UNIS rubbish after it gets thrown in the bin?  

Here are some of our thoughts:

  • Lucy: First we put it in the bin until it is really full. Then the nanny takes the rubbish outside and puts it outside my house. Then the rubbish truck comes and takes it to the rubbish place that is really full of rubbish and it starts all over again.
  • Maeve: We put in the garbage then the cleaners take it to the rubbish truck. Then it goes to a factory. They smash it into little pieces so it can be not very hard to put in in the lake. It will have a very bad smell and it just sits there for a long time and then it goes away.
  • Toby: After you put it in the bin the garbage truck gets it. Then they put it in a big pile of rubbish. Then it , um, it goes back inside the garbage truck and then they put it ,um, they put the first pile into an even bigger pile. I don’t know what happens next.
  • JuEun: The rubbish go to the truck. And then the truck go to the… ( I am not sure in English)
  • Jun: I throw the trash to the trash bin.The cleaners clean and take the trash another trash can. Then I think they take another trash bin.And it go another bin. The trash will go.. Um..to… I don’t know!
  • Marcos: The trash goes in the bin. Then it goes in the truck. Then it goes somewhere else but I don’t know yet.I am wondering where does it go next and where does it go after that?
  • Rosalie: The person comes and puts in the trash car and they bring it to a factory and we recycle it. Some people use it to make something. I know you can recycle old paper. I know because I recycle a lot of things. If I get a piece of paper I make a card for somebody.
  • Raeyi: First you throw the rubbish to the bin. Rubbish is throw or not . Rubbish is many people bin in the rubbish. I don’t know( what happens next).
  • Emily: You put it in the bin. Don’t take it out. It goes to the garbage truck. The cleaners take the rubbish and put it in the truck. The truck goes to a pile of rubbish. The pile ..um???
  • Teun: Go there then it goes to another one then it is cycle again. Is going to the bins again.Recycle means something we don’t use.
  • Kojiro: People put rubbish put in bin, people hold bin and put in a truck and there go to the um so much rubbish then is gone anywhere.
  • George: Um I run to the bin and I put the trash in the bin and I found a trash bin in K2A and this guy do have the brain to find the bin. It is very dirty.

I am hoping to empower children to take some responsibility and action at home. In class we will be giving children more responsibility with cleaning tables, washing dishes, sweeping floors and keeping our classrooms clean and tidy. I’m hoping your child will be given opportunity to do these things at home too! So, if s/he takes ‘action’, says or observes anything related to our Unit Of Inquiry ( e.g. notices examples of people making good /bad choices with rubbish ) please allow them to take a photo or video and email it to me!

Parents invited to sign up for mystery reader

Finally, please let me know if you would like to be our K2C class parent,as Lana’s Mum (Jill McHale) is asking someone else to have a turn.

Thanks for a great start to 2018, K2C !





14 Dec

Growing our Math minds Ms Cathie is finding out who has 1:1 correspondence when counting, who can accurately count forwards in sequence, pronouncing the teen numbers correctly ( fifteen not fifty, thirteen not firty etc) and who can compare quantities beyond ten and explain their reasons for sorting.

K2C are Writers While K2C were busy writing letters to their Grade 4 buddies, Ms Cathie and Ms Mi were observing closely, looking for correct pencil grasp, evidence of letter sound knowledge, and messages that can be easily read by others . I am very impressed by K2C’s enthusiasm to be writers.

Tis the season to be jolly!

Ms. Cathie and her 17 reindeers wish you a very Merry Christmas!

I wish you a happy, festive, safe and healthy holiday and look forward to seeing you back at school on 8th January 2018.

7 Dec

Again, I want to say a big thank you to you for being such supportive parents.

Click here to see the Open Classrooms animoto video I created. Last Friday’s open classroom was full of happy, engaged and risk-taking parent learners and confident enthusiastic K2C teachers. I often wonder how do you ‘see’ your child? In my role as a teacher, my image of five and six year olds is possibly different to yours. I ‘see’ your children as being very capable, independent, responsible and competent learners. K2C are able to make good choices, willing to take on challenges and learn from mistakes.

K2C are Mathematicians.

K2C are Readers.

K2C are storytellers. This week The Three Little Pigs were a focus, and K2C enjoyed listening to me read aloud a different version of the tale each day. Ask your child to retell their favourite one! We also used this story to make connections to our Unit of Inquiry.

K2C are inquirers.  Yesterday Mr Carle came to answer K2’s wondering about the construction that is happening at UNIS. Did you know about the  UNIS construction cam? K2C we very interested in watching the timelapse video and learned a lot from Mr Carle.  
K2C are engineers.

Tomorrow is Maker Day at UNIS and K2 engineers will be working on the challenge of designing a strong, safe structure for the ECC playground.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Today in assembly Dr Barder sang Jingle Bells and our Mystery reader ( Noah’s Mum) read a story titled ‘Letter To Santa‘.





If you celebrate Christmas perhaps your child would like to make some Christmas cards at home, write kind messages to classmates, teachers and family members, and then post them in our K2C post box. This is a good time of year for children to have authentic purposes for writing. (Don’t forget to write a letter to Santa too! )





30 Nov


This morning, we met with our Grade 4 Buddies. We looked closely at their models of World Heritage sites and made connections to our inquiry into structures. We then went on a wonder walk , looking at structures around UNIS. Ask your child to tell you what he/she noticed and wondered.

This week K2C have been inspired by the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. The children made many connections to our inquiry into bridges. K2C showed cooperation and commitment to work hard on a team challenge. They made the characters and the setting for the story, using only paper. Thinking hard about how to build a bridge that is strong enough to hold the biggest Billy Goat and the Ugly Troll!

Following team time, K2C often watch videos of themselves in ‘action’ on the TV, and the children reflect on their own teamwork. Looking at self-management, thinking and social skills, giving each other compliments and explaining challenges observed.

Below are two Billy Goats Gruff iMovies.

What ATL’s ( communication skills, self management skills, social skills, thinking skills) do you see?

Thank you to the parents who were able to join us this afternoon for Open Classrooms. Hopefully, by observing children during ‘choice time’ you will have a greater understanding of the power of inquiry learning through play.

It was lovely seeing parents reading with children at the end of the day. Tomorrow morning, instead of observing, parents are asked to interact, measure compare, design and build and allow the children to teach you how to play games.

Last Thursday, I introduced a new thinking routine called ” Which one doesn’t belong?’. Heres a link to another youtube of K2C sharing their thinking.

In Math lessons, we are exploring the concept of measurement. What can we measure?








At home, please share the ways you measure things in the ‘real world’. What tools do you use to measure height, length, time, weight, distance? Help your child use language of comparison ( longer, wider, taller, heavier, lighter etc) We were very excited when we got to measure Dr Barder!  We’re wondering: Is there anyone at UNIS taller than Dr Barder? During Open classroom time, K2C want to find out how tall their parents are and then compare!

After a discussion of ways we measure time, your children are also keen to know more about the purpose of clocks and calendars. At this time of year, some families may have an advent calendar, or are counting down ‘how many sleeps’ until Santa arrives? Thanks to Ms Anissa, for showing us this  Kindness Advent calendar . Click the link to download your own copy!


23 Nov

K2’s recent field trips sparked our children’s enthusiam to inquire further into making maps and constructing bridges.

The central idea of our current Unit Of Inquiry is:The design of structures is influenced by environment, available resources and purpose. We are starting to understand the meaning of some of these words. Its exciting to hear and observe your young engineers spontaneously share their thoughts with peers during play, to show they really are able to learn about these big concepts.Teachers and parent helpers have listened carefully to student thinking and wrote down the things students noticed and wondered. Here’s a sample of what we heard your children saying before, during and after our field trips.

Our thoughts/wonderings about the Nhat Tanh bridge:

  • Lana: When was it built?
  • Ju Eun: Why is it new?
  • Emily: Why are there triangles?
  • Toby: I always see the bridge when I go to the airport. The bridge is very strong, it can’t fall down.
  • Jun: The bridge is red. Why does the bridge have lines?
  • Kojiro: The bridge is very long. Why did people make the bridge? I think bikes and cars can go on it.
  • Lucy: When I go to the airport I see the bridge. It has triangles.
  • George: When I go by my car I see it. It’s very long and strong and every car can go on it.

Some thoughts before the field trip about The Red Bridge at Hoan Kiem Lake

  • Mats: I think this bridge will fall down, because of the cracks.
  • Jun: I think it is dangerous. It can broke.
  • Ju Eun:  I think not dangerous because have triangles.
  • Lana: I haven’t seen it before but I see little cracks. I think it is going to fall down.
  • Noah: My grandfather likes this bridge. I think it won’t fall down. It’s not broken. It just was built like that.
  • Teun: Is that made of red bricks? Why does the bridge go over the water?
  • Lana: Why didn’t people make this bridge for cars and people?
  • Toby: How many legs (pillars) does the bridge have?
  • Jun: Why does the water have green colour?
  • George: Why does it have red color? 
  • Lucy: I think it is red because red is a Vietnam color, like red on the flag.

    When we returned to school, we looked at what we wondered and what we found out about bridges. We also used the field trip as an opportunity to learn about recounts.

    Here are the links to photos from our field trips to The Tre Restaurant at the Red River and The Red Bridge over Hoan Kiem Lake

    Ms Mi and I say a very BIG thank you for making us feel so special on Teacher’s Day.

    Thank you too, for your wonderful support for the Snack Sale yesterday. 

    Did you know the 20th November was also UNICEF World Childrens day? Ask your child to tell you what they learned from our EAL friends about The Rights of the Child.

    Click here to see the iMovie and hear some our K2C’s thoughts about Children’s Rights.

    Open Classrooms

    We warmly invite you to our Elementary School Open Classrooms – next Thursday 30th November and Friday 1st December . You are invited to come into our classroom and to look/listen carefully for Learning. Parents are welcome on Thursday and Friday. Please see the schedule below. 

    What is the parent responsibility as a visitor to an active learning environment?

    • remember to silence and put away all mobile devices.
    • be on time. We recommend you stay for at least 20 minutes to see the flow of the lesson.  
    • Please be aware of not interrupting the flow of a lesson/your child’s learning. 
    • On Thinking Thursday ( 30th Nov), K2C parents will be Looking and Listening for Learning. You will be asked to sit quietly, observe your child closely during choice time, and think about the skills and ATL’s (Approaches to Learning ) you can see. Listen carefully to the students’ thinking as they play. Then at the end of the session you will be asked to give K2C some ‘feedback’, share what you noticed and wonder.
    • Fun Friday (1st Dec) will be interactive. Your child will teach you how to play math games ( of her/his choice) and/or give you a design challenge.
    • Please leave younger siblings at home with a caregiver, so that you may give you full attention to your child’s class.
    • All parents must wear their UNIS Parent ID badge.
    • Photographing students is not permitted.

16 Nov

It is a short week for students but it’s been a long week for teachers! Many of us attended the EARCOS WEEKEND WORKSHOP  on 11 & 12 November and learned a lot about the importance of Listening to Learning in the Early Years. I met teachers from the East Asia region and enjoyed discussing pedagogical encounters between our own contexts and the ideas of Reggio Emilia.Our workshop facilitator, Fiona Zinn, shared many quotes to support our thoughts about how children learn:

  • “Development between birth and 8 years old is regarded as a ‘time of remarkable brain growth that lays the foundation for subsequent learning and development.”  UNESCO, 2009
  • There are hundreds of different images of the child. Each one of you has inside yourself an image of the child that directs you as you begin to relate to the child, listen to the child, observe the child. It is very difficult for you to act contrary to this internal image. For example: if your image is that boys and girls are very different from one another, you will behave differently in your interactions with them.” Loris Malaguzzi (1993) Your Image of Child: Where Teaching Begins

I want to thank the six parents who have volunteered to join our field trips to look at structures and bridges. To prepare for tomorrow’s field trip, K2C did a ‘see-think-wonder’ talk about the Nhat Than bridge. They were also given some team challenges to build a strong safe bridge! 

Ask your child to tell you more of what happened when we made a bridge across the ‘quick sand’! Also ask your child retell you the story about the 21 elephants on the Brooklyn bridge?

Today K2C welcomed our mystery reader. Thanks to Toby’s Mum,Jo for being a risk-taker and reading us a very funny story! Ask your child to retell the tale of the wombat!


We also started thinking about the concepts of measurement. What can we measure? How can we use everyday language to compare height, length and distances. We had some fun trying to line up in height order!

Finally here’s a message from Ms Nikki: Next week the K2s will be starting their Athletics UOI. This means there will be days they will be outside for PE. Could you please let parents know students will need to wear proper trainers/shoes for PE outside

9 Nov

There was a lot of learning by doing, moving, building and creating in K2C this week.


We commenced our new inquiry into the design of structures. We listened to the tales of Rosie Reveer Engineer who failed many times but didn’t give up creating her inventions, and Iggy Peck, a child architect.

We talked about the word: CONSTRUCTION, we noticed there’s a lot of construction happening at UNIS and we shared our prior knowledge of ‘What can be built?’

K2C’s team challenges of building tall towers were good opportunities to reflect on our social skills of cooperation. Can your child explain the Marshmallow Challenge? Watch the videos at the bottom of this blogpost with your child to find out more!

Tuesday is the day children are invited to bring in items from home for ‘Show and Tell’. I encourage K2C to make connections to the learning that is happening at school.

Do you have something at home that links to our new inquiry into structures, bridges and shelters?

We will be learning about Hanoi’s bridges and towers. We plan to take K2 on field trips on Friday 17th and Tuesday 21st November to observe and sketch bridges over the Red River and Hoan Kiem lake.

Please look in your child’s folder for this permission note.

















BIG Thanks to all the parents who came to help at yesterday’s walk-a -thon. I was amazed at the enthusiasm and energy your children had to run so many laps!.




Did you know teachers are learners too? This weekend I will be at school with other ECC teachers, learning more about ways to implement Reggio Emilio inspired ideas. Then on Monday and Tuesday next week all UNIS participate in professional development ,led by Dr Fran Prolman.

There is No school for students on Monday/Tuesday.



Finally, as you know I enjoy documenting the learning by making youtube movies. Here’s the links to see some of the learning that has happened in K2C this week.



2nd Nov

K2C continue to show wonderful enthusiasm for learning and already, I can see lots of progress has been made since we started school ( only 49 days ago! ) Our children are much more confident to explain their thinking, more cooperative and able to follow the rules of games such as bingo, and more willing to take risks, think hard and learn from mistakes.

This week we had fun and thought a lot of about prepositions. K2C created story maps, obstacle courses and played many games such as position bingo, follow the leader and Simon ( Ms Cathie)says.

On Math Minds Monday, K2C were also thinking very hard as they worked on this Six Balloons word problem.

This weeks’ Talking Tuesday involved lots of storytelling and talking about Halloween, so I used this interest to help children understand story telling concepts of setting and character.

Ask your child to tell you the setting and characters in these stories: Big Pumkin and The Runaway Pumpkin.
The weather this week has been perfect for lots of Outside Classroom learning. Ask your child to tell you what s/he chose to experiment with and how did they use these toys to think like a scientist ( marble run, ping pong, hot wheels track, play dough pumpkins, ten pin bowling, hoops, spinners )They’re becoming very independent too.( Even when dressed up as witches, fairies, superheroes and other characters K2C were able to stay focused during our science, literacy and math lessons.

On Wonderful Wednesday,K2C joined The Tribe of Travelling Tales and started  learning about The Sustainable Development Goals. ( also known as SDG’s). We created the ending to a tale titled Kings, Queens and Spaghetti will be published on youtube soon and available for the world to see!




This is our final week for our How The World Works  K2C are now reflecting on what they have learned. We looked at our first answers to ‘what is a scientist? and what moves? and then, by using a visible thinking routine ‘I used to think and now I think’ noticed we have learned a lot about forces and motion.

Thinking Thursday involved thinking more about the Global goals (SDG’s) and learning ( with the help of our Grade 4 buddies) about the meaning of UN Day? Why is our school’s name UNIS? What is The United Nations? Which SDG’s does your child understand?

We are all looking forward to celebrating UN Day tomorrow, with lots of food, flags, families, photos and a fabulous fun Friday!

Please remember to:

  • to pack a normal snack box  for your child
  • contribute food for the shared lunch
  • school closes at 1pm tomorrow
  • let us know if you are not attending the UN Day lunch at 12 pm
  • inform us if there are any changes to your child’s bus routine
  • say good bye at 1pm to myself of Ms Mi, so we can cross your child’s name off our list!

Finally, look in your child’s green folder ( or school bag) for the Walk-a-thon note. ( see Tin Tuc for more details)





K2 on UN Day

Dear K2 Parents,

We’re all looking forward to UN Day next week.  Because the day will be a very exciting one, we want to make sure that everyone is clear about dismissal plans for the day.  Please read carefully and let us know if you have any questions.

School will end at 13:00 for all students on UN Day.  There will be no ASAs or other after school activities that day.

Parents are welcome to take their children with them after lunch, but it’s very important that you check out at your classroom before you leave with your child.  There will be a sign-out sheet posted outside of each classroom on UN Day.  If you are leaving school with your child, you must check his/her name off the list and sign your name to indicate that you’ve taken your child.  The also applies if you will be taking your child to another area of the school to eat lunch with a sibling in another grade level.  In summary, you MUST sign your child out before you leave the ECC with him/her.

For bus riders:  Please remember to tell your classroom teacher and the transport office if your child will not be riding the bus home after school.

Most importantly, please discuss your dismissal plan with your child on Friday morning.  The change in routine can be unsettling for young children.  Knowing what to expect will reduce stress and make the day more enjoyable for everyone.

Thanks for your support in making sure that the children are safe and happy on UN Day.

The K2 Teachers

26 Oct

This week K2C were given a lot of time to play with toy cars, a marble run, spinning tops, on bicycles and in the ES playground. Perhaps you’re wondering why so much playtime? Many people seem to think child’s play is just kids having a bit of fun. I wonder if our K2C parents are aware of just how much learning occurs through play? Do you know that play is the way children learn best?

When we take time to really observe children’s play and listen carefully (e.g. by watching the videos I make) you will notice children are full of enthusiasm and curiosity. They are natural inquirers and problem solvers. Children are always engaged when given some choice in their play and will naturally use a range of Approaches To Learning (ATL’s). I have been thinking more about and noticing K2C’s ATL’s during play.

  • thinking skills-When playing with moving toys and playground equipment this week, I noticed K2C were really thinking like scientists. They predicted, observed, tested and modified plans, and recorded results. ( Look on our classroom window to see our labelled diagrams)
  • communication skills: K2C are using lots of mathematical and scientific vocabulary to describe forces, position an movement. They are learning to listen carefully to, as well as  give, directions and instructions. They have improved their ability to share their ideas and theories.
  • self-management skills: Your children are usually able to make sensible choices and are learning to reflect on their own actions. When playing on the playground equipment or with moving toys such as cars, mobilo and spinners, they have been planning and completing their own scientific inquiries without teacher direction.
  • social skills: When playing, K2C choose who they play with. I have noticed they are becoming more able to make fair shares, listen to others, act calmly, take turns and cooperate in small groups.
  • research skills. K2C are learning to formulate their own questions about how things move. They are trying to find answers to their questions by observing closely. They are learning to think of ways to show what we found out. 

I hope you’re as proud of ‘Crazy K2C‘ as I am.

Today’s assembly performance was a small snapshot of what your five and six year olds can do. lease compliment her/him for such a positive attitude and willingness to be a risk-taker and confident communicator. Here are links to videos for those families who were unable to attend.( sorry for the blur and poor volume)


K2 are about to start ‘Mystery Reader’. Please click here for the Mystery Reader sign up  I ask parents to pick one day to come in as our K2C Mystery Reader.  Mystery Readers will be scheduled for 2:55 to 3:10 on Thursday afternoons.  On your chosen day, come to school with one of your child’s favorite books (in any language).  Please DO NOT tell your child you will be coming.  Surprises are fun!  We’ll be playing a guessing game to try to figure out who the reader is each day.  

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Big thanks to Jill McHale, our class parent, for compiling these dates for your calendar.