Week of November 27

Open Doors
Thank you to all parents who came to the Open Doors to engage in our learning today! We hope you can also make it tomorrow at 10:10 for a math activity that will end at 11:30. However, you are invited to come in for the first period, if that is most convenient. Remember that you are also welcome to visit your child’s music class, 1:15 pm and/or see him/her at PE, 2:15 pm.
Open Classroom Photos

Mr. Carl – Special Guest
Did you know that UNIS uses 13,000 kilowatts of electricity every day and spend over $10,000 on electricity each month?
Thanks to a visit from our Senior Operations Officer, Carl Strefford, we were able to learn more about our own energy usage and next steps for UNIS.

We have been charging our batteries in 5D! You may wonder what that means. Your child has been successfully following an inquiry cycle to investigate into a personal-interest question on energy and more specifically on electricity. To make our learning visible, students have been contributing their questions and processes to the ‘Charge Your Battery’ display board. Please ask your child to tell you more about her/his findings to the investigation question. As we are preparing for an end-of-unit cumulative event, students have also been investigating into current electrical energy options and ones that might suit a region.
Electricity Investigations Photos

This weeks math has been connecting fractions to real-life situations while using manipulatives to model and make our thinking visible. Quoting an article from the Scientific American that I recently read, “In a recent survey of 2300 white collar, blue collar, and service workers, more than two-thirds indicated that they used fractions in their work.” shows the importance of learning about fraction and making connections to real-life situations.

Your fifth grader has been writing an information report with a purpose to provide the class with information on a self-chosen topic on electricity by providing facts. The challenge in writing a good information report is to provide the audience with plenty of facts and evidence about a topic without providing a personal opinion. Thus, the students have been working on not including their personal opinions and not turning their information texts into a persuasive text.


My Learning, My Agency. I take over!
As UNIS is having a week-long UN Children’s Day celebration where kids take over, this could not have been more timely with my absence for a Professional Development followed by an illness (coughing). It was bizarre for me to hear the doctor say that I was unfit for work. I have not taken a sick day since time immemorial!

You would be proud, just as I am to see how well Your Child took ownership of her/his learning under the guidance of Ms. Huong and a substitute teacher.

These pictures say it all!

Short Week of Nov. 15

All UNIS teachers had a two-day excellent learning professional development on Monday and Tuesday with Dr. Fran Prolman. We inquired into: How can all teachers effectively build up students’ agency, self-advocacy and their ability to take responsibility for their own learning. Hopefully, your child also continued learning at home and enjoyed spending quality time with the family. A take away from Dr. Prolman’s workshop for me was the emphasis on empathy. It would be great for us all to consider Brené Brown’s (mentioned by Dr. Prolman) four aspects of empathy: Fuels connection, Perspective taking and giving, Staying out of judgment, and Recognizing emotions in other people.

This week in math, students took a closer look at a rubric that will enable them to extend their skills, abilities and mathematical practices.The knowledge gained will not only come in handy when completing assessments but also in all math tasks while developing concepts taught.
For UOI, the students are continuing to work with how electrical energy is transferred, transformed, and controlled, using the key concept of function to drive the inquiry.

Focusing on information report, your youngsters are increasingly able to identify structures of this non-fiction text-type. They will gain a better understanding of the purpose of such text as they read more nonfiction books and online resources in this genre during our Electricity UoI.
‘Blue Dragon Walk-a-thon’ Money collection deadline is 22nd November. Please ensure your child gives their money and sponsorship form to their teacher before the deadline.
All students need their ID cards to access their photocopying.
All students need personal headphones to use in class.

Week of November 6

Blue Dragon Walk-A-Thon 
Thank you to parent volunteers 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’ because 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.

In addition to finding out the relationships between operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication and division, students read and wrote numbers in decimal notations.
Next, we will:
Represent, model and compare fractions and decimals
Use mental and written strategies for multiplication and division

A review of how well 5D students can write narratives is offering many opportunities for learning more about features of this genre. This week, wordplay came up while learning about the text structure. But because literary devices used in the English language can seem inaccessible, many students approach using these in their writing with anxiety. Thus, our writing lessons lead to seeing how easily literary elements can be applied to bring stories alive. After rereading their narratives, students use a variety of print and online resources to brainstorm basic literary devices.
Next, we will:
Begin to investigate features of information report text type

As students were asked to share their knowledge about electricity/electrical energy, energy flowed as thoughts flickered, bouncing like unruly electrons around the room. This created an electrifying excitement as each student could not wait to share what he/she knows! Our new unit, Electrical Sciences, is one that has a great deal of hands-on, minds-on learning opportunities! Students will gain an understanding of the central idea: The consumption of electrical energy has an impact on the world. While inquiring into Electrical energy that is transferred, transformed, and controlled; Energy consumption choices that affect the environment and our society; and Electrical energy options. It would be great if you can start to have a conversation about your household or home country’s energy consumption.
Next, we will:
Inquire into how electrical energy is transferred, transformed, and controlled

Teacher Professional Development Days: Monday and Tuesday, November 13 and 14. No school for students.
Collecting ‘Blue Dragon Walk-a-Thon’ Money collection deadline is 22nd November. Please ensure your child brings in the money collected along with his/her form.

Week Ending on UN Day

See you all tomorrow at the UN Day celebration!

We just started a new unit in math with the aim to gain a good understanding of the central idea: Our number system is a language for describing quantities and the relationships between quantities.
Next week we will:
Inquire into operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and their relationships

We are continuing our literature circles, a collaborative and student-centered reading strategy. This requires students to select a book together. The reading group that I coordinate have been divided into four literature circle groups. The groups read Mud City, Parvana’s Journey both books by Deborah Ellis and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. Earlier in the process, the students were introduced to a few jobs in the Literature Circles: Discussion Director, Investigator, Literary Luminary, Vocabulary Enricher, and Summarizer, to name a few.  Student volunteers have been practicing teacher-modeled tasks for each of the roles. The process demonstrates the different roles and allows students to practice the techniques before they are responsible for completing the tasks on their own. After this introduction, students are ready to use the strategy independently, rotating the roles through the lit circle groups as they read the books they have chosen.

With a focus on social skills, fifth graders also discovered a new literacy website, www.literacyplanet.com to help improve their spelling skills and which covers all key literacy skill area. They had an opportunity to consolidate their learning with their grade 1 buddies today.

Looking at the many ways we express ourselves with our year-long unit of inquiry, Identity, grade 5 students reflected on their cultural identity and how they express different aspects of it. Also, they inquired into how our identity connects us with our UNIS community through the lens of the celebration of UN Day. As this unit is also about ways in which we express ideas, it is a perfect time to review the values of the United Nations and our school’s Values, Mission Statement: “Our mission is to encourage students to be independent, lifelong learners who strive for excellence and become responsible stewards of our global society and natural environment, achieved within a supportive community that values diversity and through a programme reflecting the ideals and principles of the United Nations.”

Announcements/Upcoming Events:
Volunteers needed for Blue Dragon Walk-a-Thon on Wednesday, November 8. Please contact Laura and Tuyet, our class parents if you would like to help or for more information.

Teacher Professional Development Days: Monday and Tuesday, November 13 and 14. No school for students.

Week of October 23

Next week Friday, November 3rd is UN Day, the biggest celebration at UNIS! It takes a village and a tremendous team effort for such an event to be successful. Please click
UN Day Lunch G5 Food Sign-Up Sheet to specify the type of food you will be contributing. What an exciting day to look forward to!

It would be great to see you tomorrow at our Grade 5 Migration Living Wax Museum! Your take away will be a good understanding of the effect of human migration on cultures, communities, and individuals.

Going deeper…

5D students are applying a protocol for data analytics. This has been allowing them to transform, model, and come with implications for action for data collected. As they are discovering useful information, they are beginning to gain a better understanding of the meaningfulness of their Inquiry Circle groups’ interpretation and use of the outcome of their surveys.

Watch here to see a million in action.
Making a Million

English/Home Learning
As you know, the Grade 5s are implementing a guided reading group program to enable students to make progress in a much efficient way. Thus, your child should have been bringing home a book that her/his reading group or literature circle is reading and/or reading assignments to complete. To foster independence and continue to develop one of our core values, responsibility, students decide together (with teacher guidance) on how many pages or chapters to read for the next time. Lessons are planned with the aim to Please help reinforce the message of responsibility to complete any assigned home learning task.

Dress Up Day Oct 31 – appropriate dress-up encouraged
UN Day Nov 3 – cultural dress and food
Walk-a-Thon Nov 8 – sponsor sheets to be coming soon.
Headphones – Please ensure that your child has a set of headphones for school

Week of October 16

The Autumn Break was a needed one to reinvigorate, revisit goals, and feel refreshed to finish the first semester strong. Hope you all had a splendid break!

In math, your fifth grader continued to work on data, collecting information on her/his inquiry circle groups’ questions. They reviewed the importance and use of appropriate methods to collect data. Most inquiry circle groups sent out Google form questionnaires and surveys. The effectiveness of using this tool is that it constructs a visual representation automatically as the data is inputted. The students’ challenge was then to elaborate on the graphs, reading them concisely, clearly and thinking of a new representation. Some students are ready to interpret and evaluate the information collected.
Next, we will:
Continue to describe and interpret data
Decide methods of implication for data collected

Writing a narrative comes with a few criteria. One that your youngster focused on this week is grammatical features and how they are used to build meaning in texts. Investigating into Tense (present, past…), Number (singular, plural…), and Person (1st, 2nd, and 3rd). They were able to reread their narrative drafts and check for ways to use grammatical features to improve their written pieces. With this practice, Grade 5D students are becoming better at writing a chosen migrant’s story in the first person singular in preparation for the Living Wax Museum, a cumulative presentation for the Migration unit of inquiry.

Next, we will:
Complete first drafts of narratives using a wide range of adjectives to provide description and detail.

As we are gradually coming to the end of the Migration unit, it is time to delve a little deeper into the inquiry through the concepts. The students are gaining competency in justifying why a reason to migrate could be a push or a pull factor, identifying changes that are cultural, emotional, or physical, and finally critiquing perspectives of either the migrant or the community. Perspectives related to migration.

Next, we will:
Work on a chosen migrant’s story and use a rubric to peer- and self-assess.

Giving – The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
We are all gifted in uncountable versatile ways! Ms. Angela reminded us all of how much we have within us, interwoven in our DNA, to give to others. She read the unforgettable perception and beautifully written book, The Giving Tree. This enabled each student to think of what they are able to offer to enhance the mood of people around them.

Spirit Assembly
There was a distinct sense of our school community and identity at this morning’s APAC Super Volleyball opening ceremony.
Have a peek :

Migration Museum Extravaganza Invitation

Week of October 2

What a pleasure to meet with you, Grade 5D Parents, on Tuesday! It was a treasured opportunity to build a stronger partnership with you while discussing your child’s progress, goals and developing a plan for now and the future! Thank you for a successful Parent-Teacher Conference!

Buddy Class 
The fifth graders are always so excited to meet with their first-grade buddies, fortnightly! Today was no exception. Grade 1 students read to their 5D buddy, who fostered reading comprehension by asking appropriate grade-level questions such as the description of character traits, settings, and events.

With our Grade 1 buddies, we have the opportunity to learn and practice our school’s core values: Learning, Community, and Responsibility and also important values of respect, care, valuing differences, including others, and friendship.

This week, students posed questions and collected data by observation or survey. They worked on refining their questions to construct a survey to obtain data about a matter of interest. Some have already started to collate their data categorical and numerical; conducting surveys using Google forms and documents.
Next, we will:
Use appropriate methods to collect data and construct, interpret and evaluate data displays

Some of you asked for ideas of appropriate books for your child. Our English Coordinator, Ms. Angela has helped to put together the following list.
UNIS Hanoi Elementary Recommended Booklist-wg3gal
We continue to develop and apply contextual knowledge to understand how texts vary in purpose and structure as we read migration stories. In appreciation of how Grade 5 informative texts contain increasing levels of complexity, students explored ways to enhance their reading engagement and enjoyment. Also, as we read many digital texts, they needed to explain and justify the responsible use of digital technologies as a reading resource.

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.
Next, we will:
Recognize how grammatical features help to build meaning in texts

Rights, conflicts, refugees, interconnectedness. These were words that dominated our discussions in UoI this week. Please continue the conversation at home. Have your youngster explain his/her understanding of these words to you and give examples.

What’s your stance? Do refugees have equal rights as expatriates?

Next, we will:
Perspectives related to migration

PE Dance for your enjoyment

Grade 5 Trip Photos
Grade 5 Trip, Hoa Binh 2017
More trip pictures
There is no school next week. We look forward to seeing you return on Monday, October 16.
Enjoy your Autumn Break!

Week of UNIS’ Birthday

If you asked a Grade 5 student about birthdays and celebrations, the majority of them will tell you they usually end with something sweet. We celebrated UNIS’ 30 Years of Learning to Inspire on Tuesday, and it did surely end with something sweet – cupcakes and a whole school picture! It was all about the memories!

Whole school assembly to sing Happy Birthday UNIS

Getting ready for a very creative picture

The celebration took a giant team effort under the direction of Ms. Emma Silva.

What is data? That was the question explored this week in math. From prior experiences, the students knew data could be collected in many ways. For example, as the students arrived on Monday, they immediately took inventory of the new furniture to check with the data they previously collected for the new design of our classroom. They then thought of other ways of collecting data such as doing a survey. Applying knowledge gained from how to do a survey, fifth graders completed step one, which is asking a question. Inquiry circles were formed from the topics of interest reflected in their questions. Also, completing Inspiration Math tasks are contributing to developing a growth mindset. It is a great way to get inspired for open, visual and creative mathematics all year!
Next week we will:
Pose questions and collect categorical or numerical data by observation or survey

Explicitly looking at the narrative genre of writing, your child has been engaged in breaking up a personal story into chunks and following a concrete structure for each chunk. Students examined character traits and explicitly planned an orientation for their narratives, including who, what, where, and when. In reading, fifth graders have been working in groups and not necessarily with their own teacher. In Ms. Ronke’s group, fifth graders are previewing texts and discussing key vocabulary which aids in comprehending and responding appropriately to the content. The students continue to read many migration stories.
Next week we will:
Use the orientation plan to write sentences
Continue reading fiction and nonfiction texts

Our Migration UoI presents a great opportunity to take a closer look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Goal #10, Reduce Inequality, suits best. Grade 5 students investigated further to gain a better understanding of the goal. The class has been having discussions about improving living conditions of those in need without compromising our earth’s resources for future generations. They said, “For us, agents of change, to make a difference, we thought of how to get involved locally.” As our trip to Hoa Binh is also about Service Learning, there will be opportunities to engage in meaningful, positive, and sustainable actions.
Next week we will:
Explain how culture influences the way people modify and adapt to their environments.

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, September 25. 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 of September 11

Our school core values, learning, community, and responsibility, foster leadership. As the ES is in need of a Student Council, some students in our class put their candidacy forward and gave a speech for why they should be elected as our Grade 5D Student Council Representative. After listening to how each candidate planned to secure accountability, impact the ES positively, and take responsibility, the students cast their votes. The results were very close between all four candidates, Anna Ly, Stacey, Olivia, and Amara. Our emerging leaders are Olivia and Stacey.

Very soon we are going to receive new furniture for our classroom. As our math curriculum is going from numbers into data handling, the arrival of our new furniture couldn’t have been better timed! Partnering up, the students collected, organized, and displayed valuable data for the new classroom setting. How many tables, chairs, laptop bars, reading table, sofa, armchair, and rugs are we getting? What are the dimensions of each item? What is the surface area of our classroom? What are we keeping and what is going out? These were some of their questions which lead to valid interpretations and communications of a design. We will vote on Friday on the design that meets all learners’ needs.
Next week we will:
Investigate different ways data can be collected
Develop understanding of why we need data

Exploring how reading and writing are used as forms of communications, your child has been writing about and reading migration stories through the lens of three big concepts: change, perspectives, or causation. 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 child will engage in reading in mixed class groupings with an assigned teacher.

Next week we will:
Examine character traits and setting

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.

Next week we will:
Continue to inquire into reasons migration happen

Tomorrow, Friday, September 15: Wear dots tomorrow to celebrate making a mark and creativity.
EAL Coffee Morning 
When:  Friday, September 15, 8:30 – 9:30
Where: Library
Please come learn more about the UNIS EAL program.

Tuesday, September 19: Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing begins.
Whole School 30th Birthday Assembly
Where: Sports Centre
When: Tuesday, 19th September, at 2.00 pm

Wednesday, September 20: Healthy snack sale Please send money with your child so they can buy snacks.