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.

Week of September 5

A wonderful opportunity was presented to us this morning at our ES assembly! We had visitors from The Kliptown Youth Program, a nonprofit in Soweto, South Africa perform the traditional South African gumboot dance to the ES students and faculty. It was phenomenal! The unique cultural style high energy percussion and acapella singing offered us a great way to make connections with our identity.

Here is how made connections, merging cultures in 5D with the new experience:

In class, students spend time discussing math problems in depth and are asked to share their reasoning and solutions. It is most important that your child accurately and efficiently solve math problems in ways that make sense to her or him.
At home, encourage your child to explain her or his math thinking to you.

Next week we will be:
Deriving strategies to solve multiplication problems
Continuing Mathematics Screening Assessment


This week, grade 5 students have been reading leveled books to determine what their ‘just right’ books are. A book that is developmentally appropriate, engaging, and packed with learning opportunities such as vocabulary building. As we are beginning a new unit, they have also been exploring books about migration. Most of the writing done this week was related to their reading. However, for our Identity UoI, each student wrote an I Am poem in English and a chosen known or spoken language. Some students were courageous and chose a language that they were interested in. They got some help from Google translate and/or someone from our class who spoke the language to practice reciting the poem. The I Am poems can be viewed on your child’s blog or Google Drive.

Next week we will be: 
Expressing and developing ideas
Reading nonfiction texts


Did you hear from your youngster about Beretia, Misiridonia, Paradisio, and Chaosville? Are you wondering what this is about? For students to start thinking about our Humans migration affects communities, cultures, and individuals, the central idea for our Migration UoI, the fifth graders partook in a provocation. This made them migrate from a simulation of different situations around the world that might cause people to look for a better life! Some of the students were able to think and identify countries in our world that might have been reflected in the simulation. Ask your child to tell you more about his or her experience of the Migration UoI provocation on Tuesday.

Visa entry into Paradisio was tough

Getting into Chaosville – guess what was needed – a bribe!

People worked hard – no pay, no water, no chatting – in Misiridonia

Endless Visa process

Noone could escape Beretia’s tough military regime

Next week we will:
Begin to gain inquire into reasons why Migration occurs

We look forward to seeing you tonight, Thursday at 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm at Back to School Night!

Thank you for filling out the permission slips for our upcoming excursion to Hoa Binh.


Grade 5 Excursion: September 27 -29 2017

Wanted: 5D Class Parent

Here is Grade 5D Back to School Night presentation

Week of August 28

Establishing routines has been the focus since school resumed. Grade 5 students are being confronted by change daily, which results in building self-discipline and a sense of security, but also can be stressful. Getting acquainted with new classmates, teachers, transitioning from one class to the next, tackling and learning new skills coupled with gaining knowledge at astonishing speed are a given on any school day. All of these are best handled when they are expected and occur in the context of a familiar routine. For each student to feel safe, develop a sense of mastery in the daily events, and have a sense of belonging to the community, we will continue to revisit, reinforce, and practice our classroom routines.

Another way that we are preparing for the rest of our time in Grade 5 is by incorporating a growth mindset, mindfulness, and coming up with Essential Agreements:

5D Essential Agreements

  • Respect teachers, students, and classroom and school materials
  • Actively and interactively listening to the speaker
  • Walk in the classroom, be safe
  • Put things where they are meant to be, be responsible
  • Be Positive
  • Display the IB PYP learner profile and attitudes at all times

It would be beneficial to reinforce the Essential Agreements at home.

A quote from Mr. Lush:
“Students have a right to thrive in an environment where each child belongs, is successful and has the power to influence what impacts him/her. The adults in the school have the obligation to create this school environment.”


For the teachers to have a clearer understanding of each student’s mathematical knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses, fifth graders will be engaged in mathematical assessments. The strands are: 

  • Problem solving
  • Geometry and Measurements
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Number and Algebra

This is to provide your child with a learning environment for improving his or her math knowledge, skills, and conceptual understanding.

Next week we will:

Math assessments – revisit all math strands

Mathematical Practices-1iszg53


As constructivists, information gathered from student’s responses inform teaching and learning and help students develop skills needed to be successful learners. Thus, we shall be conducting Developmental Reading Assessments – DRA, a narrative writing assessment, and a spelling inventory (Words Their Way) to determine each student’s English level.

Next week we will:

English assessments – read selections of books, retell, and answer to comprehension questions and apply spelling strategies in all written work

Building community and relationship with our G1 buddy class


Grade 5D students expressed their identities in many ways at our mini ‘Me Museum’, where they displayed artifacts that reflected their identity – beliefs, values, ideas, feelings, nature, and culture. Through varied activities, they investigated into how we discover and uncover our identity as a class and also individually.

Here is our Identity UoI Overview

Next week we will:

Start a new UoI, Migration – Where We Are In Place and Time



  • National Day September 4 – No school
  • ASAs begin on September 5, 2017
  • Back to School Night, September 7th, 6 pm (first session) 6:30 pm (last session)
  • Class Parent Is your forte in building and strengthening a community? Do you enjoy communicating and bringing people together? You will be great at being our Grade 5 Class Parent! We need one Class Parent volunteer who will liaise and assist communication between the SCO and Grade 5 parents all through the school year. Class Parent responsibilities include:
    • Organize a social gathering for parents in the class and grade level to get to know each other.
    •  Create a Class Directory to share with the parents in your class.
    • Encourage/promote participation in school community events.
    • Help to communicate information from the School Community Organisation (SCO) to families
    • Support homeroom teachers with their requests. This may include helping to coordinate parent volunteers for a class project, party or field trip.
    • Welcome New Families to a class (especially when joining mid-year) and help new families with the transition process.
    • Share information, concerns, issues & initiatives with the SCO Elementary School (ES) Chair and Vice Chair, so that such information can be passed on to the ES Principal.
    • Help organize the UN Day Community Lunch for the Early Childhood Centre and Elementary School.
    • Liaise with the Grade 5 Team Leader (Tina Carew)

Save the Date:

Grade 5 Excursion 27th -29th September 2017

Grade 5D In Bloom

Welcome to Grade 5D blog!
This is where you will find regular updates about your child’s learning, check out what we have been up to, and learn about future plans. With the aim to keep you inspired, we look forward to reading many comments from you!

To promote high achievement in mathematics, we use an approach to group work. Thus, the students have spent this week working together to come up with core values that promote strong and equitable participation of each person in a group.

Next week we will:

    • Focus on problem-solving while exploring mathematical practices

Mathematical Practices-1iszg53


Fostering a love of reading, Grade 5D students have been enjoying books read-aloud. They take pleasure in sitting together on the carpet or their desks to listen to books read to them. Our guest reader for last week was Benjamin who read Back-to-School, by Meredith Badger. We loved listening to him using different voices to bring the book characters to life. The students also liked listening to their teacher reading aloud The Important Book, Margeret Wise Brown. We would like to continue to cultivate a love of reading, and it would be great if you could come in and share a story with our class.

The start of the school year is when we usually look at the year’s scope and sequence and set goals. This year, we have adopted the notion of a road trip to look at the journey ahead. Your youngster had a chance to create a Grade 5 roadmap and also wrote a letter to self, setting future goals.

Next week we will:

  • Continue to foster a love of reading
  • Write for a variety of purpose


In Grade 5, we are going to have one unit of inquiry (UoI) that is a year long one- Identity (How We Express Ourselves) and all the other units will run in conjunction. Thus, we shall be beginning another UoI, Migration (Where We Are in Place and Time) in early September.

Here is our Identity UoI Overview

Next week we will:

  • Define ‘identity’ using the key concept of Form – what it is like? (Everything has a form with recognizable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorized)

Picture Gallery 

I look forward to reading your comments!