How We Organise Ourselves

At the start of the unit “How We Organise Ourselves”, students went through a couple of “simulations” aimed at having them gain an understanding of how fair, unfair or sustainable some economic practices can be. In one, they were tasked with “growing bananas”, in the other, making paper bags for a supplier.
The students were in “family groups” and had to “work” for a set period of time, submit their product to quality control and get “paid” accordingly. Market forces were at play through out, with conditions changing as they often do in real life.
At the end of the “work” time students had to work out how much they had earned against outlays for shelter, clothes and food for their families. below are some pictures taken from the “Paper Bag” simulation:

For the last few uoi lessons students have been finding out about fairness and sustainability in growth and development as well as the effects of economic activities. Each student looked at these lines of inquiries through food and drink (with Ms. Chris), textiles (with Mr. Josh & Ms. Julia) and  travel, plastics, footballs and some other things we consume as a “good” or “service” (with Mr. Aaron). Some of the examples used were based within UNIS, with students interviewing Chef Adam (from the canteen) and Ms. Phuong (from the Boutique) about “sustainable practices” and “fair trade” with goods and services at UNIS.

Students will now decide which area they are most interested in and will delve more deeply with their inquiry after the break.

As part of the Morning Meeting, 3D students have been practising their editing skills by reading and then editing Ms. Julia’s morning message using an editing code. Please ask them to explain what they are doing in this video:

Finally, Ms. Thuy and I would like to wish everyone a very happy, safe and restful holiday. See you in 2018!


At the end of last week, Grade 3 students shared the “machines” they had created with other G3 students and their K1 buddies. Here are a few photos:

In maths, in addition to the regular number work, students have been exploring capacity and working out quantities in a 1.5 litre bottle. If cups of juice for a party hold 150ml each, how many cups can you fill from 1 bottle? How many bottles will be needed for 8 people?

I hope the parents who came to Open Door today enjoyed seeing the class. There is another Open Door tomorrow from 8:45 – 9:45.


23rd November

This week 3D have been busy designing, making and improving a (should be compound) machine (using their knowledge of simple machines) to go in a Fun Fair. The classroom often looked like this:

Students have now been tasked with using the app “Explain Everything” to describe their journey through a Design Cycle, explain what their machine does, the simple machines it is made from and the forces that are involved in it. Watch out for this on their blog.

Reminders: Open Door next week, Thursday and Friday at specific times. See here for FULL details. The schedule is also below.


Fast and Furious!

3D were super excited this week to try out the ‘cars’ they have been making and see how far each could travel. We had a “Fast and Furious” Car Competition! After first making an estimate of how far they thought their vehicle would go, they measured the distance their creations travelled in metres and centimetres.

Today, 3D shared their achievements with their K1 Buddies and had another go at the “Fast & Furious” competition.

As a final, summative assessment project, the students have now been tasked with using the Design Cycle to individually create a game/ride for a Fun Fair i.e. create a COMPOUND machine made up of the simple machines they are now knowledgeable about. This is an in-school project. Students will have until next Wednesday to “think, design, make, fix, improve and make better” their compound machine. They will be assessed on their ability to name and explain the forces used within their machine, the number of simple machines their compound machine uses, their ability to explain these, and their ability to use and explain the Design Cycle.
To help with this project, please send in any empty cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, bottle/jar caps, or anything else you think might be of use when students are “making”. Thank you.

Reminders: Wednesday 22nd November there is another Healthy Snack Sale. Items cost 10,000VND and students can purchase up to 2 items.
Walkathon money is still being collected – thank you for any donations you may have!



Thank you so much to those parents who were able to attend and/or help at yesterday’s Walkathon. 3D had a lot of fun. As part of maths today, they worked out how many laps they had run in total as a class – 261!  We have started recording the amount of money we raise on 2 charts in the classroom’ one for VND and one for USD. Please send in your donations as soon as possible. THANK YOU!

Hope you’ve seen the earlier blog posts this week with photos from UN Day and lots of information about 3D’s inquiry into Simple Machines.

Reminders: no school for students Monday 13th or Tuesday 14th November. These are PD days for staff.
Wed. 15th Board of Directors Community Meeting 18:30.

How the World Works – Forces and Simple Machines

Last week and this, 3D have really been delving into what “simple machines” are and how they work. We started with a free exploration of a variety of forces and simple machines, alongside research through books and videos.

Next the children were challenged to make a catapult (simple machine: lever) using a limited number of resources and were introduced to a Design Cycle of: Think, Make, Fix, Improve & Make Better. They were encouraged to research as much as they liked to help themselves. Shortly after this, they were asked to “teach” a K2D Buddy about a simple machine and the force/s involved.

Gaining in experience and confidence, the children were then challenged to create a simple machine that could travel from a point A to B quickly. They had to work with a partner and, again, were encouraged to go through a design cycle and research for ideas and information as needed.

Today, we visited the Water Park in Tay Ho to see what simple machines and forces were in evidence there.


UN Day

Here are some photos from this year’s UN Day. It is always such a special day. Thank you for being a part of the celebration.


We need……..

Please can you collect and send in to school: bottle caps, lids from jars, cardboard rolls/tubes (e.g. from kitchen paper), empty tissue boxes.

Reminders for next week:
Student Council Dress Up Day Tuesday 31st Oct. (details in ES Blog/Tin Tuc)
UN Day on Friday 3rd November

This unit of inquiry is SO transdisciplinary! Students enjoyed flying their hoop gliders, earlier in the week, so much that we did some more work on them: testing them out, making modifications and trying again. Students used their maths skills to measure and record how far the glider flew each time.
In English, students wrote a procedure on, “How to build a Hoop Glider”, revisiting a writing format they have learned about in previous years. We have now started looking at ‘Explanation’ writing, finding some connections to ‘Report’ writing (in terms of structure and language features) from our previous unit of inquiry. In class, students have access to a collection of online sites and books, connected to forces and simple machines, to listen to and read.
If you would like to join in the exploration at home here’s a link to some fun activities connected to forces and here is one for some simple machines.

A Design Cycle – Gliders

Last week, G3 students got to explore some of the resources for our new unit.

We thought about, “What is a machine?” We decided that a machine was something that made our lives easier and did work for us.
On Monday, 3D went through the process of a design cycle: Think, Make, Improve, REPEAT! The challenge was to make a glider using 3 strips of card, a straw and tape.
Students then tested out their gliders and made modifications to make them fly better and further.