Child Rights and Responsibilities

Helpful Sites:

Newsela – Newsela is a wonderful site for organizing and reading articles in the news, that are directed at different reading levels. For our current STP unit, we are looking into children’s rights and responsibilities. There are no shortage of current news stories about the very subject. With Newsela, we have been able to find such articles and put them together into one place.

The Sharing the Planet articles can be found HERE.

The Week Ahead:

As we approach the holidays, it is important to think about how fortunate we are, and what our position means in terms of our responsibility to take action. The central question behind our new unit is about this responsibility and about building the capacity to take action. This does not mean that every student needs to go out and find a charitable organization to become a part of, but it does mean that we need to think about what actions we can take. Action need not be grandiose.

Over the next week, we will continue to look into the circumstances that affect equality throughout the world, and also the rights that children have. We will also look at who has access to the rights and what circumstances can cause a lack of access.

The Week Behind:


The students have had a productive start to our new unit. We have been learning about infographics, and how we can present data in a way that catches attention. We have been learning about information reports – analyzing the structure and features. And we have also been trialling scenarios related to power. You may have heard the students talk about the coloured wrist band activity from last week – wherein certain students were either allowed or denied access to certain rights and privileges depending on what wrist band they were wearing.

Students had an opportunity during open house to present their summative Museums to parents and friends. There were many proud students who reflected that the experience of talking with their parents about their learning was a great moment. Many thanks to the supportive group who came out to ask questions and give feedback.

During our open house, students were also able to show some of the process they have gone toward in creating their iTime work. Many were just starting to write proposals, but it was great to show how much work and planning goes into each one of our creations.

For the Calendar:

This Week – Auditions for Wizard of Oz
December 8 – Maker Day
December 16 – Holidays Begin

Costume Day and UN Day Information

Helpful Sites:

Addition / Subtraction (Learning Space) – As we continue to challenge ourselves to get better at mental computation, this particular part of the learning space is invaluable in connecting us to other sites and tools to practice our skills. Sitting down doing worksheets is not the best way for us to practice, but PRACTICE is IMPORTANT. Follow the links on this site to things like the Math Trainers and Kakooma, but also note that there are links to games where we can use tools like cards, rekenreks and dominos so that not all the practice we are doing involves looking at a computer screen.

The Week Ahead:

While we continue to look into our new unit of inquiry, there are some big events coming up next week that require our attention in advance – namely, Dress Up Day and UN Day.

Dress Up Day (October 31st)

In an effort to enjoy the dress up day at UNIS Hanoi appropriately, respectfully and in accordance with school rules, we ask that students use the following guidelines when selecting a costume:

  1. Costumes should not completely obscure a student’s identity.
  2. Students are encouraged to be creative in their choice of costume. Costumes should not be frightening or gory.
  3. Fake weapons are not allowed.
  4. Costumes that could be offensive or perpetuate a stereotype of someone’s culture, gender, heritage, or religion are not permitted.
  5. Costumes should not hinder a student’s ability to participate in their classes, including P.E. Costumes may not disrupt learning or present issues of safety.

UN Day (November 3rd)

Students and Faculty and Staff are encouraged to come to school dressed to reflect their national identity which is not always straightforward in our multi-cultural community. However, sports shirts and ‘fun’ costumes are discouraged.

Assembly Running Order (10:30 – 11:45):
  • Welcome and National Anthem
  • Parade of Nations with 195 UN Member and Observer States represented
  • Speech by the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Kamal Malhotra 
  • Fan Dance
  • Speech by a representative of the Vietnamese Government
  • Lotus Fan Dance
  • Poetry performance: Saloni Sharma
  • Performance by Dr Charles Barder with the MSHS Choir and student musicians
  • Umbrella Dance
  • Student Speech: Bea Campilan
  • ES Mass Choir Performance

Following the Assembly families join their children for grade level ‘pot luck’ community lunches.

The Week Behind:

You may have noticed students beginning to bring home a journal of sorts, outlining highlights of their learning from the day, as well as reminders for the weeks ahead. As Grade 4 students, we are trying to be more independent in keeping track of the many things that are going on at the school. We are also trying to be better communicators of what is going on inside the classroom. Our blogs are part of that, but quite often, our blogs take time to update. A quick reminder, so that we can continue the conversation at home about our learning is important. Please help us to keep that conversation going, by asking us to talk about our day, and by reminding us to use the journal to “prompt” conversation.

We have begun to look into our new unit of inquiry, and will continue to delve deeply into how “Connections to our past and present influence future generations.”

For the Calendar:

October 31 – Dress Up Day (see above)
November 3 – UN Day (see above)
October 7-15 – October Break

The Earth Changes…

With our first unit of inquiry drawing to a close (yes, it has gone by that quickly). Students have been learning a great deal about How Earth’s surface changes over time. From experiments with crayons to replicate the rock cycle, to upcoming stream and river scenarios, we have had a lot of hands on learning experiences.

Helpful Sites:

Raz Kids – A great place to go to read, listen and answer questions relating to books that are set to our level. The students all have a login and password and each Raz Kids account has been customized to provide students with books and questions at their reading level. If students find the stories to simple, they can let me know and we can change them up to provide something more challenging.

The Week Ahead:

Next week we look to finish off some of the learning in our UOI that has taken place over the first month of school.  The goal is to do some assessment to see how much we have learned and to see what we still need to delve deeper into. Along with our regularly scheduled class program, just a reminder that October 3rd is a student free day. I hope to see you all at parent conferences.

The Week Behind:

Please check out our twitter feed (located on the left side of the blog, as well as on the learning space) to see some highlights from the week behind. Students conducted experiments, did presentations, worked in centres, showed appreciation by nominating someone for Wonderful Person of the Year, and celebrated UNIS’ 30th Birthday.

A plug for our blogs – check out the videos we made to show our understanding of round numbers, as well as the Alien Numbers that we created. Some students even created Alien Numbers that were in different Bases, showing a remarkable understanding of Place Value.

Most students handed back their Home Learning Grid, which went home for the first time this year two weeks ago. I was pleased to see students who were keeping track of their reading, physical activity and housework. A reminder to parents, that you do not need to sign and date every single night – but please help your children to keep track of their learning and encourage them to have a balanced approach to learning at home.

The next home learning grid will be due back the week after the break.

For the Calendar:

September 28 – Moon Festival
October 3rd – Parent Teacher Conferences (student free day)
October 7-15 – October Break

How the World Works…


The students have excitedly been planning this week for the arrival of our new furniture – drawing up blueprints and measuring the classroom space – in order to make decisions about how best to layout the class in order to help with our learning.

Helpful Sites:

Khan Academy – Maybe the best free website for mathematics learning as well as a host of other subjects. In Grade 4, we use Khan Academy to help differentiate our learning. KA can also be used at home to support mathematics instruction in the classroom. The helpful videos and hints assist students in developing new understanding and the questions, points and badges help to solidify concepts in an enjoyable way.

The Week Ahead:

We continue to look into HTWW, specifically looking at and asking questions about Characteristics of the Earth’s Surface. Students are using online databases like BrainPop and Britannica School to investigate, and are learning more about searching for information using key words and note taking.

We continue to look into Place Value and Rounding and are beginning to investigate maps relating to Earth’s topography.

We also continue to learn about writing to reflect and will begin to look into the Scientific Method for investigating our questions.

The Week Behind:

For those of you that missed our curriculum night – here is a copy of the presentation:

We focused mostly on what learning looks like in Grade 4 and it was suggested that the Learning Space as well as the student blogs should be your go to place to get a glimpse of what is going on in the class. The Class Blog also has our overall curriculum if you want to see what is ahead of us.

We also discussed the Home Learning Grid – which should go home with the students this week. The grid focuses on Reading, Physical Activity and Housework as being important things that students should be doing daily. You can sign, stamp or date the grid, which should come back to the school every two weeks, so that teachers can check to see that students are being active readers, active individuals, and active helpers in the household.

Our Field Trip to Soc Son was a success. Students have featured many photographs and will continue to update their findings through their blogs. Photos are also featured on the twitter feed.

Note: Some of the blog addresses have changed. There may be dead links on the learning space and class blog at the moment. Please be patient while these are updated.

For the Calendar:

September 12 and 18 – Phil Kassouf Visit (aerospace engineer)
September 19 – UNIS 30th Birthday Assembly
September 28 – Moon Festival
October 3rd – Parent Teacher Conferences (student free day)

The First Two Weeks…


The students have been happily putting together their blogs – changing themes, adding avatars, and composing first posts. They are eager to show you their blogs and for you to make positive comments.

Helpful Sites:

Prodigy – A favourite of the grade 4 students, don’t let their excitement fool you, this site (also available as an App for most tablets) is wonderful for strengthening math foundations. Students level up, collect pets and go on adventures, all while answering assigned mathematical questions at their level. I assign the questions, can check their results and a plethora of other things, and the students enjoy using it. What more can you ask for?

The Week Ahead:

Next week we delve into our first UOI, How the World Works. Though our learning space is not fully up to date – I recommend checking in on the HTWW page under the UOI tab, to see some of the learning engagements we will be participating in and some of the students work as the unit progresses.

The big news for next week, is that we will be taking a field trip to Soc Son on Friday to investigate changes to the Earth’s surface as a result of natural processes and our activities.

Next week also marks the beginning of the standard schedule.

The Week Behind:

The First Two Weeks are always a bit of a departure from the regular calendar, but important nevertheless. Students get to know each other and the routines of a new year. We establish essential agreements and practice centres. We sign up for sites and we assess our prior knowledge in a variety of areas.

The 4B Black Bears have bonded as a group and we hope to continue the success of these first two weeks getting to know each other – and build on what we have established as a community throughout the year.

For the Calendar:

September 4 – No School
September 7 – Back to School Night @ 18:00
September 8 – Field Trip to Soc Son (permission slip to go home today)