What’s happening in 2D?

Move Up Day

You should have by now received an email from the school with details of your child’s new class and teacher. There was a mix of emotions this morning before they headed off to meet their new classmates and teacher. They were all in good spirits when they returned from their morning. I encourage you to chat with your children about their hopes and expectations for Grade 3.


Upcoming Events

With only 3 1/2 days of school left we still have plenty of events before school ends at 12pm next Wednesday. Grade 2 will have a class party with a water play theme. Please send your children with the appropriate clothing to spend the afternoon playing in water.

An elementary school assembly will take place in the School Sports Centre on Tuesday, June 13 at 1:15pm. Families are welcome to join us as we farewell those students and teachers departing UNIS.

There will be a whole school assembly in the sports centre at 11:45am on Wednesday in preparation for the end of school at 12pm.

If you have any questions regarding the end of year, please don’t hesitate to email me.

J. Smith

What’s happening in 2D?

We have a busy few weeks coming up as we come to the end of Grade 2.

Art Party Tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon, Ms Andrea has invited our class for a movie party in the Art room.

If your child is attending and usually takes the school bus home, can you please notify Mr. Lai, our school transport coordinator of the changes.

Healthy Snack Sale Next Week

It is 2D’s turn to contribute to the ES healthy snack sale next week. More information can be found on the Healthy Snack webpage.

Book Sale

Our class managed to donate more than 250 books to the annual book drive. All the used books will be on sale tomorrow and Saturday with profits from the sale being donated to local charities. More information here:

Swimming Gala

Congratulations to the Lions who came first in the Grade 2/3 Swimming Gala this afternoon. The event was a huge success with great participation and enthusiasm from all students.

Student Led Conferences

Thank you to all of you who have signed up for Student Led Conferences tomorrow. The students have been busily preparing their work and are excited to share what they’ve learnt over the course of the year. The students have chosen each piece of work to share and have decided on a reason for showing this to you. The conferences are intended to be as interactive as possible so I encourage you to ask questions and seek clarification on their learning. You also welcome to visit their specialist classes including languages, PE, music/choir, art and the library.

Please note that students only come to school for their scheduled conference time. If you have not yet signed up for a conference and would like to, please email me as soon as possible and we can arrange something.


J. Smith

What’s happening in 2D?

Unit of Inquiry

This week we began our new Unit of Inquiry which is from the transdisciplinary theme of Where we are in place and time.

Our central idea is ‘Curiosity drives exploration to discover and understand the world around us’ and we will be inquiring into types of exploration, how and why people explore and the outcomes of exploration. Our unit includes elements of geography and time.

We started with a great provocation activity yesterday afternoon which we encourage you to ask your children about.  Students worked in small teams to solve problems and work their way through an adventure challenge to piece together clues and puzzles to solve a problem associated with the unit.


In Maths, we are investigating how we use multiplication in our daily lives. This new unit of inquiry also lends itself to investigations into length and area. As per the ACARA math standards that we use to guide our instruction, we will begin to work with the addition and subtraction of 3 digit numbers up to 1000. For more information on the learning progression of addition, subtraction and multiplication please watch these short clips from Graham Fletcher, a respected math educator.  


We also began a new literacy unit this week in our writing focus. We will be learning about the features of Information Reports and possible applications for writing these non-fiction texts when learning about explorers and explorations.

We have completed our unit on technology and by now we hope that you have connected with your children either by email or via their blog. If you have not we really encourage you to do so.


J. Smith

Breaking apart an old computer to see what is inside

Learning new math games from Grade 5 students

Learning about Mars exploration and robots from NASA scientist and engineer, Dr. Stroupe

Making the Mars robot Curiousity

Displaying our learning on our UOI wall

Reading with our buddies in Discovery

Working with other students in G2 to solve our UOI challenge

Using our iPads to blog

2D Update


As I mentioned in a previous email, we’re trying to rework the way we communicate with parents. This has a few elements, one of which is this blog. Hopefully, you’re also connected with your children on their blogs. These learning hubs will showcase what they have been working on in class and give them an opportunity to share their learning as well as understanding what it means to become better digital citizens. Please let me know if you have not been successful in connecting with your child by blog or via email.



Next week, students will start their swimming unit and will be swimming in every PE lesson for the next 6 weeks. On May 4th there will be the culminating event – ES Grades 2 and 3 Swim Meet. It will be an afternoon occasion with all students and homeroom teachers involved.

Plenty of additional information on the aquatics program can be found on the Swimming Blog or questions can be directed to Ella Healy at: aquaticscoordinator@unishanoi.org


Our current Unit of Inquiry

We are coming to the end of this unit on technology. Students have had the chance to investigate what it means to be responsible online, how to manage content they come across online and how to make express themselves and make valuable contributions to the online community.



The students have spent the last few weeks learning how to give and receive feedback as past of our language focus on response writing. Below is a photo of students giving feedback to each other on short movies that they each made using iMovie. In the spirit of improvement, I’d appreciate feedback from you on this blog and ways that you think I could make it better. You could also share suggestions for things you’d like to read about on the blog.


Thank you.

J. Smith






Grade 2 Open Classrooms


14th November 2016

Open Doors – Open Classrooms – Open Minds!

We warmly invite you to our Elementary School Open Classrooms – being held on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November 2016.

What are Open Classrooms?

Have you ever wondered what inquiry-based learning is like for your child? Here is your chance! Open Classrooms showcase learning in action. For two days, at selected times, our classrooms are open for you to observe lessons that put the philosophy and pedagogy of the Primary Years Programme into practice.

Purpose of Open Classrooms

Open Classrooms is for parents to get an insider’s view of what life is like inside the classrooms at UNIS.  By opening up our classroom doors we would like to give parents a glimpse of student-centered, constructivist teaching and learning in action. We aim to demonstrate our inquiry based teaching philosophy which is central to our identity as an IB school.

How does it work?

  • You may attend any of your child’s open lessons – both homeroom classes and specialist lessons. Please see the 2D schedule below for open classes.

What might I see?

All lessons are different, though you may expect to see:

  • Lessons that have a clear learning objective which has been explained to the students

  • A variety of lessons and subject areas open for parents to observe (and in some cases, you may be invited to participate). Lessons that showcase students demonstrating the Learner Profile

  • Lessons that involve students using a variety of transdisciplinary skills (thinking research problem solving, social and self-management skills)

  • Lessons that are based on students’ understanding of broad concepts, in addition to specific content (e.g. the concept of “form” in addition to the content of balanced gymnastics movements in PE).

What is my responsibility?

  • All parents MUST wear their UNIS Parent ID badge

  • Photographing students is not permitted

  • Silence all mobile devices and step outside the classroom for urgent phone conversations.

  • Please enter classrooms quietly and be on time. We recommend you stay for at least 20 minutes to see the flow of the lesson.

  • Do not interact with your children unless invited to do so. Some classes will be ‘observe only’ while others may be more interactive.

We look forward to welcoming you on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November 2016.


Grade 2 Team


Thursday, November 24

Friday, November 25


Reading/Writing (8:45-9:45)



Math (10:30-11:30)

World Languages


Art with Ms. Andrea





PE with Ms Clare


Choir with Ms. Noor




2D Updates

The ‘drive thru’ edition:

  • Moon festival tomorrow – Wear your Ao Dai
  • 2D well and truly settled
  • Students building independence
  • Academic assessments – almost complete
  • Communication – a work in progress


The ‘sit down at the restaurant’ edition:

The Moon Festival is on tomorrow

Just a reminder that most students wear an Ao Dai to participate in our Moon Festival celebrations tomorrow. You can choose whether your child comes to school dressed in their Ao Dai or brings it to change into. We will have PE in the afternoon so please send PE clothes to change into.


2D is a go.

It’s been a  busy month getting used to each other, finding friends and making connections. We’ve spent a lot of time establishing our class culture and constructing a set of class agreements that will carry us through the year. We’ve also started working on our first Unit of Inquiry which focuses on how our behaviours affect the communities we belong to. With routines, structures and relationships in place, our classroom is becoming alive with inquiry based learning. It’s a great place to be.


Growing independence

As mentioned in our Back to School night presentation, your children will be presented with opportunities to learn and demonstrate independence. We’re focusing on remembering our things for recess and play time. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll begin to learn how to make the right choices with our school work and what and how we will learn. This includes selecting books for home reading.


Academic data collection from assessments

We are nearing the end of our data gathering assessment period. All Grade 2 students have worked with their teachers to complete diagnostic assessments on reading, spelling, writing and maths. This is done school-wide to give teachers a greater insight into the strengths, areas for growth and motivation for each student in each subject. Data collected from these assessments will be collated and interpreted next week by the Grade 2 teaching team and then used to help us meet the needs of your children.


We are in the process of reviewing how we communicate as an elementary school, grade 2 team and a classroom teacher with you in order to make the home-school connection as effective as possible. Blog posts may be sporadic and from various sources so please be patient with us while we work it out. As always, if there is anything urgent or important, please email me directly and I will do the same.


Thank you.

J. Smith

What’s new in 2D

The Headline Edition:

  • 2D survived and thrived Week 1
  • Library Day will be Tuesday
  • Don’t forget to come dressed for PE
  • Data gathering begins for the yearFun Friday

The Full Story:

We’ve just finished our first five days of Grade 2 and a lot has happened. We’ve spent plenty of time getting to know each other, our classroom and the routines that will keep us on track for this year. We’ve travelled all over the school, met new teachers and old friends, and learnt to play in our temporary playground setup.

We are all working hard to establish our class culture and build community by learning how each of us work and what makes us tick. We’ve had a great time sharing our All About Me Bags which also gave us a chance to practice our public speaking.

Today (Tuesday) was our first chance to visit the library with Ms. Conroy and we got to spend time finding our favourite spots with our book buddies. From now on, 2D will exchange our library books each Tuesday. Ms. Conroy has asked that we also bring our library books each week in a library bag. These can be purchased at the SCO Boutique if you don’t have one at home.

Our class has PE every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. A requirement from the PE department is that each student comes dressed in their PE uniform. Don’t forget to come prepared on our PE days.

All the grade 2 teachers will begin testing and data collection to aid us in designing the teaching and learning program. We will be collecting data on Reading and Maths assessments as well as having students give us writing and spelling samples. These tests will help teachers gain better insight into how we can best meet the needs of our students. More information on the testing that we conduct at UNIS will be provided at the Back to School Night on September 6th.

Thank you to all of you for sending your children to school prepared and ready to learn. We’ve had a great start to the year. Having just read a book called Only One You by Linda Kranz, we’ve decided on a class motto to kick our year off: Make it a better place.  I’m really looking forward to getting into our first units of the year and starting to make our school and community a better place.

J. Smith


Welcome to Grade 2

I’m very excited to write to you on our first day of school to welcome you all to our blog and to introduce myself. We’ve just sent your children home and we’ve had a fantastic day. There were plenty of firsts today. For some of your children, it was their first time at UNIS and for all your children, their first day in Grade 2. There were plenty of old friendships being reconnected and a great deal of new relationships being made for the first time.

My name is Joshua Smith and I’ll be your child’s homeroom teacher for the rest of the year. Today was also my first day and it was a great adventure. I’m fortunate to be part of a great team who work closely with the students. From time to time you’ll hear of and from Ms. Hang, our invaluable Teaching Assistant, Ms. Laura, our knowledgable EAL teacher, Ms. Clare, our energetic PE teacher, Ms. Sally, our talented music teacher and Ms. Andrea, our creative Art teacher.

Your child brought home a class schedule today which outlines the specialist classes that we attend each day. Please familiarise yourself with this and make sure that your child comes prepared for each class, particularly for PE. On PE days, students need to wear their PE uniform.

We will use this blog as a primary source of correspondence for our class and I encourage you to check back in regularly to keep up to date with what’s happening in 2D.

You are welcome to email me at any time with concerns, questions or suggestions. My email address is jsmith1@unishanoi.org.

More information about our class, routines, curriculum and special programs will come your way over the next few weeks.

Your children were all very enthusiastic and helpful today, making my first day at UNIS a memorable one. I look forward to another great day tomorrow.