3B Updates

Things to discuss with your child:

  • Virtual reality
  • A car in space
  • The order of planets
  • Being empathetic

Our new unit

We’re into our second week of this new unit on our ‘ever changing solar system’. Students began to ask questions and work out how they could find answers. We are encouraging each of them to be space scientists and complete mini missions by researching into various areas of space exploration. Students are encouraged to be curious, ask questions and follow appropriate research protocols to complete the missions. I’m looking forward to the enthusiasm of autonomous research projects.

Tet Holidays

School will be closed from next Wednesday afternoon. We will resume on Monday February 26th. I am heading off to Korea for the first time. My family and I will be going to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. I hope that you get to spend some quality time with your family and friends. Chúc mừng năm mới.


3B Updates

Things to discuss with your child:

  • Their final presentation for our UOI
  • What action they plan to take now that the unit is finished
  • Arrays at home
  • Our new unit on Space
  • Olivia
  • Super Blue Blood Moon

Parent Conferences

Thank you to all the parents who I met with today. It was great to reconnect and focus on learning. It was a great chance to explore the progress report and develop a shared understanding of where we will direct out energy for the remainder of the year. I encourage you to speak with your child about what we discussed and let them know that we are all in this together and for their benefit.

Art auction

Our school is hosting an Amazing Arts Auction which will launch on Tuesday, February 6 at 18:00 in the Centre for the Arts. Don’t miss this event which will open with the world premiere of the School’s new anthem for the 30th Birthday, “Gathered Here From Every Place” performed by a symphonic orchestra and choir of 156 students!

The Art Auction features original artworks donated by our students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni and will be on show from February 6 to 14 and open for bidding in our secret, silent auction.

Our new Unit Of Inquiry

We are excited to begin our new unit of inquiry this week as we start to explore our Solar System. Our central idea is ‘Our solar system and our understanding of it is constantly changing. We began with an investigation into the Super Blue Blood Moon which occurred last night. There is always a high level of excitement at the beginning of a new unit and this one has seemed to take that excitement to a whole new level. As always, if you or someone you know is a keen astronomer and could be of use to our inquiring students, please let me know. We’d love to connect with experts. 

World Read-a-loud Day

Today is World Read a loud day. I really encourage you to take some time to sit down and read a book with your child. At UNIS, the only requirement from of our homework policy is regular reading. this could look like you child reading independently, reading with you child and reading in languages other than English. Students are encouraged daily to independently change their home readers and library books. Please let me know if you notice books not coming home.

3B Updates

Things to discuss with your child

  • Their field trip if they participated in one
  • Their action for UOI project
  • Arrays
  • What a good piece of persuasive writing has in it

Field Trips

A bunch of G3 students participated in field trips this week. Locations were selected to matchup to the individual inquiries of students for the UOI projects. Groups went to Donkey Bakery, Chula, Mekong Quilts and Topas travel. Each organisation was selected as they promote some aspect of fair trade or sustainability through their business model.Students asked great questions and enjoyed the chance to learn from experts in the industry. Some project themes meant that a group of students did not get to go on a field trip. Instead they spent time researching in other ways to find evidence to support their inquiry.

Reports and Conferences

Elementary teachers are in the process of writing mid year reports. You can expect to received your child’s report within coming weeks. Closely followed will be the opportunity to meet with me to discuss your child’s progress. Please keep an eye out for notification and sign up details.

Yearbook cover design competition

Students have been invited to design the yearbook cover for 2017/18.
This message was recently shared with students:

This year is UNIS Hanoi’s 30th Birthday – what better theme for the 2017-2018 Yearbook!

And it is now time for all students from Grade 1 to Grade 12 to get your creative juices going for our Yearbook Cover Design Competition! We want the best possible book cover for this special edition of the Yearbook and we want YOU to create it!

Your design should be all about UNIS Hanoi’s Birthday! Make it festive and make it unique! We are happy to accept designs created in a variety of formats: drawing, painting, digital (using Photoshop template), scrapbooked collage… let your imagination run wild!

You can also work with your friends, just be sure to list full names of all those involved if it is a team effort.

    • For Digital designs please:
    • DO NOT compress/flatten your Photoshop design into a single image. Keep all layers.
  • For Drawing/Painting etc designs please submit two pieces of artwork:
    • A4 front cover
    • A4 back cover

Contact yearbook@unishanoi.org for any questions or guidance with any of the above.

DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE the following two titles/information on your front cover:
  • Yearbook 2017-2018
  • UNIS Hanoi


16:00 on Friday, January 26

  • Bring your cover(s) to Advancement Office (Room 102, Admin Building) or share your digital file with yearbook@unishanoi.org.
  • If your creation is a drawing or painting, please clearly mark the envelope with your artwork with your FULL NAME & HOMEROOM
  • Please use the following naming convention for digital files:
    • YB1718_Cover Contest_Your First Name Last Name_Homeroom
    • (example: YB1718_Cover Contest_John Smith_5JH)


There will be an all school vote after the Tet Break to find the winner for the yearbook cover from the finalists. The cover will remain secret until publication of the Yearbook which will go out to all school on the last day of school, June 14.


Multiplication in Maths

As we continue our work in multiplication you can try this activity at home. Here is a link to some flash cards that come from this 10 x 10 array of 100.


You can play matching and BINGO or just do sorting activities. Ask the students to find an array that makes 36? How many arrays make 36? How do you know? Prove it! Students have been using these cards in class and are familiar with the activities.

Joshua Smith


3B Updates

Welcome back

Welcome back to 3B for 2018. We’re almost half way through our school year. Semester 1 ends in 2 weeks and then we get straight into our second half of Grade 3. We’ve come a long way and done plenty but there is still plenty to go. We have a lot of great units coming our way over the next 5 months.

Things to discuss with your child

  • Any data or statistics that they could find around the house
  • Their focus area for our unit of inquiry
  • Their recent blog posts on things they would like to do more of and less of
  • Taking action for something they are passionate about

UOI Field Trips

As part of our unit of inquiry, students have split into focus areas and as such will be attending field trips related to their area of investigation. Not all students will be attending a field trip as they chose focus areas that had not relevant options for a field trip. If your child is attending a field trip, please return the permission note by Monday next week.

Maths Progression

As per our curriculum documents, we begin investigating multiplication. I encourage you to watch this very useful video from a leading math researcher and teacher on the progression for introducing multiplication and how it should be taught in conjunction with division. Multiplication is sometimes a contentious issue for parents with varying thoughts on when and how it should be taught. If you have any questions regarding our maths program, please let me know. I’m more than happy to discuss our philosophy behind it.


Joshua Smith




3B Updates

Things to discuss with your child

  • Dancing in the mornings
  • Where your clothes are made
  • Persuading people

Maker Day

Grade 3 all enjoyed a fantastic Maker Day last Friday. We worked collaboratively and creatively to create a Rube Goldberg Machine to solve a problem. Our students were very frustrated that we are still selling and consuming plastic bottles in the cafeteria so we created a video to share with the Middle and High schoolers. Hopefully they will understand our message.

You can see the final product here:

We’ll continue to spread our message throughout the year.

Happy holidays and Happy New Year

We made it to our winter break. I hope you all have an enjoyable winter break and come back ready for an exciting 2018. Thank you for your support so far this year. I look forward to working with you all to make the second half of our year full of engaging learning opportunities for your children.


Joshua Smith


3B Updates

Dear Parents, This week we are doing Maker Day on Friday. Maker Day is about making stuff out straws or other things. We are learning about creating and making things. The Walkathon was raised today and 3B got the second p lace in money raising for Blue Dragon. We’ve been practicing choosing good choices in Literacy. So like, if I was going to do typing Club, I’d have to tick off one box or if you’re doing read to someone you can only have 2 tries at it. In Maths we are also making good choices. In UOI we have been learning about wants and needs and how we organise ourselves is out unit. It’s all about how people get paid fairly and fair trade. So far in this unit I feel sad that some banana growers aren’t getting paid properly and there is some child labour where kids have to make clothes or other stuff and not get to go to school. From, Xander

Things to discuss with your child

  • Our Blue Dragon Walkathon efforts
  • What does Fair Trade mean?
  • What is a consumer?
  • What is unit central idea in their home language?

Maker Day

This year we will be holding Maker Day twice in the elementary school. The theme for our first edition which we will hold tomorrow is: empower students to take action through problem solving and design. We will also integrate maker and design thinking across our curriculum. Students will join together to create a huge Rube Goldberg Machine. More details and photos to come next week.

Unit of Inquiry

Our new unit is moving along well. Students have begun to look into how they have a choice on how money is spent and how our economic activities have an impact the environment.

We are looking into fair trade organisations and choosing a perspective on whether they are the type of companies that we would like to support. Students are beginning to realise that they have a responsibility as consumers. I would love to know of any discussions or action that your children are taking at home as a result of their learning. One example of this that I learnt of recently was a student who decided not to eat Pringles anymore because he found out that they occasionally use conflict palm oil. I would love to hear more examples.

Open Classrooms

Thanks to all our parents who visited our classroom last week. I was hap

py to see so many parents engaged with their children and those who

visited on Friday, thanks for making paper bags. I hope it gave you some insight into what happens each day in our classroom.

Celebrating Language Diversity

We’ve recently begun to encourage students to speak and use their home langauge to carry out some of our activities. It was with great excitement that we recently translated our Central Idea into various languages.

One student commented that it makes so much more sense in our own language.


Joshua Smith



3B Updates

Things to discuss with your child:

  • Open Classrooms
  • Making choices with our money
  • Making bananas and paper bags
  • Which units of measurement we use for various types of measuring
  • Deadly Reading Assessments

Open Classrooms

Thanks to those parents who joined us today in our Literacy groups. I hope your children were able to share their learning with you and you got some insight into what happens in our reading and writing classes. You’re all very welcome to come back to join us tomorrow morning from 9-10am for our lesson on UOI and math integration lesson.


New Unit of Inquiry

We began our new unit this week. It falls under the transdisciplinary theme of How we organise ourselves. Our central idea is: Economic activities affect people and impact the environment. The unit will inquire into:

  • Fairness and sustainability in growth and development
  • The effects of economic activities and globalization
  • Our power as consumers to affect change

As always, we appreciate any support you can offer in the way of sharing your knowledge or expertise with us in this area. We are also anticipating some school-home connections to take place as we ask the students to consider the choices that you make as a family on your economic decisions. This is done intentionally to encourage students to make real world connections to their learning. If you have any questions about the unit, please contact me.


Joshua Smith


3B Updates

Dear parents, This week we’ve been finishing UOI projects for How the World Works and improving them. We have been reflecting too. We celebrated World Children’s Day and learned the dance for What about Us, a song World Children’s Day. We have learned about empathy and being nice to others and feeling what they’re feeling. From Kaya

Things to discuss with your child

  • Making good choices to help their learning
  • Deadly Reading Assessments
  • Their compound machine made up of simple machines
  • Different types of forces
  • The design cycle
  • World Children’s Day

World Children’s Day

We’ve just celebrated World Children’s Day at UNIS. Students were asked to share their thoughts on children’s rights. you can find some of their answers by clicking this link. I encourage you to watch some of the videos and leave a response.



Open Classrooms

You are all invited to join us in our classes next week for Open Classrooms. Please see the schedule below for the times that you’re welcome to come and participate in our lessons. If you have any questions about Open Classrooms, please let me know.


End of our UOI

We’ve come to the end of this unit of inquiry and we’ve had a great deal of fun learning about simple machines and forces. For their culminating task, students, had to create a compound machine made up of various simple machines while applying their knowledge of forces. We have some very creative games, devices, toys and machines scattered around our classroom. this has been a great opportunity to inquire into the design cycle of: THINK, MAKE, IMPROVE. We’re very excited to being our new unit next week. More information to come next week about how we could use your support with the upcoming unit on fair trade, sustainable consumerism and the impact of our economic activities.

3B Updates


Things to discuss with you child

  • UN Day
  • Why we participate in the Blue Dragon Walkathon
  • Our simple machines field trip to the Fun Park
  • How to write a procedure or an explanation

UN Day

Last Friday we celebrated our biggest day of the year at UNIS. Students looked fantastic in

their national outfits and all enjoyed an amazing international buffet lunch. We worked on a couple of collaborative art projects during the morning which we will continue this week and hopefully complete soon. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to making our day a successful event.This truly is a an event that symbolises the unique values and qualities of our school.


Field Trip

Our field trip was a very informative learning experience with students getting to observe simple machines working together to make compound machines. The students all took notes, photographed evidence and drew diagrams to support our work for later in the unit when it comes time to build our own simple and compound machines.

Teacher Professional Development

All teachers will participate in professional development on Monday and Tuesday. There will be no classes for students on Monday or Tuesday.


Joshua Smith


3B Updates

Dear parents, tomorrow at November the 3rd, there is the UN Day. People are going to come with flags and wave them and we are going to sing a song called The World is Ours. We were measuring our bodies but split into different groups and measured how long our arms are. We split into boys and girls. We measured how much water there is in buckets. In UOI, we were making cars from plastic water bottle caps and from recycled stuff. We did it to make cars and learn about simple machines. In writing we needed to write a procedure on how to make a paper glider. Today we at buddies we were making new cars cause last time we made it with 3A but today we made them with K1. From Gilad

Things to discuss with your child:

  • What does UN Day mean to your family
  • Simple machines around your house
  • The difference between millilitres and litres
  • What the capacity of a sink in your house could be

UN Day

I hope you’re all as excited for UN Day as we are here at school. It is possibly our biggest celebration of the year and a great day for us to unify around the values that we as a school share with the UN. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone dressed up and hungry for our community lunch tomorrow. The students have a very exciting performance for you. I guarantee you’ll be impressed.

MAP results

You should have received your child’s MAP results last week. MAP stands for Measurement of Academic Progress and is a standardised test that we participate in twice a year. The results for this round will only really make sense when we have results to compare to later in the year. I’m happy to meet with any of you if you’d like to discuss these results in more detail.

UOI Field Day

We are excited to visit the local amusement park next Tuesday as part of our unit. The G3 teachers and I recently visited the park and have come up with a range of activities for the students to gain a greater understanding of simple machines and forces. This field trip supports of end of unit project which focuses on designing and building simple machines.


Joshua Smith