3B Updates

Things to discuss with your child:

  • Student Led Conferences
  • The art plan to share their message
  • What they think of the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition
  • Radial Symmetry
  • The design process


Thank you to all of those parents that came to the Student Led Conferences yesterday. After speaking with the students today, they were very happy with their effort and really appreciated you coming to share in their learning. It is a great opportunity to strengthen the partnership between home and school.


We have begun a maths unit of inquiry into fractions. I really encourage you to watch this video on the from leading Maths teacher and researcher, Graham Fletcher. he explains what we will be covering in Grade 3 in our unit on fractions and how it leads into the learning they will be doing in Grade4. I also encourage you to chat with your child about their understanding of the parts of a fraction and common fractions of objects around the house.


J. Smith

Special Announcement from Grade 5 students

Dear Parents,

We are one of the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition groups called ‘Plastic Ocean’s’. We are screening a documentary called, ‘A Plastic Ocean’, directed by Craig Leeson and Produced by Jo Ruxton and Adam Leipzig.

A Plastic Ocean documents the newest science, proving how plastics, once they enter the oceans, break up into small particles that enter the food chain where they attract toxins like a magnet. These toxins are stored in seafood’s fatty tissues, and eventually consumed by us.

Plastic pollution isn’t new. But awareness of just how catastrophic it is for the environment has grown in recent years – especially its impact on the oceans. It may be second only to global warming as a threat to the health of the seas.

Here in Vietnam, we’ve seen very little action. And that’s despite the fact that Vietnam has been identified as one of five countries responsible for more than 60% of the world’s plastic pollution.

We want to invite you to attend the screening at UNIS, on the 17th of April, at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, to learn and explore ways you can make a difference. A ticket costs 50,000 VND, Feel free to watch this short video to show you why you should attend this screening.

The ticket proceeds will go towards covering the costs of the screening fee, advertising and 100% of the remainder will go towards the ‘Plastic Pollution Coalition’, which is a project of Earth Island Institute, a 501(c)3, non-profit organization, organized and existing under the laws of California (Federal Tax ID #94-2889684), located at: 2150 Allston Way, Suite 460, Berkeley, CA 94704.

With many thanks from us, a group of 10 & 11 year olds trying to make a difference.

Olivia, Lily, Rei and Amara

The Plastics Oceans Group

G5 UNIS Students

3B Updates

Welcome Back!

I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing time with your children. We’re hearing some stories of great adventures over the break. This next term of school takes us into the end of Grade 3 and our summer holidays. We only have a couple of months left but still plenty of learning to get through.

Things to discuss with your child:

  • The message behind their art project
  • Why we are having a book drive
  • The sculpture ‘Non-Violence’ located outside the UN headquarters in New York
  • Their feelings about student led conferences

Art Exhibition

On behalf of all of the students in grades 2-5, we would like to formally invite you to come to our elementary art show TONIGHT.  Come out and support our young and inspiring artists and enjoy an evening of art!  We will have a gallery walk, scavenger hunt, photo booth, family art activity, and more!  The evening will run like an open house format.  Please come and go as your schedule needs from 5:00-7:00 PM.


Student Led Conferences

Next Thursday will be a chance for your child to share their learning from this year. You are invited to come into our homeroom and specialist classes for period of time and learn about what your child has been learning about. This is a student designed and led process. More information and the sign up form can be found in an email sent to parents from the school earlier this week. Your child will only come to school for their scheduled conference time.

Grade 2/3 Concert

The music concert that was presented before the Spring break was recorded and can be seen online here. Please share with friends and family.

Our current Units Of Inquiry

We are half way through a number of units with some exciting learning experiences coming about. We are looking into how artists use various techniques to express their message. More details will be coming shortly about how we plan on sharing our artworks. We are also engaged in a writing unit on narratives and a maths unit on fractions.

I look forward to seeing you all next Wednesday at our student led conferences.


J. Smith

3B Updates

Things to discuss with your child:

  • Open classrooms
  • Different ways to show your understanding of multiplication
  • Their end of UOI reflections

Open Classrooms 

Thanks to those parents who joined us for the Open Classrooms today. You’re welcome to come again tomorrow morning from 9am. We will be participating in Maths Groups first thing and then you’re welcome to join in the PE class straight after recess.

Wear Blue tomorrow

We will also be participating in a school spirit assembly tomorrow morning to support our school football teams in the MRISA sports tournament that we are hosting. Please remember to send your child dressed in blue.

End of unit

This week we wrap up our unit of inquiry on the Solar System. Next week we will be beginning our new unit under the transdisciplinary theme of How We Express Ourselves. There’ll be more information coming in the next few weeks regarding this unit.

Substitute Teacher

I will be travelling to Singapore for a number of days over the next two weeks. I am presenting a workshop and participating in the IB Global Conference. I will be sharing ways that other schools and educators can work towards integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into their curricular program. I will leave for Singapore on Tuesday night and return the following Wednesday. Ms Joh Ponsen will be covering the class in my absence. Joh has worked with our class on a number of occassions and is a great sub teacher who will be more than capable of teaching the class while I’m away. I will still be contactable via email if any questions or problems arise. As always, Dylan Meikle our counselor and Ms. Chris from next door will be present to carry on as usual.


3B Updates

Dear Parents, We are searching about space and we make our room like space. We are putting planets everywhere. We are doing reading groups like when we work with teachers and we read books. In maths we are doing number problems. We are going to buddies in K1. We play with them because we are socialising with our buddies. From Phu An.

Things to discuss with your child:

  • Arrays in the cafeteria
  • The Grade 4 Market Day
  • The happiness man who gets water poured on his head
  • Their reading group

Open Classrooms

I would like to invite you to visit our classroom next week to get a better insight into what happens each day. You are welcome to join us on Thursday (15th) and Friday (16th) of next week. You can visit the 3B homeroom from 10-11am on Thursday or 9-10am on Friday. You are also welcome to visit the specialist classes. Please see the schedule below to see what is available:

Please note: Students will showcase their work in Music at the Grade 2 and 3 Music Concert on March 22nd. For this reason there will not be any open classrooms for Music.



3B Updates

Welcome back and Chúc Mừng Năm Mới.

I hope you all had either the restful or energizing break that you were after. We have a very busy time coming up with only four weeks until we are on Spring break. We have plenty of things happening in and out of the classroom to keep us occupied until then.

Things to discuss with you child:

  • ISA Testing
  • What concepts like change, connection and causation are and how we learn about them
  • Their favourite maths game
  • How multiplication and division are connected

ISA Testing

All students from Grade 3 recently took part in a series of academic assessments called the International Schools Assessment. Students participated in assessments on Writing, reading and Maths. The results from these assessments will give teachers data on individual strengths and areas for improvement as well as patterns of strengths across our whole Grade. The data will also give us an idea of how our Grade 3 cohort compares with other grade 3 students around the world. The results will be published in April. More information can be found at this link.


Maths at UNIS

The school would like to invite all members of the UNIS community to come and hear James Tanton, a international school maths expert present on March 5, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the UNIS Theatre. If you have any questions about our Maths program or how you can support your child at home with Maths, make sure you attend this informative session.


Students are well into their ‘space missions’ for this current Unit Of Inquiry. I would encourage you to talk with them about what they are interested in within our solar system unit and challenge them to find answers to their questions. This unit has a very large independent inquiry element to it. Our key concepts are causation, change and connection. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing these. Hopefully your child can share some things they’ve already learnt about.


Joshua Smith

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