Tet Holiday

Dear Parents,

We were able to fit a lot of great learning into just three days of school this week. Please see the photos below. Have a great Tet Holiday, and see you back at school on Monday, February 26th.

Math

This week we continued our explorations into measuring length which included centimeters and meters.

UOI

We learned more about the states of matter and had an awesome in school field trip to the middle school science lab where Ms. Kate Dore taught us about lab safety and how to change the pH of cabbage juice!

Literacy

In reading, we learned to make inferences by using clues in a story and what we already know. It turns out we make inferences all the time! In writing, students continued to draft their creative writing stories and learned how to use quotation marks to punctuate dialogue. These stories are going to be great!

The Week in 2D

Dear Parents,

Please find the latest updates on our learning this week and some photos below. Also, here is a link to Ms. Sally Oxenberry’s blog where you will find recordings of the songs that students are learning on their recorders. They are so excited when they get the next ribbon for their recorder playing.

Grade 2

UOI

This week we learned more about our How The World Works unit by diving in to the central idea, lines of inquiry, concepts, and vocabulary. We also had a hands on exploration of different states of matter. Students got to describe various solids, liquids, and gases and describe them using adjectives. We focused our descriptions by thinking about the five senses.

Math

We are continued our inquiry into measuring length using standard units and then comparing those units to each other. Students have begun using rulers and meter sticks to measure in centimeters and meters. We also did a three act math task to commemorate the 100th day of school this week. We had solve and then plan for trail mix that totaled 100 pieces. The ingredients were M&Ms, raisins, Cheerios, and Chex.

Literacy

In writing, students are working hard to draft their original fiction stories. They are so excited and motivated to get their stories written. We learned about how to make our characters talk, move, think, and feel through our writing by using other authors as mentors. In reading, we started our Genre Bingo where students are encouraged to read a range of books from different genres. We are also working on our reading skills by using a Reading Tic Tac Toe board where students choose an activity to complete in their literacy notebooks after reading a book in class. As always, our library exchange time is every Monday at 12:30. Please remind students to bring library books, in a bag, to school on Mondays so that students can take full advantage of all the genres of books in our school library.

 

New Units in Grade Two

Dear Parents,

It was great to meet with you all today. I really appreciate the time we have to make connections with each other and meet face to face to talk about all the progress your child is making in 2D. I am always available if you want to talk either through email or by making an appointment before or after school.

This week we started new units for inquiry, math, and literacy. I think we were all ready for a change and I know that there is a lot of excitement building in the classroom as we begin our next inquiries. Please notice that our new unit of inquiry information letter and vocabulary is available in this post. It is so helpful for students to talk about the theme, central idea, lines of inquiry, and vocabulary at home in their mother tongue. Thank you for your support with this.

UOI

This week we began our How the World Works unit. Students were given prior knowledge assessments to see what they already know about what scientists do and what tools scientists use in their work. They also conducted their first experiment, making ice cream. Next week we will dive into the central idea and unpack the concepts and vocabulary. Plus more experiments!

Math

We are working with measuring length in math using standard units. Students are learning to estimate length and then measure using a single unit. So far students have started with using strips of paper and unifix cubes to measure. As we move through the unit we will start to look at how to measure with centimeters.

Literacy

We have moved on from our non-fiction reading and persuasive writing for the moment and are now focusing on reading narrative texts, learning about different genres of books, and writing original creative stories. The next few weeks will give students some much need time to explore different styles of creativity in both reading and writing. Ask us what genre means and what our favorite genre of books is?

Grade 8 Buddies

On Monday our Grade 8 buddies came to help us with our persuasive writing. Some of them created checklists our the grade twos. They also shared with us their persuasive writing. We learned that both grade two and grade eight students were writing persuasive texts about the SDGs!

A Week of Taking Action

Dear Parents,

Next week, on Thursday, February 1st we will have our second day of parent teacher conferences. There will be no school on this day for students. It will run similar to the first parent teacher conference except that this is an opportunity to discuss progress and reports. I look forward to seeing you all next Thursday.

UOI

This has been an action filled week in grade two. As I am sure you know, students have been taking action at home based on one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. All week students have been making a daily blog entry where they discuss how their action is going, what is working well, and any challenges they are having. This action officially ends this Friday, however we hope that student see action as something they can take responsibility for and continue in the long term. We also hope that you have been following along with their blog posts. Please make comments. Let us know about how the action is going from your perspective.

We have been very lucky this week to have several guest speakers come in to grade two to discuss how they take action in Hanoi, and Vietnam. On Tuesday, we had Mr. Tan from KOTO talk about how his organization helps kids get training and internships in the medical and hospitality sectors. On Wednesday, Mr. Chris from Blue Dragon presented to us about how is foundation is helping children get an education. Also on Wednesday, two grade six students came to talk to us about their exhibition projects and the action they took to support local children and charities. Thursday, we will have Ms. Perrine to talk to us about School on a Boat. We are so lucky to have these excellent models for taking action in our community. Ask us all about these presentations at home.

Math

This week we started a new math unit on measuring length. We started off by exploring different ways to measure length using standard and non-standard units.

Literacy

This week we are finishing up our persuasive writing unit by drafting and publishing a text about what we learned in our unit of inquiry expert groups. Some of the texts express strong opinions about using less plastic to save animals in our oceans, or that school should be free for every child and young person. Ask us what our persuasive writing topic is at home.

 

The Week in 2D

Dear Parents,

Next week, we will be finishing up our current unit of inquiry, Sharing the Planet-Actions people take to share limited resources. Our final assessment will begin next week and we are asking that students take an action at home or outside of school to share or save a limited resource. The students will be performing this action at home next week and will make a daily blog entry at school to reflect on how it is going. We ask that you and your child talk about what action they might take that would be meaningful but not too disruptive to your normal routines. Here are links to two websites with many ideas for action:

20 Easy Ways to Conserve and Save the Environment

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

Thank you for your help and support with this!

UOI

This week we continued to learn about limited resources by breaking out into experts groups in one of the three areas: quality education, hunger, and water. Students delved deeper into each topic to learn more about why these resources are limited, who is affected by it, and what action can we take to help.

Math

This week we have had a math blast of number talks and practicing our subtraction strategies using a variety of math games.

Literacy

We had a visit from our Grade 8 buddies to start the week off. They brought picture books that they had chosen from the library and read aloud to their 2D buddy. We also reviewed our response writing from the previous unit by going to the middle and high school art exhibition in the fine arts center. Student chose one piece of art to photograph and bring back to the class to write their response text.

Discovery Buddies

2D went to meet with our buddies in Discovery this morning. Everyone had a lot of fun. Students in 2D were surprised to see how their buddies have changed. We noticed that they talk more, speak more English, are more confident, and maybe a little taller! Here are some photos.

Welcome Back

Dear Parents,

It was great to be back at school this week after a very relaxing and fun winter break. I know from the conversations that students were having this week that they had many adventures and memorable moments over the break.

UOI

Before winter break, all students in grade two chose one expert group that piqued their interest as an inquirer. The choices were connected to the Sustainable Development Goals and to the concept of limited resources. This week students broke up into one of the following expert groups: water; hunger; quality education. Students in 2D were spread between the three groups and I myself facilitated the quality education group. We compared and contrasted our school to classrooms around the world. Here are some of the photos.

Math

This week we reviewed our addition and subtraction strategies in two ways. First, we focused on our number talks and mental maths. Second, we looked at real world math using word problems. These word problems involved more than one step to find a solution and were quite challenging. As the students build their mathematical thinking they are showing the wide range of ways to solve a problem using several strategies.

Literacy

We are continuing our word with non-fiction by bringing together all of the reading skills we have covered in this unit to take notes and find interesting facts. We also found time to continue our fiction reading groups. In writing, we used the winter break as a reason to go back to narrative writing and focus on small moments from our holiday. There were so many ideas for stories, and everyone enjoyed reflected on the best part of their time away from school.

Winter Break

Dear Parents,

It’s hard to believe how quickly this first semester has gone. Part of me feels like I just arrived in Hanoi while another part feels like I’ve been here for much longer. Thank you all for your support and positivity these past few months. You have all made my experience as a new teacher at UNIS very enjoyable.

Winter Break begins this weekend! I wish you all a wonderful vacation and safe travels if you are leaving Hanoi. School starts again on January 8, 2018.

Padlet

While you are on holiday here is a link to a Padlet site where your child can add a post about their holiday and whether they notice any limited resources where they are. It could be in Hanoi, or somewhere abroad. There is an example post already made. This is not required, but it is available in case students make any connections between what they see over the break and our current unit of inquiry.

UOI

This week we looked at how we can share limited resources. Students brainstormed ideas to share resources in our classrooms and then thought about how we can share limited resources at school, home, and the world. Interestingly, some of the same strategies might work in class as around the world. Do you think we could share our limited resources more equally?

We also had a special lesson organized by Ms. Christy about the SDG of Hunger. We went to the cafeteria in groups of six and were given paper plates. One plate had a sticker on it, which we thought was special. It turned out that the sticker meant that we went hungry and couldn’t draw our favorite foods on the paper. Afterwards we reflected. Those that went “hungry” said they felt sad, hungry, left out. Those that had food said they wish they could share their food, and that they wanted to help the hungry student but couldn’t. It was a deep conversation about an important topic. We look forward to inquiring more into limited resources after the break.

Math

This week we focused on using an open number line to solve two digit subtraction problems. We are building our understanding of how to partition numbers into tens and ones and then move forwards or back on the number line depending on the math operation we are trying to perform. We also exercised our math brains by trying to solve the magic square. Every row, column, and diagonal had to equal 15. Ask us if we found a solution!

English

We continued to read nonfiction books this week. We learned about asking questions when we read and how to find specific information in a nonfiction text. As part of this unit we listened to a read aloud about snakes. Before we read we had to say if we thought snakes were awesome or not. While we listened to the book we wrote down any information that supported our opinions. After that we debated the opposite side to try and persuade them to change their opinions. Our class started out with 12 out of 20 thinking snakes were awesome but ended with 10 out of 20 thinking the same. It was an even split and those that believed snakes are not awesome felt very persuasive.

Here are some photos of when our Grade 8 reading buddies came to see us this week.

 

Maker Day!

Dear Parents,

Today was Maker Day at UNIS. Grade 2 had the challenge of designing and creating water filters to ensure a source of clean water for a village. Before we began we learned about the design cycle. It starts off with ASK a question, IMAGINE your ideas, PLAN your solution, CREATE, and IMPROVE. Here are some photos from our morning. It was fun and very hand ons. Many of us came so close to creating a clean water filter using materials like: clay, cotton balls, napkins, gravel, and sand.

The Week in 2D

Dear Parents,

Thank you to everyone who sent in some plastic bottles for our Maker Day activity tomorrow. We have plenty and are excited to make our water filters. Pictures will be coming soon!

UOI

This week we shift our focus on limited resources from education to water. We thought of all of the ways that we use water in our daily lives and came up with some charades to demonstrate our ideas. Then we had a special lesson from Ms. Keri where we learned about a village in Africa that did not have access to clean water. One girl from the village had to walk long distances to carry water from a spring. We each had the experience of carrying a bucket of water on our heads and trying to walk. It isn’t easy! Afterwards our reflections showed that we are wondering why some people have access to clean water while others don’t. Other questions were: Do rich people only get access to clean water and poor people don’t? Why do some countries have clean water and other countries don’t? Why do some countries have more water than others? These are excellent questions to start a discussion at home and to begin some deeper inquiries. We also made a Padlet to sort out our work from last week about limited resources.

Math

This week we finished up our unit on time. We also had Ms. Beth as a special guest teacher to show us a new 3 Act Math task to get us thinking and problem solving while practicing our addition and subtraction strategies.

Literacy

This week we continued learning about nonfiction books by focusing on asking questions about the book before, during, and after we read. We also talked about strategies to find the main idea of a nonfiction book using the headings, and first and last sentences. In writing, we focused on ways to be more persuasive in our speaking and writing. We had an class debate about whether city life was better than country life. At first the class was a nearly even 50/50 split but after our debate most of the class had moved to side of country life being better than city life. It was a pleasant surprise! Ask us what side we were on and why.