A Long Walk to Water

This week, grade 2 is exploring how water is a limited resource through the eyes of 7-year old Fatamatou from Doussiaradou, Guinea.  Students visualized a life in the day of Fatamatou, which includes a long walk to get water as well as a choice of where to get the water.  This experience is leading to our Maker Day tomorrow, where students will help Fatamatou with a problem she has.  Please ask your child to tell you about their experience this week, the problem that Fatamatou faces, and the ways we came up with to solve that problem.

In Math, students completed an assessment on time.  Using this assessment, they checked on their progress toward their own individual goals in learning time.  We will continue to practice telling and using time as a form of measurement all year; please continue practicing at home as well.  In addition to working with double-digit subtraction strategies this week, students tackled a 3-Act math task called “Candy Bowl”.  Students were encouraged to keep trying, even in the face of a very challenging problem.   Here are some of the tools and strategies students used to work on this problem.

In Reading, students focused on pre-reading strategies for nonfiction as well as defining the purpose of nonfiction text features.  In Writing, students inquired into the reasons writers write persuasive topics.  Students also brainstormed topics and began drafting their first piece independently.

Thank you to everyone who sent in plastic bottles for our Maker Day activity tomorrow. Please remember to send your child wearing clothes and shoes that you do not mind getting dirty and a little wet. You can send a change of clothes if you wish and there will be time to change at lunchtime.

A message from Ms Sally:  We started a new partner song this week, reading music notation and singing together. Several students in your class wanted the sheet music to practice playing on the piano at home.  Could you add this link to your blogs, so that students can access the sheet music? http://blogs.unishanoi.org/soxenberry/2017/12/05/partner-song/

Friday December  8th – WinterFest at UNIS

Exploring resources in our classroom

Thank you to all the parents who came for our Open Classroom today!  We hope to see more parents tomorrow during our Open Classroom times.  You are welcome to join your child for:

  • Morning Meeting 8:10-8:25
  • World Language 8:25-9:05
  • PE 9:10-9:50
  • Math in 2B 10:10-10:50
  • Choir 10:55-11:35

This week in UOI we examined the vocabulary of our unit and in particular the words resources, limited, causation and empathy. We also introduced what education can be like with different access to resources by completing an activity in two different classrooms..They then explored what was available in 2B, and decided on actions to take based on whether we had too many, just enough, or not enough of that resource.We will look at water and food in relation to limited resources next week. Students will choose one of these topics to inquire into in the coming weeks.

In Math, students are completing our unit on time this week. Please continue to talk about time at home to support your child’ s learning using the language of o’clock, half past, quarter to and past. Our number focus continues to be subtraction strategies and place value though expanding numbers. We have been using tens and ones to help us understand how we make and read numbers. Our focus until winter break will be fractions to follow on from the language of time (half, quarter) and consolidating our growing knowledge of subtraction strategies (chunking, split, number lines, shift and more).

In Reading, students continue to focus on reading nonfiction.

Our new type of writing is persuasion. Below is the structure and an example of what students will aim to achieve throughout this unit. This week we learned the structure and how to plan using the “OREO” method.


Checklist for Persuasive Writing

  • Title
  • Opening Statement (What is it?)
  • Linking Sentence (How do you feel about it?)
  • 3 reasons
  • Adjectives from at least 2 perspectives of Description Bubble
  • Sequencing words/phrases (“First”, “Second”, “Finally”)
  • Compound sentence (“and”, “but”, “so”)
  • Capital letters and full stops correct


Hamsters as Pets

Hamsters are a kind of mouse. They make great pets. Here are three reasons for this. First, hamsters do not take a lot of space at home so you can keep them in your own bedroom. Second, hamsters are fun to play with and they run around. Finally, hamsters have soft fur and cute black eyes and are nice to hold.

Finally, we enjoyed outside time with our buddies.


This Friday and Saturday at 5pm many of the 2B students will perform in “How to Eat like a Child” at the UNIS THEATRE. I hope you all have your tickets as it is sold out.  Congratulations and well done to all the wonderful 2B performers.

Invitation to open classrooms next week

2B began an exploration of limited resources through two activities this week.  Both activities (building a large number in a team, designing “the best” poster for World Children’s Day as a house) challenged students to manage limited resources and reflect on our successes, challenges, and strategies to deal with problems.

In Math, students continue the exploration of time based on the goals they set from their initial assessment.

In English, students explored the characteristics of fiction and non-fiction books.  They finished up our response writing unit with a final on demand piece, and moved directly onto our new unit of Exposition/Persuasive writing.

We in 2B look forward to welcoming you to our open classroom days next week, Thursday 30/11 and Friday 1/12.  Following is our schedule – we hope you are able to come to our homeroom and to many of our special classes as well.

Digital Citizenship Fair

Congratulations to all students and parents for a fantastic Digital Citizenship Fair.  This was a fabulous celebration of learning as students confidently communicated their understanding of our central idea, “choices that digital citizens make impact the global community”.  Here are pictures of our students in action, both presenting and giving kind, helpful and respectful feedback to their friends


Math current focus – Time

  •  Tell time to the quarter-hour, using language of ‘past’ and to.
  •  Name and order month and seasons.
  •  Use a calendar to identify the date and determine the number of days in each month.
  • We continue to focus on addition, subtraction and place value during our number sessions.

English – New Unit Focus

Standards to be covered in Non-Fiction Reading / Expository Writing Unit
Understand that different types of texts have identifiable text structures and language features that help the text serve its purpose  – Expository (Persuasive)
Discuss different texts on a similar topic, identifying similarities and differences between the texts
Re-read and edit text for spelling,  punctuation and text structure
Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning and begin to analyse texts by drawing on growing knowledge of context, language and visual features and print and multimodal text structures
Understand that simple connections can be made between ideas by using a compound sentence with two or more clauses usually linked by a coordinating conjunction
Understand the use of vocabulary about familiar and new topics and experiment with and begin to make conscious choices of vocabulary to suit audience and purpose
Identify the audience of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts
Write legibly and with growing fluency using unjoined upper case and lower case letters
Use interaction skills including initiating topics, making positive statements and voicing disagreement in an appropriate manner, speaking clearly and varying tone, volume and pace appropriately

New UOI – Parents as Partners

Grade Two will begin a new unit of inquiry into Sharing the Planet the week of November 20.

The concepts below will be taught in class, however, it would be of great assistance to help your child become familiar with the main unit components and vocabulary in order to maximize their learning experiences and make connections in class.

This is especially important for non mother-tongue English speaking students. Please translate the following into your child’s mother tongue in order to develop their linguistic abilities and foster their conceptual development.

Any extra reading, websites, films or learning experiences you may give your child in their mother tongue to compliment this unit, would be extremely valuable.

Central Idea:  Actions people take to share limited resources.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • reasons resources are limited (causation).
  • causes of conflict (local and global limited resources) (causation)
  • different views on how to manage limited resources (perspective)
  • our responsibility as global citizens (responsibility)

Vocabulary:fair, unfair, choice, equal, decisions, power, responsibility, resources, limited, conflict, causes, manage, local, global, perspective, empathy

Thank you!

Your Grade 2 Team

Service Learning at the Walkathon

Thank you to our 2B parents that came out to help and support the students during the Walkathon.  What a wonderful way to learn about service as we cheered, ran, and walked in support of the Blue Dragons.  Please congratulate your child, and send in your sponsorship form as soon as possible.  Thank you for your financial support of the Blue Dragons!

In English and UOI this week, students are working hard to get ready for their presentation at the Digital Citizenship Fair.  Students are using all four modalities of language as they read and take notes on their selected website/app, practice their presentations, listen to friends to give supportive feedback, and write their response to their website/app.

In Math this week, students began an exploration of time by identifying features of clocks.  Key vocabulary for this unit includes:

calendar, days, date, month, year, seasons, time, clock, analog, digital, hour hand, minute hand, o’clock, half past, quarter to, quarter past

Students continue to do math practice to build on their understanding and computation of numbers within a range that is “just right/dinner” for them.

From U.N. Day:


  • 13th and 14th November No School – Teacher School Professional Development
  • Thursday, 16th November 16, 8:45- 9:30am – Please join your student for our Digital Citizenship Fair


Dear 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!
And you are not limited to one! Students can submit multiple designs – no limit to the number of entries.  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:
  • Use the Photoshop template. Download the template here 
  • Use high resolution photos/graphics of 300dpi (dots per inch)
  • 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
DEADLINE & SUBMISSION  – 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)
ALL SCHOOL VOTE-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.

Happy United Nations Day

Dear Parents,

Tomorrow is our 30th UN Day Celebration. It will be a wonderful experience to celebrate the day together. I look forward to seeing as many of you as I can on this exciting day.

This week in 2B we had a few digital citizen superheroes!  Students brainstormed different powers a digital citizen superhero would have, such as “‘ad blocker”, “traffic light”, “no stranger danger”, “app finder”, “virus stopper”, and “connector”.

In UOI, students explored our unit vocabulary and worked with our stoplight to evaluate and discuss different forms of digital technology.

Student also learned how to make kind, specific, and helpful comments to a friend, both in the physical world and the digital world.  Parents, we would love your collaboration as we learn how to make appropriate comments!  When you reply to your child’s blog entries, please let your chid know specifically what you find interesting about their work.  You can be helpful by including a question to engage your child in further exploring new ideas and strategies.

In Math, we continue to focus on addition and subtraction within 20.  Next week, we will begin working with time (both analog and digital clocks).  Our focus will be on reading time using vocabulary such as “quarter to/past” and “half past” . Asking your child time questions regularly will reinforce the learning we will be doing in class.

Finally, a letter from our grade 2 team (you will be receiving a hard copy this afternoon in your child’s folder):

November 2, 2017

Dear Parents,

On Thursday, November 16, from 8:45- 9:30 students in Grade 2 will be sharing their learning about what it means to be a safe and responsible digital citizen at a Digital Citizenship Fair. We were tasked with the challenge of educating students at UNIS about using digital technologies safely and responsibly. Please join us in our classrooms if you can to celebrate our learning and taking action.


The Grade 2 Team


  • UN DAY Tomorrow 3rd November
    • 10.30 – 11.45: UN Day Assembly in the Sports Centre
    • 12.00 – 13.00: Community Lunch: Students eat with their families (and faculty and staff) in grade level lunches with pot luck food provided by families on international theme.
    • 13.00: Early Dismissal for Students – No ASAs/UMA etc.
  • Walkathon Wednesday November 8th – Starts on field at 1.00pm – 3.20pm
  • 13th and 14th November No School – Teacher School Professional Development

Week 10

Dear Parents,

2B is having another busy week.  Here’s a recap:

Math:  This week students continue to develop addition strategies at their own individual levels and are beginning to investigate subtraction strategies through number talks, math games, and numberless word problems.  Students have also started to looking at reading large numbers and place value to 100 and for some up to 1,000.

Here the class went on a field trip to a Grade 5 exhibition of large numbers where they saw place value up to a million as a provocation to our large number of 1,000.

Students then took on the challenge of counting all the Unifix cubes in our room!

UOI:   Students continue to evaluate apps and websites in preparation to select a type of media to focus on in our presentation at the Digital Citizenship Fair.

English:  Students focused on the writing process by revising (ask your student what “ARMS” means), editing (ask your student what “COPS” means), and publishing a response piece.  In reading students are focusing on the strategy of visualization.


  • Friday 3rd November: UNIS United Nations Day Celebrations
  • 16th November 2017 8.45am -9.30 am:  Grade 2 Digital Citizenship Fair – Parents welcome to attend.
  • Tuesday 31st October:   Dress up day  – Our Elementary Student Council would like to support the Middle School and High School Spirit Week by participating in a fun dress up day next Tuesday, October 31st. All students, Discovery to Grade 12, have the freedom to dress in a costume of their choice. There is no theme so it can be something creative, a book or movie character, an astronaut, alien space creature, sports player,…whatever they like. We just ask that students use the guidelines below.

Costume Guidelines:  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.

  • Costumes should not completely obscure a student’s identity. Staff members must be able to identify students.  (e.g.,  Full face masks should not be worn.)
  • Students are encouraged to be creative in their choice of costume.  Costumes should not be frightening or gory. Remember that UNIS student ages range from 3-18. Costumes should be appropriate for the full school community.
  • Costumes and choices should not be violent in nature. Fake weapons are not allowed and no military-style costumes.
  • Costumes that could be offensive or perpetuate a stereotype of someone’s culture, gender, heritage, or religion are not permitted.
  • 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.

Students wearing questionable costumes will be asked to change into normal school attire. A change of clothing for all students is required.  

Talking points for teachers and parents to assist students in selecting appropriate costumes: 

  • Remind students of their audience in the school (students, teachers, parents, community members,).
  • This is a school—what may be appropriate in pop culture or the media may not be appropriate for a place of learning.
  • We are a community, and we want students to think about how their costume choice may impact others within this community.
  • One costume possibility that 2B is talking about is how we can be Digital Citizen Superheroes by creating a digital super power and designing a costume to match.

Welcome back!

Dear Parents,

I hope your families had an enjoyable break. Your students came back enthusiastic and ready to learn!

Digital Citizenship:  Using a stoplight and rating sheet, students decided what makes a website just right for them (a dinner website!).

Presenting our rating of a website.

Presenting our rating of a website.

Discussing how a website should be rated.

Exploring and rating websites.

On Wednesday, students were surprised and excited about our final assessment task, which we received in an urgent email from Ms Megan: 

Dear Grade 2 Teachers,
 really need your help.  Students at UNIS Hanoi are surrounded by technology every day, both at home and at school – computers, mobile phones, iPads, televisions and video games.  I am very worried that not all students, or their parents, know exactly how to be safe and responsible when using these digital tools and especially when they are online.  
I know that your students are learning about these things at the moment.  Do you think that your students might be able to put together some kind of presentation to teach the other students and perhaps even the parents in our school, about the ways that they can be safe and responsible when using technology?  
I think that our Grade 2 students could really be great communicators by sharing this with our community.  Please let me know if you think this is something that they could help me with.
Ms Megan
After Skype-ing our friends in 2A, students are now collaborating to explore and evaluate a variety of digital media so they can become experts in one and share their knowledge at the Grade 2 Digital Citizenship Fair.  This Fair will be held on the 16th of November from 8:45-9:30.  Parents are welcome to attend!

Math:  We continue to explore different strategies and tools to model addition of 2-digit numbers. As a class, we built a number with Unifix cubes:

We have also been inquiring into place value and the base ten system.

English:  Reading rotations continue; students are now experts in each of our reading activities (read to self, read to someone, listen to a story, guided reading, and word study).  This week, we are focusing on questioning as our reading strategy.

In writing we continue to draft response writing, and will soon move to the revision stage of the writing process.


  • The deadline for submitting photo orders is Friday October 20.
  • Friday, October 20 Wear Blue to support the UNIS Volleyball team playing in APAC.
  • Friday 3rd November – UNIS United Nations Day Celebrations
  • Thursday, 16th November 8.45am -9.30 am – Digital Citizenship FairParents are welcome and encouraged to attend. 

Joining the Digital Global Community

2B is participating in the 2017 Global Read-Aloud, which is a wonderful opportunity to connect with our digital global community around books that we love.  We will be reading books by Mem Fox with 2A and other new friends around the world.  This week, we listened to Koala Lou, then tweeted our thoughts.  We enjoyed reading other tweets about the Global Read Aloud, as well as tweets by other teachers and staff from UNIS.  Using the skills we are building in our Response writing unit, we shared our thoughts about the story with our friends next door in 2A.  Finally, we created our own digital communities by reflecting on friends, family, and other people we connect with online.

Digital Citizenship – An inquiry into “How We Organize Ourselves”.
The concepts below will be taught in class, however, it would be of great
assistance to help your child become familiar with the main unit components and
vocabulary in order to maximize their learning experiences and make
connections in class.

This is especially important for non mother-tongue English speaking students.
Please translate the following into your child’s mother tongue in order to develop
their linguistic abilities and foster their conceptual development.

Any extra reading, websites, DVD’s or learning experiences you may give your
child in their mother tongue to compliment this unit, would be extremely valuable.

Central​ ​Idea:
Choices that digital citizens make impact the global community.
Inquiry​ ​into:
● What is a digital citizen?
● What are the purposes and forms of technology?
● How do we use digital technology safely?
● What are our responsibilities as digital citizens?
citizen, computer virus, digital, digital citizen, digital footprint, download, email,
internet, media, message, offline, online, private, technology, URL, website, World
Wide Web (WWW)
Thank you,
The Grade 2 Team

In Math, our focus is numberless word problems and sharing problem-solving strategies as mathematicians.  Just like selecting a just-right book, students are beginning to identify what are broccoli, dinner, and dessert numbers for them.  As we add activities to our math workshop routines, students will have choice in selecting numbers that are at a just-right level for them to grow as mathematicians.

It was wonderful to meet you all on Parent-Teacher conference day.  Our home-school partnership is essential in supporting our students’ growth as learners.  Thank you for your time and I look our partnership this school year.

Reminders and important information.

  • No School October Break – 7th October to 15th October
  • Photo orders have gone home today. The deadline for submitting photo orders is Friday October 20.
  • Friday 3rd October – UNIS United Nations Day Celebrations
  • End of Unit Digital Citizenship Learning Celebration – early notice of  a parent  invite.
  • Digital Citizenship Fair – 16th November 2017 8.45am -9.30 am – Parents are welcome to attend.
  • We still do not have a class parent, please email Nathalia Grun at clo@unishanoi.org if you are able to fill this role for our 2B community.
  • UNIS Hanoi Elementary Recommended Booklist – Please click here for ideas to read.

Here’s a glimpse of what your students enjoy when the rain keeps us indoors for recess:



Unifix Cubes

Conducting surveys

Building with triangles

Have a wonderful October break!

Moon Festival

Dear Parents,

We have been open-minded this week in listening to the legends, stories and celebrating the Moon Festival of Vietnam.  Giang, Khoa, Nam, Abi, and Miley were both risk-takers and communicators as they performed during the incredible assembly.

In Math, we worked on understanding how the structure of 2,5,10, etc can help in identifying numbers quickly. We created questions to learn more about our friends, then gathered and organized data in tally charts and bar graphs.  Finally in probability we used our math vocabulary of likely, unlikely, certain and impossible to make predictions about a spinner, then test our predictions by recording outcomes of an investigation.

In English, we continued our discovery of the writing process by focusing on editing, revising, and publishing our poems about peace.  We started to develop our knowledge of word study (spelling) by correcting spelling errors from our own writing. In reading we focused on the strategy of clarifying our understanding of both tricky words and confusing ideas by pausing to reread and think about our reading closely.

In Digital Citizenship, we explored the physical (playground) and digital (iPad apps) world to discover how we can be responsible, respectful, and safe in both places.  We also investigated different types of technology, and how they have changed over time.  During community time, as we enjoyed our recipe share, we wondered how we could share our recipes with each other.  From that discussion, we began making digital versions of recipes.  Stay tuned to see how your students decide to share these digital delicacies!

Home Reading – Students continue to change books before school after they have read and reread their book.  Setting weekly SMART (specific, measurable, action-based, realistic, and timely) goals about our home reading is an important part of developing independence as a reader.  Once again home reading can be parents reading to a child, individual reading of a book from school, library or home and re-reading books to develop fluency and comprehension. Students should be building stamina to be able to read at least 20 minutes four times per week.

Thank you for your support.


  • No school or ASA for Elementary Tuesday 3rd October it is Parent – Teacher Conferences. Please sign up through Veracross.
  • Our library day has changed again; we will visit the library on Wednesdays.