Exploring Hanoi’s Heritage

Thank you to everyone who helped make our field trip around the Old Quarter today possible both by returning permission slips and by chaperoning.  It was a wonderful opportunity for students to explore Hanoi’s Heritage. It also gave them an opportunity to apply their knowledge from earlier in the unit.

Next week the students will complete their final project for this unit.  They will need to bring in 3 examples of Heritage.  One global (their 3D models), one local (a picture from today’s field trip) and one personal.

Earlier in the unit some students already brought in examples of personal heritage. They can bring in the same object or they may choose a new object.  It is also possible that they can bring in a picture or drawing of a personal example of heritage.

Walk-a-thon, UN Day and plenty more to celebrate

Thank you to everyone for all of your help with UN Day and the Blue Dragon Walk-a-thon.  Both of these events  are at the very heart of what we strive for as a UN school. They wouldn’t have been possible without your support.  Please see the links below for more photos of the Blue Dragon Walk a Thon and  UN Day


Things to Ask Your Child About:

For the last 2 weeks the students have been working on a transdisciplinary project which requires them to use the Math and language skills that we are covering this unit in order to complete their tasks. Before starting the students reflected on their understanding of the independent skills they need to use and signed up for teacher led workshops which would allow them to accomplish their task.

  • What is their heritage project about?
  • How are you making your model?
  • What is something interesting you have learned about your heritage site?
  • What is an example of a high modal verb? How do we use it in our persuasive writing?
  • What did you focus on in Math this week? How did it go?  What do you still need to do to improve?

 More photos of the students at work on their Heritage project.

Math Game of the Week: “What’s the Difference” Subitizing Game

Printable Dot cards

Our week in Review:


  • Math centers to individualize learning according to individual needs
  • Problem-solving strategies
  • Calculate perimeter of a shape
  • convert units of meusrement
  • read a clock confidently
  • solve problems involving elapsed time


  • choose key words for researching
  • effective note taking
  • find important information
  • using notes to write a persuasive paper
  • writing complete paragraphs
  • use high modal verbs in persuasive writing


  • Visiting Heritage sites on a virtual field trip using VR glasses
  • building scale models of heritage sites using the 3D printer, wood blocks, legos, straws, clay and other materials







Dates to Remember:

Monday 13, Tuesday 14th November: NO school for students

Friday 17 November: Youth Sports Carnival at St Paul’s School

Wednesday 22 November: ES Snack Sale




Making the World a Better place

This week we spent time gearing up for our biggest event of the year, UN Day. In addition to taking some time to practice our UN Day song, we also spent time reflecting on what it means to be students at a United Nations school. We researched about what the United Nations is, how it formed and then later taught our buddies about the United Nations.  We discussed that one of the important roles of the UN is to promote peace. One of the ways we do that is by building relationships with people from other countries.

It was perfect timing that this week we received back peace cranes and letters from students in California, USA.  We had sent them letters and messages of peace at the beginning of the year. We explained what life is like in Hanoi and wished them peace. For many of our new friends in America it was their first time communicating to someone who lives in another country.  We are lucky to go to a school with such amazing diversity and tomorrow we get to celebrated that diversity.  We are looking forward to celebrating that diversity tomorrow.

Things to ask your child about this week:

If you could make the world a better place what would you do? How would you do it?

What is the United Nations? What are the SDG’s?

Which world Heritage site are presenting on?  How are you using Math in your project? How are you using reading and writing?

What materials will you use for your heritage model?

Week in Review:

This week the students are working on a transdisciplinary project which incorporates Math, Reading and Writing. They used their Math assessments to help them decide which learning intention they would need support in, in order to accomplish their project.


  • Read and identify the big idea.   
  • Read and identify important information.
  • *Use keywords to locate relevant information.    
  • Read important information and  summarise in notes. 
  •   write a persuasive text using three clear arguments.   
  •  write supportive reasons using the UNESCO criteria.                                           


  • Convert between units of measurements
  • Calculate perimeter of a shape
  • Measure angles and lines
  • Use ratio to draw to scale


Problem solve and overcome challenges without giving up.

Oct 23-26

Things to Ask Your Child About:

  • What is heritage? What are examples of personal, national and world heritage?
  • What is a 2-1 machine, how does it work? What is a 10-1 machine and how does that work?
  • How do you select a ‘just right’ book? How can you practice reading with fluency and accuracy?
  • What problem are you going to try to solve in I-time?
  • What can you do in Scratch? What coding can you do?

Week in Review

Math: Students developed their understanding of our number system by exploring other number systems.

This week our number talks focused on subtraction strategies.  Please have a look here at the Grade 4 learning space to access videos of various subtraction strategies. You will need to scroll down the page to see all of the videos of the strategies.

Reading: The students are working on their individual reading goals. 

Writing: Students are beginning to learn how to write persuasively and they have finished up their rock stories. Check out the student blogs to see their animations.

UOI:  Students can explain why people choose to preserve and pass on certain things.

They are inquiring into the connection between what is valued and what is preserved

I time:  Take apart and examine common objects to discover how they are designed and how we could improve them.

Website of the Week:

https://www.explodingdots.org/  Exploding dots is a fun, visual way for students to explore number systems and improve their mathematical abilities in everything from place value to division.

Dates to Remember:


  • Tuesday, October 31st, ES Spirit day


      • Costumes should not completely obscure a student’s identity. Staff members must be able to identify students.  Eg.  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.
      • Fake weapons are not allowed. 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.


  • Friday, November 3rd: UN Day


    • 8.10 – 10.15: All students off regular schedule: UN themed activities
    • 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.



We have begun a new unit about heritage. The students are inquiring into..

how connections to their past and present influence future generations.

  • The different forms of heritage
  • the connection between what is valued and what is preserved
  • who decides what is worth preserving

This week I brought in a few items that I consider either personal or global heritage. We also discussed places that are considered World Heritage sites.  

I would love for students to make personal connections to heritage.  On Monday, please send your child to school with an artifact that could be considered heritage. That might be pictures from a trip to Halong Bay or it might be something personal such as a recipe that has been passed down.  Next week we will look at everyone’s artifacts and discuss them.

Week in Review

Math: Students continued to work in groups towards their learning goals of either

    • Subtracting 4 digit numbers over barriers
    • Improve accuracy by estimating and checking work
    • Choose the most efficient strategy when solving problems.
    • Subitizing numbers from 10-20 using both regular and irregular patterns.

Reading: The students have been working on their individual reading goals in order to improve their comprehension, accuracy and fluency. 

Writing: Students are have worked on showing what is happening in their story of a rock rather than telling it. They have also worked on choosing “strong” descriptive verbs to put into their story of a rock.

UOI:   We examined various forms of Heritage in order to be able to answer the question: What is Heritage?

I time:  Use the design process to investigate problems that we could design a solution to. 

Coding: Learning how to broadcast and receive message in Scratch in order to create the story of a rock animation. 




Website of the Week: Tinkercad is a 3D design tool which improves students geometry skills while they create 3D models and prototypes. They can then print them using the school’s 3D printer. Students need parent approval in order to create an account.


  • Thursday October 19th- Beth Murray will be hosting a Mathematics Evening in the Community room, for Grades 2-5 parents.

October 2-5

Thank you all for taking the time to come in and meet with me this week. It was lovely to have a chance to chat with you and learn more about your child.  I am excited about the opportunity to continue to work with you this year to support your child. 

One way that we could use your support is in our upcoming unit. We will be learning about heritage and why we should preserve it.  We will be asking the children to think about anything they have in their family that has been passed down from precious generations. It might be a recipe, a necklace, a quilt or a family dance.  Please have a talk with your child about what has been passed down. After the break we will be asking interested parents to come share something from their family or cultural heritage as well. 

Week in Review

Math: Students were working in groups towards their learning goals of either

    • Subitizing
    • Subtracting over 100 barriers
    • Using summarizing to improve accuracy

Here are a couple of video’s of how to practice subitizing.  Remember to ask: What did you see? How did you know?  The purpose of the game is not the addition. It is getting the brain to see the numbers automatically without counting. (sorry for the poor video quality)

Reading: The students have been working on their individual reading goals.

Writing: Students are writing narrative stories about the life of a rock. They will animate this story in Scratch.

UOI:  Use scientific language to explain how the earth’s surface changes.

I time:  Use the design process to improve their straw rockets.

Other: Learn the basics of coding.  

Website of the Week: https://scratch.mit.edu/   The students were introduced to Scratch this week. It is a site where students can use block based coding to create animations, games and many other programs. We will be using Scratch throughout the year on various projects. Students learn many problem solving strategies and math concepts from it. 

Book recommendation list:

Parents are often interested in knowing about appropriately leveled books for their child.  In an effort to help you with this, UNIS has compiled a list of recommended books for each grade level. You can find a link to this list at the top of this blog. Or just click here.  

We are also encouraging parents to log in to Biblionasium in order to see a log of your child’s reading. Your child should have sent you an invitation this week.  Otherwise go to Biblionasium.com register as a parent then enter code KAJKY-25214 when prompted.

We will be asking your child to log the reading that they do nightly and during the school day.  


No school next week. Have a wonderful October break.

September 22-28

Week in Review:


  • Understanding place value in numbers to 100,000,000
  • Writing numbers in expanded notation
  • game: Strike it out
  • Problem Solving strategy: Empty number line
  • Introduction and practice with problem solving rubric

  • English:
  • UOI:
    • Experiments to understand the effect of physical and chemical weathering on rocks
    • Note Taking, observation and data collection skills

  • Other:

*Please note that these are only general ‘snapshots’ of what your child is doing in school. More specific instruction varies upon the needs of each child and individual needs were catered to within these areas. Ask your child for more details and please check out the Grade 4 Learning Space for ideas to practice at home. Please see Curriculum section for curriculum details for each unit if you would like to know more about what is next.

Websites of the Week:

Last week we featured Biblionasium.com as a website of the week but I want to explain it to you so that you can log in and connect to your children’s reading. This is the format we are using to log students reading both at home and at school. Once you create an account, you can see your child’s reading history, reading logs, favorite books, reading preferences, book reviews and more.

To Register:

Go to Biblionasium.com register as as parent

Confirm your email

Enter code:  KAJKY-25214 when prompted

September 15-21

Week in Review:

  • Math:
      • Reading large numbers and understanding place value
      • Build an understanding of the value of large numbers.

      • Problem Solving strategies- How to identify what information you have, what information you need and then use that to calculate.

         Earlier this week we looked at a picture of the newly created dot wall. Our class wanted to figure out how many dots their were. We started this problem in class  Feel free to discuss it with your child to see if they can work it out and explain their thinking.

  • English:
    • Response writing- how to write about a work or experience and make judgements about it
    • Introducing Biblionasium to log reading time, books and share their reading with each other
  • UOI: Stages of the rock cycle (see pictures of our investigation)
    • Scientific Observations and documentation
  • Other:
    • UNIS’s 30th birthday celebration!
    • Redesigning the layout of our classroom.
    • MAPS testing

*Please see Curriculum section for curriculum details for each unit if you would like to know more about what is next

Website of the Week:

  • Biblionasium Parental encouragement at home can make a considerable difference in students’ reading success. With Biblionasium you can see your child’s reading history, reading logs, favorite books, reading preferences, book reviews and more.

*There are MANY helpful websites available on the Grade 4 Learning Space!


  • Thursday, September 28th: Moon Festival- Don’t forget to wear your ao dai!
  • Tuesday, October 3rd: Parent-Teacher Conferences- Student Free Day
  • Oct. 9-13 Autumn Break- No School

September 9-15

We are teaching students how to choose appropriate leveled and interesting books but you might also want some ideas on books that might interest your child. Here is a list of books that last year’s Grade 4 students recommended at the end of the year. Here are the books that last year’s students voted as top ten best books they read that year.

Last week at Back to School night we discussed with you all the different avenues for communication I will be using during the year. Aside from email  I shared the class blog, twitter and also the Grade 4 Learning Space. Each of these are linked below.

  • Class Blog
  • Class twitter @mjslaughter
  • Grade 4 Learning Space – here is where we have full details and specifics regarding the curriculum that we are teaching in the classroom, including web resources and ideas for games to play at home. At the bottom of this page you are also able to access your child’s individual blog / portfolio.”

We also discussed the Home Learning Grid – which should go home with the students next week. The grid focuses on Reading, Physical Activity and Housework as being important things that students should be doing daily. You can sign, stamp or date the grid, which should come back to the school every two weeks, so that teachers can check to see that students are being active readers, active individuals, and active helpers in the household.

Week in Review:

  • Math:  We have been focusing on place value and rounding.  We have been using 1,000 books to help model place value.  We have also been practicing solving problems using the strategy of rounding.  
      • For example students mentally added 533 + 469 by rounding 533 to 530 and 469 to 470.  Adding those together to make 1000 and then figuring out that they needed to add 2 from before they rounded to make 1002. They then applied this strategy to other problems. 

    • The students have been introduced to Khan Academy as a means to practice place value and rounding.  To practice at home just go to this link and the students can login and get started.  I will be able to see their progress and can help them with difficult concepts in school.
  • English:
    • In reading the students were using the 6 thinking hats to take notes and reflect on what they were reading.   They used articles from Newsela for this.  
    • In writing the students were learning to write response texts. They did this by writing a response to the field trip we had last Friday.
    • Grammar Focus: Judgment words (positive and negative), past tense verbs

UOI:  We investigated the soil samples that we collected from our field trip. Making careful observations in order to answer what is soil made of?

    • Video made by Jae Yeon and Emily
    • I-Time:  Students designed and carried out their own experiments by creating models related to the earths surface.
  • Other:  Former SpaceX engineer Philip Kassouf visited and spoke with the Grade 4 students this week. He spoke about overcoming challenges and taking advantage of the opportunity they have to study at UNIS  

Helpful websites:

Khan Academy: Students get assignments that are catered to their individual level. There are videos that help when students get stuck or when they want to push themselves to learn something new. I can see their progress and then help them in school.

Newsela: Class Code-WHTGKZ  A great website full of news articles that are written in kid friendly language. Students can adjust the difficulty level of the text to fit for them.  I can assign specific articles for them to read. This week I have made a set of articles related to our unit. They can also choose articles that interest them.

Upcoming Dates:

  • September 19 – 21    MAP testing
  • September 19           UNIS Hanoi 30th Birthday Celebration Afternoon (children should wear blue)
  • September 20-Snack Sale
  • September 28th- Moon Festival (children should wear and Ao Dai)
  • October 3                  Parent teacher conferences – Student Free Day
  • October 9 – 13           Autumn Break – No school

Promoting Peace and Understanding

“Peace cannot be kept by force it can only be achieved by understanding.” -Albert Einstein

Our class is participating in a world wide peace crane project.   They have been busy writing letters, poems about their home, folding peace cranes and making videos. These will all be sent to America where author/illustrator Sue DiCicco will take them on a school tour as a way to promote understanding between students around the world.  Below is a video Luca made about what peace means to students at UNIS.

Week in Review:

    • Math: Identifying patterns in numbers to 1,000.  Learning word problem solving strategies.
    • English:  Writing friendly letters and poems to students in America.  Learning and practicing reading strategies.
    • UOI: Practicing making scientific observations. Inquiring into how the movement of water changes the earth’s surface.
    • I-Time:  Learning the inquiry process of asking questions and setting up experiments to answer those questions.


  • Back-to-School Night, Thursday, September 7th @ 6:00pm
  • Field Trip to Sac Son Friday, September 8th (Where sensible walking shoes!)
  • Students should have a hat and water bottle every day.
  • Students should have a pair of headphones to keep at school.
  • HEALTHY snacks only, please!

A note from P.E.:

Next week Monday and Tuesday we will be doing our PE class outside with water activities.  There is a good chance that you will get wet during class. Please be sure that you wear your PE clothes and have your change of clothes so you don’t have to spend the day wet!

MONDAY: 4C and 4D


PE clothes, change of clothes, hat, water bottle

What did you learn this week?

“We learned new reading strategies. We learned how to check for understanding and we learned cross checking.” – Aisiyah

“I learned that scientist can learn by looking at things really closely and you can be a scientist as a kid.  You can learn a lot from studying normal rocks.”- Seunghun

“You can solve math problems in different ways.” Ivana

Thank you for coming to back to school night.  For those of you who missed it, here is the slideshow.