Heritage Field Trips – in person and through virtual reality

Unit of Inquiry central idea: Heritage is out legacy from the past, what we live with today and pass on to future generations.

Last week students split into groups to visit 6 different potential world heritage sites in Hanoi.  During the field trip they took notes and collected evidence for why the site should be a world heritage site.  This week they are turning their notes into a persuasive paper.

This week we also used virtual reality boxes to go on a virtual field trip to world heritage sites around the world.  Students visited places such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Amazon and Machu Picchu. They then worked with their K2 buddies to describe the place they visited and then decide which UNESCO criteria it qualifies in.  It was a wonderful way to explore heritage.


Looking back and looking forward


In Math the students have been setting their own weekly Math goals based on results from measurement and data assessments and then during rotations they work to accomplish their goals.  The students have been very successful in accomplishing their goals. See their student blogs for examples of what they have done.

Next week we will move into studying multiplication and number patterns.


The students wrote stories  based on one of Ms. Thao’s paintings.  The grammar focus for the week has been when to put in paragraphs in narrative writing.

Next week we will be studying how to write to persuade.


The students have been studying about how their body systems are affected by their choices. Each student chose one thing they wanted to improve such as their strength or memory and they worked to improve that.  They then created graphs with their data and prepared presentations that each student gave in front of the class. Here is a short video of the students at work.

And here is a short video of some traditional games you could play over the break. Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

New Unit

“Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today and pass on to future generations.” -UNESCO
During this unit, we will be asking students to look at their family’s heritage and think about what they have from the past generations that will be passed to the future.  This can be artifacts, stories, traditions, etc.
We will also be looking at cultural heritage and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Why are some things preserved and passed on to future generations while other things change with the times?
During the holiday, we’re asking students to think about heritage and what they notice around them. This is a great time to reflect on Vietnamese traditions, as well as their own culture’s. If they can take pictures to bring in, please do!
If you have the chance, please talk about heritage to your children during the holiday…..perhaps find pictures or examples! We’d love to have some examples of heritage when we return.

What we have been up to in 4C


This week we began our new unit. Inquiring into how the choices we make affect our bodies.

As a beginning to our unit many parents participated in an egg drop challenge, reflecting on how the body protects its vital organs and then designing a structure that would protect an egg.


Our class has been learning how to be good writers.  The focus for the first part of the year was how to write with good ideas and how to organize your writing.  Recently we have begun to focus on using effective word choice.

The students are all writing narrative stories. In the stories they demonstrate their understanding of our geology unit by describing the story of a rock.  Before each writing session we have a mini lesson on one aspect of word choice. Students then focus on including that in their rock stories. Below is an example of one of our word choice lessons this week.

Math: In addition to whole class learning engagements, 4C has four sessions a week of Math rotations.

Many of you had the chance to see the way that Math rotations work in 4C.   Rotations are broken up into 4 parts.

Number: The students will continue to develop number fluency throughout the year.  They will do this through choosing number games that fit their learning targets. At the moment students are working on building fluency with addition and subtraction. They will also continue to develop number fluency through whole class activities such as number talks.

Technology: Students will use technology to practice the skills learned in class. At the moment they are using Google Sketchup to build a classroom model.  They are using the skill of attending to precision.

Teacher Small Groups: I work with the students in small groups to either reinforce a concept they need extra support in or to introduce them to a new concept. This week I worked with groups on how to use what they know to figure out what they don’t know. How to find the missing measurement of a shape.

Problem Solving:  The students work on differentiated problems to practice their problem solving skills.

UN Day

Dear Parents,

Thank you for helping us to celebrate UN Day.  Thank you all for your help by bringing in food, setting up and cleaning up. And thank you for your lovely children who inspire us all.  Have a great weekend.



Our week in 4C

We have had a busy and fun week in 4C.  On Tuesday we took a trip out to Soc Soc  to experience what it is like to be a geologist. The students are all working on videos which explain their learning from the field trip.  They will all be posted on their individual blogs soon.  Take a look at Hung and Jonatan’s video.

Talya also made a great video which shows the fun we had while learning.

On Wednesday we participated in the Blue Dragon Walk-a-thon. It was another fantastic and successful fundraising event. Thank you to all of you who came out to support it.



Visiting Author:

Next week we will have the visiting author Marc Nobleman.  The students will participate in several sessions with Marc throughout the week. On Thursday they are encouraged to bring superhero capes or masks in support of Marc’s hero books.  Please see the Tin Tuc for details about community events with Marc in the evening.

UN Day:

UN day is a highlight of the year at UNIS. It will be celebrated next Friday.  We look forward to seeing you there.  Please remember Friday will be a half day.  Also please help us by donating used water bottles for our UN day art project. We are encouraging children to find recycle bottles instead of buying new bottles.


New Math Games

Currently, the students are working on problem solving multi step problems in class.  However, one thing that students will continue to practice all year is fluency with numbers. The students should be able to work with numbers flexibly and calculate automatically.

In order to help students practice this at home the class bloggers for the week (Talya, Hung and Lucas)  created a video of three Math games.  The materials for these games have been sent home. You can also use a deck of cards to play most games.

These games are intended to be adjusted based on your child’s needs.  For example if your child can easily add  two one digit numbers and tell you how many more to 20 then have them add two three digit numbers and tell you how many more to 1,000. Or if they find that hard have them tell you how many more to 100.  Remember the purpose is to become quick and automatic with the calculations and to be able to work with the numbers flexibly.


Thinking Like Scientists

I hope everyone had a lovely week away from school last week. The students are right back in the swing of things. This week the students have started a new class job.  They will take turns helping document the class’s learning for the blog.  This week Talya, Hung and Lucas created a video of Math games and helped to create several more videos of our learning. We hope you enjoy them.

Our learning intentions Oct 17-21:

Math:  Understand the steps to take in order to break apart problems and solve them.


UOI:  Begin to understand how scientists think and work.  Note: We are beginning a new unit.  Please click here for more information about the unit.

Literacy:  Revise our own narrative stories by first learning how to identify features of good narrative writing. img_0222

I Time: Use the design process to identify personal solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals  


Building a Learning Environment

Our focus in 4C this week was setting up an environment that is effective for learning.


In Math we participated in Stanford’s Week of Inspirational Math during which the students completed number challenges which reinforced the Eight Mathematical Practices 8-math-practices-sm


In Literacy we set the stage for our reading program. We identified the types of thinking  good readers do as we read and  wrote reading response letters in which students described their thinking.

In writing we are getting ready to write memoirs. This week we drew maps of our neighborhood and identified what stories we would be able to tell from our own life.


In UOI we are focusing on the Central Idea: “Identity is Expressed in many ways”  Students are working to describe their own identity in various ways.











Buddy Time:

This week we also began buddy time.  Our class is buddies with K2C. Throughout the year we will be working with our buddies every other week.  We will be reading together as well as sharing our learning with each other.

PicCollage (1)



Next week students will be participating in the NWEA Maps Assessment  This will take place next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The start of something great


The first day back from school is always a mix of emotions for students and sometimes parents as well.  With that in mind, I am happy to report that the students had a great first day.  We spent our day getting to know each other and setting up classroom routines and expectations. Creating a positive and safe learning environment is always very important to helping students learn. The kids have already set the tone for such a class.  They have been helpful and positive with each other which is great to see on the first day.  Over the coming weeks we will continue to build the foundation for a positive learning community.  It is going to be a great year.

Where to find Information:

News and upcoming events- Grade 4 blog or  Tin Tuc

Bi-weekly updates on what is happening in class- 4C class blog

Portfolio of student work- Student blogs

Real time photos and updates of what is happening in class-Twitter #4C