Week 6

Soc Son, SDG Week, Buddies, parent teacher conference preparation, science experiments…it has been a busy week! I look forward to seeing you all on Monday at parent teacher conferences! The focus of these conferences is to go over the accomplishments and goals of your child. If you have anything in particular you would like to discuss please send me an email prior so I can try and be more prepared time is utilized well. If you are unable to come or would prefer to meet before or after school on a different day please let me know, I will try and accommodate if possible.

Upcoming events to remember:

  • Saturday 29 June – Parent and Staff Sparkly Social
  • Monday October 1st – Parent Teacher Conferences No Students At School
  • Thursday October 4th – Youth Sports Festival 2 – 5.30pm @ St Pauls American School
  • October 8 – 12 – Autumn Break No Students At School


Thank you to Cortney (Omar’s mum) and Andy (Orlo’s dad) for joining us for the day!

BUDDIES: SDG Superheroes!





Happy International Day of Peace!


Today the students formed small groups to create short movies on Flipgrid to share with our Peace Crane Project partner school, Belgrano Day School, in Argentina. We have folded peace cranes and written letters and will be posting our parcel to the school soon. We are looking forward to hearing from them at some stage throughout the year. Feel free to check out our videos by asking your child to log you in 🙂

Upcoming events to remember:

  • Tuesday 25 June – grade 4 field trip to Soc Son
  • Saturday 29 June – Parent and Staff Sparkly Social
  • Monday October 1st – Parent Teacher Conferences No Students At School
  • Thursday October 4th – Youth Sports Festival 2 – 5.30pm @ St Pauls American School
  • October 8 – 12 – Autumn Break No Students At School
Global Goals Week
Next week is global goals week at UNIS.  During this week we put the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals front and centre in our thinking and our learning. As part of Global Goals week we will be having a Nude Food Day on Friday 28 September.  Put simply, nude food day means sending your child to school with a snack that contains no disposable packaging. For more information click here


Completing their brainstorming and planning for some and starting to write drafts for others…all part of the Writers Workshop process. They are looking at memories of their lives so far and those small moments that they can use to write an entertaining piece. I am looking forward to reading their first drafts!

The students were focusing this week on how to “interpret ideas and information in spoken texts and listen for key points in order to carry out tasks and use information to share and extend ideas and information”. They watched non-fiction presentations on the layers of the earth and used instructional videos to guide them in creating models. Have a look on their Seesaw to see their results!

This week we started a new form of inquiry called Structured Word Inquiry. The purpose and goal of word inquiries is that “using a structured inquiry process, not open, unguided inquiry, to develop a deep and comprehensive understanding of our spelling system. It is the common goal of teaching students about the logic of the English spelling system by following scientific process, aided by specific tools”. This week we focused on looking at the word PLAY to understand the criteria for understanding if words belong in the same family.


The class read aloud was chosen by Emily this week and is titled “The Girl Behind the Glass” by Jane Kelley.



In math this week the students focused on continuing to expand their skills in working with number, focusing on using number lines to solve word problems. They also were introduced to NAPE which is a grading tool for them to guide them in including specifics and details when solving problem solving challenges. NAPE stands for Novice, Apprentice, Practitioner and Expert and the students are working towards completing problems to a practitioner or expert level.

Game of the Week: Strike it out



Another great week!

The students focused well on meeting their goal of listening to each other with more respect. We looked at ways we could be active listeners and particularly focused on holding eye contact with the person talking. How this makes the speaker feel was talked about and the students considered different scenarios and how it would make them feel. I am looking forward to them continuing to working on being good, respective listeners.


The students were paired with their K2 buddy this week and the first week was a hit! Some of the class have been able to reconnect with their buddy from last year which is super special! This week the buddies watched the animation of the story Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. On Saturday it is International Dot Day and the students created dot masterpieces together.

Homeroom Parents:

Thank you to Griet De Bosscher (Ole’s mum) and Amy/Wim De Groof (Sebastian’s parents) for offering to share the role of homeroom parents for this school year. Amanda Fine (Orlo’s mum) will also be helping them out along the way.

Upcoming events to remember:

  • Grade 4 Math Coffee morning- Tuesday, September 18 from 8:30-9:30 in the ES Creativity Space (next to our classroom)
  • Moon Festival is Thursday, September 20 Please remember to send your child to school in an áo dài .


In writing, students have been continuing to focus on their brainstorming and planning techniques in the writing process. They used graphic organizers, such as the watermelon, to pinpoint the specific area that they will focus on their main idea for the story they are about to write. Students who didn’t feel confident signed up to participate in a workshop led by Ms. Nicole.

In reading the students listened and enjoyed as we read our new read aloud for the week “The One and Only Ivan” by K. A. Applegate. One day the class were lucky enough to have Bobby read to us instead of Ms. Mel! Many of the class have signed up to read the book independently!

This week the students were focusing on identifying the keywords in their inquiry questions and using these words to help them locate key information in non-fiction texts to help them learn more about rocks and the rock cycle (see photos below).


We created 1,000 books and began to use those as a tool to visualize place value, adding and subtracting to 1,000. We also focused on the use of estimation. We learned how to play the game “Changing Places”. Ms. Beth also came in to do a number talk with us.

Game of the Week:

Changing places

Learning Intention- Students will improve their understanding of place value.



Week 3 Was a Great One!

Introducing our Student Council Representatives for 2018/19:

The election process was so successful and 7 students did a great job with their speeches to the class! The students that received the most votes were Duc, Jesse and Kelei! They will share the responsibilities, including leading the class morning meeting each Friday and writing “updates” for this blog!


Next week for PE (during the double lesson) we will be on the hunt for water in our mission to Mars.
The students will get wet and possibly muddy so they need a change of clothes in order to participate. We will remind them today but would appreciate the extra push from you guys so no one misses out.


Be A Class Parent!


  • A great way to engage with your child’s class
  • Have a connection to the other parents in the class
  • Have another reason to connect with your teacher
  • Have a better idea what is going on in your class and at school
  • Have fun and be involved

The SCO are looking for class parents to help with UN Day and the end of year parties. They would love for you to engage with other parents and the teachers at school. Love for you to create a family in your class. Class parents are supported by the SCO, the faculty, other class parents and the other parents in the class.

If you are interested in being 4A’s class parent for this school year please let me know! I promise I am nice and it is VERY relaxed! 🙂



Thank you to those parents who came to Back To School Night last night! It was great to see so many of you there! For those unable to make it, your child will be bringing a letter home for you today that they wrote for you 🙂

Below is the presentation I went through on the evening. Please take the time to have a look. If you have ANY questions please let me know! I am happy to communicate through email or meet with you in person and answer any questions and concerns you may have! I mentioned last night, that once the students are settled and the student-directed learning (SDL) blocks are up and running I will publish times that you are more than welcome to pop in and have a look at how it all goes!

If you were able to attend last night and you have a free minute I would really appreciate you sending me some feedback on:

  • concerns you may have regarding the content covered
  • highlights and things you are looking forward to the most this year


Continuing to Build Routines in 4A

It is hard to believe we are already at the end of the second full week of school! The students continue to find their place in the classroom and we continue to focus on building our routines. Thank you to many of you for completing the survey I shared with you during the week! Many questions were asked and I have added them to my agenda to address with you all on Thursday at Back To School Night!

On Friday morning we will using our morning meeting time to do a whole class check in. We did this for the first time today. Students did an anonymous vote saying a score out of 10 of how they are feeling towards school. We came up with a criteria to explain what the scores tell us:

A score of 1 – 3 means the student is feeling unhappy at school.

A score of 4 – 6 means the student is feeling mixed about school…some things are good and some not so good.

A score of 7 – 8 means the student is feeling that their school day is good but there is room to be better.

A score of 9 – 10 means the student feels that school couldn’t be better!

We used the See Think Wonder routine to analyse our results and to look at the data we collected.

When we looked at our 4A Values we agreed that the areas that we need to improve upon are actively listening to each other and not having side conversations. It was discussed that many students are not feeling they have a voice in the classroom and that the same people are talking all the time. This is what the class will be working on improving over the coming week.

A summary of the data shows that 90% of the students in 4A are HAPPY to come to school! This is a great result and something the students were happy with. We ALL agreed that we need to work together to help get this 90% to 100% as quickly as possible!


Unit of Inquiry:

This year grade 4 will be doing the How We Express Ourselves unit throughout the entire year. We will be focusing on the central idea; How we express our understanding influences how effectively our messages are communicated. The students will have opportunities throughout the year to participate in a range of workshops that will teach them the skills to present in different ways. This week we were introduced to the unit and the students reflected on where they believe their skillset to be. They used a recording scale of:

  1. Shared understanding: Others teach and I learn
  2. Guided understanding: I try and others help
  3. Independent understanding: I do on my own
  4. Learning understanding: I teach, others learn


Students will be encouraged to sign up for workshops for the tools they feel they have shared or guided understanding first and as the year progresses we will continue to update the chart throughout the year.

NEXT WEEK we will being our How The World Works unit.

Central Idea: Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and our activity.

An inquiry into:

  • characteristics of the Earth’s surface. (form)
  • factors that change Earth’s surface. (change)
  • the impact of Earth’s changes. (causation)


Writing – This week we have been focusing on the writing process – What is it? What do the different stages mean? We have been focusing on the brainstorming stage and drawing maps of our memories that we can use later on throughout the year for story ideas.

Ms Nicole came in and did a lesson with the students on how to write a response! We are going to enjoy our writing sessions with Ms Nicole each Friday morning!

Reading – We enjoyed starting our new class read aloud and began to look at different resources and routines we will be using during guided reading.

Math: This week we focused on learning different math routines and strategies that we can use. We started doing daily number talks which the students have been enjoying introducing to the new students! They all recorded a mini number talk on their Seesaw so you can have an example of what they do!

Everyday this week we have been doing tasks and challenges which help us gain an understanding of the different math strategies we can use. We have been focusing on:

  1. Drawing
  2. Team work
  3. Experimenting
  4. Looking for different resources
  5. Starting with a smaller case









On Thursday the class had the opportunity to meet and interact with their new buddy class. This year 4A will meet with Ms Corlia’s class in K2. Throughout the year lessons that focus on skills such as collaboration, communication and team building will be planned along with those that support the curriculum of both grade levels. Ms Corlia and I will be putting the students together in buddy groups in the next session. We are looking forward to a great year ahead with them!




















Monday 3rd September – NO SCHOOL!

Thursday 6th September – Back to School Night – 6pm

Tuesday 11th September – Parent Community Morning with Head of School – 8am

Tuesday 18th September – Math Morning Coffee – 8.30 – 9.30am

Saturday 22nd September – Community Connections Fair and Flea Market

Saturday 29th September – Parent and Staff Sparkly Social

Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)

October 6 – 14th – Autumn Break NO SCHOOL


Kensuke’s Kingdom By Michael Morpurgo – we will continue to read this next week for the short week.


News from 4A this week…

The first week of school saw the class get to know each other better.

The students created their Seesaw portfolios this week and posted their first reflection. Many of them used the information about themselves as learners when posting on Seesaw. You should have all received an email from me this week with the details on how you can login and follow your students Seesaw. It has been great to see so many of your already posting comments to your enthusiastic Seesaw users!

4A’s Vision for 2018/19 was created through a lot of discussions and collaboration. Based around the UNIS Hanoi values of community, responsibility and learning the students composed 9 value statements. It was inspiring to witness and exciting to see the level of depth and connection they made. Please ask your students to explain the process that we went through!

Here they are…

In 4A…

  • We agree to be cooperative by being committed and supportive of each other.
  • We agree to being kind and actively listen while others are speaking and sharing their ideas.
  • We agree to be inclusive towards all people and to celebrate our diverse classroom of cultures.
  • We agree to be empathetic by being caring and treat people with respect, and fairness.
  • We agree not to be bystanders and to take action when we need to. We are a NO BULLY classroom.
  • We agree as students of the UN we will take action towards helping meet the SDG’s.
  • We agree to be risk-takers by not being afraid of failure and trying new things all the time.
  • We agree to be open-minded by listening to, and learning from, others ideas.
  • We agree without change we cannot improve so we will always set goals and create a balanced schedule of learning



How do we write Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely goals? Students have looked at the purpose of goals and why we write them. A display in the classroom was created that shows the goals they are working toward.

They have been working on building our focus during silent reading and sharing their thoughts on what they are reading. They are looking forward to starting guided reading in coming weeks!

They got to visit the library this week and meet the new librarian Ms Monica!



















Students learned about and then practiced important math concepts such as.     

  • Being good at math isn’t about being fast rather its about thinking deeply.
  • Mistakes are opportunities to learn
  • Mathematics is about finding and making sense of patterns.

The students also spent time looking at what part of their school day involves math and what doesn’t. They were set the challenge to do a scavenger hunt around the school and photograph those instances that they believed didn’t involve math. It was a lot of fun for all and inspired a lot of interesting conversations!

Unit of Inquiry:

This year grade 4 will be doing the How We Express Ourselves unit over the course of the year. This week and next week we are focusing on introducing the students to the unit. We are and will be looking at brainstorming how we express our ideas and messages to our audiences and how the communication tools and skills change depending on the purpose and audience.

As a class they will have been looking at themselves as learners. They are starting to know how they work as a group and who works well with who. They spent time getting to know themselves as learners and how they learn. They did a Multiple Intelligence Checklist which showed them where their strengths may lie as a learner. This helped them share who they are with the class. They will eventually use this information to help them when they are creating their own schedules. They were able to recognize the reason for them having the empowerment to direct their own learning and they began to see that they each learn differently at different times of the day and in different working situations (such as individually versus in small groups).


Friday 24th August – ES parent morning coffee – 8.30am

Monday 3rd September – NO SCHOOL!

Thursday 6th September – Back to School Night – 6pm

Tuesday 11th September – Parent Community Morning with Head of School – 8am

Saturday 22nd September – Community Connections Fair and Flea Market

Saturday 29th September – Parent and Staff Sparkly Social

Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)

October 6 – 14th – Autumn Break NO SCHOOL


Please can you send you child in a pair of headphones that they can keep at school please. It is really important that the headphones have a mircrophone included so that they can use them when recording their voices. They should be named and left at school in their individual baskets. Some weeks the students will need them multiple times so it is important that they be available in the classroom at all times.









Class Read Aloud:

This year I am adding a different focus to our class read alouds. I want to use the time to INSPIRE the students to read more. Instead of reading a book aloud to the class in its entirety I will be introducing them to a new book each week. How ever far we get in a week is where we will stop reading it aloud. The students will then sign up to borrow the book and continue reading it during the daily silent reading time, if they are inspired to read more! Not all students will be interested in every book and that is ok, not everyone is supposed to like everything! But I am hoping that many will discover new books, genres and authors that they have never been interested to read in the past. Every week I will put on the blog the book we have read so you can talk at home with your child about it. If you would like to read it at home together please let me know! This weeks read aloud is…


Week 1 Was A Success!

Hi everyone

Here are some highlights and quotes from the class about our first 3 days of school…

  • I really enjoyed Ms Mel reading to us and the new book, “Beetle Boy”. (Maisie)
  • Playing Getting to Know You Bingo and doing a scavenger hunt with the whole of grade 4. (Duc)
  • Making identity webs about me to introduce ourselves to each other. (Clara)
  • Brainstorming together to see what makes a good teacher, student and classroom. (Alina)
  • I like the new classroom environment with the different places that we can sit! (Orlo)
  • Beginning to do writing and writing Ms Mel a letter. (Anesu)

Some things they are looking forward to…

  • Finishing writing our essential agreements on Monday. (Duc)
  • Beginning to apply the essential agreements that we write. (Kelei)
  • Starting to run our normal school day. (Jesse)
  • Doing more math, I love math. (Omar)
  • Starting to use our computers and iPads. (Lin)
  • Learning how to write my own schedule! (ALL!)

Here is our specialist schedule for the year…




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