Week 28 – March 19th to 23rd

PYPX Overview

Finding Out is an important aspect of PYPX. Unlike other research that may have taken place throughout the year, the students are self-directed. They have selected the topics and have formulated their own questions to guide their research. The students are able to follow the research where they see fit. Unlike other units, any primary sources have been sourced and contacted by the students. They are formulating their questions and ensuring they gather all that they need in interview scenarios, both inside and outside the UNIS community.

It is through this research that ideas for action are being formulated. In order to truly take an impactful action, students must first thoroughly understand their topic or issue. Help your child by having conversations about what they have learnt and how they feel this is informing their action. How has their thinking been changed? What needs do they see in their immediate community? What needs exist in their larger community? If they could do anything to make an impact on their issue what would they do?

Students will transfer their knowledge into a written informative piece to share in PYPX and with stakeholders as they initiate action.

Keep an eye out for the informative piece of writing during the Exhibition


Week 27 – March 12th to 16th

PYPX Overview

This week was the beginning of what will be three weeks of finding out. The PYPX is all about coming from a position of knowledge. In order to gain knowledge, we ask our students to have a strong understanding of their issue and the lines of inquiry they intend to uncover. With this knowledge, they will be able to come from a position of credibility as they gain support in undertaking their action.

Grade 5 students will research in two parts.  They will consult secondary sources to gain an understanding of their issue on a global basis. Groups will also use part of this week to begin thinking about primary sources. They will work with their coordinating teacher and mentor to reach out to the community and organise interviews. You can help by providing recommendations for local groups or people your child could contact.

Researching or “finding out” very much asks our students to use their literacy skills. When looking for secondary sources, students will read, summarise and write. For primary sources, students are asked to form questions and communicate with others. We look forward to seeing how this research forms student action.

Here is a link to the first draft of our “process video” for the PYPX that will be updated throughout the weeks. It will provide a pictorial account of our work. You will find at least one picture of every G5 student.




Week 26 – March 5th – 9th

Happy International Women’s Day and Welcome 5B Community,

Last week students reflected and spent time working on their own equation. Passion + Issue = Action. From there they connected their issue with an SDG.

A parent coffee morning was organised to arm parents with information. If you missed it, here is a link to the slides used as talking points.

This week, as part of the tuning-in process, students were organized into working groups for the PYP Exhibition (PYPX) based on their passions and interest in a particular Sustainable Development Goal.

More Photo’s of groups to come

Groups were assigned to their coordinating teachers and mentors. All groups should have made contact with their mentors and have begun the process of organising times to meet.

Part of working together was to get to know each other through team building exercises.

Another aspect of working together is to develop essential agreements for each team member to work by. These might include the following: make sure everyone agrees on something before doing it; show respect to everyone; stay on task and focused; speak out if you disagree about something; everyone must share their ideas and opinions; everyone has a role\job.

G5 students also had the opportunity to visit the G10 Personal Projects Presentations this week. They spoke with G10 students to gather information on elements such as presentation ideas, research strategies and questioning techniques. This type of interaction proves very valuable for students who, at this stage in their PYPX process are still searching for a hook or idea for an action. Many thanks for the invite G10.

Next week, students will begin the finding-out process. They will look for resources to gain a better understanding of their topics. Parents can help students by identifying appropriate articles and having ongoing discussions with their child about their topic.

Check out the PYP X 2017/2018 Weebly to watch it unfold!

In addition to the PYPX, students continue to do literacy and math.

James Tanton

5B had the pleasure of having James Tanton (A math education expert) visit and model a math lesson on number sense. Students used a simple strategy to uncover reasons why numbers are flexible and worded they way they are.  Ask your child to explain how to add, or subtract using exploding dots. You can check out his website by visiting http://www.jamestanton.com/

5B’s reading program is called AVAILLL. Ask your child what they do and what the purpose of the lessons are.

Open Classrooms is here again

  • 5B have two “open classroom” times next week:
    • Thursday, 14 March  @ 1:15 pm (Literacy)
    • Friday, 15 March @ 9:15 am (PYPX clusters) if you intend to pop in during this time, ask your child who their coordinating teacher is so you end up at the correct classroom.
  • The grade 4 and 5 Music Concert is also on the during open classroom dates, March 15th. For this reason, there will not be any open classrooms for music as 5B students work in music, will be showcased through the concert.
  • Other specialist classes available to see on these days are
    • World languages on Thursday 12:30 – 1:10 pm
  • Open classroom finish at 11:30 am on Friday 15th of March


PYP Exhibition on April 24 & 26. If your child is not going to be able to attend one or either of these dates, please contact me ASAP, as this affects others in your child’s group.

Table Talk Questions

Who had their birthday in 5B this week?
What PYP attitudes have you been talking about in class this week?
How do I add using exploding dots?
What is the opposite to exploding dots? (tods)
How do tods work?

That is all from 5B this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

Week 25 – 26th February – 2nd March

Welcome, 5B Community,

Welcome back! 

And so it has begun! We are right back into it as we began PYP Exhibition or PYPX this week. Grade 5 students were introduced to the equation that will drive their PYPXThey were then able to connect this back to the various passions speakers we have had in the previous weeks and see how their passion is linked to an issue and has led to action. This weeks speaker was Kelly who listens to and shares the stories of children who have experienced war. 

From here we stimulated student’s thinking about action through mystery trips within our local community to museums, hospitals and developmental homes for those with mental disabilities. Students were in mixed groups and returned to school to share where they had been and what they had been inspired by. 

We look forward to sharing more about this process with you at our PYPX Parent Coffee Morning Friday 2nd March at 8:15 in the ECC Gym.

This week has also seen students complete the ISA testing across Mathematics, Literacy, Writing and Reading. These tests will be sent off for external moderation and the results will be shared with you once they are received.

5B spent time teaching their G1 Buddies how to make ‘mandalas’. This was a great lesson in PYP Attitudes and Learner Profiles as 5B students had to be reflective, caring, competent communicators, tolerant and respectful.  A lot to learn as a teacher of persons younger than yourself.


Thursday, March 15th & Friday 16th:  Open Classrooms
Friday, March 30th: ES Fun Sports Afternoon
Monday, March 5th: 7:00-8:00pm  Community Presentation on the Joy of Math

Dinner Table Talk

  • Where did your mystery field trip take you?
  • Who got stung by a blue bottle jellyfish while swimming in Phu Quoc?
  • What was the ‘next word hunt’ word you had to find during AVAILLL on Thursday?
  • Can you show me how to calculate the 6, 7,8, 9 and 10 times tables using your hands?

The Week that Was


Week 24 12th -14th of February – Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

Dear 5B Community,

Tet is upon us. Assessments have been completed. Parent-Teacher Conferences have been had, and a few days off from school are in front of us. Our group today wasn’t as big as normal, which meant more time for some tomfoolery.

Please note some important information for the weeks returning after the Tet break.

PYPX Coffee Morning Meeting
If you are new to Exhibition, this is the perfect time to come and chat with your homeroom teachers to find out a bit more about what your child will be experiencing.

When: Friday 2nd March

Where: ECC Gymnasium

Time: 8:15 am

Come and join the G5 team for a coffee and a catchup.


Grades 4 & 5 Music Concert

When: March 15th

Where: Center for the Arts

Time: 9 – 10:30 am

Come along and experience the wonders of music and see how much your child and other children have moved forward with their musical skills.

Please read the letter from the Music Department below to ensure your child has the correct dates, equipment and clothing for the occasion.

Dear Grade 4 and 5 Parents,

The Grade 4 and 5 Music Concert is on Thursday, March 15th at 9am. The students are excited to share with their parents and the UNIS community some of the wonderful music that they have been creating in their classes.

On the morning of the concert, please take your child to their homeroom class as normal wearing their concert clothes (please bring a change of clothes for after the concert). Following student drop off, parents may proceed to the Center for the Arts foyer where tea and coffee will be provided. Doors will open for seating in the theater at 8:50am.


Concert Attire for Grade 4 Students:

  • Formal black dress pants or below-the-knee skirt
  • Formal white shirt (this should be a blouse or button up collared shirt, no T-shirts please)
  • Formal black shoes (no sneakers please)
  • ‘A touch of color’ (optional) – for example, a blue scarf, red tie, green belt

Concert Attire for Grade 5 Students:

This year the Grade 5 students have two options for their final Elementary School concert.

Option 1 – Formal Wear

Wearing formal wear at the concert provides an opportunity for Grade 5 students to both express themselves and celebrate their musical achievements in their final year of elementary school. Examples of appropriate formal wear include what your child would wear to a wedding, graduation or special occasion (suits, dresses, dress pants/dress shirt). There are no color limitations, however girls’ dresses or skirts should be at least knee length or below the knee.  Please remember formal shoes are required (no sneakers).

Option 2 – Black and White

    • Formal black dress pants or below-the-knee skirt
    • Formal white shirt (this should be a blouse or button up collared shirt, no T-shirts please)
    • Formal black shoes (no sneakers please)
    • ‘A touch of color’ (optional) – for example, a blue scarf, red tie, green belt

Dress Rehearsal

We will have a full Dress Rehearsal on Wednesday, March 14th. We request that your child comes to school wearing their concert clothes and brings a change of clothes to change into following the dress rehearsal.  Concert clothes will be sent back home on Wednesday and should be worn to school again on Thursday, March 15th for the Parent Concert.

We look forward to seeing you at the concert. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you so much for your support.

ES Music Team


G5 Mystery Field Trip – The First Tuesday Back to School

Your child has brought home a hard copy of their consent form for you to sign and return on Monday the 26th February. You will notice the consent form does not have the venues for these field trips on them. We are trying to keep this information from students as it is a Mystery Field Trip. So here they are, but please do not share these with your child.

Your child will attend one of the following;

  • Army Museum
  • Hao Lo Prison
  • Women’s Museum
  • Hoa Bin Orphanage Village
  • Pediatrics Hospital or Viet Duc Hospital



Thursday, March 15th & Friday16th:  Open Classrooms

Friday, March 30th: ES Fun Sports Afternoon

Dinner Table Talk

  • Who celebrated their birthday this week?
  • Who’s daughter came to visit 5B this week?
  • What was the name of the movie you had to read in class on Wednesday?

The Week That Was In Pics





Field Trip with Grade 1 – Ho Chi Minh

Power Comes With Responsibility

Today Grade 5 students experienced responsibility in it’s truest form as they cared for their Grade 1 buddies during a local Field Trip. From the moment G1 students arrived at the car park, G5 students were on to the job at hand, collecting their charges from their buses and holding on tightly to their little hands as they lead them around Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, house and gardens. With no accidents or lost children, the experience was a complete success.

Pictures of 5B and their 1B Buddies


Week 23 February 5th – 9th

Welcome 5B Community

The days have been cold but this has not stopped 5B students from heating up their learning neurons. This week has seen a variety of new and revisited skills come up during learning. One being, organisational management. The online dictionary describes organisational management as follows:

Organizational skills in the workplace can include general organizing, planning, time management, scheduling, coordinating resources and meeting deadlines.’


The above is also true for classrooms. 5B students are piloting self-directed organisational skills as they work through their UOI assessment ‘Building a Governing System’. As you saw in last week’s blog, students received a rubric and guiding instructions. Most students have been checking in with me to ensure they are on the right path and they are finding coordinating their planning, meeting the criteria and managing their time isn’t as easy as they first thought. Heads up parents, the deadline is Friday the 9th of February.

Math Time

The same autonomy has been given to 5B students with regards to mathematics this week. The connection between tax types and mathematics has given students an opportunity to explore new concepts, such as calculating percentages, converting currency and experiencing live exchange rates. I think some students are aiming for a career on Wall Street.

Literacy News

As we finish our instructional lessons on ‘Discussion Texts’ we are beginning to take a deeper look into the world of Structured Word Inquiry (SWI). This helps students to unpack the meaning of the word, it’s structure and most importantly the root of the word (where the word comes from). There are four primary principles:

  1. What does the word mean?
  2. How is the word built? (identify any bases or affixes)
  3. What other related words can you think of? (Morphological & Etymological relations)
  4. What are the sounds that matter? (grapheme/phoneme correspondences)

Field Trip to Visit a Famous Leader

On Thursday we embark on a local field trip with our grade one buddies. The trip is designed to allow connections between Ho Chi Minh and the thinking behind his governing system and other governance systems students have been studying. We are excited to share this experience with our little buddies who are also connecting this trip to their current unit about significant people.


5B and 1B Pose for a Pic

Passion Speakers prepare G5 Students to embark on their own formula for Exhibition (PYPX) – Passion + Issue = Action.

This week Grade five students had the privilege of listening to our UNIS gardener extraordinaire, Mr David Buckner. He was ‘PYPX Passion Speaker’ number three and treated the students to his expertise in all things green. His formula for a successful life of action was;


David’s successful gardening endeavours can be found in several places around the school. He works with students of all ages, mentoring and guiding them as they learn to grown vegetables and herbs.

TIG time with Ms Michelle

5B is always excited when Ms Michelle comes to visit us. This week she lead a lesson on how to search for information using simple strategies that ensure information students are finding is reliable, applicable and timely.

Dates to Remember:

  • 6th-7th February – G5/ES Art Auction
  • 8th February – Field Trip – Ensure your child has a snack
  • 1st & 2nd March – No ASA’s
  • 2nd March – PYPX Parent Coffee Morning starting at 8:15 in the library
  • 15th March – G4 & G5 Music concert
  • 15th & 16 March – Open Classrooms

Dinner Table Talk

  • What is the Goods and Services Tax called in Vietnam?
  • Why is Ho Chi Minh resting in a Mausoleum?
  • What has happened to all the erasers (rubbers) in 5B?
  • What ways might you decide if a website is reliable?

Snaps from the Week That Was:

And if you got this far, leave a comment to let me know you’ve checked in on us this week.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.




Week 22 – January 29th – February 2nd

Welcome 5B Community

It is quiet on the floor as I give 5B students time to craft their assessments.


Students have been given eight in class periods to work on developing a governing system for an entity of their choosing. For example, one student has decided to develop a ‘World Government; for a new planet. Another student is looking at a governing system for a school that caters for children with disabilities; this system has yet to be named. Whatever the system, students must meet the criteria.

The exciting thing about this assessment, is students have the opportunity to present their knowledge and understanding in any form they wish. I am looking forward to seeing a variety of presentations. The due date for the presentations is the 9th of February.


The focus for 5B students this week is to guide them in areas that they will need for Exhibition and beyond.

Reading to inform – Students choose and read texts that support their need to know questions, comments or wonderings. Note taking – With guest speakers sharing their passions and how these passions have changed their lives or the lives of others, students have been experimenting with different forms of note taking, so they don’t have to rely solely on their memory to retrieve important facts or information. Fluency development – How to speak like a narrator; Practicing reading aloud, has given 5B students the opportunity to hear themselves in a formal setting. They understand that if they wish to be listened to, they must have a voice worth listening to. Lastly, Research skills – as students become more independent in their learning. They need to understand the basic principles of research, is the information valid, reliable and timely. How do they give credit to other peoples research? How do they reference information they have used in the body of their own work? etc.


5B students are finishing up with their guided writing lessons on how to structure a ‘Discussion Text’ and the features of language that is needed. Next week they will be ready to embark on a solo writing piece, to demonstrate their learning in this area of text types.


Math groups have formed in 5B as we look into different areas. Some students are looking at ways to present understanding (strategies), others are starting a rate and ratio unit, while others are consolidating division and fractions. Mathematics is a complicated area of learning as each area is closely connected and relies on prior knowledge and understanding of number to move forward. I am happy with the way students are applying themselves.


  • 1st February – Parent-teacher Conferences starting at 10 am
  • 7th February – ES Healthy Snack Sale
  • 9th February – G5/ES Art Auction Opening
  • 8th February – Field Trip – Paper Copies will be sent home on Friday 2nd February
  • 2nd March – PYPX Parent Coffee Morning starting at 8:15 in the library

Dinner Time Talk:

* What has changed in your class just lately? (More questions or things to think about as we go through our day)
* Where are some of the places, people in your class are visiting over the TET break?
* Who has had the flu n 5B this week?
* How can we make sure we don’t spread or catch illnesses?

The Week That Was:



Week 21 – January 22nd – 26th

Greetings 5B Community,

This week we welcome a new student into 5B. Emma, she is Canadian and her passion is martial arts. Our Phonix buddies have been guiding her all week, so she can find her feet. Welcome Emma!

Following along with our UOI (Governance), 5B students have taken over the governance of the class! They voted to use the Vietnamese system of governance and after some research, students created this flowchart to guide their system.

The Ministers have had a chance to work out a few issues both in the class and out on the playground and with the President at the helm, ensuring things were running smoothly, we have had few issues. I am currently employed by the 5B Ministry of Education, to plan and teach lessons. So be assured your child is still getting a full cup of learning each day.


5B are moving into different areas of number with some students taking a more in-depth look at fractions, decimals, multiplication and representations. 


5B students have been reading examples of discussion texts to identify the features and modal language used by skilful authors. As well as reading books from the library about different governing systems around the world. One reading technique we are developing is oral expression and fluency. 5B will soon begin a reading program called AVAILLL = audio, visual assessment in literacy, language and learning. This will develop their fluency, vocabulary and specific reading skills such as note-taking, comprehension and reading for fun. Your life at home will never be the same, I promise.


Parent-Teacher Conferences – 1st February – You will receive a sign up via Veracross.

Dinner-Table Talk

  • So, you have a new student in the class. Where is she from? (Canada)
  • What was the name of the song Miss Tina play in class that helped you spell a word? (Respect)
  • What important event takes place next week? (Parent-Teacher Conferences)
  • Who had a birthday in class this week? (Emma)

The Week That Was:




Week 20 – January 15th – 19th

Welcome, 5B Community,

As we are deconstructing our new unit of inquiry, Governance, students investigated the roles and responsibilities of a leader and governance in a country they felt most connected to. Through this research, they were asked to make a connection to one of the forms of governance they experienced last week. From here they looked more closely at the connections between their respective governments and also to Vietnam. You are the best resource for your son or daughter about your home country and how it works. You can help by continuing these conversations at home.


Fifth graders are expected to know their multiplication and division combinations. This week we paid greater attention to these facts as we saw how they can help us in fractions and in more complicated problems. We are working toward automaticity while still ensuring true understanding of what these facts and figures mean. We continue to look at fractions. The focus now is simplifying, representing, arranging and converting a mixed fraction number to a fraction.


We introduced a new writing type to students called ‘Discussion’. This is where two perspectives are explored, but not argued until the conclusion. This is not a difficult text structure, however, the content features are complex. 5B students are working their way through the features slowly to obtain a solid understanding of why writers use this type of writing.

Enjoy your weekend.