Week of November 8th

Hello families of 1B from our ‘balanced people’! We have come to the end of our first inquiry unit and are explaining our understandings through the different ways we take care of ourself. Our next Unit of Inquiry – Sharing the Planet starts next week. If we have family members that work in environmental affairs, we would love to hear from you.


In maths this week we have been looked at the different ways to solve a problem. Our first introduction to word problems last week showed that students all had different approaches. To broaden our understanding we have begun to look at Numberless word problems and to consider what questions could come up and how potential questions could be solved.

The students did an excellent job of exploring their thinking, and showing different ways in which the problem could be approached.


In Literacy, we have been working on Response writing and our descriptive language. Ms Angela took this a step further by working with the students in Art to write a response to a piece of art.

Reading this week has focussed on making connections with the texts we are reading. The students have been introduced to the concept of Schema – joining together information in a text to information they already know. They have enthusiastically shared their connections to stories we have been reading and their own lives. When you read at home, ask your child what connections they make with the text.

Outdoor Play Day Thursday November 7th

Yesterday the ECC and ES celebrated together for the Outdoor Play Day. 1B played with their buddies from 4B, and many of them enjoyed reminiscing happy memories from their days in K2!

Ms Noi and I wish you a very happy long weekend – there is no school on Monday. We look forward to seeing everyone rested and energised on Tuesday.

Best wishes,

Ms Jenny and Ms Noi

Week of November 1st.

Hello families of 1B!

We have been continuing our work on good health and well being this week. We have been thinking about the different food groups and how they help our bodies to stay strong and healthy. The students have been able to identify different proteins, carbohydrates, dairy, grains and fruit and vegetables. Challenge them by asking which of these different food groups give them vitamins, calcium, and nutrients to sustain strong bones, teeth, muscles and eyes!

As part of our unit, Grade 1 made healthy snacks on Tuesday morning. See this short video below, or via Seesaw, to see what 1B got up to.

Video below:


During our math work, we are investigating subitizing, and how we can interpret different images or objects to represent number. We are working to understand that sometimes the same problem can be solved in multiple ways and we are exploring different student’s understanding of number, and how they choose to group numbers together.

On Thursday the boys and girls joined in our Spirit Day to celebrate the sports matches taking place at UNIS this weekend. We were assigned to cheer for the International School Eastern Seaboard (ISE), and managed a quick photoshoot with them before meeting Felix the Phoenix and watching a basketball game!

Thank you very much for your continued support with our home reading programme. We have now begun our guided reading lessons in the class so the reading level of books your child brings home should become more challenging in the next few weeks. Please continue to reinforce the ‘Good Fit Book’ concept at home and encourage the reading of picture story books at all levels. We would also love to welcome any ‘Mystery Readers’ over the next few weeks. If you would like to surprise your child one day with a story in your home language, please do get in touch!

Have a great weekend,

Ms. Jenny

  • November 11th is a PD Day at Unis. There will be no school that day.

Week of October 25th

UN Day

Thank you to everyone for joining us for this year’s UN Day celebrations. It was a fantastic celebration of our school’s identity and a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together. An extra special thank you to Ben, Lev’s Dad for all his hard work in organizing the delicious lunch buffet and to all parents for providing food for the event.

My wish for the planet is…

During SDG Week, we made an ‘I Wish’ posters and presented them to each other on UN Day. The students were so excited to see their special creations and talk about their wishes with parents, special guests and friends.

After UN Day, we had an opportunity to share our wishes with each other. We noticed that some of our wishes for the planet are the same. The future will be bright with all of these wonderful human beings in charge of our planet.

Our Current Text Type: Response

We have started the first of our text types for this year: Response. This text type focuses on  responding to and analyzing objects or events in a structured format. Students will be learning to distinguish between nouns and pronouns, justifying their opinion using the terms like/dislikes and will build a repertoire of adjectives to support their opinions.

Math and UOI-Graphing

During math and UOI this week, we talked a lot about our special lunch from last week. Ms Jill came in and introduced why graphs are important. We made a whole class graph and were able to make comparisons with our graph. We learned that we use a graph for various reasons such as:

  • I can talk about data on a graph.
  • I can describe data on a graph using numbers and words like more and most and fewer and not very many

In maths we have been practicing our subitizing skills, numbers forwards and backwards to 100, and have begun to experiment with Osmo Tangram.

Mr Brian Visits Grade 1B

Mr Brian, our UNIS Speech and Language Specialist, came to our class this week to help us remember how to breath when we are speaking and saying our letter sounds. He even brought a special teeth and tongue puppet to show us where to put our tongues when we say certain letters like D, T, K, G and more. Mr Brian will continue to work with our students throughout the year for special, whole-class lessons. Thank you Mr Brian for coming and teaching us.

Play Based Learning

Play Based Learning was a blast this week. The students are loving dismantling old electronics. If you have any that you would like to donate, please send them in!

An Important Notice about Home Readers

Thank you for your patience with our paper folders. Please be assured that fabric book bags are coming soon. We ask that you support your child be re-reading their chosen text with you each night and returning it to school the next day. This is an important daily routine to best support your child’s literacy growth this year.

Children are encouraged to choose a book that is a good fit (they can read the majority of the text with ease) and is of interest to them. While the level of the book may give some indication of the complexity of the book we fully encourage students to chosen books that they are motivated to read for this reason you may notice your child choosing to reread a book or from time to time taking on a more complex book that they which to tackle with your support.


  • Our swimming unit has now come to an end. Students will begin their Wheels Unit in PE from next week. Watch this space for more information on when the students may need to bring their bicycles to school.
  • October 31st ES Dress Up Day: Please discuss with your child what they may wear for our dress up day on Thursday. We ask that children do not wear masks and highly encourage some creative home grown costumes.
  • There will be no school on November 11 due to it being a staff professional development day.
  • Save the Date: On November 19th open classrooms will take place across the Elementary School. More information to follow.


Week of 18th October

Dear families of 1B,

What a busy week in 1B! We started off our week with a very special lunch inside our classroom. Students served themselves rice, chicken, broccoli, pineapple, cookies and milk. We will discuss our food choices during next week’s Unit time!

We collected and gathered information about everyone’s choices and graphed what our friends chose to eat. We are learning about nutrition and how to make balanced choices for a healthy body and will dig deeper into our food choices next week.

In our preparations for UN Day next Monday we have been spending the week talking about the sustainable development goals – SDGs, and working them into our learning activities. THANK YOU very much indeed for your help in translating them. It is impressive that our first graders know so much about them and are able to identify many of the goals by number.

We held an SDG Scavenger Hunt during maths time, as well as SDG Bingo and a multi class read aloud each day this week. The children also found their swimming lesson obstructed by plastic yesterday in response to the plastic in our oceans. They worked together to clean the pool of ‘pollution’. A huge thank you goes out to our PE teachers for such a valuable learning experience.

Our PE teachers also helped us with our buddy class 4B this week in coordinating a skateboarding lesson. Many of 1B had never been on a skateboard before and the fourth graders rose to the occasion teaching them how to put on their protective gear and learn some new skills!

In addition, this week we began our outside play-based learning time. The students had a great time collaborating with other members of the grade 1 community and exploring new resources. They played with slime, play foods, giant building blocks and the maker table where they enjoyed taking apart electrical items using protective glasses and tools.

Thank you for your continued support with home reading. Please let me know if you are unable to find your child’s reading log.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Monday for UN day. The event will now start at 11:00am in the Sports Center and not 10:30am as previously advertised.

Students are asked to dress smartly in their national outfits or a country that you are attached to. Lev’s dad has very kindly worked to organise the lunch. If you have not yet signed up to contribute, but intend to, please let him know.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ms Jenny,


Week of October 4th

Thank you 1B families for joining us at our Learning Conversations earlier this week!

We have been referring to our personal goals this week during our learning time to celebrate our strengths and to bring attention to new areas for growth. If you took a paper home as a parent, please also feel free to send it back into school to go with your child’s goal setting this year.

Ms Kris our lower school counsellor has been working with us on measuring our energy levels in class and in helping us to understand and respond to social cues. The students have posted different emotions on Seesaw this week to show their understanding of different . facial expressions and to help us understand and to show empathy with how others are feeling.

Picture story books are a lovely resource to use at home to support this work. In class we read ‘What do you do with a problem’ by Kobi Yamada.

In Literacy this week we are continuing to build on our Structured Word Inquiry approach. We have been investigating suffixes and looking at words which share the suffixes -ed, -ful, -s, -ing and -er. Look out for words using these suffixes when you are out and about over the break or reading with your child this week. After the break, we will think about the ‘base words’ that suffixes connect to, and how this is linked to meaning.

In Maths we are learning math games to assist our number fluency. See if your child remembers Ms Noi’s magical maths trick. If you have a pack of cards at home, we have been using them to reinforce maths facts to ten and twenty playing Go Fish, Flip 10, High or Low and Garbage.

In preparation for UN Day, we will spend the week after the break investigating the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Today, the students have chosen one goal from the 17 SDGs, that we would like you to translate into your home language and to share in the following document. Please only translate the title of the goal. Their chosen goal has also been posted on Seesaw.


Home Reading – Thank you so much for all your support so far with regards our Home Reading programme. If you need a new brown folder, please let me know. In the meantime, it’s great to see blue books coming back in with notes from home reading.


  • October 5-13 UNIS School Holiday, No School
  • October 21st UN Day, please send your child to school in his/her traditional country costume

Have a wonderful break and safe travels for wherever your adventures may take you!

Ms. Jenny

September 27th. What’s been happening in 1B this week?

Dear Families,

The students of 1B have had another busy week of learning. We continue to work on our unit looking at balance in our lives and are reinforcing our number and literacy skills.

We were lucky enough to have two visits from Nurse Jo this week! Nurse Jo introduced us to the concept of Hygiene, and talked about the importance of washing our hands and keeping our bodies clean. She returned later in the week with her ultraviolet light to check how our handwashing skills are….. with some interesting results! The students of 1B have been working on washing between their fingers, both sides of their hands and making sure they wash their hands with water and soap!

We had another special visitor from Lev’s mum Allison, who came in to share the Jewish celebration of Rosh Ha-Shana. Thank you Allison and Lev for sharing the story of Rosh Ha-Shana with us and for the delicious Apples and Honey. We hope this is the start of other cultural and religious celebrations from our 1B families.

Finally, we have continued to build our partnerships with class 4B. This week the students worked together to write acrostic poems to celebrate International Peace Day on September 21st.

Thank you for support this week as we have sent books home for the first time. If you have a brown folder at home, please don’t forget to send it in to school. We will try to exchange books throughout the week.

I look forward to seeing you on Monday with your children during our Learning Conversations. If you are unable to join us, please let me know and we can find a time to re-schedule.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Ms Jenny

September 20th

Happy Moon Festival!

Thank you to everyone for supporting our Moon Festival Assembly in the ES last week.

The students of 1B looked fantastic in their Ao Dais, and enjoyed some traditional moon festival snacks and craft activities. Here we are gathering in the playground just before the Moon Festival Assembly (very exciting!).

In 1B we are lucky to have the wonderful classroom assistance of  Ms Noi, our Teaching Assistant. Ms Noi has been at UNIS for many years and plays an important role in supporting our classroom community. Thank you to Ms Noi for helping us to understand and enjoy the significance of the Moon Festival in Vietnamese culture.

In our Unit of Inquiry we are working on the notion of balance and a healthy lifestyle. Students have investigated the concept of balance through investigation in the classroom, leading to some fun and lively discussions. Please enjoy the following video:


In connection with UOI we also continue to work on self care in the classroom and in understanding when we might need to take a break, and what kind of things we need to do to help us focus and stay within the ‘green zone’. We continue to practice Mindfulness in the classroom and to tune into how we are feeling. Here are some ideas we have come up with to help us, which might help us outside of school too:

Mystery Readers are also encouraged to sign up for Week A, Wednesdays at 2:15pm. If you or visiting family members would like to be one of our mystery readers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Finally, G1 will be starting their swimming unit on September 23rd. This unit will run until October 25th.

Please visit the swimming expectations page to learn about the requirements for swimming units at UNIS.

You can also check out the swimming curriculum page to learn more about the swim program at UNIS.
Have a great weekend everyone,
Ms Jenny and Ms Noi

Friday September 6th

Dear 1B families,

Thank you to everyone who came to our Back to School Night last night. It was lovely to see so many of you. A longer version of the presentation can be found here. This contains more detailed information on the curricular aims for Grade 1. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Last night I mentioned a guide to help you and your child find books that are that the right level for them. I will introduce the 5 Finger Rule to the students in the coming weeks.

In the class this week we have talked about shared group responsibilities as we learn how to take care of ourselves, take care of each other and to take care of our learning spaces. The students worked hard to consider the difference between big problems and small problems, and the strategies they can use when they encounter social or emotional challenges.

They have been excellent communicators and deep thinkers this week as they also worked together to establish a set of 1B Community Agreements.

In 1B we have also introduced our classroom jobs for the coming week. You can talk to your child about their current classroom job and how it is an important part of our 1B community.

We would like to remind you that on September 12th the ES will celebrate the Moon Festival. Many members of staff and students will be wearing an Ao Dai to school. Your child is welcomed to do the same. There are many places in the Old Quarter of Hanoi that sell ready made ones for children. Here are the name of the streets that sell them: Hàng Đào, Lương Văn Can, and Hàng Bông.

Finally just a reminder to return the parent questionnaire and to send in a family photo if you have not already done so.

We are also looking for  Mystery Readers and a 1B Class Parent, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested.

Have a wonderful week ahead,

Ms Jenny

Friday 30th August

Dear Families of 1B,

We have had another busy week in 1B. We have visited the library with Ms Monica….

…and we have also teamed up with 4B to meet our ES buddy class!

We have also begun to explore our understandings of literacy and maths, using different materials and iPad applications to demonstrate our understandings. The students have been demonstrating their skills of being open-minded and caring communicators and inquirers.

Grade 1 is lucky to have the expertise of our EAL teacher Ms. Jill this year. Here is a message from Ms. Jill:

Hello Grade 1 Families!

My name is Jill Landretti. I will be working with the Grade 1 Homeroom teachers this year to support students’ learning of social and academic English in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

I am originally from the United States and have taught in the U.S., Japan, and Ghana as a classroom teacher, EAL teacher, and first grade learning support teacher. I am so excited to join this amazing team of educators at UNIS Hanoi this year!

At UNIS Hanoi, we believe that English Language and Literacy development are integral to learning, therefore, EAL support happens in the classroom and is integrated into all aspects of teaching and learning throughout the school day. As first grade teachers, we recognize that all of our students are language learners who are learning how to read, write, speak, and understand new vocabulary and concepts, therefore, all students receive integrated English language instruction provided by Homeroom Teachers, myself, and Teaching Assistants. Our philosophy is to immerse students in language-rich learning activities and to explicitly teach grammar and vocabulary within context. Students who are at a beginning English level also receive additional targeted support during the World Language lesson times and all students are monitored by the team throughout the year to ensure that they are making positive language progress.

I look forward to meeting you at our ‘Back To School’ Parent night next week. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly at jlandretti@unishanoi.org.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as can make it at our Back to School meetings next Thursday September 5th. This will also be an opportunity to talk about Seesaw if you are new to receiving notifications about your child’s learning on the Seesaw Application.
Monday is a National Holiday so we are back to school on Tuesday next week. School Activities (ASAs) also start on Tuesday from 15:40-16:40. Have a wonderful long weekend!
Ms Jenny and Ms. Noi.

1B Week Friday August 23rd

Getting to Know You: Who Am I?

We made ‘All About Me’ posters, discussed where we are from and talked about our likes and dislikes. We shared the different ways we look after ourselves, we look after each other and how we look after our learning spaces. The students were amazing risk takers and communicators, showing responsibility towards their classroom and their friends in 1B.

Summer Sunglasses

We also made some Summer Sunglasses filled with lots of summer memories. The students loved making these.


This week during math, we learned about math stations. Our focus is on exposing our students to math problems that they can explain his/her thinking in multiple ways. The students really enjoyed learning new maths games and using dice to make equations. They rose to the challenge of designing and building a bridge out of lego to span a piece of water and compared their heights. Working in small groups is one strategy that we use during math.

Grade 1 Community

Did you know that a community is a group of people who have something in common? We’ve been continuing to build our 1B and our Grade 1 community. We played some community building games with our whole grade on Thursday and visited the ES Makerspace on Tuesday for a team challenge. The students did an awesome job of working together as a team and community.

Meeting Ms Nitasha

This week we had the pleasure of having Ms Nitasha, our ECC Deputy Principal, come in and read to us. We loved her book Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal. The students shared with a partner the special meaning of their names. Does your child know where their name came from?

First ECC Assembly

This week we went to our first ECC Assembly of the school year. We sang songs, learned about playground safety and at the end of each assembly, we celebrated birthdays and sang to all of our birthday friends.

Here is a short film to show our learning in action:

Our 1st Grade journey so far…

Photo Day
We will have photo day on Thursday, August 29th. Please have your child wear a nice outfit in the morning and pack his/her PE uniform in backpacks. The students will change after the photo. Thank you.
Family Photo
Thank you to the parents who have emailed or sent it a family photo. If you have not emailed me yet, please send it to me next week. 
Please pack a big snack for your child (at least 2-3 things). The students will eat two snacks during the day.
Library Book Exchange
Each Wednesday, we will have library time to check out books and return books from the week before. Please send your books back on Wednesdays with a library bag (can be a UNIS bag from the UNIS shop). We will start our Library times next Wednesday.
Brown Paper Take Home Folder
When needed, your child will bring home a brown paper take home folder. Please read the contents and send the folder back to school the next day.
Parent Questionnaire

Please send the G1 Parent Questionnaire back to school after you have had a chance to fill it out. All forms are due on Friday, August 30th. 

Birthdays in Grade 1B
If you would like your child to celebrate his/her birthday in class, please send a special treat along in the morning. We will find a special time during the day to celebrate your child and his/her classmates.
Please send a set of headphones for your child to use at school. We will keep them all year and send them home at the end of the year. They will be using them during our reading times. Thank you for all of the students who have brought them in already.