This Week in Grade 1D, January 17th

Market and Service Day

Thank you to all our Grade 4 friends who organized and carried out a fantastic Market and Service Day event on Tuesday morning. We had the opportunity to support many local charities by purchasing treats and participating in games. Thank you parents for your generous contributions, it is very much appreciated.

Update: Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences

See you all on Wednesday, January 22nd for Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences. Thank you to everyone who has already signed up via Veracross, if you have not already done so please do so over the weekend. Similar to our last set of conferences students are invited to attend. The purpose of the report is to discuss your child’s report which will be made available to you via Veracross on Tuesday. Please ensure that you have had a chance to look over it ahead of time in case you have any questions or wonderings. Specialists will be available throughout the day and it is optional to meet with them. If you wish to make an appointment with any of your child’s specialist teachers please book a time in advance.

On Thursday we will come together as the Elementary School community to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year. Students studying Vietnamese throughout the ES will host and special assembly and we ask that all students play their part by wearing a traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai. Each year we look forward to this wonderful celebration and we are sure the Year of the Rat will be extra special.

Farewell Minsan!

On Friday, the final day of Term 1, we wished farewell to our class mate Minsan. Minsan will return with his family to Korea to complete Grade 1. We wish him all the best on this new adventure.


  • Term 2 begins next Monday, January 20th. Term 1 reports will be made available on Tuesday via Veracross in time for Wednesday’s conferences.
  • The New Year Tết Holiday commences on Friday January 24th. Classes resume Monday, February 3rd.


This week in Grade 1D, January 10th


  • Tuesday, January 14th Field Trip

All Grade 1 classes will be going to Xa Dan Elementary & Secondary School. This school is for Vietnamese deaf students. As a part of our Unit of Inquiry on How We Organize Ourselves, we have been learning about how language is a cultural schema that we use to communicate. Our UNIS students will learn how the students communicate and learn. We will be leaving school at 8:30am and returning before lunch. The students will need to bring their snack and water bottle with them. 

  • Tuesday, January 14 Market Day

What: Grade 4 Market Day

When: TUESDAY 14 January 10:45-12:00

Bring: maximum of 100,000 VND to spend

The products and services being sold will range from 10,000 VND to 50,000 VND.  All profits will go to organizations that support Children’s Rights.

  • Wednesday, January 22, ES Learning Conversations

ES will be hosting Parent, Student and Teacher Conferences from 8am-4pm. We will talk about your child’s report card and review the goals that your child made earlier in the school year. Please note that conferences will only be held with your child. Siblings will be asked to wait outside our classroom. Also, it is optional to see specialist teachers for this conference. 

  • Thursday, January 23rd TET

We will be celebrating TET (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) at school. Students are invited to wear their Ao Dais to honor our host country. 

  • Thursday, January 24-February 2 TET Holiday



This week in Grade 1D, December 6th

Artists at Work

Thank you to Mr Delagrana and his Grade 7 students for inviting us to their concert rehearsal on Wednesday afternoon. Throughout our new inquiry into How We Express Ourselves we will have the opportunity to visit different types of artists in our school community. Below is an outline of our unit overview which we will continue to inquire into until the end of the year culminating in our Grade 1 Music Concert.

What is an artist?

As an introduction to this unit we discussed what we already know about art and artists. Our understandings are represented in the mind map below. Attributes such as creativity, expression of feelings as well as effort, care and perseverance emerged most prominently in our discussion.

What are the different ‘languages’ through which we can express our thoughts and feelings?

We are also exploring the different ways through which we can express our thoughts and feelings. The illustrations below capture a few of the ways in which we express ourselves on a daily basis. We look forward to unpacking further modes of expression over the course of the year as we learn more about alternative forms of art and artistic expression.

Exploring Habitats and the Living Things 

This week we have been learning all about habitats and the different animals that dwell there. We have been expanding our descriptive vocabulary as we explore the characteristics of habitats such as deserts, grasslands, wetlands, oceans, rainforests and the arctic.

This week’s reminders:

  • December 2-12: Please stop by and support the Amazing Art Auction this year organised by the Arts Team in collaboration with both students and members of the UNIS community.
  • Kick start the festive season by attending Winterfest on December 12th. There will be lots of delicious food, fantastic crafts and entertainment to be enjoyed.
  • Please note that there will be no school from December 14-January 5. Wishing you all a wonderful Winter Break.
  • Term 1 ends on January 17th
  • Term 1 reports will be available for viewing on January 23 




This week in Grade 1D, November 29th

Field Trip to Curious Kid

On Monday we took our first field trip of the year to Curious Kid. It was a wonderful hands-on experience and we came away with lots of new information about some rather curious animals. This field trip was organized as a provocation to our new inquiry into Sharing the Planet and how knowing more about living things can help us to better share our environment and resources. We had the opportunity to feed, pet and discuss a variety of animals including ferrets, turtles, a bearded dragon, iguanas, hedgehogs, a snake, rabbits as well as a one week old baby rabbit. This provocation led to a lot of wonderings that we will continue to explore throughout the unit.

Confident Cyclists

On Thursday we joined Grade 1C to showcase our cycling skills by taking on the green path that surround our school campus. It was a challenging exercise and we certainly demonstrated all that we have learned over the last few weeks in our P.E. lessons. Many of us could not cycle without assistance at the beginning of the lesson series and tackled the course with enthusiasm, determination and skill. What an achievement! Thank you to the P.E. team for supporting us in this challenging endeavor!

Developing our Research and Observational Drawing Skills

On Thursday we were joined by our buddies in 5D to engage in some animal research and observational drawing. We used National Geographic Kids as our research platform and had a lot of fun exploring different animal groups including mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, fish and birds before choosing an animal of interest to focus on. We the assistance of our buddies we learned about the habitats, diets and external features of our chosen animal before taking time to complete detailed observational drawings together. We agreed on common criteria for our drawings including a title, labels, realistic details and color. We can’t wait to share our drawings with you via Seesaw early next week.

Mystery Reader

This week we were so lucky to have two Mystery Readers this week. Thank you to both Seungha’s Mum and Ella’s Dad for taking the time to come to read to us this week. If you have a favourite story and have time one afternoon please send us an email and we are more than happy to accommodate.

This week’s reminders:

Please support our young actors in the upcoming production of Aristocats next weekend.

  • December 12th: Please join the UNIS Community for the annual Winterfest celebrations run by students in both Middle and High School.
  • Please note that our Winter Break will run from December 14 – January 5 

This Week in Grade 1D: November 22, 2019

Open Classrooms

Thank you to everyone who attended our open classroom sessions on Tuesday morning. Open classrooms as a wonderful opportunity for your child to share and celebrate their learning with you. We greatly appreciate your enthusiasm, engagement and attentiveness throughout both our math and literacy period and we hope you enjoyed this experience. We look forward to our next open classroom session in semester two.

Lego We-Do in the Maker Space

We returned to the Maker Space again this week to continue learning about the importance of code and how it can be represented in many different ways. We had a lot of fun creating a Cooling Fan Robot and learned how to manipulate the speed and direction of the motor. We also learned how to control the number of rotations as well as adding features such as sound.

Our inquiry into language as a cultural schema that we use to communicate

This week we made a lot of connections to our work in literacy and the concept of the English language as an organized system. Since the beginning of the year we have been reviewing consonants and vowels both in terms of their written form and the different sounds that they make. We have also spent a lot of time exploring both prefixes and suffixes and the effects that they can have on the base word. In order to connect to the concept of English as a system we took a ‘heap’ of unconnected letters and organized them in a systematic way to represent meaning. We look forward to inquiring more into this concept throughout this yearlong unit.

Field Trip to Curious Kid

On Monday we will visit Curious Kid in connection with our most recent unit of inquiry into how a better understanding of living things helps us to share our environment and resources. This is our second year taking part in this field trip in Grade 1 and it is a wonderful learning opportunity for all. Please note that on Monday your child will need:

  • Both a snack and lunch (as we will return to school after lunch in time for recess) as well as their water bottle.

This week’s reminders:

  • Monday November 26th: Field Trip to Curious Kid. Please ensure that your child brings both a snack and home lunch as we will not be returning in time for lunch at school.
  • December 2-12: Amazing Art Auction.
  • December 7 & 8 ES Aristocats Musical for students in Grades 2 & 3- Tickets will go on sale next week. 

This week in Grade 1D: November 15th

Our New Unit of Inquiry

This week we transitioned to a new inquiry into how understanding living things helps us share our environment and resources. We completed a pre-assessment task outlining what we already know about a chosen animal and used non-fiction book resources to find out more information. Over the course of this unit we will look at developing our research skills particularly through the use of non-fiction resources such as Epic!, Pebblego and library book resources. Below is an overview of what we will be learning throughout this unit.
* Please note that we will go on a field trip to Curious Kid as part of our inquiry on Monday November 25th from 8:15-12:30. You will receive a field trip form next week outlining the details.

Open Classrooms: Tuesday November 19th

We warmly invite you to our Elementary School Open Classrooms –  Tuesday 19th November.

What are Open Classrooms?

On the day, at selected times, our classrooms are open for you to observe lessons that put the philosophy and pedagogy of the Primary Years Programme into practice.

Purpose of Open Classrooms

Open Classrooms is for parents to get an insider’s view of what life is like inside the classrooms at UNIS.  By opening up our classroom doors we would like to give parents a glimpse of student-centered, constructivist teaching and learning in action. We aim to demonstrate our inquiry based teaching philosophy which is central to our identity as an IB school.

How does it work?

  • Classrooms across all subject areas in the ES will be designated as ‘open house’ events for certain lessons – 19th November, 2019.
  • A minimum of two lessons will be designated as ‘open’ in your child’s homeroom class
  • All specialist lessons will be designated as ‘open’
  • Parents may attend any of their child’s open lessons – both homeroom classes and specialist lessons.
  • Parents may only visit open lessons in classes that their child attends.
  • Please be aware that not all lessons are designated as ‘open’.  Be sure to check the schedule below

The designated lessons for 1D are:

In addition to open homeroom and specialist classes our Literacy and Math coaches (Ms. Angela and Ms.Beth) will be running concurrent sessions on number talks and word inquiry. If you have the time please join them for one or both of these highly informative sessions in B08b rooms 115 & 116.

  • 7:50 -8:10
  • 8:10 – 8:30
  • 15:00 – 15:20

Preparing for Open Classrooms

On Friday we put together a collection of our favourite games to share with you during Open Classrooms. During period 3 on Tuesday you are invited to engage with your child in a variety of math game rotations that focus on some of our current learning objectives such as number facts to 10, subitising, combining collections and forwards and backwards counting.

During period 2, literacy we will work together to construct a descriptive writing piece on each other.

This week’s reminders

  • On Tuesday, November 19th there will be Open Classrooms
  • December 2-12: Amazing Art Auction.
  • December 7 & 8 ES Aristocats Musical for students in Grades 2 & 3.

This week in Grade 1D: Friday, November 8th

Balanced Me

We are approaching the end of our inquiry into Balance in our Lives promotes Health and Wellbeing and have been working hard to demonstrate what we have learned about making healthy and balanced choices everyday. Over the course of the week we have been creating a ‘Balanced Me’ poster outlining different actions and choices that we can make to be more balanced. Each piece of the puzzle comes together to represent how balance is often difficult to achieve and balance is achieved through making conscious decisions each and everyday. We look forward to sharing our posters with you at home and via Seesaw.

Flexible Mathematicians can share their thinking in multiple ways…

In Math this week we have continued to work on number fluency by counting forwards and backwards to 30, identifying what comes before/after a given number within 30 as well as representing numbers as collections.

Ms Beth also joined us on Friday to demonstrate a new choral counting routine. This routine allows students to notice, to wonder and to pursue interesting ideas. Choral counting also provides opportunities for for children to reason, to predict and to justify as they notice what happens to numbers as they count together.

Word Inquiry Detectives

Is it true that every word in English needs a vowel? This is the spelling rule that we have been exploring this week during community time. We have been gathering evidence to prove/disprove this rule and in doing so are becoming much more proficient at distinguishing between vowels and consonants within words.

Buddy time with 5D

On Thursday we joined our buddies in Grade 5D to learn some outdoor games from them. We had a lot of fun experimenting with long jump, Red Rover, javelin throwing as well as some group ball games.


Outdoor Play Day!

On Thursday morning we joined our friends throughout the Elementary School for Outdoor Play day. We had so much fun visiting the ECC and engaging is a variety of fantastic activities.

Maker Space: An Introduction to Coding

On Friday we joined Mr. Neal and Ms. Nhan for an introduction to coding using the wonderful resource Lego We Do! We had the opportunity to build a robot and develop code to make it change colors. We look forward to a return visit to the Maker Space next week.

This weeks reminders:

  • Please note that next Monday, November 11th there will be No School due to a staff professional development day. 
  • On Tuesday, November 19th there will be Open Classrooms. Please save the date, more information to follow.
  • December 2-12: Amazing Art Auction.
  • December 7 & 8 ES Aristocats Musical for students in Grades 2 & 3.

This Week in Grade 1D: November 1st, 2019

Healthy Snack Creations

On Tuesday each class set about making a healthy snack to share across the grade level. In connection with our current unit of inquiry into Balance in our lives promotes Health and Wellbeing we created snacks relating to each of the food groups that we have been learning about. In Grade 1D we created vegetable kebabs using a variety of vegetables. We collaborated to wash, chop and assemble our vegetables and made enough for everyone in the grade level to enjoy.

Descriptive Writing

This week we started to incorporate more adjectives into our writing. We use categories such as number, size, color and texture to describe objects, food as well as events that we watch together as class. Our healthy choice creations provided a great opportunity to put this to good use!

A Collaborative Kahoot

After creating our healthy snacks, we came together as a grade level to review what we have learned so far about food groups and balanced choices. We had a lot of fun taking part in a Kahoot quiz in small groups and demonstrated our knowledge be both answering questions and reviewing our responses.

Phoenix Pride

On Thursday we took part in the opening ceremony for the MRISA Middle School Basketball Tournament being hosted at UNIS. We were so excited to meet our mascot Phelix after the celebrations.

Grade 1 was assigned the International School of the Eastern Seaboard from Bangkok and we showed up in force to support them in their first game again the SSIS Dragons. We practiced counting by twos for each basket scored and had a lot of fun counting down the timers between each quarter.

On Friday we went to support the girls teams and made some more math connections!


3-Act Math Tasks

In order to develop our mathematical thinking in flexible and creative ways we conduct 3-Act Tasks regularly throughout the year. This week we tackled our first task and what better way to connect it than through Halloween candy. As a group we shared our wonderings and noticings before setting out to estimate the total quantity and individually demonstrate our understanding in both pictorial and numerical form.


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 chose 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.

This week’s reminders:

  • November 7th: Outdoor Play Day. Please support your child in this ES-wide event by making sure they have their hat, water bottle and an extra set of clothing for the day. 
  • November 11: Professional Development Day for staff and teachers. There will be no school for students on this day. 
  • November 19th: All parents are invited to join us for open classrooms. More information will be sent closer to the time.
  • December 2-12: Amazing Art Auction. More information to follow from the Arts Team.
  • December 7 & 8 ES Aristocats Musical
  • December 12th Winterfest
  • December 14-January 5 Winter Break

This Week in Grade 1D: October 25th, 2019

UN Day Celebrations 

Thank you to everyone for joining us for this year’s UN Day celebrations. Once again 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 Khuthadzo for all her hard work in organising the delicious lunch buffet and to all parents for providing food for the event.

Before joining attending the UN Day assembly we spent the morning discussing our wishes for the planet as well as representing our translated SDGs as illustrations. Thank you for your support in translating and discussing these important Global Goals with your child.

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.

Counting, Subitzing in Math

Throughout the week we have been working on skills such as forward and backwards counting to 20 as well as identifying the numbers that come before and after in this sequence. Another important math routine that we engage in regularly is number talks. During our recent number talks we have been focusing on subitzing (to perceive at a glance the number of items presented) and justifying our thinking based on the number patterns presented. This week we have added an additional element of working on number sentences to represent our thinking.

Unit of Inquiry: Balance in our Lives supports Health and Wellbeing

We continue to inquire into Balance in our Lives and the ways we take care of ourselves and this week we focussed on what balance looks like in terms of the food choices that we make. Each day we have focussed on a nutrition through the specific food groups listed above. Next week we hope to combine what we now know about these food groups to create balanced snacks that we will share together as a grade level.

Mystery Reader

Thank you to Noah’s Mum Maria for joining us this week as our Mystery Reader. We would love to have you or any visiting family members come to read to us.

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 chose 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.

Reminder from the P.E. Team

The Grade 1 Wheels Unit will begin next week, October 28th.
1. We request that all students bring their bikes and helmets to school on October 28th from 7:45-8:30 from the Main Gate. Upon arrival, you will be directed by the PE staff to the storage location where all bikes will be stored (see attached).
2. If your bike has training wheels on them, we request that you remove them.
3. To help us with organization, it would be helpful if you put a label on your child’s bike and helmet that includes your child’s name and homeroom.
Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 8.22.15 AM.png
4. The unit will end on November 22nd, and all bikes can be collected on that day from 3:30-4:00.
Thank you for your support in this unit. Please email with any questions.


  • 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.

This Week in Grade 1D: October 18th

SDG Week: A successful week of integrated learning connected to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We had a fantastic week integrating the SDG even more than usual into teaching and learning. Each morning started off with a read aloud connected to an SDG in each of the four grade one classrooms.

As we know there are 17 SDG’s. This math scavenger hunt helped us to consolidate the number of each SDG connected to our current math goals. Do you know the number of each?

Thomas the Tank Engine proved to be a knowledgeable source on all things SDGs. We enjoyed a range of videos connected to the global goals and engaged in writing tasks connected to each video’s content.

Thank you to the P.E. team who supported our idea to create a ‘plastic ocean’ provocation. This lesson provided much discussion about the actions we can take to reduce the use of plastic in our daily lives.

On Thursday we joined our buddies in 5C for a collaborative painting project. Throughout the Elementary School students designed fish which will be used to form a collective installation connected to SDG #14: Life Below Water

Thank you for your support in translating your child’s chosen SDG into your mother tongue.

Play Based Learning #4 Quality Education

This week we started Play Based Learning in our outdoor environment with all four classes. The students have enjoyed being with their peers and investigating all of the different areas of exploration outside. Please ask your child about their experience with the flubber, the maker area, the puppets on stage, the mud kitchen, the big blue blocks, the kitchen area, the painting area, the construction and building area and all the friends that they are exploring with. We are excited to see what happens with this space and time once the students take the lead and plan our time.

UOI-#3 Good Health and Well Being

We started our week with a lunchtime provocation of having the students take as much or as little food as they wanted to. We continued our learning about balance and how we can have a balanced plate. We did some graphing about what each student picked and we will continue to graph next week to analyze our food choices. We will also start to look at healthy snacks.

Mystery Reader

Thank you to Ella’s Grandma for coming to read to us on Thursday. If you or a visiting family member wish to be a Mystery Reader please let us know. We love to have visitors.

This Week’s Reminders:

  • UN Day is Monday, October 21st begiing at 11am for the UN Day Assembly in the Sport’s Center. Please arrive around 10:30am to get a seat. Please bring your food to the classroom in the morning when your child arrives at school. If your child does not have a country costume, please have them wear a nice outfit on this day. Thank you for all of your support. We appreciate it.
  • ES Dress Up Day: Get your costumes ready! All students are invited to wear their most creative costumes to school on October 31st.