Week 6 in 1D


Dear Families,

We have had a quite a week in Grade 1!  We celebrated the Moon Festival, International Peace day, and our writing too!


 Unit of Inquiry

We completed our work in, “How We Organize Ourselves” where we looked closely at communication. Grade 1 will continue to work on seeing how English is organized as we investigate words and letter sounds as the year continues. We began investigating “Who We Are” as students were provoked to create their own balanced day. Ms Nitasha also viewed our daily plans and shared her thinking about balance too. We are looking forward to having many more rich discussions on how different forms of communications impact the way we live our lives.


In literacy, we have been looking at the text, “Where’s My Teddy?”.  We are reading this together during our Shared Reading time and we have been able to highlight and discuss the process of thinking that takes place when reading.  The students have been focusing on what they know, how to make predictions, asking questions, visualizing the story, making personal connections, and finally summarizing the important parts.  They are also learning various decoding strategies that they can apply to new words in their own reading (sound it out!).  You can help support these strategies by continuing to read with your child nightly using our GRADE 1 schedule of home readers, RAZ kids, library books and choice. Remember that books go home on Monday and should be reread all week to build up fluency and comprehension.  Please remember that books should also be returned for cleaning on Friday.

Finally, we had a writing celebration this week.  The last six weeks we have spent building up our stamina as readers and writers.  Our first unit comes to a close as students shared their own writing with their friends and posted what they liked about their stories on Seesaw.  We loved seeing students write about a variety of genres/topics and share their work with the class.


Using the knowledge, we have built up about 10 in the past weeks we were now able to take this thinking and expand it to teen numbers.  In each math lesson, we have been practicing counting forwards and backwards.  We have been focusing on teen numbers recently and how to pronounce them correctly. Can you hear the difference between 14 and 40?  We will continue to practice different ways we can show and talk about numbers through models, drawings, number equations and writing. Ms. Jill has been helping us with pronunciation of teen numbers and we are starting to see some great progress. We have also been utilizing number line ups, tens frames, word problems and number bonds to help with conceptual understanding.

Thank you for your support at home with home reading as well as sending the students to school prepared for swimming, dressed in white and blue for peace day and in an ao dia for Moon Festival. It has been wonderful to make these memories with your children.



Learning Conferences – October 1 – no school for students. We will join you on zoom at your scheduled time.

Grade 1 Swimming  –  Next week is Week A, we will have swimming on Tuesday.

Family Readers – Let me know if you would be happy to read through zoom and we will set up a time. As we explore language and communication and celebrate diversity, reading in your home language or English is welcome!

Week 5 in 1D….

Dear Families,

Thank you for helping and supporting us with our Dot Day celebration this week.  We had so many special moments that it was hard to cover in one blog! We loved seeing so many “dotty” outfits in the classroom.

Unit of Inquiry

This week we completed our first Unit of Inquiry: Language is a system of communication.  We have been discussing and reflecting on what it means to be a “balanced” communicator, your children will be excited to show you all the ways they can express themselves!  Students have shown what they know about what it means to be a responsible communicator and created their own systems of communication based on symbols, gestures, sounds or letters.

Next week we will begin our new Unit of Inquiry on Who We Are.  This unit will focus on how to create and maintain balance in our lives to promote health and wellbeing.


In Math this week we are building our knowledge of the tens frame and of numbers that go together to make ten. We are extending this into teen numbers and using number bonds to decompose teen numbers into tens and ones. We are also practicing our forwards and backwards counting, and using our subitizing skills to identify numbers represented by dots.


This week we started our home reading program and have sent book bags home.  We will send book bags home every Monday next week with leveled Home Readers for the week.  Please return your book/bags on every Friday so that they can be disinfected in time for redistribution on Monday.  Thank you for your support in advance while we launch this home reading program.

We have loved our recent library visits and Ms. Monica has been helping us choose appropriate books that we can take home to read and re-read.  This week, we have enjoyed experiencing picture books with different forms of communication to help us understand how and why we communicate.

In reading, we have continued to work on stamina and Ms. Francesca would be very happy to see how long we can read for now!  We are also starting to use various reading strategies to help us decode a text.  These are skills that you can discuss at home to help support your child’s reading.

Housekeeping Hints

  • Swimming will begin in Grade 1 next week. Students will need a named swimming bag, a towel, goggles, swimming costume, and a cap if your child has long hair. Please make sure all these items are named.
  • Monday September 21st – UN International Day of Peace. Students are encouraged to wear White or Blue
  • Thursday September 24th – Tết Trung Thu – Moon Festival. Please have your child wear his/her Ao Dai to class on Thursday for the Moon Festival. We are all looking forward to our special day honoring our host country. Also, please bring PE clothes for your child to change into because we will continue to have PE on Thursday.
  • Thursday October 1st – Learning Conferences. No School
  • October 12 – 19th – October Break



Week 4 in Grade 1D

Week of September 7th

Dear Families,

Happy Friday! This week Mr Micah joined us in G1D and your children have been so excited and eager to show Mr Micah their classroom routines. We even established a new class agreement centered on being kind, safe, and responsible.


UOI: In our Unit of Inquiry this week we have continued to explore all the different ways we can communicate. We are building our confidence and are becoming risk taker communicators by presenting our poems in front of the class and remembering to project our voices and use expression.  We also figured out a way we could communicate our essential agreement to others if we were unable to talk. We brainstormed ideas, decided on actions, and then practiced together. We were very proud of ourselves. 

Literacy: We love writer’s workshop! This week we explored using dialogue in our stories with character speech bubbles, thought bubbles, and even sound bubbles. Your children are excited to write and share their authorship with their classmates. We are building our stamina for reading for longer periods of time and have been reading different texts through leveled books on Raz Kids and in the classroom, as well as high-interest books from the library. 

Math: In math, we have extended our graphing knowledge by integrating with literacy and graphing the frequency of vowels in pieces of shared reading. We have explored how we can use different materials to express mathematical thinking and continue to practice how we talk about maths using sentence starters such as “I know…” “I notice..” and “I wonder…”  This week we have been working with base 10 and continue to practice the forwards and backwards counting of different number patterns. 

Classroom Reminders:

Important: tttdzung@unishanoi.org  (Ms Dung – 1D Teaching Assistant)

Please include Ms Dung in all email communication regarding day to day student matters. This way we can ensure we do not miss an email from you that needs to be actioned during the school day whilst we are teaching.

Mr Micah  msmith@unishanoi.org

Ms Dung tttdzung@unishanoi.org

Swimming – Begins September 21st

The following are a few reminders to ensure your child is able to participate fully in class. Each day students should bring.  

  1. A mask with their name clearly attached. 
  2. A hat to enjoy outside play. 
  3. A reusable water bottle. 
  4. A healthy snack for our morning recess.
  5. Personal headphones (a mic is optional, but important for clear recording). 

Next Week: Next week Mr. Micah will take over as the lead homeroom teacher in Grade 1D with Ms Dung, until Ms Anna returns in November. 

It has been such a joy to begin this school year with your children.  Today, we went on a tour to see where my EAL office is and where they can find me in the ECC when I am teaching.  We will stay connected this year and I look forward to seeing them learn and grow.  I will miss all my little 1D friends and the smiles they bring with them each morning when they arrive in class. 

Kind regards,


Happy Friday G1D Families

Dear Families,

We hope you all had a special Vietnamese National Holiday on Wednesday and enjoyed family time together. This week has had other special moments too. On Monday Ms Nitasha surprised us with a read-aloud story, and on Friday we got to celebrate Dali’s birthday with some yummy cupcakes. Happy Birthday, Dali 🙂

Literacy: In literacy, we are continuing to build our writing stamina during daily Writers Workshop. We also celebrated our authorship by posting some of our stories on Seesaw. Our Workshop writing folders are filling up with our creativity and imagination during this free genre writing unit. We are practicing how to engage in reading for longer periods of time and how to share with a friend about the books we read. We will continue to build our reading stamina and reading fluency through guided reading groups as well as independent reading engagement.


Math: In math, we have extended our graphing knowledge by inquiring into the different ways we can graph the languages of our classroom by using materials.  We are practicing how to communicate our thinking about numbers and how we can represent numbers in different ways. We also had our first ‘numberless’ word problem and were interested to find out that everyone imagines a different quantity when we think of ‘some” (more than one – but how many more? What do you picture in your mind?).

UOI: In our Unit of Inquiry we continue to explore different language systems that we use to communicate. We have had visits by some of our World Language teachers, reflected on what it means to be a ‘balanced’ communicator, and we have thought about all the different ways we can communicate with each other. We have even tried an experiment to see if we could still have community time without talking “how will we communicate if we can’t talk to each other?” 

Follow up on Speech and Language screenings: Brian Walker finished screening the students in Grade 1 earlier this week.  He has shared that data with the grade level teachers and the elementary school’s student success team.   He has already contacted parents whose children had some challenges during the screening.  If your child is not yet on campus, he will screen them as they arrive

Next Week:  On Monday, Mr Micah will join 1D as the homeroom teacher whilst Ms Anna is on maternity leave.  Mr Micah and I will work together for one week to ensure a smooth transition for your children.  

School Photo Day for 1D will be on Tuesday, September 8th.  At this time, photos will be individual portrait photos only. In Semester 2 we will be taking class photos should physical distancing requirements allow.

ASA’s (After School Activities) start Monday 7th September.

As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out – we are here to help.

Kind regards,

Francesca and Ms Dung



Week 2 in 1D :-)

Week of August 24th

Dear Families,

What a week we have had! We have watched ducklings hatch over in the High School, let our imaginations go wild in a ‘Spaghetti and Marshmallow’ tower building challenge in the Elementary Makerspace, shared family photos and artifacts from home, and continued to get to know ourselves as writers, readers, and mathematicians.


Building Communities through Stories: (Overview included at bottom of page)

The walls of the classroom are starting to come alive with your children’s personal stories. Thank you for the family photos that we have received so far. The students are very proud of their families and love sharing their photos with each other.

In our Unit of Inquiry, we are having rich discussions around ‘Language is a System of Communication’ and all the different ways we communicate (pictures, symbols, emoticons, as well as all the different languages we speak in the Grade 1 community).  Next week we will consider how our faces and bodies can communicate non-verbally and we also have our World Languages teachers joining us for Morning Meeting time. 

Literacy: In literacy, we are building our stamina as writers and readers. We have started adding our stories to our personal ‘Writer’s Workshop’ folders and enjoy spending time re-reading our stories and celebrating our authorship. We are continuing to get to know ourselves as readers and students have been engaged in reading with level readers as well as books of interest from the library.


Math: Keeping to the theme of language, we have inquired into the language of math through categorizing and then reflecting on what sorts we made (colour, shape, size, number, name, quantity). In each math lesson, we practice counting forwards and backwards. We also continue to practice the different ways we can show and talk about numbers through models, drawings, number equations and writing.


Classroom Reminders:

School Photo Day for 1D will be on Tuesday,  September 8th.

The following are a few reminders to ensure your child is able to participate fully in class.

Each day students should bring.  

  1. A mask with their name clearly attached. 
  2. A hat to enjoy outside play. 
  3. A reusable water bottle. 
  4. A healthy snack for our morning recess.
  5. Personal headphones (a mic is optional, but important for clear recording). 

Thank You 🙂

It was lovely to see so many of you on the virtual ‘Back to School’ parent presentation. Thank you for your support and flexibility as we navigated breakout rooms and screen sharing together.  If you haven’t already – please do check out the ID Flipgrid to see a personal introduction from all the members of the UNIS community that are involved in the teaching and wellbeing of your child whilst at school.  

ID Flipgrid (Teacher Introductions)

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions – we are here to help.

Kind regards,

Francesca and Ms Dung

For your Information – Current Unit of Inquiry Overview:

Welcome to Grade 1D

Dear Families,

Welcome: Welcome to the new school year. It has been a joy seeing the familiar faces of returning students and meeting new friends in Grade 1D this week. Your children are adjusting happily to routines in Grade 1 and have been arriving each day to class with a smile and ready to engage in learning.

This blog is the main form of communication between 1D and home. Each week I will post a brief overview of what we have done during the week as well as any essential notices.  As this is our first blog post of the year it is longer than normal.

Teaching and Learning:

Building Communities through Stories: The theme of this week has been building community through sharing our personal stories. 

Literacy and UOI: Students have started sharing ‘their stories’ through community time, writing and drawings. We have read together and visited the library to choose books of interest to take home. We are getting to know ourselves as writers and are starting the year with an ‘open genre’ writing unit. The students have used their own personal heart map to help them decide on which topics are important to them and what they might want to write about.

Math: In Math we have explored numbers in our life through a ‘numbers about me’ activity. We are learning how to communicate our thinking through Math stories and have been practicing our counting forwards and backwards.

Next Week:

  • If possible can you have your child bring a personal artifact from home that they can share with the class (small toy, ball, picture, etc)
  • A family photo that can stay at school

Classroom Essentials: The following are a few reminders to ensure your child is able to participate fully in class.

Each day students should bring.  

  1. A mask with their name clearly attached
  2. A hat to enjoy outside play
  3. A reusable water bottle
  4. A healthy snack for our morning recess/afternoon recess
  5. Personal headphones (a mic is optional, but important for clear recording)
  6. If you need to purchase new UNIS sports/PE clothing for your child, you can order via the School shop: Please find the form linked here.

SeeSaw – The student platform: This year students are using ‘Seesaw’ to share and communicate with families! Your child will post to Seesaw to share their learning. Seesaw is private; only people who are invited to view will see posts created by your child. It is also a great way for other members of your child’s extended family to share in what they are up to at school.

Please Sign Up Now

  1. Click on this link here
  2. Choose your child from the list
  3. Create your account
  4. I will approve the request, then you can see content from your child

After you sign up, download the free Seesaw Family app and sign in. You can also access Seesaw from a computer at https://app.seesaw.me

NOTE:  If you used Seesaw last year or have more than one child using Seesaw, follow the link above, then click the ‘Sign in’ tab at the top of the screen. You do not need to create a new account.

UNIS Speech and Language: Articulation and Language screenings:  UNIS’ speech-language pathologist, Brian Walker, will begin the start of year speech and language screenings next week. This is a very quick look at your child’s ability to say sounds clearly, describe some things with short sentences and follow some simple directions. If your child has some challenges, Brian will reach out to you in a couple of weeks.  If your child is in the distance learning or bridge program, Brian will screen your child when they return to campus.

If Brian worked with your child last year in K2, he/she will also be screened with therapy resuming by the end of September. 

Tin Tuc Weekly News: Our primary communication platform at UNIS Hanoi is the Tin Tuc weekly email.  Every Friday afternoon, you will receive Tin Tuc in your inbox, which contains information that is curated especially for you.  The Tin Tuc weekly news will contain links to news and blogs from the following: 

  • Your child’s homeroom and specialist blogs.  If you have more than one child, you will receive ONE email, with news from each of your child’s teachers. 
  • Your child’s school division (Elementary, Middle or High school)
  • Whole school news 

If you do not receive Tin Tuc this week, please send an email directly to tintuc@unishanoi.org  

 Virtual Back-to-School Night – 27th August – Save the Date: I look forward to meeting you, via Zoom, at our ‘Virtual Back-to-School Night’ on the evening of August 27th

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We are here to help.

If you need to contact me urgently during the school day – please contact the Elementary School office as I am not on my email whilst teaching. 

Kind regards,

Francesca and Ms Dung

A Snapshot of the Week:


This Week in Grade 1D…

Unit of Inquiry: How We Express Ourselves

We continue to inquire into many ways that we express ourselves both as a group and individually. This week, we thought about the ways that we choose to express ourselves best and generated lots of ideas such as singing, playing instruments, playing, cooking, etc. 

As authors, we continue to express ourselves by choosing a variety of ways to express our narrative stories. We explored Toontastic, Book Creator, puppet-theatre and book binding as just some of the ways that we can share our stories with others.

Expressing ourselves through Feedback

Check out our Seesaw learning journal entries, we would love to hear your feedback on our creative narratives. We took the time to share our stories with our peers this week and integrated their feedback to make our stories even better!


This week we have been reviewing measurement in its different forms. While reviewing the time to the hour and half hour, we made some great connections to counting by 5’s and seeing these patterns on the hundreds chart and number lines. We also reviewed how to make accurate measurements using a variety of non-standard measurements. As we approached the end of the week we focussed on reviewing the attributes of 2D and 3D shapes by engaging in shape hunts around the classroom and the use of pattern blocks to create 3D shape creations.


Word Work

We have reached the end of our Magic 100 Words for Grade 1! This week we looked at both the structure and meaning of each of the violet words and reviewed the concept of homophone using words such as which/witch and their/there as examples. We encourage everyone to continue to read and write these words through the holidays in preparation for Grade 2.

Moving Up Morning

Moving Up Morning looked a little bit different this year but it was still a lot of fun. We visited Grade 2D and had the opportunity to find out some of the fun things we can look forward to in Grade 2 next year. We look forward to finding out who our new classmates and teachers will be at the beginning of the next school year.

This week’s reminders:

  • Summer library reading: If your child has returned all outstanding loans they are welcome to check out their summer reading choices on Monday. Please ensure your child brings in their book bag if they wish to take home summer reading.
  • Final day of school: Wednesday June 11th. Early dismissal will take place at 12:00pm. Please contact your child’s homeroom teacher if there are any changes to your child’s usual pick up routine.

This Week in Grade 1D…

Arts Week Highlights

To celebrate Arts Week in the Elementary School the Arts Team put together a fantastic variety of Art and Music-related activities for us to enjoy during each Morning Meeting. On Monday, we began the process of creating an Abstract Art Drawing by exploring geometric and organic shapes, straight lines and curved lines. On Tuesday, we joined Ms Liz, Ms Noor and Ms Chu Chu for some fun singing activities. On Wednesday, we returned to our Abstract Art Drawings and added color. Thursday’s celebration involved the whole ES in an Arts-themed assembly. We finished up the week on Friday with an array of choice activities. Thank you to the Arts team for these wonderful learning experiences and for challenging us to consider the many ways that we can express ourselves.


This week we continued to express ourselves as authors by constructing narratives. We are reviewing and making edits as we work towards being ready to share stories through a medium of our choice.

As word inquirers we have continued to review long-vowel patterns within words. We are focussing on long <o> and the different ways this sound can be represented. We are also approaching the end of our Magic 100 words for Grade 1 and encourage daily practice of both the indigo and violet word lists.

As readers we continue to review strategies that help us to tackle some of the tricky words we encounter when reading. Stop and think! is one strategy that encourages us to take the time to consider the question ‘Does it make sense?’ by taking the to slow down and consider this helps us to become more skilled readers.


Math this week has been an opportunity to show what we know about place value, counting forwards and backwards, and practicing our understanding of the number line to solve addition and subtraction questions. We will continue to revisit standard and non-standard measurement, and time to consolidate our skills at telling time to the hour and half hour.

On Friday we tackled a numberless word problems and applied numbers that we wished to work on to show our understanding of place value and how we can partition numbers.


We were so excited to return to the swimming pool during our PE lessons this week. It made for a welcome break from the hot weather and another chance to build our skills and confidence as swimmers before the summer holidays. Well done to everyone for remembering to bring in their own goggles and swimming gear each day. Remember next week is Week A. We will have swimming on Tuesday and Thursday.


Grand Walk

On Thursday afternoon we gathered as a whole school community throughout the campus to wish our Grade 12 Graduates the very best on their future endeavours. 

Farewell UNIS

Friends across the entire school who are leaving us this year are invited to tell us about their favourite place in the school and why it is so special to them. If you are not joining us in Grade 2 next year we would love to hear from you.  Share your favourite place here on Flipgrid.


  • Moving Up Morning, Friday June 5th: Moving Up Morning will look a little differently this year.  Instead of meeting our new class group and teacher we will have the opportunity to visit our partner class in Grade 2 (Grade 1D will visit Grade 2 D) to learn about some of the great things that await us next year. 
  • Monday June 8th: Reports made available on Veracross
  • Week of June 8-10: Bring in book bags to carry extra items such as journals and art work home. Please return all outstanding library books
  • Wednesday June 10th: Final Day of First Grade, early dismissal for students at 12:00

This week in Grade 1D…


This week in Literacy, we have started to use Story Maps as a tool for organizing the narrative stories we plan to create in the coming weeks. We have identified the key elements (Characters, Settings, Feelings, Problems and Solutions) that are necessary to construct a successful narrative and are working towards combining these elements to create a story. 

Next week, we, as authors, will choose from a variety of multi-modal options about how best we wish to share our stories with others. We will use online tools such as Puppet Pals, Book Creator and ToonTastic as other physical materials such as booklet making, puppet creations and the use of drawings. 

We continue to work through our 100 Magic High Frequency words and this week we focussed on our penultimate list: Indigo Magic Words. We analysed each of the words by looking at both the meaning and structure of each word in order to help us better read and write these important words. Don’t forget to practice reading and writing these words at home as well as looking out for them during Home Reading each day. 

Word Inquiry and Shared Reading

We continue to review the different ways that long vowels are represented in words and have been doing so with the support of some fantastic shared read alouds. We understand that long vowels can be represented in many different ways and we are having a lot of fun exploring and analyzing the different combinations in terms of both meaning and structure. 

As a result of our word inquiry we are getting much better at noticing parts in words. We are beginning to better understand that when we notice what we think might be a long vowel combination it may not always be! We are learning to be critical word analyzers!


In Math this week, we have continued to explore place value and consolidate our understanding that a pack or group of ten has the same or equal value as ten loose parts or units. We have continued to build on this concept through number talks, word problems and 3-Act Math Tasks. Next week, we will continue to use number lines to model our thinking and revise concepts covered earlier in the term such as measurement and time to the hour and half hour.

Unit of Inquiry: Where We Are in Place and Time

This week in UOI, we have been watching some of our friend’s significant people videos and giving them feedback, using the TAG approach. You are welcome to go on this link and watch the videos from home too. We are so proud of all of our Grade 1 friends for doing such important research of a significant person, writing their scripts and presenting their information in a video. Well done, Grade 1!!!

Grade 1 Significant Person Link

This Week’s Reminders:

Swimming resumes next week (Week B: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

Swimming Costumes – Girls must wear a one piece costume during swim lessons and boys can either wear trunks or shorts. Note that baggy shorts can inhibit the swimmer’s progress. UNIS costumes are available from ‘The Shop’, which is situated outside the gymnasium. Please label your child’s swimming costume.

Swimming Caps – These are essential for pupils with long hair for both hygiene and clearance purposes. Silicone caps provide a good fit with latex caps often being extremely tight. Cloth caps can also be a good alternative for the younger swimmers.

Goggles – Goggles can be an extremely important part of a swimmer’s experience. Good fitting goggles can promote confidence and exploration whereas ill-fitting goggles, which let water in, can have a negative effect on certain swimmers. Moulded nose bridges rather than adjustable nose pieces are recommended. To test, push the goggles on the face without the strap and if they stay put then they fit well. Masks are not allowed during lessons as they affect the natural breathing process. Finally, goggles should be changed regularly as the rubber seal wears out causing leakage.


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.