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.


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.