The week of Peace and the Moon Festival

Another busy week in grade 3! We celebrated the UN International Day of Peace on Monday by wearing white and writing 6 word Peace Poems. Another celebration on Thursday for the Moon Festival and a whole host of making, doing and big thinking.

This week has seen 3A investigate another Simple Machine in our amazing Maker Space: the wheel and axle. What does it do? How is it made? How does it make WORK easier?

Students also learned about the push and pull forces of tension, friction, gravity and air resistance. They began wondering about how these connect with the simple machines we have been discovering and making. Ask your child to explain these forces to you. Encourage them to look for some examples of them in action at home. This fits well with our second line of inquiry Simple machines in our everyday lives.

Thursday was Moon Festival and students watched the annual assembly via Zoom in their classroom and got to paint a mask. Everyone looked so wonderful in their Ao Dais!

There is an expectation in Grade 3 that every child is actively reading at home every day for 30 minutes. That means children are reading for themselves. It is also important to discuss what they have read with an adult or complete quizzes to confirm understanding. This reading can be in English and/or your home language. Students can access books through a number of digital platforms: Razkids (with quiz), EPIC and Tumble Books, in addition to Library books from school. We strongly encourage students to check out books from the library on a weekly basis. In addition to active reading, the use of audio books is encouraged for being able to hear reading in English, have children engaged and interested and expose them to new vocabulary. 


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Library link to directions for Tumble books

We shared our thinking around reading in 3A and talked about our reading being our home learning responsibility.

Reminders and messages:

From the SCO:

The SCO needs a few more Class Parents to help coordinate parents for activities that the teachers may need help with – for example, the teacher may ask the Class Parent to help recruit volunteers to accompany kids on a field trip, or organize an end of the year party. Being a class parent is a great and fun way to get involved with the school, support your child’s teacher and connect with other parents in your child’s class. 

Please do know that SCO is there for you to support. Because we are Stronger Together!

If you’re interested in any of these roles, have any questions, and want to know more, please email Thank you for considering volunteering your time this year!

Thanks again for your continued support. Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

The week we went dotty!

This week we began inquiring into Simple Machines and how they make work easier. We have worked incredibly hard on our MAP testing and shown our prior knowledge about place value and some number operations. We also celebrated dot day on Tuesday with a range of creative outfits and artwork!

On Monday Ms. Nitasha joined us for our morning circle where we set our intentions for the week to ensure we were being productive, 3A were very thoughtful in their ideas, including learning from their mistakes and asking a friend how they learnt it to see if that would help them. 

We had a fantastic session in the makerspace where we investigated how levers make work easier. We made some deeper connections to our related concept of force and developed our understanding of how to work in a team. We began looking more deeply into simple machines and went on a picture walk around our beautiful campus. We found lots of examples including cranes (pulleys), screws (holding playground equipment together) and many more!

In maths we started learning about place value, using our number sense to partition numbers and make them in different ways. We learnt a couple of new place value games too, ask your child to teach you some over the weekend! Race to a flat was really fun!

In writing we continued to develop our understanding of the writing process, Working on editing our writing for accurate use of punctuation and spelling. We learned some editing symbols to help us as we improve our writing, making it easier for the reader to understand our meaning.


  1. Monday 21st September is the UN International Day of Peace. We encourage everyone to wear white as a symbol of peace, or blue as a symbol of the UN to celebrate this day.
  2. Thursday 24th September we will be celebrating the Moon Festival. We encourage all students to wear their traditional áo dài and we will celebrate with a special assembly. Please also ensure your child has an old t shirt/overalls to cover their clothing when we paint masks on this day.
  3. Next week the EAL team will host a virtual coffee morning on Friday 25th September for parents of EAL students – please see your email for details.

Thank you for your continued support, please reach out if you have any questions or suggestions!

The week we all became scientists…and mathematicians….and writers

This week we started our new Unit of Inquiry, How the World Works, with a challenging provocation, we developed our mathematical thinking further and began showing a clearer understanding of the writing process and what it entails.

The mathematicians of 3A have been working very hard on seeing the endless connections that math(s) has to every part of life. We started the year thinking that math(s) was only numbers and operations, but over the past 3 weeks, the range of problem solving activities and experiences have led to a significant shift in our thinking. We can now see math(s) in patterns, mistakes, perseverance and baking, to name a few! We have worked on solving problems in creative ways, including a whole class challenge to fit enough, equal sized lanes in the classroom for our HTWW provocation…

3A scientists were tasked with transporting a marble from one side of the classroom to the other without pushing it, kicking it, flicking it or throwing it! The range of creative ideas to solve this problem was fantastic  to see, and we began to make some connections to our key concept of causation and our related concept of force. A few people mentioned gravity…I wonder how that is connected to our unit?

We unpacked the stages of the writing process and began planning a new piece of writing. We worked together to peer revise and self revise our pieces and considered ways to improve our writing by adding, subtracting, moving or changing things in our original draft

We had a fabulous, creative morning in the Makerspace learning how to make some attachments out of cardboard that will help us with our design project later in this Unit of Inquiry. Check out your child’s SeeSaw post early next week for more information about what they did.

A gentle reminder to please send your child to school with headphones in a labelled bag.

Thank you for your continued support and as always, if you have any suggestions or questions please reach out to us!


Making sensible choices and being open-minded

It’s been another week of big thinking in grade 3 where we have delved a little deeper into belief systems, worked extremely hard on our Self-Management Skills and started thinking about word inquiry. We have introduced Writing Process and thought about topics and genres we might like to write.

3A began looking at the beliefs of different religions this week through some independent, open-minded, research. They chose a religion that they were not familiar with (YET!) and inquired about what the followers of that religion believe and how they celebrate different festivals. We will consider the similarities and differences between different belief systems next week. Your child will come home with an interview sheet today to discuss your family values. If you could take 15 minutes to discuss this with them and complete the sheet it would be very helpful for our inquiry.

We began our structured word inquiry this week looking at word families. We considered words that were connected but not in the family through some group work around the base word PLAY and the possible word family members. We discussed some different affixes (prefix and suffix) and will look more deeply into this next week.

3A were risk-takers on Thursday when they were put in control of their day as we tried to develop our Self-Management Skills, namely Managing Self and Time Management. The students planned their day from a set list of choices, making sure they had created a balanced day and were showing responsibility for completing all their jobs. They worked magnificently! They were focussed, engaged and perseverent throughout the day, all asking if we could do it again on Friday!

In maths we have been working on challenges and problem solving. We looked at patterns, shape and place value. Ask your child what challenges they completed and what mathematical thinking they showed this week.

Next week we will start our new Unit of Inquiry How the World Works. The central idea is “We design, invent and innovate to solve challenges”. It an inquiry into simple machines, inventions, forces and the design cycle. There are a lot of fun and interesting things to try and we’re excited to get started! The Who We Are unit will continue for the year alongside all other learning.


  • Please send your child to school with headphones in a clearly labelled bag
  • Remind your child to bring their library bag and student card to school on Fridays so that we can borrow books and look after them carefully.
  • Individual photographs on Wednesday morning.

Thank you for your continued support, please contact us if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.


A week of big thinking and making

It’s been a busy second week in grade 3 with lots of big thinking! We continued learning about a week of inspirational maths, working in teams to visualise and look at different mathematical concepts in creative ways. We began to unpack our central idea, Global citizenship requires knowledge of other people’s lives’. We all agreed that a global citizen was someone who was kind and helpful, and a citizen of our planet Earth. There are some big ideas involving perspective and empathy that we look forward to developing our understanding of over the coming weeks. 

We had a fantastic session in the Makerspace with Mr. Clarke, working as a team to build a tower of spaghetti! It was challenging but a lot of fun and we learnt a lot about cooperation and listening to each other.

We began thinking about our writing passions and had the chance to write freely, in any genre, about a topic we felt passionate and excited about. The pieces ranged from wild stories about tigers, explanations of video games and acrostic poems about pancakes! 

3A finalised our essential agreements to ensure our learning environment is safe, happy and productive. We used a diamond ranking thinking routine to prioritise these ideas. We found we all had very similar ideas about what was important but prioritised them differently. See some pictures of our group work below. 


It was wonderful to meet some families this week in the live Back to School Night session on Zoom. Here again is the link to the presentation for your reference. We are really hoping that as many of you as possible will help to build our class community by posting something about your family in the Flipgrid and a message for your child on the Padlet.

As the year progresses and the children post in Seesaw, please add feedback for them. An easy way to do this is to state “Two Stars and a Wish”: two positive things you notice about their work and a wish or wondering of how they might improve or do things differently the next time.

Next week we will dive deeper into our unit of inquiry and begin thinking about our beliefs and values and the similarities and differences between belief systems. If any parents would like to “zoom in” and share some information about their religion or beliefs we would really appreciate it! Please contact Ms. Selina via email to arrange a suitable time. 


A warm welcome to 3A

What a wonderful start to Grade 3! Despite the challenges of last-minute changes and social distancing, we have had a great start to our year. As we grow used to the routines and personalities around us, we are starting to feel more settled. We are all excited about what we can achieve this year.

Getting to know our new classmates, building our community, reflecting on our goals and setting our class agreements has been a fantastic demonstration of the potential of this group. They were friendly and welcoming to new classmates and set mature class agreements with very little adult direction.

3A also spent some time this week deciding how to organise our learning environment. There were  some fabulous ideas including using our storage space as a part time room for mindfulness and a part time recording studio! We also thought we had too much furniture and wanted to remove some things so that we had more space in the classroom. We decided where our reading space would be, in the window with plants and lots of light.

All of this start-of-the-year stuff links nicely to our ongoing, year-long unit: Who We Are, which is an inquiry into global citizenship and the importance of understanding our differences. We are particularly interested in similarities and differences in beliefs, values and culture. We’d love to hear about any festivals and important dates that occur in our community so we can celebrate and discuss them in class. Some adventurous parents might even put up their hand to speak to the kids about their culture or share a celebration. We’d love to hear from you!

We truly believe in the parent-teacher-student partnership and so if you have questions, comments, suggestions, anything, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to collaborating with you over the course of grade 3.

This week we also have the pleasure of introducing Ms Jenn, our Learning Support Teacher. Ms Jenn joined us in 3A this week to share a great back to school story and lead some “getting to know you” activities. Thanks Ms Jenn!

I am Jennifer Szwarc, and this is my second year teaching in the Learning Support department at UNIS. Again this year I will work primarily with students in Grades 2 and 3. I have had a great summer traveling throughout Vietnam with my husband, Mr. Micah. In my spare time, I love to try new restaurants, go on walks, and spend time with friends.

I started my Special Education career in San Diego, California earning a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Teaching with an emphasis in Special Education. For the past six years, I have worked with students internationally in Thailand, Romania, and now Vietnam. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me (

Some reminders for next week:

  1. Student council elections will take place next week. Students who are interested should prepare a presentation to share with the class and there will be an anonymous election. Elected students should commit to the ASA on Tuesdays.
  2. A Virtual Back to School Night will be held on Thursday 27th August. More details to follow early next week.
  3. Here you will find the schedule for 3A. Please be advised that the schedule is a guide and the nature of inquiry means that we often make tweaks to best meet the needs of the students and our units of study.


Goodbye! Enjoy the summer break!

Hello Parents,
Wow! 2019-20 will be a year to remember. Our students have shown themselves to be courageous and resilient. They have grown as learners, becoming more independent and creative. We are very proud of what they have achieved. 
‘Thank you’ to our Parent Community. This year has been more of a partnership in education than ever before. We have greatly appreciated your care and support.
Some reminders-
  • Departure time on Wednesday – 12 noon so No lunch.
  • You can join the ES Leavers Assembly via Zoom.
  • Library Books need returning and please ensure all home readers are returned too!
  • Please send in an extra bag each day next week so students can take home all their learning materials and art work.

The best of luck and happiest of UNIS Hanoi memories to those of our students and families who are moving on. As you know I am back in New Zealand already and I am sorry that I did not have the chance to say goodbye and thank you personally.

We wish you all a safe, healthy and restful summer break. 

Chris, An, and the Grade 3 Team’.

Posted in 3A

Celebrations and creativity

Hello Parents,

Our second to last week has been a time of celebration and creativity for our community.
For Arts Week, we’ve danced, sung, drummed, illustrated and painted. We used the knowledge gained during our H.W.E.O. unit to create amazing abstract pieces which will be displayed in the Arts Centre.
UNIS celebrated the graduating class of 2020 with some rad signs and lots of cheering during the Grand Walk.
Next week, we will wrap up the year with more fun, reflection and connection.

See photos below of our presentations last week for our space studies.

The Buzz of school !

Hello Parents,

Our second week back has been a great success! The whole-school morning wellness Zooms were great fun, getting us up and moving in the classroom. It is great to stay connected and have fun as a community, wherever we may be.

With our new routines streamlined, the kids let loose with their enthusiasm and newfound independent learning skills to wrap up the unit. There was a fantastic buzz to the finale of our inquiry into space. The students have been working hard to polish up their informative paragraphs, create presentations and spent time in the Makerspace crafting their representation of learning.

Next week we will loop back into our ongoing unit Who We Are, to reflect on our beliefs, values and the strangest school year in history- certainly one we’ll never forget. There is a huge amount to celebrate!

REMINDER : We start swimming next week!

First week back!

Dear Parents,
We have been so excited to be back in school! It has been wonderful to reconnect in person with the students and see how much more independent they have become. Friendships and classroom communities have been renewed. A special treat from the SCO today was welcomed excitedly. 
New routines for snack, lunch and recesses are in place and the students are doing a great job of following these.
We have been staying connected with those students unable to attend through our regular classroom morning meetings and we have all been participating in the Book Week activities. 
Students have been completing their individual “Space” research and are drafting a report on their findings. Next week they will have the opportunity to decide how they would like to share some of their learning and discoveries. 
We look forward to the new normal becoming even more normal next week!
Have a great weekend.