19 – 23rd October 2020

We were all delighted to welcome back our students this week as we returned from adventurous and exciting October breaks! As always, the week has been busy.

As mathematicians, we have been exploring the concept of rounding. We have used the analogy of a journey and the need to find suitable places to stop for a water or bathroom break while enroute. Would you travel backwards or forwards along the route? Any support you can offer at home, such as communicating large values (“about 8 million people”) to rounding prices (“about a million dong”) and calculating travel times (“about an hour”) would be great.

We looked at rounding numbers to the nearest 10 and 100, and began inquiring into its possible use for addition and subtraction. For example, 19 + 19 could be rounded to 20 + 20 and then adjusted. As we introduce and explicitly teach new strategies, we will share them via the blog and your child’s Seesaw. Please take some time to ask your child to demonstrate strategies they are using and learning. 

We continue to solidify our understanding of place value and work flexibly and fluently with large numbers. Playing math games at home to help reinforce understanding is a great way to support our mathematicians. Below are three games that require minimal setup and allow for a range of abilities.

‘Squeeze’- reading numbers, comparing numbers, strategic thinking

Place Value Knockout- Place value, comparing numbers, reading numbers

Greater Than- Place value, comparing numbers, strategic thinking

In writing we have developed an understanding of adverbs and how to improve our sentences to include more detail, making them more interesting for the reader. Ideas to improve sentences included adding an adverb, changing the way we open the sentence and using more technical words. So “Cut the onion.” could become “Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the onion into small, round pieces before popping them into your soup.”. Are there any “How To…”s you can try at home? 

In UoI, 3D have become INVENTORS, designing creations using Simple Machines and forces. We have moved through “Ask & Imagine”, used our previous “Research” and “Plan”ned some ideas. We entered the “Create” stage of the design cycle with some jumping in and out of the Improve stage as we encountered different successes and challenges in building. If you have any cardboard (boxes, packaging, etc) that we can use, please send it in!

Our inventors will continue to improve and complete their designs before sharing them via a Seesaw post, but here are some photos of us in the first stage of building.


Today Ms. Nitasha visited and shared a Readaloud with us.

Many thanks for your continued support, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions please get in touch.

Please see the message below from the Habitat for Humanity Service Group here at UNIS. They are arranging a Movie night for Grade 3 on November 6th from 16:00-18:00. Please fill out the google form permission slip if your child would like to attend.

The Habitat for Humanity service group is organising a movie night event to fundraise for our build. We are planning to hold it on the 6th of November in the theatre. We have been given approval by the school as we intend to follow social distancing measures. The details about the movie and event are attached in the poster and permission slip below. 

Here is a Google Form for Parent Permission to attend.
Thank you for your time and consideration,

Habitat for Humanity


28 Sept. – 2nd Oct.

It has been another busy week in Grade 3. The students demonstrated their impressive self-awareness and maturity in reflecting on their learning and setting goals. It was a productive and rewarding experience to discuss these in such depth at our Learning Conferences on Thursday. Navigating through these conferences virtually was a challenge, but the flexible, supportive and collaborative approach from everyone was wonderful.
Our Simple Machines unit continues to motivate and challenge the children and this week we had another great session in the Maker Space investigating pulleys. Next week we are excited to start researching and planning our own inventions and thinking about the vast possibilities in front of us. While we are well-supplied in the Maker Space, if you have any recycled materials that could be useful for our builds, please send them in.
In Literacy we’ve been digging deeper into examples of procedural writing and figuring out some of the key features of a procedural text. We also began our focused reading groups and started work on the target-areas identified by our start-of-year assessments. 

In Math we have continued to explore Place Value with some new games and activities such as Race to 100 and Treasure Hunt.

It was also lovely to see the children’s movement compositions in the G3 UNIS Got Talent- Ms Megan and other guest judges were impressed with the range of moves, the synchrony, the use of space and the creativity of the performances. Mr C will be sharing the video of the show as soon as it is ready.

As always, if you have any noticings, wonderings or suggestions, please let us know.

21-25th Sept. 2020

This week has seen 3D investigate another Simple Machine in our amazing Maker Space: the wheel and axle. What does it do? How is it made? Take a look at the focus, skill and problem solving that happened making the ‘wheel and axle’ and the vehicle building that followed. Truly impressive.

Students also learned about the push and pull forces of tension, friction, gravity and air resistance.  Ask your child to explain these forces to you. Encourage them to look for some examples of them in action at home. 

Thursday was Moon Festival (photos here) and students watched the annual assembly, via Zoom, in their classroom and got to paint a mask.

In maths, this week and last, 3D explored the use of concrete tools/equipment to support them in their mathematical thinking.

Later in the week, 3D further explored the concept of Place Value. Using Place Value Arrows, a 3-legged Number Bond model and Base Ten Blocks, students worked at composing and decomposing 3 digit numbers as well as practicing reading these numbers aloud. Take a look here at some photos.

Reading: 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 (ref. RazKids & EPIC) 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. 

Your child has access to sign-in’s for both RazKids and Epic on an email they sent to themselves. You can ask them to find this and have them forward it to you as an extra support for access.

TumblebooksUsername: unishanoi     Password: unis1234      Library link to directions for Tumble books

Thursday 1st October Learning Conversations – no school for students.

14-18 Sept.

This week we have begun 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!

We began looking more deeply into simple machines with students constructing meaning through a picture sort activity. First, students had a large collection of photos to sort through and decide how they might be grouped. Next, ideas of how groups sorted their photos was shared e.g. swirly things, steep things, machines with wheels. Then pictorial examples of each type of sort were shared and students adjusted their sorts. Finally the technical terms of some of these descriptions were shared i.e. screw, wheel and axle and students made great connections and again adjusted their sorts. Finally we went exploring our play area to see if we could find possible Simple Machines (photos). 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 played a couple of place value games too such as Number Clash/Battle, 101, Sums to 100 – ask your child to teach you some over the weekend! 

In writing we continued to develop our understanding of the writing process. We used last week’s visit as inspiration to write a recount and moved through the different parts of the writing process, including asking peers for feedback. Our ‘published’ pieces are our voice overs for ‘Attachments’ in Seesaw. We will be sharing with 3C on Monday.

Our week finished with another very exciting session in the Maker Space exploring levers. What are they? What do they do? Ask your child to explain. Here are some photos, to talk about, of 3D in action as scientists and engineers.


  1. Tuesday 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 Ao Dais and we will celebrate with a special assembly. PLEASE also send your child to school with an old adult-sized t-shirt or shirt to wear when mask painting that 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

  4. Every student needs headphones. Many thanks to all those families who have sent some in for their child.

How the World Works

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 thinking more deeply about the writing process and what it entails.

3D scientists and engineers were tasked with transporting a marble from one side of the classroom to the other without pushing it, kicking it, flicking it, throwing it or dropping it from a great height! The students had to think hard about not just how to move the marble, but also how to work as a team. The afternoon was filled with excitement and lots of testing and negotiation. The range of creative ideas to solve this problem was fantastic to see. Many also decided to make their creation look attractive and interesting. Take a look at some photos and videos of the ‘runs’ here.

On reflection, 3D students discovered that they had been through a ‘design process’ – something we will be working through a lot in this unit. They also made a connection with the ‘Writing Process’:

We listened to the ‘Word Collector’ as read by President and Mrs. Obama and then we read it again trying out all the different prompts about different kinds of words. We thought about how word choice can make writing so much more interesting! We made a list of our own favourite words, then chose one to create a mini poster about. We also finished up our own personal quotes about reading. Students then each chose one of these to share on Seesaw.

There was more excitement later in the week in maths, discovering the range of tools available  (both physical and online) to help us solve mathematical problems, support and explain our thinking. From a Hundred Chart, to rekenreks (number racks), number lines and base ten blocks (number pieces). If you have an iPad at home you might also like to take advantage of the free apps offered by the Math Learning Center. 

Today 3D had a fabulous session in the Maker Space on ‘Attachments’ as a beginning to our How the World Works (Simple Machines & Forces unit). Knowing that plastic is such a problem in our world, we decided that using glue and tape is best avoided whenever possible. Instead, students were introduced to a variety of other ways to ‘attach’ (in this case) a piece of cardboard to another piece of cardboard. Methods were shown and modelled before students were tasked with doing their own. Watch out for these on Seesaw next week, but here are photos of 3D in action with ‘attachments’. Such great problem solving and skills development going on!

  • Reminders:
    Create some dots over the weekend and decorate a door or window in celebration of International Dot Day on Tuesday 15th September. Send in any photos if you do!
  • Tuesday 15th – go dotty! Students are encouraged to wear as many dots as they can to school.
  • HEADPHONES please – if your child has not yet brought any to school

It has been another busy week in Grade 3.

We delved more into “What makes a good writer?” and decided that one of the most important things is to be able to write quality pieces – that make sense, have detail, are interesting and use descriptive or technical words. The children also thought that good writers take their time, think about what they want to write before they start and then stay focussed for chunks of time.
In maths we had fun exploring a concept called the Hailstone Sequence. Pick any number as a starting point. If it is even then divide by 2. If it is odd then multiply by 3 and add 1. Repeat this process with each answer you get. The conjecture by mathematicians is that, whatever number you start with, you always reach 1. Give it a try!
In our Who We Are year-long unit of inquiry we have begun to think more deeply about how ‘global citizenship requires knowledge of other people’s lives’ and begun to compare our beliefs and values. Students will come home today with some research questions for over the weekend to find out more about their family values. If you can find 15 mins to discuss this with your family and fill in the sheet, we’d appreciate your assistance in supporting our inquiry.
Next week we begin our first full unit, How The World Works, which is 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!
A few requests and reminders:
  • We’d like to request you send in pair of headphones to aid the students’ independent inquiry on the Chromebooks- perhaps you have an old pair lying around at home that you no longer use, but if not, headphones are also sold at the UNIS shop.
  • Also a reminder to use a UNIS library bag to keep library books in good condition.
  • 3D have their individual photo session on Wednesday 9th Sept.
Have a great weekend!

Back to School Night resources

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.
This past week we have continued to grow our class community, finding out more about each other, building friendships and work attitudes through games (take a look at the Cup Challenge), collaboration and discussion. We have been working in teams and alone to visualise and look at different mathematical concepts in creative ways. Thinking about what makes a good writer and starting some writing of our own as well as enjoying read to self time. We have spent a lot of time thinking through and talking about our Rights, Responsibilities and Feelings. This chart will help us decide next week on some class agreements for this year.
We also worked on a part of a class mandala using a thinking routine known as Colour, Symbol, Image. Take a look at the photos and ask your child to explain.
We had our first ES assembly via Zoom and an Evacuation Drill in which Grade 3 students did an outstanding job of following the procedures set up.
Wishing everyone a safe and relaxing weekend!
  • Please can your child bring to school a set of full ear headphones next week.
  • Wednesday 2nd Sept. is a public holiday.

Welcome to G3D 2020-21

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, beginning to reflect on our goals and starting to set our class agreements has been a fantastic demonstration of the potential of this group. The children have been friendly and welcoming to new classmates. Respectful and cooperative with teachers and each other. Thoughtful and kind in their interactions. This link will let you see a few photos from this week.
All of our ‘start-of-the-year’ activities link well into our ongoing, year-long unit: Who We Are. This is an inquiry into global citizenship and the importance of understanding other people’s lives. We are particularly interested in similarities and differences in beliefs, values and culture. We’d love to hear about any important dates, events, traditions, festivals that occur in your families so we can learn more about each other in class. Some adventurous parents might even like to speak to the class about their culture or share a special event or celebration? Please get in touch!
Yesterday you should have received a hard copy of 3D’s schedule for this year:
We truly believe in the parent-teacher-student partnership and so if you have questions, comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
This week we also have the pleasure of introducing Ms Jenn, our Learning Support Teacher:

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 (jszwarc@unishanoi.org).

Today, students were invited to stand for election to the Student Council.

We need 1 student to represent our class for the first part of the year. Student Council will run as an ASA on Tuesdays, 3:30-4:30pm. Details can be found here.

Thursday 27th will be Back To School NIght – via ZOOM! More details coming in TinTuc.

Back to School Night Presentation

Many thanks to all those who made the Back to School Night. It was great to meet so many parents. Please find below the extended presentation full of lots of useful links.

Students worked very collaboratively this week determining the meaning of the Learner Profiles and creating their own poster to explain and show them. Photos here.


  • Moon Festival Thursday 12th September – students are encouraged to wear an Ao Dai
  • No School for students Friday 13th – Professional Development day for teachers

Meeting our Buddies and starting Seesaw

This week 3D have started using Seesaw. They learnt how to log in – both through Google and using a QR code. How to check they were in the correct folder before working. How to add photos, use the microphone and the drawing tools. Please take a look at your child’s work and leave them a comment. Our final project on Seesaw this week was creating our own copy of 3D’s Classroom Agreements and annotating them. Students can complete this activity at home by going to app.seesaw.me  The Classroom Agreements are:

  • Do your best
  • Be kind
  •  Be helpful
  • Play and work with anyone

On Thursday, 3D met their K1C Buddies. Take a look here for some photos.  Please ask your child who their buddy is.

This afternoon the whole of Grade 3 got together for some fun community time and to practise listening skills. We definitely need more practice! However, ask your child if they can teach you the “Double This, Double That” activity.

Finally, 3D are SUPER excited that 5 of their classmates have been chosen to perform in the Grade 2-3 Musical, Aristocats. A huge “well done” to them and all who auditioned. Great risk taking!


Monday is a holiday.
Back to School Night, Thursday 5th September (see TinTuc for details) – hope to meet lots of you there.