May 14th, 2020

Wow, it is so good to be back in the classroom with our students. Their ability to just get back into the swing of things but with a new sense of independence and resilience is inspiring. As you’re well aware we’re trialing something new in grade four for the remainder of the year- we have 4 subject areas and the teachers rotate. So far this new schedule has worked out beautifully, students are getting exposure to four different teachers throughout the day.

 

In Math, we have been flexing our problem-solving muscles by investigating the secret of a card trick (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX2mTA_6EJE&feature=emb_logo), finding twelve different pentominoes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ1E_CM7MqA), and showing our understanding of fraction concepts that were explored during Distance Learning. How would you answer:

 

 

In Writing,

We have been using Book Week activities as a platform to launch some great story writing across grade 4. We read ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ together and had fun creating monsters at the start of the week. We built our stories around this and worked on describing the habitat and the characters. We played some word association games and continued to work on the plot of our stories. Look out for Seesaw updates for the ending to this tale…….

 

In Reading, we have been spending our time getting reacquainted and reflecting upon our distance learning experience. The purpose of reflecting was to connect to our Where We Are In Place and Time unit of inquiry. As the ‘reading’ teacher it has been fun and enlightening reflecting with each of the classes as I have been along with them on this Distance Learning journey. Today, we got the reaction of, “please don’t let me see that website again!” from some of our students, while others wanted to check out what was happening in week 13. We have also begun checking in with students reading progress with the Developmental Reading Assessment. We definitely want to keep up with our reading nightly, what a great way to decompress from a long hot day of learning. Please be sure to ask students what they are reading and where are their books. Everyone should be reading for at least 30 minutes a night.

 

In Unit of Inquiry

Where We Are In Place and Time is the theme of this week’s Unit of Inquiry, and what a historic time to be in!!  We have also been incorporating How We Express Ourselves into our Unit of Inquiry time, a unit that has been ongoing throughout the year.  Everyone has a story to tell over the last 14 weeks of COVID-19 and distance learning.  Being one of the first schools to implement distance learning, and one of the first schools to return back to campus, that story is both compelling and historic.  Using the application Adobe Sketch, students in grade 4 have been constructing their stories using a variety of multimedia.

Posted in 4A

January 17, 2020

 

Dear Families, 

Market Service Day was a huge success! Thank you for your continued support leading up to the event and on the day. Across Grade 4 our profit was 28,998,000! Next week, we will focus on the action that will be taking place from the profit made. 

On a personal note, I am thrilled to share that in July our family will be expecting our second child! In the words of one student, “well, that’s great! Elizabeth won’t be lonely anymore!” As the baby is due in July, the birth and maternity leave, is not foreseen to impact this school year. 

Upcoming

  • This Monday we will be expecting a new student-Brent Schneckenberger! Students are very excited as we look forward to his arrival
  • Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences are coming on Wednesday January 22 from 8am-4pm. This is just a friendly reminder that students should be in attendance.

Explorations This Week

UOI: How We Organize Ourselves 

After Market Service Day, we have taken time to reflect upon all of our learning throughout both Sharing the Planet and How We Organize Ourselves–specifically, the connections made between the two. Reflections have been done in a blog post and through a mind map which will be shared through a screencast next week.

Math

This week we have begun a new multiplication and division unit. We have been focusing on the mathematical vocabulary relating to multiplication, using varying tools to represent thinking, and begun problem solving using multiplication. Students are being encouraged to use open arrays and see the connection between multiplication facts.

Literacy

Readers’ Theatre continues to be a highlight this week! Beyond our theatre productions, students have been finding digraphs within words after first feeling the phonemes.

Something to Try at Home

Go on a “digraph hunt” while reading together! While students haven’t memorized them, it might be an opportunity to discuss them with your child and feel the phonemes of a word together. Questions welcome!

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out should you have additional questions. 

Warmly, 

Ms. Maggie

mmagowan2@unishanoi.org

January 10, 2010

Dear Families,

Happy New Year! 2020 is off and running with Market Service Day just around the corner. Market Service Day is on Tuesday, January 14th from 10:45-12:00. Students have been working incredibly hard on creating a small service or business for Market Service Day and we greatly appreciate your support. 

Today groups will be coming home with their business loan money. Parents should be expecting students to ask to get together with their business partners over the weekend to shop and make their product so that it is ready for Tuesday. Students are aware that they need to keep any and all receipts for the business office, but your help to remind them would be appreciated.  Also, please be prepared to offer up some supervision if required in the kitchen (heat, knives…..). Should anything come up over the weekend, please feel free to e-mail me as I will be checking my e-mails just in case.

For the next month we are fortunate to have an amazing student-teacher in our classroom. Below is a message from her:

I am Elia Fricano, a student teacher from the United States excited to be joining the UNIS community! I went to the International School in Washington DC while growing up and developed a great appreciation for being in a multicultural environment. After learning Spanish from age 3 I furthered my education at a university in Spain and I am now in Hanoi to have classroom experience.  I will be here till the end of February in Grade 4 but I am looking forward to being involved in as many classes and events throughout the school. 

Warmly, 

Ms. Maggie

mmagowan2@unishanoi.org

December 13, 2019

Dear Families,

It’s hard to believe that our December break is already upon us! May the next three weeks bring peace and relaxation. 

Explorations This Week

UOI: How We Organize Ourselves 

All student social enterprise business proposals have been approved! This means that after the break, social enterprise groups will be given money from the school to purchase what they need from local shops. On Wednesday, 4 high school service groups came to speak to students about their groups and ways they might support them with market service day funds.

Math

This week students learned a new math game that could easily be played on your holiday–Zero or Bust. Players start at 1,000 have to roll a dice 7 times (alternating turns) and show thinking on a number line. Each roll of the die could be either considered a ones place value or tens place value. For example, if a player rolls a 2 then the player can choose to play a 2 or 20. The goal is to be the person closest to zero. Players should show their thinking on an empty number line.

Literacy

Students this week did a persuasive writing assessment, for progress monitoring, trying to persuade someone for or against the school day needing to be shorter. When reviewing their writing, it has been incredible to see such growth.

Something to Try at Home

Have a wonderful holiday together. I look forward to hearing all the stories once we return!

Warmly, 

Ms. Maggie

mmagowan2@unishanoi.org

December 6, 2019

Dear Families,

I hope you all enjoy this last weekend before the break! Students have decided to organize a holiday party for next Friday. It will be the last 30 minutes of the day with DIY crafts, Secret Santa reveals (should they choose to participate), karaoke, and a movie. Phew! Seems like a lot to fit in 30 minutes if you ask me, but they seem to have a plan! 

Explorations This Week

UOI: How We Organize Ourselves

Your children are well into their planning for Market Service Day, coming on January 14th. This week they’ve been learning about market forces such as supply, demand, and how costs and expenses influence price. We even Skyped with my father, Dave Lewis, a former data marketing executive. Surveys are being created in order to assess demand and figure out which products will work best. All of this while keeping in mind their greater purpose – to raise funds for donation to local nonprofits. Early next week, each team will be submitting a business plan for approval and will begin creating products or refining services to offer on Market Service Day. Please be sure to check in with your child about his or her group’s progress, and look for ways to support your child as this important project moves forward.

Math

Students have been analyzing mathematical thinking on the basis of being a “Novice, Apprentice, Practitioner or Expert.” These areas might differ for different categories. Based upon this work, students went back to their own work to analyze and then revise thinking. 

Literacy

Students have been using RazKids in class alongside physical books. This is a great site that can be used over the holidays! Persuasive writing has been focusing on learning how to write powerful conclusions with specific vocabulary to draw readers in.

Something to Try at Home

Having discussions where your child tries to persuade you to do something. Encourage them to use the vocabulary learned in class! An effective persuasion would include the OREO model(as mentioned in last week’s post). 

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out should you have additional questions. 

Warmly, 

Ms. Maggie

mmagowan2@unishanoi.org

November 29, 2019

 

Dear Families,

Yesterday was American Thanksgiving. It is a time we pause to share gratitude for things in life. With that, I want to thank each of you for your support this year. From your child’s smiles each morning to the learning conversations at home, I feel grateful to be a piece of your child’s learning this year. 

Please see the important message below from the grade 4 team. It was also sent home yesterday as a printed letter.

You may have heard the buzz from your child that Market Service Day is approaching. Market Service Day is one of the highlights of grade 4 and for our ES community. Through Market Service Day, students raise money to donate to an organization that links closely with the Children’s Rights they feel most passionate about.

January 14, 2020, is the day!

We will need your support with this project over the next couple of weeks. Here is a rough outline of the happenings:

December 2-7 is a focus on business, looking at profit, market forces, supply and demand, and unique selling points. Students will be looking at the Child Rights they are passionate about and groups will be formed during this time.

December 9-14 is a focus on writing up their business plan, looking at costs, and applying for their loan. Before we head out on the winter holiday students must have their plans finalized with teacher approval.

January 6-10 is finalizing their product or service for Market Service Day, creating a slide/poster for the advertising campaigns and checking equipment needs. There is a very high chance that the weekend of January 11 and 12 groups will want to get together and work on their plans/product/shopping.

Explorations This Week

  • Formatting persuasive writing paragraphs using the OREO template (state your opinion, give a reason, provide an example, restate your opinion)
  • Two guest speakers to provoke thinking for our new unit of inquiry. One speaker from KOTO (Amelia’s mom in 4B) and one speaker from Cousins Restaurant (Mia’s dad). We learned the difference between a social enterprise and a business–both sharing the message related to our central idea: organizations consider purpose and market forces when creating goods and services.
  • Representing mathematical strategies on the number line.

Something to Try at Home

  • Each morning and afternoon we have gratitude circles. Perhaps try one out together as a family!

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out should you have additional questions. 

Warmly, 

Ms. Maggie

mmagowan2@unishanoi.org

November 22, 2019

Dear Families, 

It was wonderful to have many of you in the classroom on Tuesday. Please know, you are welcome to come in at any time.

Explorations This Week

  • We learned a new math game! Leap Frog focuses on effectively communicating mathematical thinking and for another to expressing our thinking in a number line model. Below are the game materials if you wish to play at home! Leap Frog
  • This week we looked at schools around the world and with a Visible Thinking Routine created plans to answer the question “How might we make schools more equitable?” 
  • Our unit of inquiry focus this week was on circumstances. This video prompted discussions and how circumstances might quickly change. We played a circumstances game in which students connected privileges, chances, opportunities to circumstances.
  • We continue to work on our persuasive writing. In varying small groups students developed vocabulary to effectively communicate an argument.

Something to Try at Home

  • Home language is critical to develop understanding. It would be very valuable to your child’s development to translate these unit of inquiry words into a home language: opportunity, privilege, circumstance, chance, equity, inequity, accessibility. 

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out should you have additional questions. 

Warmly, 

Ms. Maggie

mmagowan2@unishanoi.org

 

November 15

Dear Families,

Important Information

  • Open Classrooms is on Tuesday–our entire day will be open for you to come in and learn alongside us. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

Explorations This Week

 

  • This past week was World Kindness Day! As the mantra in our class is to “have courage and be kind,” we have been having daily discussions on how to be kind to ourselves and others. Students have been given bingo boards to develop awareness about the frequency and how they are showing kindness. This is being supported by daily gratitude circles in the morning and afternoon. 
  • As a major focus for our unit of inquiry is the key concept of responsibility, gratitude circles are a way to developing empathy. This site has been a major driver this week with students thinking about children’s rights and seeing the impact of rights being denied or granted on a child’s life. Next week your child will be creating a plan for him or herself to more deeply understand a child’s perspective that is different from his or her own. Perspective taking might lead to your child wanting to deny him or herself a certain right.  I’m curious to see where your children will lead themselves in this part of the inquiry. 
  • Continuing our understanding of relationships in the number system, we have been counting and bundling into 10s and 100s a giant collection of popsicle sticks in our classroom. These will be used as math tools in a variety of ways– estimation, magnitude of numbers, addition, subtraction and so on!
  • We are in the process of setting new goals. I appreciate you patience with this process. As it requires me to meet individually with each student for about 10 minutes, we are not quite done yet.
  • We had two guest speakers this week, Ms. Sharon Kane and Ms. Simone Vis, who discussed children’s rights and how their organizations support the fulfillment in Vietnam.

 

Something to Try at Home

  • Access to opportunities is a major part of our unit of inquiry. Students have been very curious about other children’s experiences around this world. This could be a great link to your home country. 

Warmly, 

Ms. Maggie

mmagowan2@unishanoi.org

November 8, 2019

Dear Families, 

Important Information

  • No school on Monday-Professional Development Day for teachers.
  • If your child is in Youth Soccer, he or she will be traveling to St. Paul’s on Tuesday. Please make sure she or he has a packed lunch and understands his or her transportation situation after the event.
  • On Saturday November 16th UNIS service learning has organized a visit to the Blue Dragon Garden. It is an optional activity for community members wanting to learn more. If there are 15 people, then the trip will happen with a bus organized to and from school. If you would like more information please email EC Counselor Kris Bezzerides kbezzerides@unishanoi.org     WELCOME TO DRAGON VALLEY
  • Auditions for the Grade 4 and 5 Musical, Annie are coming up! Audition sign ups start Wednesday, November 13th.

Explorations This Week

Our Week in Pictures November 4-8

  • As we explored the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child, this led us to inquire about how children’s rights might be met or denied around the world. We used Padlet as a tool to share thoughts and deepen thinking. Check it out.
  • We began thinking about “Thick” and “Thin” questions relating to problem solving in math. Students then went on to write their own questions to then pursue during a problem solving station.
  • Mr. Clark came in to teach us more about effectively using iMovie as a tool to share our thought process. 
  • Our book clubs about Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes have come to an end. New book conversation groups will begin next week with varying titles.

Something to Try at Home

  • We will begin reflecting upon our first round of goals on Tuesday. Students will then begin setting new goals that will extend to December break. While these are student directed, if you would like me to help nudge your child to continue his or her goal or if you think a certain goal is pertinent, please let me know. 

Warmly, 

Ms. Maggie

mmagowan2@unishanoi.org

November 1, 2019

Dear Families, 

Grade 4 Teachers are reaching out to you because we are hoping you or someone from your organization might support the learning of the Grade 4 students during this current unit of inquiry –into children’s rights with a particular focus on access to opportunities, the responsibility of the community and circumstances that impact children’s rights. It would be fantastic if we could also highlight SDG work in connection with children’s rights.

If you or someone you know would be able to support us by presenting and working with our students, please email me and/or fill out this form as soon as possible.

4A Important Information

  • This is just a friendly reminder that students should be reading nightly for at least 30 minutes in English or home language.

Explorations This Week

  • Tuesday’s provocation sparked powerful student reactions and reflections about the importance of equity for children. This has naturally led to conversations about childhood as a whole and students sharing personal experiences.
  • Students continued to develop self-management and communication skills within their book clubs.
  • A new math game, Close to 1,000, is beginning to be introduced where students model thinking on a number line along with practicing addition and subtraction. Here is a link if you would like to play at home with a deck of cards.
  • We have begun a new expository writing unit focusing on persuasion.

Something to Try at Home

  • In connection with our unit of inquiry, Dollar Street, is a fascinating peek into homes around the world. This site might led to conversations at home that connect to our unit’s key concepts of causation (why is it like it is?) and perspective (what are the points of view?)

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out should you have additional questions. 

Warmly, 

Ms. Maggie