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