4C: Wearing our Geologist Caps

4C Families and Friends,

Once again this week, we donned our geologist caps and continued our inquiry into How the World Works. We investigated the concept of change by simulating rocks wearing down over time – with sugar cubes!


Shakin’ it up to model erosion (please turn down your volume) 😉

On Thursday we asked the question, “Why do beaches have sand?” Please be sure to ask your young scientist about this – we found out some fascinating reasons behind our many sandy beaches around the world.

We also paid a visit our buddies to share some fantastic books together:


Math Games: 24

We asked your scholars whether they had a chance to play 24 and many kids had not. Please take a few minutes this weekend to tackle these puzzlers with your mathematician! Here are 9 different cards for you to try. Zoom in on the photo to choose which card to ponder.

If you’re really keen, see if you can land on solutions to all the cards!



Seesaw – If you haven’t signed up for Seesaw, please do so via this link:


Conferences Monday – No School

We look forward to seeing you at 3-Way Conferences on Monday. Please be punctual as we have only 15 minutes and it will fly by quickly! Remember that the purpose of conferences is a quick snapshot of your child’s progress, a chance to reflect together over a couple work samples, and to land on a goal that your child can strive for. Please let me know if you’d like a more in-depth meeting outside of conference time and I’d be most happy to sit down at your convenience.

If you haven’t yet signed up for a time via the email link, please do so today.


Darren and Team

4C: Connecting the Brain and Body

4C Families and Friends,

It’s been a spectacular week for 4C, we’ve gotten a bit muddy and worked as a team to connect the brain and body. Here’s a recap:

PE: Getting muddy!


In PE on Monday, Mr. Matt, Ms. Shannon, and Mr. Pho had 4C students deal with water in a wide range of fun (and messy) activities. They came back from PE a bit wet but full of laughter and enthusiasm!

Mathematical Thinking and Fun

Your kids have a challenge for you. How many bricks make up the structure above? Explain your reasoning to your child, and see if he or she agrees / disagrees / wants to challenge your thoughts. Feel free to prove your thinking using a model.

We’ve also been continuing our inquiry into What Mathematicians Do. This week we learned the game 24, and your kids have some home learning to play this game together with you 

Here are 9 different cards for you to try. Zoom in on the photo to choose which card to ponder.

If you’re really keen, see if you can land on solutions to all the cards!


Vocabulary Strategies for Brain and Body

Here’s a look at one of our Dancing Definitions for How the World Works!

We discovered the power of Sketchnoting, a visual notetaking strategy connecting the brain and the body:


The Amazing Ms. Thao

Finally, some gratitude for Ms. Thao. She has been a superstar, jumping in and leading the class on days when I’ve been engaged with Professional learning around Maths and Literacy. She has demonstrated her flexibility, grit, and excellence in instruction. She’s also helped so much in my transition to UNIS and I wanted to express some public gratitude for all her support. We’re so lucky to have her as part of our teaching team!

Welcome to 4C!


4C Families and Friends,

What a fantastic three days we’ve had getting to know each other – it’s already shaping up to be an amazing year of learning together.

Just checking in here with a few notes to open the year. This is our preferred means of communication, so please circle back to this blog on a weekly basis.If you have any other general inquiries, please be sure to contact me at dradu@unishanoi.org.

In 4C This Week:

Building Community

This joyful group of scholars has gotten to know one another through art, dance, and play.


  • watched the traditional opening of the school year, including the Dragon Dance
  • Had a snowball fight to cool off!
  • Took charge of our classroom library and organized our books, just the way we want them
  • Puzzled and inquired into patterns and our world






Your children are currently demonstrating agency by brainstorming and refining our community agreements. Next week we’ll be finalizing a Class Charter around (among other things) being principled, caring, open-minded learners. We learned about a growth mindset by watching a baby learning to walk and considered how it might benefit us as learners. We practiced mindfulness, and expressed gratitude to one another for making our class feel special already.

 Unit of Inquiry: How We Express Ourselves

As part of our first Unit of Inquiry, please help your child bring in 3 small artifacts that express something significant about your home and your family’s culture. A key question informing our inquiry into each other is “What is important to me?” We’ll create a mini museum of our class, so be on the lookout as you swing by 4C. We’ll also be sharing these artifacts with one another during our opening and closing Peace Meetings.


4C Scholars will be digging into some Inspirational Math next week, incorporating a growth mindset and puzzling into our work with numbers large and small. We’ll (continue to) build and refine our lives as readers together, and launch an investigation into imaginative writing.

Readers Workshop: In Readers Workshop, we’ll be talking about the importance of authoring a reading life. Our goal is for students to truly ‘run the show’ as they expand their reading horizons. We’d like kids to aim for a minimum of 75 minutes reading per day between school and home. We’ll periodically send home Reading Logs in order to research and improve our habits as readers.

 Class Wish List: Plants

If you have a small houseplant or two that you are no longer in need of and would be willing to share with us, we’d love to add more green to the room and make use of those ‘natural’ air purifiers.

We’re so grateful to be able to learn together with your children this year. If you have any questions or feedback, please drop us a line. And, our classroom is always open for you to drop by and see what’s happening!

So grateful in advance for all your support,

Mr. Darren and Ms. Thao

fall seven times, get up eight