Week of June 1st

Oh the end of the year is here….We visited grade 5 today for our Move Up Day, of course we still don’t know which class or who will be in our class but we know our teachers will do their best. Grade 5 looks to be quite a challenge, but one we are up for!

Next week is our final week and here is the plan:

Monday is a normal week B, the only difference is we will watch the Grade 5 students cross the bridge over to the Middle School (It’ll be us next year!) Tuesday is still normal but we have a leavers assembly via Zoom. Wednesday will be our last day with our class celebration taking place as well. We are hoping that you can send in a snack to share, students have also requested to watch a movie, have a dance party, and wear their pajamas! We will also get our yearbooks on Wednesday. The day ends at 12:00, and that is a wrap.

What a wild year it has been, but a great one, an interesting one.

Week of May 25

Drawing, dancing, coloring and creating were in store for us each morning during the Arts Week at UNIS. And the creativity didn’t stop there. Our grade 4 students have been extremely busy focusing on How We Express Ourselves, throughout everything they have been doing this week. They have been writing and performing poetry, learning new skills using digital technology, using those new technology skills to help make a performance of their Readers Theater even that much more exciting, and finding out how shapes express themselves and how they have identifiable properties. There is a flurry of activity taking place in the grade 4 wing of the campus.

A couple of quick reminders to have a chat with your child about:


  • Why we have to wear masks at school and perhaps provide them with a few extra as they get pretty sweaty throughout the day
  • Appropriate use of language as we have some students who are using language their grandparents wouldn’t want to hear
  • Hydration and how our bodies need water to thrive and survive- some of our students are thinking they are camels but even camels need water 
  • The importance of being kind to others, everyone is doing their best right now, and we know we all get hot and tired and grumpy but being kind is essential


We are talking to the students about the above messages, however, a partnership between teachers and parents is essential for success for all.



We have integrated tech this week and produced a short recording of our favorite poems written last week. We used the maker space to record on the green screen and a workshop showed us how to use a green screen APP to produce the final piece. Check it out on SeeSaw! A great process with skills gained for future use



This week we have begun to dig deeper into an investigation into shapes. We have been making connections between language and history and the precise language used to describe shapes geometrically.

How would you sort these shapes? What are their properties? What precise vocabulary would you use to describe them?

Unit of Inquiry:

This week we continue to ‘express ourselves’ with stop motion animation and custom audio design.  Students have learned advanced techniques for recording motion capture using a variety of readily available objects (i.e. clay, erasers, staplers, pencils…you name it!).  Stop motion recordings are then imported into iMovie for creating custom sound effects and character voices, bringing to life those inanimate objects.  


Happy Wellness Week!

Happy Wellness Week! This past week we celebrated our UNIS community through a daily wellness workout via Zoom. We connected with our friends around the world and our school campus by doing yoga, aerobics, and fitness challenges all led by our PE Department. Celebrating Wellness Week was unique as we danced, stretched, and practiced mindfulness all the while in a mask and remaining physically distant from each other- challenging times! This next week will be Arts Week so we are looking forward to celebrating Arts in some unique ways.

Remember way back when we had our Market Service Day in Grade 4? We raised a lot of money for the various local organizations that UNIS supports. We finally got the chance to donate our money during the International Day of Giving. Here is a photo of our donations making their way to the Advancement Office.

Swimming will start this next week- check out these important reminders! The swimming unit will run from May 25th to June 9th for Grades 1-5. 

Any student that is not swimming will be participating in a physical fitness program during the PE lesson. 


There will not be any borrowing of swimming costumes, goggles, caps, or towels during this time.

Please review the UNIS Swim Guidelines below:


ES Swimming Essentials

At UNIS we have a committed and passionate group of swimming instructors keen to get every single elementary pupil to a good technical level of swimming where they can enjoy all the joys of a life in water, well after leaving school. Swimming is a life skill with numerous health benefits and obvious safety benefits.

With this in mind, we have a few expectations before lessons even take place and these are vital in ensuring pupils take ownership and responsibility which is part of the learning process. The communication of pupil-teacher-parent is therefore extremely important for the swimmer to succeed.

Swimming Costumes – Girls must wear a one-piece costume during swim lessons and boys can either wear trunks or shorts. Note that baggy shorts can inhibit the swimmer’s progress. UNIS costumes are available from ‘The Shop’, which is situated outside the gymnasium. Please label your child’s swimming costume.

Swimming Caps – These are essential for pupils with long hair for both hygiene and clearance purposes. Silicone caps provide a good fit with latex caps often being extremely tight. Cloth caps can also be a good alternative for the younger swimmers.

Goggles – Goggles can be an extremely important part of a swimmer’s experience. Good fitting goggles can promote confidence and exploration whereas ill-fitting goggles, which let water in, can have a negative effect on certain swimmers. Molded nose bridges rather than adjustable nose pieces are recommended. To test, push the goggles on the face without the strap and if they stay put then they fit well. Masks are not allowed during lessons as they affect the natural breathing process. Finally, goggles should be changed regularly as the rubber seal wears out causing leakage.

If you have any questions, please contact the Aquatics Manager.

In reading this week we worked on perfecting our fluency and phrasing as we recorded our Readers Theater. We challenged ourselves by working with our friends and remaining focused. We offered each other constructive feedback on our performances and took risks to add characterization to our oral presentations. We also mapped out our stories to see the connection between our narrative writing and Readers Theatre.

Unit of Inquiry

Last week, our narratives were based on Distance Learning, sharing our thoughts and experiences through the application of Adobe Sketch.  This week, students will tell the story of when we came back to school, using the application Adobe Spark Video.  Students will sift through various video clips of the first week back at school and compile them into a cohesive narrative.  Additionally, students will have access to stock footage and copyright free music to complete their videos.  Once published onto Seesaw, students will be given the opportunity to send their videos to our Advancement office to share with other schools around the world, schools that might be considering reopening their campuses.  


This week we have continued to look at ways to model, compare, and represent fractions through different materials. We have investigated what happens when the size of the whole has changed and have applied our learning to a real life problem of a soup seller filling orders of pho. Here is a taste of the problem solving we have done this week.

These are Cuisenaire rods.

They are a fantastic tool to use to compare fractions and develop and model the conceptual understanding of the relationship between the numerator and denominator. Ask your student questions like “If the light green rod is one half. Which rod is the whole?” or “If the orange rod is a whole, what fraction are the other rods?” Here is a link for online Cuisenaire rods. This site will give free online access through the end of June when you press “REDEEM”  and use the code CLOSURES2020SCHOOL.



We have been exploring a range of poetry, reading poems together and performing spoken word examples in class. We have dissected a selection of poems and song lyrics to discover  key parts included by authors young and old. We have  identified some different forms of poetry and have begun to write our own, finding out along the way that we are great poets! We plan to express ourselves by performing our works next week, using the green screen in the Maker space


Welcome Back!

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 and finding twelve different pentominoes. Take a look at the videos below to have a connection to our classes.

We have also been showing our understanding of the fraction concepts explored during Distance Learning.

How would you answer the following?

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.

4C: Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

Thank you for making the time to sit down with us at conferences yesterday, it was a great reminder that wonderful children come from wonderful families.

One quick note to please remember we’ll be heading to Dragon Valley on February 6th, the Thursday following break.

Warmest wishes for a healthy and happy new year. Safe travels if you’re heading out of town, and all the best to your families.

See you next year!

Darren and Team

4C: Market Service Day was a hit!

4C Families and Friends,
This is been a fantastic week, highlighted by Market Service Day on Tuesday. Your kids became true entrepreneurs, marketing products with a greater purpose in mind. The excitement of the market could be felt throughout the school. We’ve been doing some reflecting and the kids are very excited about the money raised and the difference they’ll be making in the Vietnamese community.
We’ve also begun to investigate multiplication through different models. Students are building multiplication arrays in order to understand how factors work and making connections to the area model for multiplying.
And, we spent some quality time with our buddies this week too!
Hopefully you’ve made your appointment for our conference next week. We will be welcoming you in to the classroom on Wednesday, January 22nd. Please bring your child to your conference as we will be reflecting on your report card, which will arrive to you electronically early next week.
Please take a moment to look over your child’s report together with your child, keeping in mind that learning is a process, not a race. Every child has strengths and areas of growth, and our purpose is to work as a team to support your child as a learner. We’ll treat our time together as a learning conversation.
With wishes for a restful weekend, looking forward to sitting down together next week!
Darren and Team

4C: Gratitude

4C Families and Friends,

If there is one word, one feeling, one message we all want to pass along, it is gratitude. Thank you all for helping us do the important work of learning. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and this is certainly a wonderful one.

Please check your child’s Seesaw account for a personal message as we enter break.

Also, please note that when we return from break we’ll be full-on into our preparation for Market Service Day. It will be a busy week of bringing everything together and finalizing details, so your kids will want to spend time over break thinking about and/or preparing their product or service.

In the meantime, we’re sending along wishes for a restful and restorative Winter Break, and safe travels if you’re heading out of town. We’ll look forward to seeing you and your wonderful children again soon!


Darren and Your 4C Team

4C: Word Inquiry in Action

4C Families and Friends,

Dropping in with a couple updates from 4C.

Tuesday, we spent time with Ms. Fiona Hamilton, an expert in Word Inquiry, a structural look at affixes, bases, and how words are formed. 


We shared some favorite books with our buddies Thursday.

And of course, we looked at what toothbrushes tell us about inequality. Thank you for sending in your photos, please be sure to keep an eye on Seesaw for your child’s post on tooth care from around the world.


Market Service Day is Coming

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.

Please check the blog each week for any important updates from the homeroom.

Thank you in advance for all of your support,

Darren and the Grade 4 Team