Week 6

Welcome 5B Community

Governance Provocation

This week has been an exciting week for students as they arrived at school each day wondering how their day would unfold. I’m sure there have been some interesting conversations going on at home about the different governing styles students have been exposed to during this week-long provocation into Governance.

Monday was based on Monarchy. 

G5 Kings and Queens were chosen using the French tradition of the Christian holy day of Epiphany (usually celebrated in January). Hidden inside a Galette des Rois (a puff pastry pie) was a little figurine called la fève. King Calum, who found it, was crowned for the day and as such was afforded all the privileges, duties and responsibilities that came with his regal status. However, his demise came when one of his kingdom’s subjects poisoned him.


Tuesday was based on Anarchy.

As students arrived to find there wasn’t a ruler, 5B descended into anarchy as students experienced what it was like to have no-one govern their day. Students found themselves lost for direction and each time they asked a question that needed a decision made they were left fending for themselves. Feedback from students suggested that they initially enjoyed this apparent freedom, but as the day unfolded, students found it frustrating and confusing as people’s attitudes and behaviours became increasingly unpredictable.

Wednesday was based on Dictatorship.

To restore order to the community, Ms. Tina installed herself as The Mighty Leader, ably supported by General’s Minh and Hieu. While order was restored and learning goals achieved with much greater efficiency, students quickly realised that this was at the expense of their own freedoms due to the combination of very strict rules and stern leadership. Students were given no voice in decision making and had their rights revoked. 

Thursday was based on Democracy.

Following a civil uprising in response to the overly strict and dictatorial regime of Ms. Tina, power was returned to the people of 5B who learned about the concept of The Majority and set about spending the day voting on all decisions. Students also took to the corridors of UNIS having designed and made placards protesting a wide range of issues, as was their democratic right. 


On Friday, students were given the choice to once again either march, this time for Climate Action, or to research the science behind Climate Change, to ensure that they were fully knowledgeable about the topic for the future. 

As we continue with this topic, students will have the chance to design and run their own system of government within the classroom, taking on more responsibilities for decision making.


In literacy next week, we plan to begin our new reading groups. Students will be split into groups according to their reading level and assigned a book based around the theme of migration (the theme of our next G5 unit). We will also be studying our new writing genre, Discussion writing, where students will learn how to consider a topic from two perspectives while using evidence and data from expert testimonials to add strength to their position. 


In maths, we will start to consider ways that we can use multiplication and division to solve increasingly complex problems using larger numbers while continuing to consolidate our understanding of place value, factors and multiples. 

Now that the beginning of year assessments is complete, we will also be taking some time next week to establish learning goals before our Learning Conferences which take place next Thursday. I very much look forward to discussing the learning that all your children have been achieving so far this year as well as considering appropriate next steps to ensure that they continue to grow.

Class Parent

The SCO needs a few more Class Parents to help coordinate parents for activities that the teachers may need help with – for example, the teacher may ask the Class Parent to help recruit volunteers to accompany kids on a field trip, or organize an end of the year party. Being a class parent is a great and fun way to get involved with the school, support your child’s teacher and connect with other parents in your child’s class. 

Please do know that SCO is there for you to support. Because we are Stronger Together!

If you’re interested in any of these roles, have any questions, and want to know more, please email sco@unishanoi.org. Thank you for considering volunteering your time this year!

Dinner Time Talk

  • Which government system was your favorite/least favorite and why?
  • Which Vietnamese festival was celebrated this week?
  • What personal item did you make during your time in the Maker Space?

Save the Date

  • Learning Conferences: October 1st
  • October Break: October 10th – 18th

The week that was


Week 5

Greetings 5B Community

5B’s Dot art on the classroom door.

This week we completed assessments for math and literacy. We have begun to review some of the data and set goals for student’s individual learning pathways. Along with academic assessments students have been reviewing and elements of PYP, such as Key Concepts and Approaches to Learning. These elements are embedded in our learning and support our understanding of how best we learn.

In Math, we have begun to identify and describe factors and multiples of whole numbers and use them to solve problems.

In reading, we are coming to the end of our class novel; Operation Frog Effect. Through the characters in this story, students have experienced how a person can make changes to improve their friendships and develop life skills such as thinking of others without judgments and making a difference in their community. 

In writing, we continue to work on revising and editing our writing. Our next genre to explore is ‘Discussions’. Students will learn the specific elements of how to write a discussion piece to view both perspectives of a topic. 5B continues to look at how words are built through ‘word inquiry sessions’ which are designed to support a student’s understanding of the English language. 

Our current UOI about ‘Identity’ is coming to a close. Students have been reviewing all the work they have created about themselves in preparation for sharing their learning. One of the most powerful elements of their journey so far has been the student’s ‘I Am From’ poems. We look forward to sharing them with you in the future.

New Students in 5B

Welcome to Andrew and his family who are new to UNIS and welcome back to Neora. 5B has only 2 more students to arrive before we can officially say we are a full class.

Dinner Time Talk

  • What tech skills are you learning in the sessions with Mr. C? 
  • What whole-school activity did you get involved with this week? (Dot Day)
  • What initiative is being celebrated internationally next week? (Peace Day)

Save the Date

  • Moon Festival: 24th September – Students are encouraged to wear an áo dài
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences: October 1st
  • October Break: October 10 – 18

The week that was

Week 4

Greetings 5B Community,

This week Grade Five have been kept very busy with the beginning of the year assessments in both reading and math. Students have coped magnificently with the extra expectations on them, working independently and respectfully while we have got these important assessments out of the way. 

In Maths, we wrapped up our place value unit and began exploring multiples with some fun multiplication activities. Next week we will begin our multiplication and factors unit in earnest by ‘identifying and describing factors and multiples of whole numbers, and use them to solve problems’.

In Literacy, students have completed their DRA reading assessments. In reading, we practiced inferring by taking notes while listening to prerecorded chapters of Operation Frog Effect. In writing, students continued to ‘add, remove, move and substitute’ our open genre writing tasks in readiness for publication. 

Next week we will begin our ‘Word Inquiry’ session. These focus on developing an understanding of how words are put together, increasing vocabulary and becoming confident spellers.

In UOI this week, we have continued to explore our identities by designing our own identity icebergs and filling them with our identity traits. Students considered all the people, places, and experiences that have gone into making them who they are and have written and videoed their ‘I am From’ poems.  

Next week, Mr. Clarke and I will be working with 5B to bring their recordings to life by teaching them key technology skills such as iMovie, voice-overs, supplementary sounds and animations. Look out for these creations as students will be posting these to their Seesaw platforms when they are finished.  

Our final task next week will be to wrap up the unit by revisiting our provocation question ‘Who Am I?’ and considering why our answers to this might have changed. 

In other news:

5B has a new student. Ila joined us on Friday and settled into our classroom routine with ease. Ila and her family are new to Vietnam and we wish them a smooth transition.

MAPS Testing

We have three MAPS tests scheduled for the grade level next week. The reading test will take place on Tuesday, Math on Wednesday, and Language on Friday. The tests play an important role in determining your child’s educational needs this year, and I encourage you to have a chat with them about taking the tests seriously. MAPS tests are designed to get progressively more difficult. Your child is not expected (nor able) to get every question correct. This is why they are encouraged to do their best, and not to worry when they are unable to answer some questions. 

Dinner Time Talk

  • What is the game of awesome?
  • What is the iAct idea you are working on?
  • Who was this week’s guest speaker in 5B (Mr Frank)

Save the Date

  • Reading MAP: Tuesday September 15
  • Dot Day: Tuesday September 15 – Wear something dotty
  • Math MAP: Wednesday September 16
  • Language MAP: Friday September 18
  • October Break: October 10 – 18

Week 3 – Short Week

Greetings 5B Community,

As we draw an end to our third week together, it is great to reflect on another busy, hard-working and varied week for Grade 5. The highlight for many students was the “teacher passion” rotations, where students spent one period each day learning specific skills from different teachers. These special classes included art, music, chess, cooking, drama and macrame. 


Now that students have learned more about their teacher’s identities, they are expected to research their own identities. Students have been considering what makes up their own personal identity and have started to consider all the factors that make them unique. Next week, we will consider which of these traits are more or less visible by using the Iceberg model. Later in the unit, students will be encouraged to interview their family members to gain insight into their own culture and ancestry.


During reading time, Operation Frog Effect has continued to entertain us with social drama in a 5th-grade classroom. This week, we practiced making inferences. Next week, the focus will be on writing emotional responses to the text.

During writing times, students continued to write in their genre of choice, and now they are learning to revise their writing by adding well-defined nouns, adjectives, conjunctions and prepositions.


In math, students started to make sense of place value by playing Battle Royale and Number Battleships. Reading numbers into the millions correctly helps develop an understanding or how much more or less each place value is. 

Dinnertime Discussion Questions:

  • What do you value (types of books, music, etc) and why?
  • Which teacher passion rotations did you go to? How were each of them different?
  • Who is the person that supports your dreams?

The week that was:

Week 2

Welcome 5B Community

Our routines, expectations and essential agreements are now in place. I have witnessed students supporting each other, cheering each other on and having fun, while they learn. I am very proud of the way 5B students have come together as a community. We are waiting on 5 more students to join us, so until then, we will keep growing and developing our attitudes to learning and PYP profiles.


5B has begun to look at how our identities are influenced and how we share and express our identity. This week we have begun work on our own ‘I am From’ poems which will be filmed and presented on student Seesaw platforms at the end of next week.  Next week we begin to look at how music, fashion and language have influenced our understanding of identity. 

“Nothing of me is original.

I am the combined effort 

of everyone I’ve ever known”


Chuck Palahniuk

Exploring Maths 


Students have been taking part in a wide variety of activities and games that focus their attention on six key mathematical norms:

Students have started to review their understanding of place value by playing the game Place Value Yahtzee. Next week, we will start to consider the relationship between different place values and how we can use this knowledge to help us make flexible calculations with increasingly complex numbers. 

Objectives for Reading:

We continue to follow the lives of the students in Ms. Graham’s class in our class novel “Operation Frog Effect”. Students have been using different reading skills such as questioning, making predictions, visualising and making connections to other texts and the real-world to enhance their understanding of the story. 

Objectives for Writing:

Students are continuing to experiment with a variety of genres and topics to write about. We discussed the difference between revision and editing and how both are important parts of the writing process. Next week, we will continue to look at how different authors add to, delete from, move and change parts of their writing as they revise in order to make it better before having a go with our own writing.

Student Council Representative

Congratulations to Alice Choi for being voted to represent 5B this year.

Back to School Night

Thank you for joining the Virtual Back to School Night. It was a pleasure to meet you all and share our intended outline for this year. A reminder that you can always drop me a line if you need clarifications. I will always contact you if I have any concerns regarding your child. We are in this together!

For those of you who missed this thrilling event, you can see a snippet of what was talked about here

A Book To Share – We don’t eat our classmates

Typing Practice

If your child would like to practice their typing skills at home, they have an account to a site called Typing.Com

Save the Dates

  • Vietnamese National Day 2 September
  • School Photos Monday 7th September
  • ASA and Youth Sport Sign up opened on the 26th August – sign your child up if you haven’t already.

The Week that Was:

Posted in 5B

Week 1

Welcome to 5B’s first Blog of the year

We have had a wonderful time this week getting to know each other by engaging in team-building activities, developing routines that allow us to work safely and productively and diving into our first units of study. I feel very privileged to be working with your children.

This blog is the main form of communication between 5B and home. Each week I will post a brief overview of what we have done during the week as well as a preview of what to expect the following week. Reminders of important dates to save will be posted and updated. I add dinner time talk questions which are a great way to engage in conversations with your child about school.

Additionally, I like to post photos of 5B students hard at work and your feedback via the comments section below each post is valued and appreciated.

Tin Tuc Weekly News

Our primary communication platform at UNIS Hanoi is the Tin Tuc weekly email.  Every Friday afternoon, you will receive Tin Tuc in your inbox, which contains information that is curated specially for you.  The Tin Tuc weekly news will contain links to news and blogs from the following: 

  • Your child’s homeroom and specialist blogs.  If you have more than one child, you will receive ONE email, with news from each of your child’s teachers. 
  • Your child’s school division (Elementary, Middle or High school)
  • Whole school news 

If you do not receive Tin Tuc this week, please send an email directly to tintuc@unishanoi.org  

Special Acknowledgement

Alice has earned a High Honors award based on her performance on the Center for Talented Youth assessment this past year. Congratulations Alice. You can read more in this week’s Tin Tuc.

 SeeSaw – The student platform

Again this year students will be using ‘Seesaw’ to share and communicate with families! I have sent home an invitation with your child for those parents who are new to Seesaw.

5B students will share their learning by posting to Seesaw. There will be times when I also submit an activity for your child to complete at home. 

In order for your child to access their Seesaw platform, they need to log in to their google drive and click on the bookmark they set up today. 

Please note; only people who are invited to view will see posts created by your child. It is a great way for other members of your child’s extended family to share in what they are up to at school. So sign up the Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles!

Please Sign Up Now

  1. Click on this link here
  2. Choose your child from the list
  3. Create your account

Once I approve your invite, you can see content from your child’s posts. After you sign up, download the free Seesaw Family app and sign in. You can also access Seesaw from a computer at https://app.seesaw.me 

Housekeeping Hints

The following are a few reminders to ensure your child is able to participate fully in class.

Each day students should bring.  

  • A mask with their name clearly attached. 
  • A hat to enjoy outside play. 
  • A reusable water bottle. 
  • A healthy snack for our morning recess.
  • Personal headphones (a mic is optional, but important for clear recording). 
  • A pencil case.

For those of you whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, I look forward to meeting you, via Zoom, at our ‘Virtual Back-to-School Night’ on the evening of August 27th. You can also drop me an email at the following address tcarew@unishanoi.org

Please note; I do not answer emails while I’m teaching, so if it is important, please contact the ES office.

Save the Date:

Thursday 27th August – Zoom 

Dinner Time Talk

  1. What games did 5B play this week to develop team spirit?
  2. What interesting facts did you learn about your G5 teachers during our first week?
  3. What is the difference between Classroom rules and Class Agreements?

This week in 5B



Posted in 5B