Week 3: August 26-30

Greetings 5C Families!

Now that we have formed a community, settled into our classroom routines and created essential agreements, we are upping our academic game. Please enjoy some highlights from this week’s learning. 

Unit of Inquiry
After defining identity as a variety of seen and unseen characteristics, such as culture and beliefs, students are exploring how factors, such as parents and friends, influence their identity. We will continue to explore this idea next week.

With a focus on poetry, students practiced reading with expression by altering the volume, speed and tone of their voice. They also explored the purpose of figurative language (metaphors and similes) and wrote their own identity poems using these techniques.

Students learned the importance of communicating their math thinking. After solving problems and playing simple games, they orally explained their ideas with the class and wrote short reflections on Seesaw. Next week, we will spend time modeling our thinking with visuals.

Back to School Night
I will be sharing what’s new and exciting in grade five, who your child’s teachers are and what ways you can support your child at home? I look forward to meeting you next Thursday and if for any chance you are unable to attend, I will post the slide show I use in next week’s blog. 

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 Date
Mon, 2nd September – No school – Vietnamese National Day
Tue, 3rd September – After School Activities and Youth Sports begin
Thurs, 5th September – Back to School Night (Meet the Teacher)
Wed, 11 September – ES Snack Sale
Fri, 13th September – No school for students – Professional Development Day
Wed, 25th to 27th September – G5 Overnight Excursion

Week 2: August 19-23

Greetings 5C Community!
As one student put it, this week we dug deeper into our identities. We learned that in addition to our physical appearances, we have lots of hidden cultural and character traits that distinguish and connect us to others. 

During literacy periods, we focused on poetic devices. We reviewed metaphors and wrote “I Am” poems that shared our identity through feelings. We also built up our reading stamina, reading independently and by listening to the teacher read Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper. 

During math periods, students learned that the brain grows more through mistakes and that it is important to record and communicate our thinking. To prove these points, students were challenged to use geometric shapes to create and record triangles of various sizes. While recording their work, students were introduced to the idea of algebraic notation.

Back to School Night
You should have received an email from our ES Principal, Megan Brazil with important information about our Back to School night. In a nutshell, there are two sessions you can attend. One begins at 6:00 pm and the other at 6:30 pm to meet me so I can go over the year ahead and answer any questions about the G5 program that may arise. Specialist teachers are available to meet from 6:00 pm till 7:30 pm.

Grade Five Overnight Excursion
You may have heard that G5 have a two-night, three-day excursion coming up. We will be sending more information home closer to the date. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get to know each other and develop independence, resilience and respect for the environment. We are looking forward to getting to know all the G5 students during this time.

Save the Date
Mon, 26th August –  Fri, 30 August – Individual portraits and class photos
Mon, 2nd September – No school – Vietnamese National Day
Tue, 3rd September – After School Activities and Youth Sports begin
Thurs, 5th September – Back to School Night (Meet the Teacher)
Wed, 11 September – ES Snack Sale
Fri, 13th September – No school for students – Professional Development
Wed, 25th to 27th September – G5 Overnight Excursion

Dinner Time Talk

  • What rotation activities did you participate in with the other fifth grade teachers this week?
  • What does culture mean to you?
  • What books are you reading in class? What are they about?

The Week that Was


Week 1: August 14-16

Greetings 5C Community,

Welcome to our first blog post of the year. We have had a wonderful time this week getting to know each other by engaging in community building activities and by developing routines that allow us to work safely and productively. I feel very privileged to be working with your children.

Class schedules and calendars have been sent home. For new families to 5C, the calendars mark holidays, school events, celebrations and teacher only days that take place throughout the year. It is advisable to look over the months ahead to avoid unexpected surprises.

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

Additionally, I will post photos of 5C students hard at work (see photos below).

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 especially 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. 

SeeSaw – The student platform
This year students are using ‘Seesaw’ to share and communicate with families! Your child will post to Seesaw to share their learning. Seesaw is private; only people who are invited to view will see posts created by your child. It is also a great way for other members of your child’s extended family to share in what they are up to at school.

Please Sign Up Now

  1. Click on this link: https://app.seesaw.me/s/459-796-750
  2. Choose your child from the list
  3. Create your account
  4. Once I approve you, you can see content from your child

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.

P.S. If you used Seesaw last year or have more than one child using Seesaw, follow the link above, then click the ‘Sign in’ tab at the top of the screen. You do not need to create a new account.

Housekeeping Hints

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

Each day students should bring.  

  1. A hat to enjoy outside play
  2. A reusable water bottle. I can’t stress enough the importance of hydration in this hot humid weather.
  3. Personal headphones (a mic is optional, but important for clear recording). Personal headphones reduce the risk of ear and hair issues being shared amongst students.
  4. Inform the transport office should you need to make changes to your child’s bus travel plans.
  5. A pencil case.

G5 Activities and Physical Education Requirements
Your child is a pre-teen and with this comes the responsibility of organising their needs. As the weather continues to be hot and sticky, all G5 students need to think about their hygiene requirements. Some suggestions are as follows:

  • Use an antiperspirant each day
  • Bring a change of clothes, for after lunch play on the soccer fields
  • Have a change of clothes to change into after PE lessons
  • Air shoes out over the weekends to avoid foot odor

For those of you whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, you can read a short brief, in the “About Mr Nathan” section of our class blog. Otherwise, I look forward to meeting you at our ‘Back-to-School Night’ on the evening of September 5th. You can also drop me an email at the following address nsmith@unishanoi.org. I do not answer emails while I’m teaching, so if you need a timely response, please contact the ES office.

Save the Date:
September 5th – Back to School Night

Dinner Time Talk

  1. What games did G5 play this week to develop team spirit?
  2. What is growth mindset?

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community”
– Anthony J. D’Angelo