November 29

Greetings 5D Community,

In UOI this week, we’ve been busy constructing monologues based on the narrative story planner. During Monday’s Toolbox session, we were treated to four migration stories from members of our teaching community here at UNIS. Ms Barbara from the Middle School talked to us about the history of migration in Cyprus. Mr Ole told us the story of his great grandmother, who lived as a Jew in Denmark, during the Second World War. Ms Nguyen told us about her experience moving from the Vietnamese countryside to Hanoi, and how this example of urban migration changed her life entirely. Finally, Ms Linh shared her experience of moving from Hanoi to Russia as a young child, and how she had to move around the country following her father’s postings. Next week we will put the finishing touches on the monologues before rehearsing and preparing for the Migration Museum on December 11.

In literacy this week, we began our regularly scheduled Book Club lesson (Tuesday and Thursday). The class has been split up into four groups (according to their DRA levels), and each group has established a list of essential agreements. On Thursday, the groups were given their books, and they set themselves reading goals for next week. Every student is expected to write four ‘find it’ notes, and stick them into their books to show something they have discovered, or a question they have about the reading. We have also spent some time this week building our writing skills. We explored the concept of ‘show don’t tell’ and applied descriptive language techniques within our monologues.

In math, we kicked off the week by reflecting on the division skills we’ve acquired over the past couple of weeks. Students put together a ‘how-to’ video detailing the steps involved when completing a division problem with an area model. On Tuesday, we applied our division knowledge to a Three Act math task involving spins of a fidget spinner. On Thursday and Friday, students inquired into multiples and factors by tackling the ‘Locker Problem.’

Save the Dates
Wednesday 11th December – Migration Museum
Thursday, December 12 – Winter Service Fair (5 – 7 pm)
Friday 13th December – Last day of school before Winter Break

Dinner Time Talk
What are you reading for the Book Club?
What is the locker problem, and how did you set about solving it?
Introduce us to your migration character


December 22

Greetings 5D Community,

A very special thank you to those parents who were able to attend the open classrooms on Tuesday. I hope you gained an insight into your child’s school day, and what they are learning. 

In UOI this week, students selected a migrant to study and began to research. The summative task for this unit involves writing and performing a monologue about a migration story, from the perspective of the migrant. Students will present their monologues at a ‘Migration Museum’ on December 11. Next week, students will finish up their narrative planning before writing and rehearsing their monologues. 

In math this week, 5D have been busy using the area model to help them divide three-digit numbers. Today, 5D taught 5C how to play the math game ‘Divide and Conquer’, and next week we will apply our new understandings to real-world problems, in addition to solving a three-act task. 

In literacy this week, we have continued reading and responding to migration stories. We have also continued our word inquiry by investigating and proving a range of suffixes and prefixes. Today students discovered that for bases ending with -y, the spelling changes to -i if a suffix is added (happy: happiness).

Save the Dates

Wednesday December 11 – Migration Museum

Friday December 13th – Last day of school before Winter Break. 

Dinner time talk

  • What are the five parts of a story called?
  • How can you solve division problems using an area model?
  • Which migrant have you chosen to research and present for the migration museum?

November 15

Greetings 5D Community, 

Our field trip to the Women’s Museum this morning was a major highlight of our unit so far. The grade level learned a great deal about urban migration here in Vietnam. We heard several personal stories from Vietnamese women who have made their way from small villages into Hanoi to work as street vendors. I encourage you to follow up with your children at home this weekend by asking about some of the push and pull factors related to migration. 

In UOI class, we have started recording and discussing our own migration stories. We have read books about the migration experience, and begun a list of push and pull factors related to the stories we are reading. Next week we will continue our inquiries by examining our key concepts (change & perspective) in more detail. Students will also commit to a migrant story that they will retell at the Migration Museum (Wednesday, December 11).

We kicked off math on Tuesday with a lesson on multiplication practice. Students have been given the ‘Multiplication Master’ challenge. Eager students who feel ready, are invited to recite their multiplication tables by skip counting from 1×1 to 12 x 12 in two minutes or less. Are you a multiplication master?

On Wednesday and Thursday, students were tasked with solving division problems with manipulatives. They were taught how to use an area model to solve division problems with remainders. Next week we will consolidate our understanding by practicing the skill, playing a few games, and applying the model to real-world scenarios.

In literacy this week, we have been focused on our narrative text type. Students discovered the elements of plot by sharing their versions of the Little Red Riding Hood story. We also took a look at the narrative planner by dissecting and reordering the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

On Tuesday November 19, you are invited to come into 5D for our open classroom lessons at the following times:

  •     8.30am – Math
  •     2.30pm – UOI

You are also welcome to visit the specialist teachers on this day at the following times:

  •     9.25am – World Language
  •     10.35am – Music

On Monday 18th November, we will be practicing a ‘lockdown drill’ inside the school.  This is an essential drill to practice in case there are times when it is safer to lock our students and staff inside the buildings – for examples, when there may be an intruder on campus.  

We have spent time talking with the students about this, and have practiced the procedure in class. Students are aware that this will be a practice, and we reiterate the following messages in our conversations:

  • That we should always listen to an authority figure for safety information
  • Practice means being prepared – knowing what to do keeps us as safe as possible
  • This is a ‘just-in-case’ plan – it’s like wearing a helmet when we ride our bikes. We wear helmets and knee pads when we skateboard. We don’t expect to fall, but if we do, we’ll be protected. Then we don’t have to worry. We can just ride our bikes and boards and not even think about falling, because we have the situation covered.

Save the Date

  • Monday 18th November – School Lock Down Drill
  • Tuesday 19th November – Open Classrooms
  • Wednesday 11th December – Migration Museum
  • Friday 13th December – Last day of school before winter break

Dinner Time Talk

  • How do you become a Multiplication Master in 5D?
  • What did Hamlet learn about his father when he spoke to the ghost?
  • What are some push and pull factors related to migration?


November 8

Greetings 5B Community

To kick off our migration unit on Monday, students were involved in an exciting provocation. Each classroom was set up to resemble a different country. Students had to complete a variety of tasks, ranging in complexity, in order to gain admission. For instance, 5D was ‘Ausfailya’, a developed country seeking skilled migrants only. Migrants without relevant work experience were denied entry. Instead, students had to complete a lengthy application process in order to be considered worthy of refugee status. Reflections uncovered a range of feelings such as ‘frustrated, rejected, annoyed & sad’. The remainder of the week has been spent uncovering what migration is, as we come to a shared understanding of the term. Next week we’ll look into push and pull factors and the many reasons behind migration.

In literacy this week, we began our new text type by completing a narrative pre-assessment. We have been reading and analyzing a range of stories related to migration. We spent some time in the library with Ms Monica & Ms Angela, learning about visual literacy, and literary techniques.

We also kicked off our word inquiry unit this week, with a visit from Ms Angela. We have a solid understanding of the terms affix, prefix, suffix & base. We began proving a list of prefixes and suffixes, which should help us to better understand new words from the unit, and how to spell them correctly. I’m very excited to see where our word inquiry unit will take us this year.

In math this week, we continued to investigate division by inquiring into remainders. Students were introduced to the CER (claim, evidence & reasoning) model for problem solving, and we spent some time correcting our work based on the math practices rubric. Early in the week, we also spent time practicing our multiplication skills. Student are encouraged to continue practicing their times tables at home, to improve their recall of math facts.

Our open classroom day will take place no November 19th. 5D will be open at the following times:

  • 8.30am – Math
  • 2.20pm – UOI

You are also welcome to visit the specialist teacher on this day, at the following times:

  • 9.25am – World Language
  • 10.35am – Music

Save the Date

Monday 11th November – Professional Development Day – No School

Tuesday 19th November – Open Classrooms

Friday 14th December – Last day of school before winter break

Dinner Talk Time

What is a prefix and suffix?

What are you doing for your iAct project?

How did you do on your discussion post assessment

The Week that Was

November 1

Greetings 5D Community,

This week has been a very busy and productive week in 5D. Week six of our current unit marks the end of Governance, and the beginning of our Migration unit on Monday. The class have been working hard on their summative assessments in both UOI, and Literacy.

The UOI summative assessment has had students design a system of governance for their own fictional organization. They needed to:

  1. Create an organizational flowchart to show the structure of their governing system (form)
  2. Explain and give an example of why they think their governing structure would be effective (perspective)
  3. Make a connection to the central idea: power comes with responsibility (responsibility)
  4. Communicate their understanding clearly, and use their time effectively.

To help us communicate our understanding of the unit, our technology coach Big C has spent some time working with us on screen casting with iMovie. The videos are up on Seesaw now, and I hope you have an opportunity to watch and reflect with your child on their work.

Our new Migration unit comes under the transdisciplinary theme ‘Where we are in Place and Time’ and sees us inquiring into:

  • Migration occurs for many reasons (causation)
  • How migration results in change (change)
  • Perspectives related to migration (perspective)

Expect to receive lots of questions about your family’s migration history over the next few weeks.

In literacy this week, we have been hard at work preparing for our discussion post assessment (which was completed in class today). We spent the week going over the structural elements of a discussion text, before learning about modality and testimonials. On Monday, we also began reading our second Shakespeare play for the year – Hamlet. We also made excellent use of the lovely weather (and low AQI) this week, by stepping outside for some quiet reading, and a couple of games.

In Math this week, students have been inquiring into real-world problems related to multiplication and division. Early in the week, we tackled the staple problem. Students had to use mathematics to discover how many staples are in a single strip if one box contains 210 strips and 5000 individual staples. On Thursday, students made a connection between two types of division problems by investigating groups. Next week we will inquire into the different ways we can interpret the remainder in a division problem.

Dinner Time Talk

Why is Hamlet upset?

What is a testimonial?

Discuss your families migration history

Save the Dates

Monday 11th November – Professional Development Day – No School

Tuesday 19th November – Open Classrooms

Friday 14th December – Last day of school before Winter Break