About Mr Brewster

My name is Daniel Brewster, and I was born and raised in Outback South Australia. I completed my undergraduate degree in Adelaide, before moving to Victoria to study teaching at the University of Melbourne. It was here that I attained the Master of Teaching degree, and began my teaching career as a full-time drama teacher. My first international role was in China where I spent three years in Shanghai teaching the PYP. After China, I lived in Kongsberg, Norway where I was in charge of Grade Six, and two very successful PYP exhibitions. Before UNIS, I taught Grade Five at Gems World Academy in Dubai for three years. This will be my first year at UNIS Hanoi. As a teacher, I place a significant emphasis on teamwork and student expression. I expect my students to give their full commitment, as I will for them.

January 23

Greetings 5D Community,

Many thanks to all the parents who made it along to our parent / teacher / student conferences yesterday. I hope that you enjoyed our time together, and learned something valuable from our conversations. 

Ms Mcgee & Ms Megan have given us the go-ahead to host our planned bake sale fundraiser on Thursday morning, February 6th. We are raising money for The Animal Rescue Cooperative, an Australian charity providing food, care and veterinary services to bushfire affected wildlife throughout Australia. If you are not into baking, don’t worry. A bakery item from a local retailer will work just fine, but please make sure that it is portioned appropriately. Please also keep in mind our school policy on single use plastic. 

In addition to our bake sale on Thursday, 5D is also making friendship bracelets. This afternoon, I have sent all students home with one large roll of black wool, and one small roll of red wool. Students have been set the challenge of making as many bracelets as possible over the Tet break. The bracelets need to be one part red and two parts black, to represent fire and black earth. There is no minimum number of bracelets, but I do hope that all students will make time and contribute to the cause. 

If you are travelling over the Tet break, safe travels, I hope you can make the most of this time with your family. 

Save the Date:

Monday, February 3: First day back at school after Tet holiday break

Wednesday, February 5th: SCO movie night

Friday, February 28th: Blue Dragon Walk-a-thon and PYPx parent information morning.

January 17, 2020

Greetings 5D Community,

This week in UOI, we’ve been busy inquiring into circuits. It’s been a very hands-on week with students building and experimenting with energy. In the Maker Space today, students have been playing video games on their very own handbuilt controllers utilising the Makey Makey kits, and some very innovative ideas.

In literacy, we kicked started our new text type with an explanation pre-assessment requiring students to describe how and why something works. We inquired further into spelling rules, with students identifying ‘replace the -e’ and ‘double the consonant’. In reading, we began an inquiry into non-fiction text types, with students identifying the key differences between fiction and non-fiction texts via a Venn diagram. On Monday, we were introduced to the Montagues & Capulets when we began reading our next Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet (no spoilers please, parents!)

In math, we began a new unit investigating fractions and decimals. We’ve spent the week reading, comparing, ordering and converting fractions and decimals. Instead of saying “point forty-seven” like most adults, we say “four-tenths and seven hundredths.” We’ve been working with number lines a lot this week, and students have learned to place decimals appropriately. Many students thought that four-tenths (.4) was less than eight-hundredths (.08). This weekend, challenge your child to a game of “Guess My Decimal” or “Guess My Fraction”, and help them to consolidate their mathematical learning.

In addition to our formal learning, 5D has been thinking hard about how to take action, to help the native animal species across Australia, who have fallen victim to the extensive bushfires. This morning we’ve had students sewing pouches for joey kangaroos, creating friendship bracelets for fundraising, chalk drawing to spread awareness, and poster making. The class has also written a letter to Ms Megan requesting a Bake Sale fundraiser next week. We are now awaiting confirmation from Ms Mcgee. I am extremely impressed by how empathetic and caring our class is fast becoming, and I can’t wait to see what they achieve during PYPx next unit.

Save the Date

Wednesday, 22nd January: Student/Parent/Teacher conferences

Thursday, 23rd January: Tet Assembly

Friday, January 24: First day of Tet holiday break

Monday, February 3: First day back at school after Tet holiday break

Wednesday, February 5th: SCO movie night

Friday, February 28th: Blue Dragon Walk-a-thon and PYPx parent information morning.


January 10

Greetings 5D Community,

I trust that you had wonderful winter holiday breaks. 

In UOI this week, we kicked off our energy unit with a power outage provocation on Monday, to get students thinking about the high value of energy. Students were tasked with earning calories through exercise. Next, we converted those calories into watt hours, in the hope of earning enough to power a range of electrical devices at school. Our class worked hard towards their goal of iPads for the afternoon, but soon realised the high cost of electricity. A decision was made to combine the watt hours across the grade level, which meant we had just enough power for a single projector and laptop to enjoy a film together (but no air conditioner).

In literacy this week, students have been hard at work completing DRA assessments. We reflected on our holiday reading in our book clubs, and put together a shared book review for the rest of the class. 

In math this week, we’ve been counting calories. Students have looked at the calorie count in some foods, and made calculations for how long it might take to burn off the calories with exercise. Over the next few weeks in math, we will focus on the following learning objectives:

  • Count by quarters halves and thirds, including with mixed numerals. Locate and represent these fractions on a number line.
  • Recognise that the place value system can be extended to tenths and hundredths. 
  • Make connections between fractions and decimal notation.
  • Compare and order common unit fractions and locate and represent them on a number line.
  • Investigate strategies to solve problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions with the same denominator.
  • Compare, order and represent decimals.

A note from our ES Math Coach

Educator Mike Flynn discusses why math is taught differently now. http://mathleadership.org/what-happened-to-math-class/

Grade 4 Market Day

When: TUESDAY 14 January 10:45-12:00

Bring: maximum of 100,000 VND to spend 

The products and services being sold will range from 10,000 VND to 50,000 VND. 

All profits will go to organizations that support Childrens’ Rights.

Save the Date

Wednesday, 22nd January: Student/Parent/Teacher conferences: The ES will host Parent, Student, Teacher Conferences from 8am-4pm. We will talk about your child’s report card, and review the goals that your child made earlier in the school year. Please note that conferences will only be held with your child. Siblings will be asked to wait outside. Meetings with specialist teachers are optional. 

Thursday, 23rd January: Tet Assembly

Friday, January 24: First day of Tet holiday break

Monday, February 3: First day back at school after Tet holiday break

Wednesday, February 5th: SCO movie night

Friday, February 28th: Blue Dragon Walk-a-thon and PYPx parent information morning.


December 13

Greetings 5D Community,

What a week! Migration Museum, ES Buddy Party, and summative assessments in math, UOI & literacy, helped us see out the last week of school before the winter break. Your children have certainly earned themselves some downtime over the next couple of weeks.

The highlight for all of us was undoubtedly the Migration Museum. Communication skills were on full display as the students embodied their characters, taking on the role of migrants. The library was filled with wonderful gestures, clear voices, facial expressions, and body language. To finish up, 5D were asked to demonstrate their research and thinking skills via Seesaw reflections.

In math, students demonstrated their ability to solve authentic problems using estimation, multiplication, and division. They also showed their ability to communicate using the claim, evidence, and reasoning model. When we return in the new year, we will begin to focus on fractions and geometry.

In literacy on Monday, Hamlet came to an exhilarating close. A lot of fun and excitement was had acting out the final moments of the play before we compared and contrasted Hamlet with Macbeth. Students continued their book club novels on Tuesday & Wednesday and wrote their own narrative stories for the end of unit summative assessment. Most book clubs have agreed to finish their novels over the break. When we return to school, we will discuss the outcome of the books and complete a final summarising task together.

On Thursday, 5D took some fantastic community action by leading the elementary school through a wonderful Holiday Buddy Party. We spent some time early in the week organising ourselves, and we are delighted with the outcome. The entire grade level performed Christmas corals on their string instruments. Ophelia enchanted us with music performed on her harp. Mr Charlie led the elementary through the singing of some Christmas corals, and we finished with some dancing. It was an excellent way to see out the calendar year together.

Happy Holidays!

Save the Date
Monday, January 6: First day back at school after Winter Break
Friday, January 24: First day of TET holiday break
Monday, February 3: First day back at school after TET holiday break


December 6

Greetings 5D Community,

This week in UOI, we’ve been super busy putting the finishing touches on our migration stories. We have placed a lot of emphasis on gestures, facial expressions, and emotions recently, with the aim of making our presentations rich and engaging for audiences. I have been delighted with the energy and focus 5D has put into their monologues. We look forward to showcasing our work at the Migration Museum on Wednesday.

In math this week, we spent some time discussing and reflecting on the patterns we found in The Locker Problem. On Thursday and Friday, we continued examining our big idea, “Finding patterns can help us make complex mathematical predictions” by inquiring into Pascals Triangle. Students have been working hard to find patterns, and then extending the pattern by making predictions based on their findings. Next week, students will practice working with the CER model (Claim, Evidence, Support) before completing a summative assessment task involving multiplication and division.

In literacy this week, we have continued our book clubs, with most students meeting their reading goals. We began mapping the narrative storyline with the planning scaffold we used to write our migration stories. We also continued building our wall of affixes by inquiring into a wide variety of words during our word inquiry lesson. Next week, we will build upon our speaking and listening skills by developing a discussion protocol to enhance conversations around the themes and characters in our book club texts.

Migration Museum

Dinner Time Talk

  • How can I help you prepare for your migration museum?
  • What is a triangular number?
  • What are the Kings plans to deal with Hamlet?

Save the Date

  • Wednesday, December 11: Migration Museum, 1-2pm
  • Friday, December 13: Last day of school before Winter Break
  • Monday, January 6: First day back at school after Winter Break
  • Friday, January 24: First day of TET holiday break
  • Monday February 3: First day back at school after TET holiday break

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