Week 13

Let me begin by thanking all the parents who made it to our Open Classrooms this week. It was exciting to have your presence in the room. I hope that this opportunity has given you a better understanding of the learning engagements that take place both at UNIS, and within 5D.

In UOI this week, we continued our examination of the first line of inquiry ‘Electrical energy that is transferred, transformed and controlled’ by building and manipulating circuits. In the classroom, students were engaging with circuit games and exploration. In the Maker Space, Ms. Michelle has had the class designing their own electronic inventions using ‘Little Bits’. Next week, the class will take a closer look at our second line of inquiry ‘Electrical Energy Options’.

In Literacy, we completed The Breadwinner, shared in interviewing the characters, competed a Literature Circle Role and discussed how books could be Windows and Mirrors. Students also wrote a final narrative and I will share these assessments with them next week. Next week, we will examine non-fiction texts by skimming and scanning for key information. 

In Math, students have been solving questions related to the burning of calories through exercise. This required them to read and analyse data in tables, whilst working with area models and number lines to better organize their mathematical thinking. Next week we will take a closer look at fractions.

Dinner Time Talk
What items do you need to make a simple electronic circuit?
Can you show me how an area model works?
How can books be windows and mirrors?

Save the Date
Friday, December 30th – UN day

Week 12

Open Classrooms
5D would like to extend an invitation to visit our class at the following times.
Thursday 15th of November – 2:00 until 3:00 pm – Unit of Inquiry
Friday 16th of November – 10:30 until 11:10 pm – Mathematics (you may like to join your child for lunch afterward)

Students are also in specialist classes those days. Feel free to join them in these lessons as well.
Thursday 15th of November –  9:25 until 10:05 – Art
Thursday 15th of November – 12:50 until 1:30  – World Language
Friday 16th of November – 8:40 – 9:25 – PE
Friday 16th of November – 1:45 until 2:30 – World Language

This week students embarked on their new UOI – How the World Works

An inquiry into

  • electrical energy that is transferred, transformed and controlled (form, function)
  • electrical energy options (causation)
  • energy consumption choices that affect the environment and society (causation)

Students arrived at school Monday morning to find the power had been shut off to G5 classrooms. The morning was spent making group decisions on how we could accumulate through exercise watts to spend later that day. Specialist classes such as PE, Art, and Music all contributed to the calorie burn by giving students a number of calories per effort in their class. After last recess, the power was turned back on and students had to calculate the number of watts they had as a combined G5 group and how they would spend the minutes of watts. Students chose to turn on one air conditioner, two ceiling fans and use a laptop and projector to watch ‘Billions in Change’ about clean energy inventions.

G5 teachers are calling for parents or associates of parents that would be willing to be a guest speaker about renewable energy – the idea is to give students a wider understanding of what is happening around the world through action currently being taken here in Vietnam (or elsewhere). If you would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact me.

In Math, we have been using tools to show our thinking in both addition and subtraction and multiplication. Work this week involved looking at number lines and area models as ways to represent equations. You can find an area model on their Seesaw post. Students then combined these to calculate calories in food and subtract activities that would reduce these.

As our unit changes so do does our literacy focus. We used this week to finish off narrative writing with a focus on spacing and dialogue. All that we have been learning will be showcased in our narrative post-assessment as students are able to compare their first narrative with their last of the unit. It is amazing the growth they showcase. We are almost complete our Guided Reading novel, The Breadwinner and our class read aloud Refugee. It is interesting to see the connections the students are making. We will move into nonfiction reading and writing next week.

Finally, we participated in Outdoor Classrooms with our Grade 1 Buddies. What a great morning to explore electricity and just engage with our surroundings.


Dinner time talk

  • What is energy?
  • How are calories and physical activity related?
  • What are you currently doing for i-Act time?
  • What did you do with your G1 buddy this week?
  • How were Josef and Mahmoud connected in Refugee?

Save the Dates and Reminders:
Thursday, November 15th-16th – ES Open Classrooms
Friday, November 30th – UN day

Week 11

A successful morning for students was had on Tuesday morning with the culmination of student learning. Many thanks to all who attended and made this event a meaningful product of students efforts. We were so proud of all the stories that were told and the manner in which they were shared. Well done Grade 5.

Our next unit is How the World Works
An inquiry into

  • electrical energy that is transferred, transformed and controlled (form, function)
  • electrical energy options (causation)
  • energy consumption choices that affect the environment and society (causation)

G5 will return to school on Monday to find they have no power in the classrooms. The provocation for students to kick this unit off will comprise of students earning points calculated on the calories they earn throughout the day. They will then come together as a class and calculate the number of calories earned in exchange for wattage. Then students will decide what electrical items they want or need to complete the rest of the day’s assignments.

As we work to make an impact on the students, please note that students who purchase their lunches at school will only have access to the salad bar. No meals prepared with electricity will be allocated to them on Monday (so no hot meals). If you have any concerns about this initiative please contact your child’s teacher.

Something to think about; If you or your company use sustainable energy solutions, we would like to hear about them. Please contact your child’s teacher or attach a comment to this weeks blog post.

Week 10 – October 22 – 26

We began the week with a field trip to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, where students gained perspective on the idea of beauty and the plight of the Vietnamese women who regularly migrate from rural areas to work as street vendors in the city. As one student said, “the experience gave me empathy.” Sincere gratitude to Lara Center, David’s mom, for organizing the trip.

For their unit of inquiry, students practiced their impersonations of a migrant for the migration museum next Tuesday. In math, students gathered and analyzed data related to their migrant. Working on their writing skills, students shared, critiqued and revised the narratives that they wrote last week. To improve their reading skills, students read and shared their thoughts about study novels in small groups. We expanded this reading into Literature Circle roles, building familiarity for when we break into smaller groups.


Dinner Discussions:
Where are all the migrants in Refugee headed?
What does it mean to be a Breadwinner?
How many ways can we group 40 students?
What is the next step or an area to work on for you in your narrative writing?

Save the Dates and Reminders:
Monday October 29th – All Grade 5 homerooms snack sale items needed
Wednesday October 31st – Dress Up Day
Thursday November 1st-2nd – Faculty/Staff Professional Development Day (No School or ASAs for ES)
Thursday November 15th-16th – ES Open Classrooms
Friday December 7th – UN day


“In mathematics the art of proposing a question must be held of higher value than solving it.” – Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor

Week 8: October 1 – 5

A short, but eventful, week back after a wonderful week away!

Thank you for coming in to spend time sharing in your child’s learning journey this week, it was great to see so many of you. I will send along our shared goal form over the next week. Please continue the conversation with your child, as I have done here at school.

Migration continues to be our focus in Unit of Inquiry. Please look to your child’s Seesaw post from September 12 and again from this week to see how their understanding of migration continues to deepen. The students are now beginning to make decisions about what migrant story they would like to tell. Students made this decision after carefully considering causation, perspective, and change. This migration story will be presented by celebrating all disciplines at a migration showcase on October 30. Please stay tuned for a formal invitation.

In Math, we continued to examine factors. We have been using factors to investigate area and reasonable solutions to problems. We are extending these understandings into the reciprocity of multiplication and division. When we return from the break this look at factors and area will be applied to use in an area model for multi-digit multiplication.

In Literacy, we reflected on our initial narratives and began writing new narratives with a goal in mind. These goals ranged from using time connectives to evoking emotion from the reader. Look for these aspects to reappear as we share our migration stories with you. Annotation also played a big part in our week, as we applied our skills from Ms. Monica to annotate book covers and make an informed decision about our next novel. Finally, in word study, we used ‘migrate’ to help us look more closely as affixes including im- and -ion and prove them to be true in other words.

Thank you to Cathy Nagakawa for taking on the role of class parent. We look forward to getting to know you and each other better this year.

We will return to school in a week’s time, enjoy this week as a family; read, relax, reconnect. Looking forward to seeing everyone safe and sound on Monday, October, 15.

Dinner Time Talk
What migrant did you choose to portray?
What artifact will you showcase in art?
How were you similar to the refugee featured in class?
What are we going to read this week?

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
C.S. Lewis

Week 6: September 17 – 21

Greetings 5D Community,

This week students continued to be exposed to migration stories from various countries. We then started a discussion on the various reasons people move from one place to another. This inquiry is linked to mapping and our knowledge of our world. Have you ever tried to draw a map of the world from memory? How many countries are you able to accurately position. We also looked at our Identity Summative Assessment after self-assessing and group feedback. These have been posted on Seesaw.

Literacy also linked to Migration this week as we plotted migration stories with a focus on orientation, rising action, and resolution. We applied this to our own writing by self-assessing narratives and rewriting our orientation to include a descriptive picture of who, when and where. Word inquiry took centre stage as 5D partnered with Ms. Kristi to look at bases and suffixes. Can a word have more than one base? How many bases can a word have?

In Math, we investigated factors and applied these to The Locker Problem. We were able to look for patterns and classify numbers as prime, square and composite. What do these types of numbers mean for us in real life? Where do you see prime numbers most often? Why are they so important for mathematicians?

Grade 5 Retreat/Camp Updates
We are asking each student to bring an English book to donate to a local school that is building an English library.

An overview of the few days is available here.

Any medications that are required at scheduled times MUST be delivered to the School Health Center.

Written instructions from the parent must include the following:
Student’s full name
Name of medications
Times to be given
Parent signature
No medication from home will be administered without the above information.

Upcoming Dates:
Wednesday, September 26th – 28th – G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)
Monday, October 1st – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)
Monday, October 8th – 12th – Autumn Break
Monday, October 29th – All Grade 5 homerooms bake sale items needed
Thursday, November 1st-2nd – Faculty/Staff Professional Development Day (No School or ASAs for ES)
Thursday, November 15th-16th – ES Open Classrooms
Friday, December 7th – UN day

Dinner Time Talk
What celebration happened at school this week?
What is the story behind the celebration – Moon Festival?
Tell me about some of the causes people migrate?
Could you explain factor captor and create a board where we could play?
What is the Rohingya crisis?

“Building friendships with people from dissimilar backgrounds and diverse perspectives will make you wiser and more creative” Rick Warren

Your help needed:
We continue to look for a class parent to support 5D. Please let me know if you are interested.
Have a migration story to share? Let me know, we would love to have you come in and share your family stories with us.


Week 5 September 10 – 14

Greetings 5D Community,

It has been an eventful week. We began the week with an identity museum to showcase our learning about our identities. 

To introduce our next unit on migration, students participated in a role-playing provocation, where the classrooms became countries and the students became migrants.

In literacy, students wrote their first narrative (story) of the year, which will be graded based on a set of criteria so that students will know their strengths and set goals to improve areas of weakness. After this pre-assessment, students learned the basic structure for stories (setting, conflict, rising action, climax, and resolution). We also explored word inquiry as we begin our study of words. We talked about why spelling is important for our community.

In math, students explored MangaHigh, a new online resource for the students. We also explored the 8 Mathematical Practices and our strengths and areas for growth in relationship to our mathematical thinking. 

Dinnertime Discussions:
How is your identity connected to migration?
What happened at the end of Wishtree?
Do you prefer the prints of whales or the Prince of Wales?

Save the Date:
Wednesday 19th September – G5 Math Coffee Morning with Ms. Beth 8:30 – 9:30 Wednesday 26th – 28th September – G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)
Thursday 27th September – EAL Coffee Morning for new families (Returning families are more than welcome to attend)
Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)
Monday 8th – 12th October – Autumn Break

Your help needed:
We continue to look for a class parent to support 5D. Please let me know if you are interested.

Week 4 September 3 – 7

Dear 5D Parents,

I enjoyed meeting many of you at Back-to-School Night last night. I have attached the presentation so that you can review important dates and information regarding the curriculum, communication and how best we can support the students. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or ideas.

UOI – Identity
As we come to the end of our ‘Identity’ UOI, students are putting their knowledge to the test by crafting an item that will show who they are at this point in time. They have worked on their summative planning sheet to identify artifact ideas, parts of their identity that are most important to them and factors that have influenced their identity. We are looking forward to sharing these with other G5 students next week. You will be able to see the finished products on SeeSaw or feel free to drop by and take a look.

G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)
By now you should have received the excursion package. These are important documents that require careful reading. Please return the forms with your child as soon as possible.

Math Coffee Morning
Learn more about how Math is structured in G5 by attending a G5 Maths Coffee Morning on Wednesday, Sept 19 from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. This will be lead by Ms. Beth, our ES Math Coach.

Save the dates:
Tuesday 11th September – Parent Community Morning with Head of School – 8am
Wednesday 26th – 28th September – G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)
Thursday 27th September – EAL Coffee Morning for new families (Returning families are more than welcome to attend)
Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)
Monday 8th – 12th October – Autumn Break

Dinner Time Conversation:
What artifact did you make to represent your identity?
How well did you manage your time this week?
What’s happening in Wishtree? Who is the baby?

Week 3 – August 27 – 31

A wet but inspiring week of work together in 5D.

Ask your child what these photos have to do with math!

Continuing our self-exploration of our identities, students learned that there are parts of our identity that can’t be seen, but can be inferred. We will look more at perspective and complete a project assessment to determine how much we have learned about the topic of identity so far.

Literacy was focused on exploring poetry through reading and writing. Poetry proved to be a challenging yet interesting lens to view identity through and I was able to learn more about your children.

In Math, we continued exploring the work of Jo Boaler. The problem of four 4s helped to solidify this for the class. We recognised we need to remember some key ideas when working in math:
   Believe in yourself
   Math is visual
   It’s ok to make mistakes (in fact it is good for your brain)
   There is no such thing as a math person.
   Math is not about speed.
   Teamwork is important.

All this was done as we worked to navigate our own timetables and plan for our own learning styles. The students balanced a week of math, literacy, and unit of inquiry experiences over five days. They reflected on their own time management, sought clarification when needed and navigated good work habits. We hope to continue to allow the students choice in the coming weeks.

Enjoy your long weekend!

5D and 1D Buddies
This Thursday was the first time we met our new buddies. Students spent time getting to know each other and our likes and dislikes. We made connections to cultures and established buddies that we will work within the coming weeks. 5D and 1D will be meeting with our buddies regularly to develop and support our school values of community, learning, and responsibility.

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. There are two sessions you can attend, either 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm. We can meet to go over the year ahead and answer any questions about the G5 program. Specialist teachers are available to meet from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

Save the Date
Monday 3rd September – Vietnam National Day celebration – NO SCHOOL!
Tuesday 4th September – ASAs and Youth Sports Begin- Please inform the transport department regarding arrangements for your child if they go by bus.
Thursday 6th September – Back to School Night – 6pm
Tuesday 11th September – Parent Community Morning with Head of School – 8am
Wednesday 26th – 28th September – G5 Excursion (Camp)
Thursday 27th September – EAL Coffee Morning for new families (Returning families are more than welcome to attend)
Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)
Monday 8th – 12th October – Autumn Break

Dinner Time Talk
How is identity similar to an iceberg or a nesting doll?
What game did you play this week during the G5 community time?
What were the highlights and challenges of setting and following your own schedule this week? What would you do differently?

“Identity is something that

You are constantly earning.

It is not just who you are.

It is a process that you must be active in.

It’s not just parroting your parents or

the thoughts of your learned teachers.

It is now more than ever about understanding yourself

So you can become yourself”

Joss Whedon

Week 2 – August 20 -24

Week 2 was full of forming an identity as 5D and learning more about our individual identities.

After a provocation(an activity that begins a new unit of inquiry, promotes and stimulates thinking, and allows for connection throughout the unit) of mistaking student identities, we looked carefully at the content and inquiries framing the lesson. Each class met with each of the Grade 5 teachers exploring identity through drama, art, math, and language. We shared artifacts that are important to who we are. Can you guess what artifacts belong to each student?

In literacy, we continued to read “Wishtree” and look at the idea of tolerance, also one of our key concepts in this unit. We also sorted our bookshelf to ensure we had books that were right for us. What we didn’t have Ms. Monica, our new librarian sourced for us during our mobile library time in the morning. Writing took the form of looking at mottos, quotes, and slogans creating a quote to represent us and the year ahead. See students’ SeeSaw (link available in last week’s blog) to read your child’s creation.

Math was centered on the work of Jo Boaler out of Stanford. The week of Inspirational Math allowed students to explore misconceptions about math and build up a positive growth mindset in relation to themselves as a mathematician. Looking at patterns, Hailstone sequences, visual maths and subitizing, allowed us to explore math in many ways.

Finally, we acknowledged that classes need a set of agreements to help them work to their maximum potential. We have decided to:

Respect each other.

Take responsibility.

Have a positive attitude

Treat the class as a learning space.

Focus (on one thing at a time).

Communicate nicely with others.

Be friendly.

Read and have fun.

For more current updates throughout the week check out our twitter feed available on the blog itself or via twitter. Please leave a comment on our blog or on the student portfolios about inspiring quotes you may connect with.

This year, Tech Support is going to share the tech online forms directly to parents via Veracross. Kindly check your email and sign the following:

  • Responsible Use Agreement,  a document which explains what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.
  • Device Acceptance Form, which outlines the responsibilities to return the Devices in good condition when requested by the school.
  • Device Loss/Damage Programme (optional for parents to join)

Sign up for your child’s Seesaw platform
Sign up to @5Dadventures twitter account
Sign up for ASAs and Youth Sports
Bring in Headphones for school
Students are expected to read at home for 30 minutes each day. Students are encouraged to maintain a book at home, school and in their backpacks.

Save the Date:
Friday, August 31st is 5D’s class photo day
Thursday, September 6th is Back to School Night
Grade 5 Retreat September 26, 27, 28

Dinner Time Talk
What artifacts did other 5D students bring in?
What was written on the tree in “Wishtree”?
What advice or lessons were the math videos teaching us this week?

“Knowledge is power
Community is strength and
Positive attitude is everything”
Lance Armstrong