A Whole Lot of Information Leading into the Holiday

Dear Families,

Please have a read all the way through- lots of good information right up until the end:

Next week, December 10-14 grade 2 students will be exploring the different cultural celebrations that take place during December and January. We have a year-long unit of inquiry investigating what culture is, forms of cultural expression, the creation of cultural art forms, and an appreciation of various cultures. We have the wonderful opportunity to explore and learn about the different cultures in our community. Students will be experiencing different activities related to Hanukah, Christmas, New Years, Winter Solstice, etc…

As we head into the holiday I just want to share a couple of thoughts and ideas to continue the learning:

Unit of Inquiry: We will continue with our exploration unit through the holidays and have created a padlet that you can use to share your holiday adventures with the whole of grade 2. Upload a picture, and a little note so we can share in the holiday explorations.

Mathematics: Continue practicing time, looking at both a digital and analog clock- this could happen in a train station, airport, anywhere! Time is everywhere. Students need to be able to express time using the language of quarter past, half past, and a quarter to the hour. Also, playing some math games with a deck of cards or a pair of dice are easy to pack along in the suitcase. Keeping those basic facts to 20 in mind, and building towards being fluent in number is key. After the holidays we will venture into fractions, so if you happen to find yourself in the kitchen having some experiences in the kitchen measuring and using fractions would be a great support for your child.

Literacy: There are several great websites that offer free stories online. Students can also read/access Raz-Kids during the holidays to keep up their reading. Storyline online has an amazing amount of stories read by some famous actors in the US. Another online site that I haven’t explored much of but comes highly recommended is Epic! students use the code: izv6246 to have access to thousands of books online- what a great resource! On Epic! books can be read to students, or students can read them. There are also learning videos and a lot of other cool stuff. Another idea is to have a travel journal. Students can keep track of their travels, feelings, and adventures over the holidays. A great way to foster a love of journaling and mindfulness, students can draw or sketch sights, and thoughts as well.

What I hope most of all is that you and your family find the time to enjoy one another, to have some fun. I am off to New Zealand’s South Island for three weeks of adventure with friends and I cannot wait! Happy early holidays!


-UNIS Hanoi’s Winterfest 2018, on Friday 7 December from 17.00-19.00 in front of the old canteen

-Grades 2-3 Musical Production: Pirates Past Noon – Come and watch an exciting musical production by a cast composed of Grade 2 and Grade 3 students.  Saturday and Sunday at 3pm (8th and 9th of December)

-Winter Break 15  December to 6 January

UN Global Goals Week and UN Day Celebrations

What an amazing week we have had with the UN Sustainable Development Goals leading the way for our learning. This week in grade two, students were thinkers and caring as they inquired into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in a variety of activities.  First, inspired by the story of Sadako Sasaki–her struggle for life and dedication to peace–students set a goal of folding 1,000 peace cranes. Next, led by the SDG Guardians, students contributed ideas for teaspoons of change. Students enjoyed celebrating kindness in the library.  Finally, in grade two, students inquired specifically into five SDGs:

SDG #3 Health and Well-Being: Students were involved in different games that provoked their thinking about exercise, nutrition, and good medical care. During the games, students learned about the major issues that Vietnam faces in relation to this SDG.

SDG #4 Quality Education: Students watched a video about schools around the world and compared the opportunities they have at UNIS to those of other children. In the spirit of gratitude, the students added to a Padlet what they love about going to UNIS.

SDG #5 Gender Equality:  Students watched a short video to show the reality of unequal pay between men and women. After a brief discussion, we went to the see the Gender Equality art exhibition in the art center. The art there inspired us to go back to the classroom and create our own art piece to support Gender Equality.

SDG #10 Reduced Inequalities:  Through the lens of math and word inquiry…as well as handfuls of Legos…students pondered the meaning of inequality and how there are different types of inequality in the world.

SDG #13 Climate Action:  Students explored the causes of climate change through video and discussion, then by exploring the classroom to create possible plastic alternatives.

The week was wrapped up with our annual G2 Luncheon with families and friends.

UN Global Goals Week

Global Goals Week- November 26-30
Next week is global goals week at UNIS.  We will put the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals front and center in our thinking and our learning. As part of The Global Goals week, students in grade two will be focusing on the specific goals of Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, Good Health and Well Being, Climate Change, and Peace and Justice. We will do our best to bring these goals to life and context for grade two students.
*If you have a skill in folding Origami Peace Cranes and would like to come and join the grade two students in reaching their goal of 1000 cranes so our wish for peace for all children of the world will come true- we’d love your help. Please join us on Tuesday, November 27 from 12:05-1:30 in folding cranes in rooms 137 and 138. We could use help folding and stringing if you are interested.
In our continuing effort to raise awareness of the importance of taking action, UNIS has created an opportunity for a free screening of Plastic Ocean. What an amazing opportunity for our community- it is an extremely powerful movie for all of us, and something we ALL must take action upon. Vietnam has just moved into First Place (not an honor to be proud of) for the highest amount of plastic waste. There are things we can do to help- check it out. 
Information for the Movie- Plastic Ocean
Tuesday, November 27
5.00pm.  Runs for 1hour 42 minutes.
Venue:  Theatre, Centre for Arts, B10.
  • We’ve got Vietnamese subtitles!  Hoorah for our Grade 5 PYPX group, the Plastic Warriors, for this incredible action and to Tina for tireless follow up with the company – they’ve just finished being added this week.
  • Free seating – no ticket sales – we will set up the Ly Thai To rooms as back up in hopes of having an avalanche of people.
  • Phuong from the school store will do a ‘pop up’ shop with all of our upcycled, environmentally sustainable products – the collection is ever expanding.
Please think about sending your child to school with a snack throughout the week that contains no disposable packaging. Nude Food Week! Let’s really focus on reducing our plastic consumption.
Please do not forget our wonderful culminating event with the UN Day Celebration on Friday beginning at 10:30 in the Sports Centre followed by the community luncheon for Grade 2 families.
Thank you also for a wonderful field trip this last week to Soc Son, what an interesting adventure we had. Check out some of the photos here. Thank you, Jutta, Katija, and Elina for braving the bus and the unknown of the expedition. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Also a huge thank you for all the wonderful thoughts and treats on Teachers Day, it is much appreciated. 🙂

Kính gửi Phụ huynh,

Tuần tới được gọi là “Tuần lễ hành động vì các Mục tiêu Phát triển bền vững của Liên hiệp quốc” tại trường UNIS. Trong suốt thời gian này, các mục tiêu phát triển bền vững của Liên hiệp quốc sẽ được lồng ghép vào nội dung học tập ở trường. Đây cũng là bước chuẩn bị cho lễ kỷ niệm Ngày Liên hiệp quốc sắp tới. Phụ huynh có thể hỏi các con, trong khi ăn tối, về Các mục tiêu phát triển bền vững này và các con đã học được những gì về các mục tiêu này.

Cũng là một phần trong Cam kết thực hiện các mục tiêu phát triển bền vững của Nhà trường, Nhà trường sẽ tổ chức buổi chiếu phim miễn phí phục vụ cộng đồng vào ngày 27 tháng 11 lúc 5:00 chiều; bộ phim có tiêu đề là “Đại Dương Nhựa”, phim Tiếng Anh, có phụ đề Tiếng Việt.

Phụ huynh có thể xem bản giới thiệu phim tại đây.

Tên phim: Phim tài liệu “Đại Dương Nhựa” – buổi chiếu miễn phí phục vụ cộng đồng

Thời gian: Ngày 27 tháng 11 lúc 5:00 chiều (độ dài phim: 1 tiếng 42 phút)

Đối tượng: Học sinh, phụ huynh, giáo viên UNIS (phim dành cho đối tượng trên 7 tuổi)

Địa điểm: Rạp hát, Trung tâm Nghệ thuật, B10, UNIS

Lý do chiếu phim: Nhằm nâng cao nhận thức của cộng đồng về vấn đề ô nhiễm do việc sử dụng các sản phẩm nhựa dùng một lần gây ra và khuyến khích hành động của cá nhân để giúp giảm thiểu vấn đề này.

Rạp hát sẽ mở cửa lúc 4:50 chiều, phụ huynh có thể tùy chọn ghế ngồi.

Học sinh Tiểu học chỉ có thể tham dự nếu có người lớn đi kèm.

Cửa hàng của Trường UNIS sẽ có gian hàng tạm thời ngay tại buổi chiếu phim để trưng bày và bán các sản phẩm tái chế và các sản phẩm bền vững cho môi trường. Phụ huynh có thể mua các sản phẩm này để giảm thiểu ngay việc sử dụng sản phẩm nhựa.

Hãy cùng chung tay với Nhà trường để cùng hành động vì trẻ em UNIS tương lại và trẻ em sống trên hành tinh của chúng ta và nhiều thế hệ mai sau ngay từ bây giờ. Chúng ta cần hành động ngay từ hôm nay để giải quyết vấn đề vừa mang tính địa phương và toàn cầu này.

Nhà trường Phụ huynh có thể sắp xếp thời gian để tham dự buổi chiếu phim.

Trân trọng,

Megan Brazil

Hiệu trưởng trường Tiểu học UNIS. 

It’s All About Play- Open Classrooms

As we know from the research, and what we believe to be true- Play is an essential part of a child’s life. Somewhere along the line, it changes-but if we can, we hold on to it for as long as possible. This week we celebrated the international outdoor day of play with our buddies. The children ran, jumped, challenged their bodies to get over obstacles, helped offer their Discovery buddies the chance to do the same. There was laughter, joy, a few tears, and complete exhaustion. In 2C we have also adapted our morning meetings to include play. We start every morning with 15 minutes of play. It is our way of connecting and getting our minds into the learning zone. It has really helped build community, allowed for choice and student agency. Check out our week of some play: Photos

Open Classrooms are happening Thursday, November 15 and Friday the 16th. Below is the schedule- we thought the times offered would best maximize your time as it allowed for you to come and visit recess time, a lesson in class, lunch with your child and a visit to a specialist. Of course, open classrooms are an optional thing. If at any time you would like to come in and visit the learning space, offer to help out in a lesson or to share your expertise you are more than welcome- just let us know.

Upcoming Events

Dress Up Day – Wednesday, October 31st 

Our Elementary Student Council has decided to support the Middle School and High School Spirit Week by participating in a fun dress up day Wednesday, October 31st.

In an effort to enjoy the dress up day at UNIS Hanoi appropriately, respectfully and in accordance with school rules, we ask that students use the following guidelines when selecting a costume:

  1. Costumes should not completely obscure a student’s identity. Staff members must be able to identify students.  Eg.  Full face masks should not be worn.

  1. Students are encouraged to be creative in their choice of costume.  Costumes should not be frightening or gory. Remember that UNIS student ages range from 3-18. Costumes should be appropriate for the full school community.

  1. Fake weapons are not allowed. No military-style costumes.

  1. Costumes that could be offensive or perpetuate a stereotype of someone’s culture, gender, heritage, or religion are not permitted.

  1. Costumes should not hinder a student’s ability to participate in their classes, including P.E. Costumes may not disrupt learning or present issues of safety.

    Students wearing questionable costumes will be asked to change into normal school attire. A change of clothing for all students is required.

Beginning a New Unit of INquiry: Where We Are in Place and Time

The concepts below will be taught in class, however, it would be of great assistance to help your child become familiar with the main unit components and vocabulary in order to maximize their learning experiences and make connections in class.

This is especially important for non-mother-tongue English speaking students. Please translate the following into your child’s mother tongue in order to develop their linguistic abilities and foster their conceptual development.

Any extra reading, websites, films or learning experiences you may give your child in their mother tongue to compliment this unit, would be extremely valuable.

Central Idea: Curiosity drives exploration to discover and understand the world around us.

Inquiry into:

Types of exploration (form)

How people explore (function)

Outcomes of exploration (causation)


the world, map, adventure, ocean, river, lake, sea, continent, country, space, technology, mountain, exploration, to explore, curiosity, geography, to motivate, outcome, journey, to discover, to understand.

Sunday of Service: Please remember this Sunday is UNIS Service day, you can sign up for various opportunities to serve the community.

Snack Sale on Monday- please send students with 20,000VND

No school Thursday or Friday as it is Teacher Professional Development Days- please enjoy your long weekend. 😉


A Week to Remember

Wow, what a week. I know I say that every week, but after all the learning that has taken place this week- it is time to catch our breath. We took a onsite field trip to the Technology Office to learn what this thing we are all glued to is- THE INTERNET. We learned thanks to a cool website: Submarine Cable Map where you can see all the internet cables around the world. Very cool. Check it out. We also sent our first emails- yes, my inbox is flooded, and we learned about what “Netiquette” is- having good manners online. We also got a few old computers that we got to take apart and now have to figure out how to put back together! Oh my.

Thank you to all the parents who came to support and learn more on our G2 Math Morning. It was great to see brain muscles growing by our parents. It is always good to see and experience a fraction of what we ask our kids to do everyday. Thank you again!

Here is a link to some pictures from the week- please enjoy. And if you’re reading this could you please give me a sign? I am not sure if anyone reads the blogs!

Don’t forget No School on Monday for our Children, but parents and teachers will be having conferences.

Thanks and see you on Monday.

A Full Week of Celebration

Dear Parents,

Lots happening this week in Grade 2- we’ve had our first Healthy Snack Sale, celebrated the Moon Festival (Check Out the Photos), celebrated UN International Day of Peace, began a new unit of inquiry and continued building community and sharing our thinking.

We celebrated the UN International Day of Peace by identifying what Peace means to us, and ways that bring us Peace. One way we found Peace this week was by adding 15 minutes of play and connection first thing in the morning. We also added our pledges of Peace to a flipgrid which you can check out and add your pledge for making the world a more peaceful place.

Global Goals Week

This next week is global goals week at UNIS.  During this week we put the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals front and center in our thinking and our learning. As part of Global Goals week, we will be having a Nude Food Day on Friday 28 September.  Put simply, nude food day means sending your child to school with a snack that contains no disposable packaging. For more information click here.

Please remember, Wednesday, September 26 is the Grade 2 Math Coffee Morning with Beth Murray at 8:30-9:30 in the creativity space on the ES Campus near playground 2nd floor. We hope to see you there. Come and find out more about how your child is experiencing Math at UNIS.

Digital Citizenship – An inquiry into “How We Organize Ourselves”.

We have started our new unit of inquiry. You can support your child’s language development by discussing the information below in your mother tongue at home.

Central Idea:

Choices that digital citizens make impact the global community.

Inquiry into:

Purposes and forms of digital technology

-Online responsibilities

-Ways to evaluate media


Thank you as always!

Here comes the Moon Festival

Wow, what a week!

This week we touched upon our year-long unit of inquiry about how cultures express creativity. We looked at our host country Vietnam and the Moon Festival celebration. We also compared this to other festivals around the world- some of us chose one of our own celebrations and others of us learned about new celebrations. This next week on Thursday our school will celebrate the Moon Festival with a special assembly, children will wear their Ao Dai to school for the celebration (please make sure to send in their PE uniform as well to change into). In the afternoon we will have a local artist come and make clay puppets with us.

In math, we worked on structuring numbers and what a number is made up of- so how many hundreds, tens and ones. Building those numbers using counters, base-ten blocks, and blocks. We also reviewed even and odd numbers and how we can tell the difference. One interesting thing that popped up this week was when I asked what the difference between two numbers was- in my mind, it was clear I was asking a subtraction problem, but the students identified all the ways the two numbers were different. Students also began to talk about efficient ways to use math tools- is it efficient to count long gigantic strands of blocks or is there a quicker way to keep track of them so we don’t keep losing the number. Some interesting conversations were had.

We continue to build on our reading skills, and our guided reading groups are well underway which is a great thing. I am excited to share this next week all that I learned from a workshop I attended this last week about word inquiry- some fun things about words and how they are structured.

Important things to remember for the week ahead:

  • Students need an Ao Dai for Thursday 20
  • Healthy snack sale on Monday the 17th

Thanks and have a happy, healthy and safe weekend!

Thank you

Dear Parents,

Thank you for those of you who were able to attend Back to School Night. It was wonderful to meet you and begin to make connections. Here is the slideshow for those of you who were not able to attend- Back To School Night.

In hopes of improving the Back To School Night for the next year, or for future meetups we have I’ll be sending a google form that I am hoping you can fill out so that I can best meet your needs and get you the information you want or need.

Please remember that if you have any questions or concerns send me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.



2C’s Week of Learning

Wow, have we done a lot in 5 days. We dug into the values of the various communities we belong to and began looking at what might it look like, sound like and feel like to see some of those values come alive in our classroom.

The best part of our week was meeting our Discovery buddies on Thursday! We got to play and discover alongside the littlest learners at UNIS. What fun. Some of us got matched with same language buddies and some of us were lucky enough to match with our young brother or sister. Check out the photo link below.

We’re still building our math community, practicing number routines and learning new games that help us build our number fluency within 20.

We also started doing our Recount writing about small seed moments during our summer holiday. Learning to focus in on just one tiny event of our holiday and add loads of details that make it interesting for the reader.

Important Reminder is that on Thursday is our BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT and all parents are encouraged to attend.

Photos From The Week