14th December 2018

This week K2C enjoyed exploring shapes.

Sadly, the time has come to say ‘auf wiedersehen’ to our classmate Basti. Today was his last day at UNIS. I’d also like to say a very big thank you to his Mum, Carmen for being our K2C parent.

In class, K2C have enjoyed ‘Raz Kids’ reading on the iPad. I have sent home his/her password incase your child would like to access Raz-Kids over the holiday.

Login Instructions:

  • Step 1: Go to www.kidsa-z.com
  • Step 2: Enter or choose the teacher’s username, cmatthewsp
  • Step 3: Your child finds his or her username on the class chart
  • Step 4: Your child enters his or her password (Look in your child’s folder)

Finally, I wish you and your family a very happy and safe holiday and I look forward to seeing you in January 2019 !


7th December

Yes. It is December already! It is hard to believe, we have just one more week of school until the Winter Holiday ( or summer if you are from the southern hemisphere like me!)

You probably know I was in Hong Kong on Monday and Tuesday, collaborating with teachers from six international schools. (So this will be a short blog post!)

K2C engineers and mathematicians are becoming very confident and capable observers of shapes in the environment. This week they have done a lot of exploring, describing and sorting shapes and objects in the environment.

Ask your child to tell you about The Greedy Triangle story!

Today K2C engineers enjoyed the team time NO TAPE challenge of building a strong structure. ( Following on from the SDG week, we tried to reuse junk and not waste tape) Here’s a video of the process. Teams were encouraged to reflect on their ability to problem solve, work as a team and be responsible for cleaning their own mess!


Looking ahead

  • Next week is Basti’s last week at UNIS. He is moving to Switzerland. ( Your child might like to write him a special goodbye message and put it in our class post box!)
  • Dec 15th- Jan 6th Winter Break – Offices Open Weekdays/ No Classes or Activities

30th November

Firstly, a big thank you for supporting the Ninja Warrior Challenge.

Birthday celebrations. K2C wish Carmen ( Basti’s Mum) a very special Happy Birthday and say a big thank you too, for being such wonderful K2C class parent. This week we also celebrated Johanna and Brayden’s 6th birthday. ( A request- when sending in cakes, please consider the packaging and not send in any single-use plastic. We have reusable plates here at school.)

It’s SDG week.

I am amazed at the amount of enthusiasm, focus and the many connections our young learners have made to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Ask your child to describe the characters: The Green Ninja, Michael Recycle and Litterbug Doug!

Click here to listen to each child explain why we need to make good choices about our waste. Also, you might like to your child to tell you about the tale they are  creating on iPads with their Grade 4 Buddy.

Thankyou for supporting our Nude Food focus this week. We all enjoyed the K2 Nude Food picnic.

I love to know when children are taking ACTION at home ! Thank you Hans and his family for sharing this message: “With regards to SDG we still have a loooong way to go to reduce our ecological footprint.We also believe small steps are better than no steps at all. Here are two modest routines that we started recently both to be even better than recycling: not making waste at all or making less waste. And they come out of being confronted about recycling and waste by Hans. You are doing a great job integrating the SDGs into the learning!

1) switching from liquid soap and shower gels to “traditional” soap in our bathrooms

2) Making yoghurt at home photo  

Parents, when you look/listen to your child’s thinking on SeeSaw too, please take a moment to record a comment about any connection you make to the SDG’s. What did you notice? What do you wonder? How you feel about your child’s learning? We all love feedback!

I look forward to hearing more ways your family makes a difference and works together to achieve the SDG’s!

UN Day –


Please continue to think about the SDG’s !

23rd November

Dear K2C families,

I start this blogpost by saying a very big THANK YOU ! I felt the ‘love’ on teachers day. So many beautiful smiles, child made cards, kind words, flowers, and generous gifts ‘filled my bucket’! This week we talked about the concept of KINDNESS through a story about how our invisible buckets follow us everywhere. We are thinking about the many different ways of giving, sharing, and caring. (This guide to daily happiness, though, is not just for kids.) At home you might like to have a family conversation: What is the difference between bucket filling and bucket dipping? ” How have you filled a bucket today?“. We all need reminders of the benefits of positive thinking and positive behavior. K2C have also learned a news song. ‘A smile is something if you give it away…hold on tight and you wont get any (This is one I remember from my own childhood.) Can your child sing it to you? (You can substitute the word smile..with kindness, happiness, listening, etc.)


Do you know K2C has a class postbox? Your children are becoming keen letter writers and each day students choose to  post their hand written letters/notes in the  box. Over the next few weeks, I encourage parents to also write surprise handwritten notes/messages/compliments to your child, (hide them inside their folder and then Ms. Mi will put them in our postbox.) Imagine your child’s excitement when the K2C postman( or postperson) hand delivers that letter! Also, we will greatly appreciate donations of note paper, greeting cards, stamps, postcards, envelopes for our classroom writing centre.

Lots of great thinking like an engineer was had this week ! Ask your child to retell the story of Rosie Reveer and to describe some of the gadgets or gizmos we made in our classroom and in the makerspace. ( You’ve probably seen your own child’s ‘engineering work already on SeeSaw )

Last week we had some fun with The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Here’s another video link of K2C storytellers and bridges builders!

In Math, K2C are showing increased confidence to attempt to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. It is pleasing to see/hear children showing a positive growth mindset .Next week ……SDG Week and UN Day 

In the lead up to UN day  K2 will be focusing on waste in our classroom.  We will be GREEN NINJAs talking about school lunch and food packaging in snack boxes as well as teaching other classes in about repairing, rethinking, reducing and reusing before throwing things away. ( If you have any photos or examples of the action your family takes at home to support our SDG learning, please let me know.) How does my family reduce waste? What good choices does my family make that show we care about our environment? What is MY responsibility?

Nude Food K2 Picnic- 29 Nov

We continue to encourage students to bring snacks without wrapping to reduce waste at school but also to build the students’ understanding of waste in our society.  We will be having a nude food  snack time picnic on Thursday 29th with our K2 friends.  Please could you help your child bring food without packaging to eat on that day.  I am attaching again a parent information sheet about nude food.

UN Day Shared Lunch

Continuing on this SDG theme we will be talking to the students about not wasting food at the shared picnic and being mindful of waste. You should have already received the following message from Carmen,(our wonderful K2C class parent) for details and logistics of the shared lunch.

Dear Parents, 

As you had been informed through the email from Nathalie Grun and the tin tuc article last week the sign up for UN Day Lunch is already open. Thank you very much to those who already signed up for our joint lunch after the UN Ceremony. 

For those who just missed the message you can find the link again here K2 Food Sign-up. All four K2 classes will have the lunch together. The lunch will be held in the K2A and K2B, outside will be picnic tables where you can sit all together. The four class parents of K2 will be in charge for the set up, so no help needed – it would be just great if everybody can help a bit clearing after the lunch.
Please remember the most important things:
  • 1) One national dish per child, serving size approx. 10 portions 
  • 2) List the food ingredients, name of food and country of origin (Food Label attached -your child can help you with decorating the food label, for example flag colors)
  • 3) Food should not require refrigeration/heating.
  • 4) Food should be easily served —no soupy dishes.
  • 5) Please avoid single use plastic container, we encourage to use your own plastic box and label your dish/tray with your child’s full name & homeroom. If you forget to take it home after the event, it will be cleaned and brought back to the homeroom of your child – if it is labeled clearly! 

Come early on that day to save your seat and please drop off the food to K2A/K2B room before you go to the ceremony. 

As usual, if there are any questions that come up regards UN Day and the lunch – do not hesitate to contact me. It is now the 4th time for me to join that great day and I am each time fascinated and proud of the students and the whole school.

As part of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, we will be hosting a free community screening of “A Plastic Ocean” on Tuesday 27th November at 5.00pm.  The movie is in English, with Vietnamese subtitles.

Movie Trailer:  A Plastic Ocean 
What:  “A Plastic Ocean” documentary – FREE community screening
When:  Tuesday 27th November, 5.00pm (running time – 1 hour 42 minutes)
Who:  UNIS Hanoi students, families, teachers – 7 years +
Where:  Theatre, Centre for Arts, B10
Why:  To raise awareness of the issue of pollution being created by single use plastics and what we can do to help
Please see the ES TinTuc for more details.

16th November

It has been another busy week of learning in K2C. It was wonderful to see parents and children learning together during Open Classroom sessions. 


Looking ahead : Next Friday Ms Nikki is inviting K2 parents to come try our Ninja warrior course next Friday. Parents are welcome to come check it out from 2:30-3:00pm.

Please click on this link to Ms Nikki’s invitation to see K2 Ninja Warriors in action . (Here’s a video of behind the scenes)

At home, your child might like to use this ‘recount’ framework to help retell stories after you read aloud.

Next week we will continue to learn more about ‘Who We Are” via ‘Family Skype’ show and tell . (Hoping technology is on our side)


  • Tues November 20th:Teacher Appreciation Day
  • November 26 – 30, 2018

Description:This SDG Week has two elements:

  1. A celebration of the SDG related work that we do across the school.
  2. An opportunity for our students to work on Goals that are of interest to them in cross grade collaborative groupings dedicating their time to trying to achieve one of the outcomes of the goals. The idea is that this would happen during the days leading up to UN Day, with our final UN Day event celebrating the work that has gone before.
  • Friday, November 30th :UN day (Please read the ES TinTuc news for more information)



9th November

Dear K2C families,

Some Highlights from this week in K2C:Introducing Skype to connect with family members who cannot come into our classroom. Here’s the link if you want to sign up

    • Being Green Ninja’s and sorting junk in our ‘recycling factory’
    • Going to the new ES Maker space with Ms Michelle and Ms Ngan
    • Learning about concepts of print via Toby Bear’s messages
    • Listening to stories and making connections to our ‘Structures’ Unit of Inquiry
    • Reflecting on ourselves as Mathematicians and Communicators
    • Learning about recounts- and making a map to recount our Field trip
    • Listening to Raz Kids stories and reading on iPads
    • Discovering the happy ending to the Five Global Ducks tale
    • Thinking about pronouns ( her/his, she/he)
    • Outdoor learning on Thursday morning with our Grade 4 buddies

  • Learning when to say ‘NO MEANS NO’ (please see the message below)
    Dear Parents of K2 Students,
    Over the past few weeks our D-2 School Counselor, Kris Bezzerides, has delivered a series of lessons about Being Body Smart. One of the main goals for these lessons is to provide our children with knowledge and teach protective behaviors in regards to their bodies and their right to be safe.
     These lessons are age – appropriate and non-threatening. They are designed to empower students. In this series of lessons students were taught:
    • How to judge a safe and unsafe experience
    • Warning signs our bodies use to tell us if a situation is unsafe
    • No Means No – we are the boss of our own bodies and have a right to say no if someone is making us uncomfortable
    • Creating a list of trusted adults we can talk with
    • Learning the correct names for our ‘private parts’
    Please see Ms. Bezzerides (kbezzerides@unishanoi.org)  if you have any questions about these lessons or how to talk with your children about this topic at home.
  • Looking ahead

    An Invitation to Open Classrooms Thursday 15th/Friday 16th November

    What are Open Classrooms? Have you ever wondered what inquiry-based learning is like for your child? Here is your chance! Open Classrooms showcase learning in action. For two days, at selected times, our classrooms are open for you to observe lessons that put the philosophy and pedagogy of the Primary Years Programme into practice.    

    Purpose of Open Classrooms Open Classrooms is for parents to get an insider’s view of what life is like inside the classrooms at UNIS.  By opening up our classroom doors we would like to give parents a glimpse of student-centered, constructivist teaching and learning in action. We aim to demonstrate our inquiry based teaching philosophy which is central to our identity as an IB school.

2nd November

Dear K2C families,

It is a short week for students and a short blog post this week too! However, we the teachers, are very busy at school ( and I will be here all weekend learning more about ways to embed the Sustainable Development Goals into the curriculum, and attending a  3 days PYP workshop.)

Thanks again to our K2C parents for such wonderful support. Especially to the parents who have joined in with Math Minds Monday morning fun, who contributed to the ES Snack Sale and who came on our Ethnology Museum field trip. Click here to see the album of google photos

Do you know K2C created the beginning of this Five Global Ducks tale (the first five pages). I wonder if you can recognise any voices? This video was published just yesterday. Please share with your child to discover what happened to the whale that was caught in a net!

  • This Travelling Tale was created by 5 schools from around the world.
    Thanks to the schools who made it possible:
    UNIS Hanoi, Vietnam
    Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies, USA
    Pensmith STEM International, Thailand
    Oakridge Elementary School, USA
    International School Zug and Luzern, Switzerland
    For more information about Travelling Tales please visit our website: – http://bevansjoel.wixsite.com/travell…

And this photo is for the families who celebrated Halloween and enjoyed dressing up on Wednesday. See you on Monday!  

Looking ahead

Thursday and Friday 15th/16th November – Open Classrooms:  By invitation parents are invited to observe their child at work in classroom lessons. Come and find out about how inquiry based learning works in the PYP. Teachers will advise which lessons are open. A detailed schedule will be available soon.

26th October

Welcome to K2C Brayden

Reflecting on our week in K2C.

This week K2C were architects, storytellers, singers, teachers of grown ups, problem solving mathematicians and curious inquirers.

A big thank you to the parents who joined us on ‘Math Minds Monday’ this week. (Every Monday  8:10-8:40 am, our doors are open for parents to come in, have fun and learn how to play math games with us.)

Do you have a Three Little Pigs story at your house? How does it end?

Do you know UNIS has a Maker-Space? All students in the Elementary school and ECC will use this space and Ms Nhan and Ms Michelle are asking all families to save and collect empty cardboard boxes and tubes. Lids from bottles are also very useful ! We aim for the maker space to be a way for students to also think about the Sustainable Development Goals ( SGD’s) by taking action to rethink, reduce, recycle and repurpose.

I am wondering how much your child talks about school at home? What did he/she enjoy  most this week? Ask her/him to retell the story of Snuffles House. Can he she describe the shapes and materials? We are also enjoying the Three Little Pigs stories, to help us make connections to our Unit of Inquiry. I wonder if your child has increased their understanding of these big words: architect, design, environment, resources, purpose? 



Our Snuffles house architect designs are displayed on our classroom window. Click on the links below to see /hear videos of K2C in action this week

  1. Treasure Hunt
  2. Zones Of Regulation

Today was the last day of swimming. Starting next week, on PE days, children will need to wear appropriate running shoes. ( No sandals or crocs please)

Listening skills are a focus in K2 at the moment. K2C are able to generate rhyming words and have enjoyed their own version of ‘A Hunting We Will Go ‘.

Looking ahead:

  •  Sunday of Service :October 28 choose from four varied service activities. There are no costs to participate.
    PLEASE VISIT THE WEBSITE FOR FULL DETAILS (ages, available spaces etc)
  • Monday Snack Sale– It is K2C’s turn to contribute to this snack sale, and also In order for your child to purchase a snack, please send him/her to school with 10,000 VND- 20,000 VND
  • Tuesday 30th- Ethnology Museum K2 Field trip 8:15-11 am. Thank you to our 3 parent volunteers ( Basti’s Mum, Hans’ Mum and Villa’s Dad) who will be joining us.
  • Wednesday 31st Dress Up Day ( Please read the ES TinTuc for full details)
  • Thursday 1st/Friday 2nd November: Faculty/ Staff Professional Development – No Classes


19th October

It was very pleasing to see K2C settled very quickly into our routines again after a week off school.

Starting next week, parents who are interested in learning to play math games are welcome to drop in on any Monday Morning ( 8:10-:840 am) and have some fun growing their math minds!  Your child will be your teacher!

Some of our English language/literacy learning intentions are :

  • To understand concepts of print ( During morning message time, Toby Bear helps us to think about :What is a word? What is the difference between a letter name and a letter sound? What is a sentence? What are full stops for? What does a question mark look like?) 
  • To recognise and produce rhyming words.
  • We had some fun creating new verses to the A Hunting We Will Go song.

Oh, a-hunting we will go,
A-hunting we will go;
We’ll catch a ___________and put him in a __________________,
And then we’ll let him go! 

I wonder if your child can sing the song they created ( cat/hat, dog/ fog, snake/cake, goat/boat, pig/wig, bug/jug)

During our  daily morning meeting time, K2C  answer the questions and share their thinking  “How many are we?” and “How many days have we been at school?” and do you know we have only been at school 42 days? 


Unit of Inquiry Click here to see a video of K2C researchers, communicators, architects and builders in action ! 

Please look in your child’s bag to find this Field Trip note. Please sign it and return to school. Due to limited seating on the bus, each class will only have enough spare seats for 2-3 parent volunteers. Please email me if you would like to join us on Tuesday morning 30th October.

Ms Mi has been absent all this week. Luckily Ms Binh was able to help us. We also had Ms Thanh ( who is one of 10 teachers visiting UNIS from local Vietnamese kindergartens)

K2C  welcome a new student to our class. His name is Brayden and he will start on Monday 22nd October.

Looking ahead

  • Monday, October 29- ES Snack Sale 
  • Tuesday Oct. 30- K2 Field Trip to Ethnology Museum
  •  Sunday, October 28- 10:00am – 4:30pm  Sunday of Service Families can join with faculty and staff and alumni to participate in different activities led by our students.
  •  November 1 – 2 Faculty/ Staff Professional Development – No Classes



4th October


Reflecting on our week in K2C This week’s highlight was of course, our assembly performance of Make Way for Ducklings.( I sent this link to the video to families via email yesterday). Afterwards, some children chose to draw the stage, while others chose to build structures for ducklings

This week K2C also participated in Travelling Tales.  Travelling Tales connects classrooms around the world so students can collaborate to create a tale about the SDG’s. ( Travelling Tales currently has over 100 classrooms working on #globaled digital stories. If you’re interested to know more look on this  Website- http://bevansjoel.wixsite.com/travellingtales

K2C created the beginning of a tale. Title: Five Global DucksOur Global Ducks tale is now in America, then it will travel to Thailand and Switzerland, then back to Vietnam and will finally be published by a teacher in Panama.

K2C are also developing their Communication and Thinking skills through a game: Which One Doesn’t belong?

K2C Mathematicians learned a new game  this week. It is called “Make 5”. Ask your child to explain how to play this dice game. After the break, K2C parents are welcome to join us on any Math Minds Mondays 8:10 am-8:40 am. Come into our classroom and join the fun of learning Mathematics through play!Unit of Inquiry:  K2C’s cooperation skills are also growing. The children have lots of enthusiasm to work together on designing and building structures using Kapla blocks.

Looking ahead:

  • Oct 6th – 14th : Autumn Break – Offices Open Weekdays/ No Classes
  • Mon Oct 15 – 22nd:  Sign-ups for UNIS Hanoi After School Activities (ASA) program opens at 9:00 a.m. on October 15th and closes at 1:00 p.m on October 22nd.
  • Mon Oct 29- ES Snack Sale

Other information

  • Please remember to label your child’s belongings with her/his name
  • Please- NO TOYS FROM HOME at school
  • If you haven’t already done so, please send in headphones for your child to use with iPads
  • We still want your clean junk ( small boxes and cardboard cylinders)

Enjoy your break !  I am going to Hong Kong to have a reunion with teachers I worked with at Hong Kong Academy 17 years ago !

A big thank you again to all parents for your positive feedback and support. I understand it has busy recently with coffee mornings, conferences and assembly.  Stay safe, healthy and happy! See you again on Monday 15th October.