October 18th – Disco A

Dear parents,

We have had a very busy week here in Discovery! The week kicked off with the children learning about the UN SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals). Our focus this week and next is Goal #12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. And with a little help from “The Earth Book” by author Todd Parr, we have figured out some ways in which we can be responsible consumers helping to protect our planet earth.

So far the children have agreed to:

  • Draw on the entire piece of paper, when at the writing table, adding lots of detail and then turning the paper over doing the same on the other side. This will help to conserve paper!
  • Make sure to put the caps back on the pens so they don’t dry out. This helps to conserve our pen resources!
  • During lunchtime, take only what you need and make sure to eat it all.This will help us to not waste food!
  • And turn off any lights you do not need. This will help us to conserve energy!

On Tuesday, we had Discovery/K1 Open Classrooms. There were provocations set up in all classrooms directly related to the SDG’s. We found out that shredded paper in Vietnam cannot be recycled and so, being that we are trying to conserve our paper, we decided to make our own out of the shredded paper collected around campus. The children had so much fun as the activity was very hands-on, sensory, fine motor and messy!

On Wednesday, we had to say goodbye to Seowon who was an amazing member of our Discovery community. He is moving back to his home country of Korea and we will miss him. Here is a picture of all of the children with Seowon right in the middle. 🙂

Every year, our ECC partners with Vietnamese schools in our community to bring Early Years teachers into our classrooms to shadow us to learn more about our practice and teaching styles. They will visit us for four separate weeks throughout the year. Our visiting teacher this year is named Ms. Thao and she joined us this week for the first time. You will see her in some of the pictures from the week.

We look forward to having you all join us on Monday for UN Day. Please come directly to the classroom after the assembly to pick up your child so you can take them to the yummy lunch buffet that will be set up in the ECC gym. If you have any questions please let me know.

Here are the pictures from the week.

Have a great weekend!

Deborah

 

October 4th – Disco A

Dear parents,

Thank you all for attending our Learning Conversations this week. It was a great time to catch up with you, especially if your child is a bus student and I don’t see you often! We are still just at the beginning of the year, learning routines, developing community and relationships and a kind, safe and responsible place for learning. I have also introduced the ‘Golden Rule’ which means treat others the way you want to be treated.

At the end of your conversations on Monday, I gave you each a leaf to fill out, with or without your child, describing the hopes and dreams you have for your child this year in Discovery. PLEASE send these back to school as soon as possible so we can talk about them in class and then hang them from a tree that we will be creating together and referring back to frequently.

As you know, we have been working on greetings. This includes saying ‘good morning’ to each other at the beginning of the day and ‘goodbye’ at the end of the day. Now, we are beginning to really focus on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. For example, if someone holds the door for us, we say thank you. If we want food passed to us at the table we say please and then thank you. The children have also learned how to say ‘thank you’ in sign language and have been practicing this in a large group. Please ask you child to show you the sign!

We celebrated a birthday this week! Congratulations Kenda on turning four! We were lucky enough to sing the Happy Birthday song in both English and Arabic.

Mr. Neil from our IT department has agreed to come to Discovery every two weeks with some tinkering materials for the children to experience. Yesterday was the first day and it was quite successful. We look forward to the different materials and skills he will be able to expose the children to as the year unfolds.

A holiday request! Please send in a picture of your holiday as an exciting talking point when we get back. Also, if you are traveling in Vietnam or even staying in Hanoi, please send in pictures of some sights and the environment and people. This will help us to connect the idea of the community outside of the walls of UNIS.

Lastly, If you have not logged onto Seesaw and commented on how to say hello and peace in your home language, please do so. We really would like to add this to documentation in our classroom showing contributions from every family. Thank you!

Please enjoy these pictures of the week!

Have a great October Holiday full of rest, relaxation and fun!

Deborah

 

Sept. 27th – Disco A

Dear parents,

It was nice to be back with the children after my being gone at the beginning of this week. Thank you for your understanding!

This week our swimming unit began. The children loved the water! It was a great chance for them to practice our agreements of Be Kind, Be Safe and Be Responsible.

We are looking forward to seeing you all on Monday for Learning Conversations. This is a new process for us to have your child involved. Please know that there are no expectations for your child to participate. They have prepared something to share with you though.

Please enjoy these pictures of the week!

Have a great weekend and we will see you Monday!

Deborah

Sept. 20th – Disco A

Dear parents,

Our week began with a field trip along with Discovery B to the grassy area in front of the library for a shared picnic. Connecting with the natural environment and the outdoors is an important part of our curriculum. Some of the children were a bit nervous about grass, but eventually embraced sitting down in a soft space and enjoying their snack.

This week we have been continuing our discussion about being kind. We have also been discussing the importance of being respectful to our friends and teachers and making good choices. These will be a few of many key words the children will be introduced to and practice throughout the year.

Let’s talk about lunch! Wow, it is amazing how quickly Discovery has learned to wash their hands, set the table, and serve themselves lunch. They are learning to pass food, take only the amount they need and focus on eating while talking to their friends. They clear their plate when they have had enough and tidy up after themselves. If you can, please help them contribute at home and let them show you how independent they are becoming!

This week we also took a field trip to the music classroom for lessons. Music has been held in our classroom up until this week. But the children had a chance to visit Ms. Liz in her environment which provides a large space for movement and music and it was a huge success.

Olivia’s mom was our first mystery reader today! It was very exciting having the children try to guess who it was going to be. They were such good listeners! Thank you Maria!

Finally, we celebrated the International Day of Peace today. We read two of my favorite peace books pictured below and then brainstormed what peace means to us. Peaceful will be another key word we will begin using throughout the year.

Please enjoy these pictures of the week which include a special shaving cream sensory activity, a fun math provocation, cooking apple muffins and a visit with our grade 3 buddies.

IMPORTANT MESSAGES:

  • Swimming starts this Monday, September 23rd. Please look at the classroom schedule carefully. On days when we have swimming period 1, please send your child to school with their swimming suit already on underneath their PE kit. The reason I ask this is because we do not have time to change and then get all the way to the pool once the bell rings. Thank you for understanding. And if you have any questions or concerns please email our aquatics director Mr. Martin. aquaticsmanager@unishanoi.org
  • At the beginning of next week I will be on personal leave for a couple of days. I will still be available via email but if you have anything urgent, please send a message to the ECC secretary Ms. Phuong. She can then get a message to Ms. Hang or Ms. Nhung. Thank you for understanding.

Have a lovely and relaxing weekend,

Deborah

Sept. 13th – Disco A

Dear parents,

We had a busy week in Discovery even though we only were here for 4 days! The Moon Festival yesterday was a treat. It is so fun seeing all of the children dressed up in their colorful Ao Dai’s and feeling so proud. The assembly was fantastic and I was so pleased that so many parents attended. You are always welcome to come back to the classroom after attending special school events like that. It makes it easier to say goodbye to your child when you are ready to leave. We also had a traditional shared lunch with mooncakes and fruit afterwards.

The snack sale was a success this week. So many healthy foods for sale that the children had to choose from. They were also very excited to use money.

One of the books we read this week is titled “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle. It’s all about animals and what they do and then we see if we can do it. This inspired the children to share what their favorite animals are (the list is below). Being that Ms. Laura from Disco B has been to Antarctica to see the penguins and to the Arctic Circle to see the Polar Bears, we asked if she could share some pictures and videos. We also took a look at the globe to see where we are in the world compared to the Arctic Circle and Antarctica. Where will we go next with this?

Discovery have also been learning about our three important playground rules.

*Be Kind

*Be Safe

*Be responsible

We are going to unpack these one at a time and are starting to brainstorm what it means to be kind to others.

We also had a lesson this week to specifically talk about how to properly cough, sneeze, blow our noses and wash our hands in order for us to stay as healthy as possible. Please allow your child to independently blow their nose and wash their hands at home to help with this important skill.

Lastly, as I mentioned on back to school night, I would love to start Mystery Readers! Please send me an email if you are interested and we can pick a time. We are very flexible with our schedule, but mornings are usually best for the kiddos.

Here are the pictures of the week. Enjoy!

Happy Friday!

Deborah

Sept. 6th – Disco A

Dear parents,

Thanks to all of you who joined us last night for Back to School Night! It was so nice to see you all. It’s great to connect with parents inside the classroom. Here is the link to the presentation in case you couldn’t make it or would like some of the information. Discovery A slideshow

As we continue to talk about who we are and where we are from, the children have enjoyed looking at their family pictures and country flags. We introduced world globes and home language books for them to browse as well. The photos have also been put into a “Discovery A Family Book” so the children can take a closer look.

We celebrated our first birthday on Tuesday. Teddy turned 4! Congratulations!

Please enjoy these pictures of the week which include the children making lemon cake during cooking and dying rice for sensory play.

REMINDERS FOR NEXT WEEK:

Wednesday: Snack sale (Please send your child with 20,000vnd to buy a healthy snack)

Thursday: Moon Festival Celebration (Please send your child in an au dai)

Friday: No school

Have a lovely weekend,

Deborah

 

 

 

August 30th – Disco A

Dear parents,

As part of our inquiry into ‘Who we are,’ we are building a strong sense of community in the Early Childhood Centre (ECC).  As part of our learning we will join the other Discovery and K1 classes in common outdoor play time in the mornings, starting at 8:10.  This is instructional time and an important part of the day for strengthening relationships, helping students transition from home to school for the day, and learning through play. We ask your help to ensure that all students arrive by 8:10 in the morning.  Parents who drop off, please give your children a positive but definitive goodbye when the bell rings at 8:10.  Please explain to your children that the bell is a signal for you to say goodbye, and we will reinforce this idea with the children as well. Thank you so much for your support.

At school, here are some of the many things your children are learning to do:

  • serve themselves lunch
  • feed themselves
  • peel their own fruit
  • open their own packets during snack
  • put on shoes and socks
  • pack their snack and water bottle into their bag
  • wipe themselves after going to the toilet
  • refill their water bottle
  • change their clothes

The more they practice these skills, the more confident they will be in their abilities. Please support your child by being less helpful and be ok with watching them struggle – this is what learning looks like. This is counterintuitive, requires us to allow more time and to be patient, but it is worth it. When we allow our children to do things for themselves, we are teaching them that we trust their abilities and have confidence in them.

Yesterday was our first meeting with our 3A buddies. Each child has one buddy from grade 3 and will remain with them the entire year. We will meet with them every two weeks. It is amazing watching these relationships grow. They will learn from each other and share many fun activities together.

Buddy pictures

The children also made self portraits out of loose parts and open frames. This is preparation for next week when they will look in the mirror very closely and draw a self portrait including all of the detail they see. And finally, we had cooking today! The children were very excited to go to the kitchen and carefully measure ingredients, stir them together, roll the dough and bake their special shortbread cookies.

Pictures from the rest of the week.

REMINDERS:

  • No school on Monday in celebration of National Day
  • Back to School Night is next Thursday Sept. 5th at 6pm

Happy Friday!

Deborah

 

 

 

August 23rd – Disco A

Dear parents,

As the children continue to settle into the classroom, it’s been so interesting observing their likes, dislikes, personalties and joy. We have been learning to sit together as a large group and browse books, sing songs together and listen and respond to shared read alouds.

They participated in library and Vietnamese for the first time this week and also enjoyed their first PE, Art and Music lessons. Library books are to be enjoyed at home for the entire week and should be brought back on library day the following week. Please also note that as a parent, you can go to the library and check out books every week to add to your collection at home. There are books available in many languages for you to check out as well. Reading to your child and having books accessible for them to browse at all times is so important for pre-reading skills. If you need any tips on how to read to your child, please let me know and I can help.

We also participated in our first ECC assembly of the year which takes place in the theater and includes Discovery, K1, K2 and Grade 1. This is a time for us to come together and celebrate learning, birthdays and each other. We sing together, dance together and laugh together. This occurs every two weeks.

We have also enjoyed engaging in outdoor play during our morning community time with all of Discovery and K1. This gives the children time to develop relationships outside of the classroom setting. So for now, when your child comes to school, they can unpack their bags, put on their hat and go play!

Outside play is wet and messy. This is what your child(ren) need and it helps to develop gross motor skills as well as social and emotional skills which early childhood is all about. So please make sure your child has changes of clothes in their backpack and that they are replaced when needed.

This week, and in the weeks to come, we have been focusing on greetings. The children are learning how to say good morning to the teacher and each other as well as goodbye at the end of the day. Please help your child with this routine at drop off and pick up.

Lastly, the children eat their home snack in the morning. Please make sure this is a HEALTHY snack. Do not send in any chocolate, sweet cookies, chocolate milk, candy or sweetened milk or yogurt. The afternoon fruit snack is provided by the school and the children are encouraged to at least try the fruit even if they don’t think they will like it. Thank you for your understanding. And please enjoy the photo link below with your child.

Pictures of the week

REMINDERS:

  • FAMILY PHOTO: If you have not emailed a photo to me yet, please do so as we want to put together our Family Book
  • PHOTO DAY: Thursday Aug. 29th
  • EVACUATION DRILL: Aug. 29th (we will talk to the children before this happens and how we are doing this to keep us safe, so please do not worry)
  • NO SCHOOL: Sept. 2nd
  • BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT: Sept. 5th (more details to come)

Have a lovely weekend,

Deborah

August 16th – Disco A

Dear parents,

We have had an excellent start to the week! The children are developing relationships, engaging in creative play, becoming familiar with classroom routines and how to tidy up the classroom. They have proved to be quick learners!

In preparation for starting specialists next week, we have had visits from some of the teachers. Ms. Emma, the Art teacher, came in to read stories and play with the children. Ms. Liz, the Music teacher came in with a bag full of shakers and sang songs. And Ms. Kris, our guidance counselor joined us to talk about feelings. Please refer to the schedule sent home on orientation day so your child is prepared for PE and Library next week.

Please enjoy these photos of the week.

NEEDED: A family photo for our “Family Book”. Please email a copy as soon as possible to dvermeire1@unishanoi.org. This will help us to connect and learn more about each other.

Lastly, because of our school’s commitment to the SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN) and a sustainable future, we will no longer provide plastic bags for soiled or wet clothing. Please pack reusable or recycled bags in your child’s backpack for these clothes to return home for cleaning. Thank you for your support!

Have a lovely weekend,

Deborah