December 13th – Disco A

Dear parents,

Wow! We made it to the long December holiday! It has been so amazing teaching your children and watching them learn and grow. It has been a great year so far and I look forward to the rest!

Click here for a super fun short video taken today with all of Discovery.

Thanks to Jakob’s mom for coming in to make special Christmas cookies with the children. They were delicious!

Here’s wishing you a restful holiday filled with joy, love and laughter,

Deborah

 

 

December 6th – Disco A

Dear parents,

Our garden is growing! The children observe our garden every day to look for new growth and have so much fun taking care of it by making sure it is watered every day. Take a look next time you visit and have your child talk to you about it.

This week we painted conical hats as part of exploring materials. Next week we will brainstorm where the materials come from and how they change in order to become this traditional design and essential part of Vietnamese culture. After the holiday we will have visitors join us to show Discovery the art of making conical hats.

We celebrated two birthdays this week along with Discovery B. Happy Birthday Prayan and Prisha! We now have four 4 year olds and twelve 3 year olds.

Today we were in for a special treat. Taisuke wanted to be our Mystery Reader! He read the story titled ‘The Giant Turnip’ to the whole class. This inpired Prayan to the read his favorite book titled ‘Are You My Mother?’. Both boys got a big clap from the children. We were all so proud of them for being risk takers!

Please enjoy these pictures of the week.

Have a fun weekend!

Deborah

 

November 29th – Disco A

Dear parents,

As you know, last week the Discovery A blog did not get sent out. So this week will include info from last week and this week as well.

Thank you all so much for joining us for Open Classrooms last week. Your children enjoyed having you here to share in their learning. Please remember that you are always welcome into our classroom to read a story, play an instrument, cook or anything else you would like to share. Just send me an email and we can set up a time.

Speaking of, thank you to Emmanuel’s dad for coming in to read a couple of great books from home! Both Discovery classes thoroughly enjoyed it!

Last week Prayan’s mom and Gioulia’s mom (Discovery B) taught the children how to make pizza. They each rolled out their own mini pizza, added the delicious toppings, baked it and enjoyed!

Ms. Hang, Ms. Nhung and myself would like to say a heartfelt thank you for the kind words and treats you gave to us on Teacher’s Day. It’s an absolute joy to teach your children every day. It makes us smile and want to come to work every day.

This week, Ms, Thao was with us again from the 20/10 Vietnamese school. We have buddied up the children in our class with hers. So each of your children will get to know one or two buddies from her Discovery classroom. I will give you more details as this unfolds.

We have also planted a garden! The children pulled all of the weeds and roots from the garden bed, tilled it up with shovels and then planted some seeds. They planted carrots, broccoli, lettuce and fresh mint. Some of the seeds have already sprouted and so the children will be observing closely to see how the garden vegetables change during their growth cycle.

Our new Unit of Inquiry is all about materials. The children will learn to describe and explore different materials and think about how they can change materials into something else. For this unit, we are in need of some box construction materials. So any empty boxes, washed out milk or yogurt containers, or paper towel or toilet paper rolls would me much appreciated!

Here are some pictures of the week.

Have a fun weekend,

Deborah

November 15th – Disco A

Dear parents,

Discovery A was lucky enough to welcome a new student this week. Her name is Mingyeong, she is from Korea and has a sister in K1. The children welcomed Mingyeong into our classroom community with open arms and immediately friendships started to develop. They are modeling kind, safe, responsible and respectful behaviors as she becomes familiar with our classroom routines .

Wednesday marked our 2nd Snack Sale of the year. It was inside the staff room, so the children were a bit hesitant, but they chose great healthy snacks and enjoyed a picnic after their purchases.

Pete the Cat books are popular in our classroom. This week, we read “I love My White Shoes.” It entails Pete the Cat stepping in different fruits and mud causing his white shoe color to change. Then, we listened to the audio version read by the actual author noticing how that sounds a bit different to the way Ms. Deborah reads it and sings the song. This led the children to choose their favorite color to add to our ‘Who We Are’ class book.

Next, we read “10 Black Dots” which allowed the children to interact with numbers which included counting them and representing them on their fingers in different ways. Then, we collected the data of their favorite numbers. We will also add this to our class book.

Another Mystery Reader joined us today! Lucia’s dad read the children ‘Swimmy’ written by Leo Lionni. It’s a great story about making a plan and cooperating. Thank you Luke!

We have an all school lockdown next Monday afternoon. In preparation, Discovery A & B explained the plan and then practiced. The children were amazing sitting together quietly in a small space.

Pictures of the week

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

Please join us for Open Classroom Day. Tuesday November 19th from 10:40-12:20. This will be a time to connect with your child in the classroom and participate in their learning. This is also a time to focus only on them and put your device on silent. They are looking forward to playing with you!

Have a fun weekend,

Deborah

 

November 8th – Disco A

Dear parents,

The highlight of the week was definitely Outdoor Classroom Day. Our grade 3 buddies joined us for this special event and they took very good care of each other. There were lots of new outdoor activities to explore such as water beads, playdough, bubbles, legos and a parachute.

This week the children also continued to paint their home country flags on our homemade paper. This year we have been talking in depth about our school community and relationships, our home community and about our connection to each other and our home countries. So the children drew their own flag onto a square piece of fabric to represent their ideas about “connection”. All of Discovery and K1 drew a “connections” flag and all of the squares will be sewn together to show our connection as a D/K1 community.

Mr. Neil, our maker space specialist, led some of the children in a fine motor activity which included paper clips, pipe cleaners and beads. They had a blast making jewelry. He will be back next week so that others can participate.

We celebrated another birthday today! Congratulations Olivia for turning 4 years old tomorrow!

Please enjoy these pictures of the week.

REMINDERS:

  • No school Monday Nov. 11th
  • Open Classroom Day is Tuesday Nov 19th (details to follow)

Have a lovely weekend,

Deborah

 

November 1st – Disco A

Dear Parents,

There is so much to talk about! But I will try to keep it short so you can get to the end. And please read to the end! 🙂

This week, we took a deeper dive into ‘Who We Are’ and where we are from. I added pictures of the children to the large globe we have in the classroom next to their home countries. This gave them a visual and helped them to better connect to others that are from the same country. Then the children painted their home country flags onto the homemade paper they made during SDG week.

The children began creating numbers with loose parts this week. Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. The loose parts used to create numbers this week were coins (from Ms. Deborah’s travels), glass stones, shells, small sticks and googly eyes. This will carry over into the next couple of weeks. It’s a great fine motor activity and is perfect for exploring, playing with and enjoying numbers.

Yesterday was a big hit with dress-up day. It was so fun watching the kids so proudly walk around in their costumes and act out their parts. We had princesses, a cat, a kitty cat, a cat boy (yes, these are apparently all different), a dinosaur, a pirate, a skeleton, superman, a pumpkin, a witch and a jazzercise girl.

It was also spirit day, so we ventured once more down to the sports center for an introduction of teams from around Southeast Asia attending the MRISA basketball tournament at UNIS. We welcomed the teams with a cheer and grooved to some music and a drum presentation.

After that, we met with our grade 3 buddies in the elementary school playground to reconnect and play. The bonds that the children are forming with their buddies is very special. It is enhancing their communication, collaboration, negotiation and problem solving skills just to name a few.

Today, the children participated in a very special Diwali presentation put on by both Prayan and Aanav’s mother’s. First we watched a short video of a story and then listened to an explanation about the celebration. The children then participated in an activity using beautiful colored sand. All of Discovery were given a ‘Diya’ to bring home and then special sweets were passed around.

Next Thursday November 7th, the Elementary School will participate in International Outdoor Classroom Day.  To help make this day successful, please make sure that your child:
-wears sunscreen to school
-is dressed appropriately for the weather
-has a hat
-has a full water bottle
REMINDERS:
  • Discovery A has put together a Holiday book with all of your pictures you sent in from your October holiday’s. I have collected descriptions from the children about what they experienced and we will revisit this book often. If you have not sent in a photo or two, please do so. We want  to complete the book including our entire community. I don’t want anyone to be left out.
  • The new PE unit is outdoors so please make sure your child wears proper PE clothes and sport shoes.
  • The weather has been a bit colder lately. Make sure your child has a warmer sweatshirt, jumper or long sleeved shirt to put over their t-shirt just in case.

Pictures of the week

Have a relaxing weekend,

Deborah

October 25th – Disco A

Dear parents,

Thank you all so much for joining us during UN Day! The children had so much fun noticing each others country dress and talking about their country flags. I was so proud of them for sitting for so long during the special assembly. They were very impressed by the flag parade and enjoyed watching the children sing onstage. The shared lunch was also impressive and so meaningful for your children that you all came to share. Below is a picture of all of the Discovery children altogether on Monday.

This week, we began building a community web. The children understand that we are a community because we care about each other and we feel like we belong together. Each child added their own picture to the web and then we thread yarn back and forth between the photos to show connectedness. They also realized that Ms. Deborah, Ms. Hang and Ms. Nhung are also part of our community so we will add those pictures on Monday. We will continue to add to our web as the children gain the understanding of just how big community can be.

Our last swimming lesson of the quarter took place this week. The children have gained more confidence in the water and have enjoyed playing games together. They will have one more session of swimming in the springtime.

This week, cooking was an even bigger hit than usual. On the menu were fruit kababs. The children cut up pineapple, watermelon, apples and grapes very carefully with their own knives and cutting boards. Don’t worry they only use butter knives when cutting. Then they patterned the pieces onto a skewer and bon appetite! Even the children that aren’t too fond of fruit couldn’t resist a taste after their hard work.

Our G3 buddies came for a play this morning. They were missing Discovery so much that they asked Ms. Chris to schedule this extra time. The weather was so beautiful outside so the children rode bikes together, played in the sandbox together and played with the big blocks.

Enjoy these pictures of the week. There are quite a few this week and some short videos, but well worth the look!

Have a fun weekend,

Deborah

 

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