December 14th – K1C

Dear parents,

Water Treatment Plant

This week we took a tour of the water treatment plant here at UNIS. Mr. Carl took us underground to view the treatment tanks, the holding tanks, the big pipes and the water control panel. We learned that some of our water comes from the bore well that is 40 meters below ground and the rest is purchased from Vietnam Water. The children learned that the water from the two sources is used for different purposes around the campus and that our drinking water is actually treated two different ways to make it clean enough to drink. It was quite interesting and some really good questions were asked. This was a fantastic connection to our current unit of inquiry as well as SDG #6 – Clean Water & Sanitation.

After our water plant visit we took a walk through the stationary shop where we get some of the consumable supplies for our classroom. The children are becoming very thoughtful about not wasting materials (paper, markers, glue, tape, etc). Visiting the stationary shop gave them a better understanding that our supplies are not unlimited and we need to take care of what we have.

Nutcracker Performance

Yesterday, K1C joined the entire ECC to perform in a special Nutcracker assembly. The children not only enjoyed performing, but also enjoyed watching the performances from the other grade levels. Please look on Seesaw for a video of the performance. Well done K1!

Holiday Artifact

Ms. Thu and I have had an amazing year so far teaching your children. They are so full of joy, love and laughter and we are very thankful. It makes coming to work fun! Please enjoy a well deserved holiday relaxing, having fun and connecting with them.

While on holiday, even if you are staying in Vietnam, please collect some type of artifact for your child to bring back to the classroom. This could be something you find on the beach or something small you buy along the way to remind you of your trip. We are going to start learning about descriptive language when we come back in January and an artifact will be a good way to start this process.

Pictures from the week

Take care of yourselves and we will see you in the new year!

Deborah & Thu

December 7th – K1C

Dear parents,

This week, K1C has continued our inquiry based on the central idea Water is a natural resource that can be explored. Through this process, we have made a connection to SDG #6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

We read a book titled ‘A Cool Drink of Water’ which led to further discussions about water that is safe to drink and water that is unsafe to drink. Then we used our scientific skills to search for different water sources on campus and took samples for further observation. Water samples were collected from the water fountain, the swimming pool, the sand pit, the sink faucet, and two different fish ponds.

Next week, we will describe and compare these samples and then take the children on a field trip to our water treatment plant here at UNIS. Some of the children have come to the conclusion that water comes from underground and so this will be able to answer some of their theories.

Ms. Emily’s K2 class invited us over for a lesson in composting and as a special gift, gave K1 our very own compost collection bin. We now collect fruit and vegetable scraps and deliver them to the large compost bin. Leaves and scrap paper are also added and this will eventually produce soil for the ECC gardens.

Last week, we participated in a K1 collaborative art project using our snack garbage collected over a two day period. Many of you may have noticed this on UN Day. There has been a noticeable reduction in single use plastic snack garbage since we started collecting it. This demonstrates students, and parents, taking action to support SDG 14: Life Under Water and our environment. Please stay tuned for a Seesaw post about this process. Well done K1!

Enjoy these pictures of the week.

Have a lovely weekend,

Deborah & Thu

November 23rd – K1C

Dear parents,

On Tuesday this week we celebrated World Children’s Day. This day was created by UNICEF to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, improving children’s welfare and to celebrate children’s rights. For this special day we were invited to Mr. DallaGrana’s music room for a short concert performed for us by his grade 9/10 students. It was really fun and the children absolutely loved it. We also had some middle school students come down and do face-painting.

Ms. Joan, our speech and language therapist, joined us this week to give K1 a lesson on plurals. She read an engaging story and had all of the children role play the story the second time. This emphasized the importance of this end sound.

As you know, next week is UN Day & Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) Week. We will be talking about our different cultures and what makes them special. We will also be painting conical hats with home country flags. As we continue to discuss the SDG’s in class, specifically Goal 14: Life Under Water, the children are becoming very aware of single use plastics. We are still collecting plastics from home snacks and next week will make a collaborative art project with the other K1 classes using this garbage to hang in the ECC. This is an action that we are hoping will bring an awareness to the growing problem of single use plastics and the effect on our environment.

Next Tuesday, November 27th, UNIS will be showing the documentary A Plastic Ocean. This documentary explores the fragile state of our oceans, uncover alarming truths about plastic pollution, and reveal working solutions that can be put into immediate effect. Grade 5 UNIS students took action and now have had producers add Vietnamese subtitles to the film. This will be a very informative movie to join as Vietnam has just become the #1 consumer of plastics in the world.


  • Please email me if you would like to join us next week to share your culture
  • Please make sure your child has spare clothes as we are still exploring water for our UOI
  • Early release next Friday at 1pm

Pictures from the week.

Have a lovely weekend!

Deborah & Thu

November 16th – K1C

Dear parents,

Open Classrooms

Thank you to all who attended Open Classrooms yesterday and today. Your children were so excited to have you here to share in their learning. If you were not able to make it, please know our doors are always open. Parents are welcome in K1C anytime to make connections and be a part of the learning.

Unit of Inquiry

As we explore further into water, we are beginning to use our 5 senses to help us learn more. The children are observing the water closely like scientists and are beginning to explain what they see, hear, smell, feel and taste. Do not worry. They are only tasting the water out of their water bottles. 🙂

As you know, the children have been collecting the garbage from their home snacks into a clear container to notice just how much waste is produced. This is from just Monday-Thursday of this week.

We have been talking about our responsibility of caring for our planet. It would be a great connection from home if you could think of ways to reduce snack waste with your child. A healthy snack, without lots of wrappers and milk boxes with plastic straws would help to reduce this waste. Fruit, veggies and healthy muffins or even a small sandwich are some ideas. Thank you!

UN Week

In last weeks blog post, I requested parents to sign up to share about their home culture during the week of UN Day. This could be a simple story, activity or even a craft. Please do not worry about your level of English. We are all language learners and risk takers in K1. If telling a story in your home language makes you more comfortable, that would be great as well. Please email me if you are interested and we can set up a time.

Here are some pictures from the week.

Have a relaxing weekend!

Deborah & Thu






November 9th K1C

Dear parents,

This week we continued our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme How the World Works with the central idea: Water is a natural resource that can be explored. Over the past week, K1C has been exploring water and tuning into this new unit. We are linking this unit to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #6 – Clean Water and Sanitation and SDG #14- Life Below Water. The children collected the plastic from their snack boxes for 3 days. It was amazing how much trash was collected.

We did a collaborative art project where we counted and spread out all of the plastic and talked about how the plastic can hurt the animals in the oceans. A simple task of collecting our plastic highlighted how quickly plastic can add up. We then began to add our plastic to our water table and put some sea animals in to create our own ocean. The children have been observing the water change color and become more crowded with snack trash each day. We have an ongoing conversation about the alternative of packing a healthy “naked snack” which means no plastic and how much better this is for our environment.

Math Morning

Thank you to everyone who came to the Math Coffee Morning. Here is the photo of the 8 Mathematical Habits and the link to the video  “How to Talk Math With Your Kids.”

Open Classrooms

Next Thursday and Friday we are hosting Open Classrooms. Here is the schedule for K1C.

Thursday 15th November:

12:50 – 1:30 Homeroom

1:45 – 2:25 Art

2:30 – 3:10 Music

Friday 16th November:

8:10 – 9:20 Homeroom

Outdoor Classroom Day

Yesterday, the entire ECC and elementary school celebrated Outdoor Classroom Day. The children spent the whole day outside and even shared an outdoor lunch. It was wonderful to watch them engaging with students from different grades and with different activities. Relationship building, problem solving, risk taking, responsibility, caring, kindness and pure joy were just some of the things observed.

UN Day

As we lead up to UN Day, I am looking for parents who would like to come in and share about their home culture. If you are interested, please send me an email and we can set up a time.

Pictures from the week

Have a lovely weekend,

Deborah & Thu


October 26th – K1C

Dear parents,

This week we have been re-reading our books about peace and having lots of discussion about things we can do to contribute to a peaceful K1C classroom. Next week we will continue collecting ideas to create our classroom agreements.

The children have been doing lots of counting this week using dot cards, dice and loose parts. They are learning to represent numbers in many different ways and explain their thinking.

We visited the G3 maker fair with our G3 buddies on Monday. The children were toured around the classrooms and watched demonstrations of all the simple machines that were made.

Yesterday, we supported our K1 community by attending K1A’s assembly with their buddies. The children were very impressed watching their friends courageously speak onstage about things they like to do with their buddies.

In K1C, we sing lots of songs and read lots of stories. After reading a penguin story, the children wanted to change the ‘5 Little Monkeys’ song to the ‘5 Little Penguins.’ We voted on whether to include a shark or a whale, tallied the votes and wrote our new song. Please look through the photos for what they came up with.

Next week we will begin our new unit of inquiry which is all about water. The kids are going to have so much fun experimenting with water and practicing scientific skills. There will be more details to come, but we are looking for a few things to get prepared. If you have any old towels hanging around the house, we could certainly use them. We are also looking for glass jars. Please clean them and soak off the labels if you can. That would be much appreciated! Also, the children will be getting WET, so please make sure they have several sets of extra clothes and replace them when they go home.


October 29th: Snack Sale

November 1st & 2nd: No school

Pictures from the week

Have a fantastic weekend,

Deborah & Thu


October 19th – K1C

Dear parents,

Welcome back from the holiday! Hopefully lots of fun was had along with some much needed relaxation. Your children have been truly engaged this week as they participated in familiar activities and discussions as well as some unfamiliar.

K1C experimented in our first ‘mindfulness’ activity this week. Mindfulness is an awareness of the body both inside and outside. This activity ties very closely with our current Who We Are unit as we become more in-tune with social, emotional and behavioral expectations.

The first thing the children learned was to sit in a circle and listen to the singing bowl. The sound of a singing bowl after tapped by a wooden mallet lasts a long time. This is giving the children the experience of listening to a sound and identifying when they can no longer hear that particular sound.

We then learned how to breath together. Our hands are clasped to our hearts and we are filling our whole bodies with the air we inhale through our nose and exhaling all the way from our toes.

K1C has also begun to learn sign language as a way to be peaceful in our community. ‘Thank you’ was the first word learned this week. If you have time, ask your child about this. I will let you know additional words as the weeks go on.

As we continue with our unit personal choices affect ourselves and the community, we will begin creating classroom agreements next week that we can refer to often and add to as we go. This will help to guide choices the children make in the classroom and on the playground.

As we inquire further into how we are connected to our community, we visited our buddies yesterday in their grade 3 classroom in the elementary school. They read books with their buddies and then got to play on the ES playground, which the children have been asking to do for weeks. 🙂

We also have been reading books followed by discussions about similarities and differences within families. The children understand that each of their families are special and they are loved.

Ms. Chinh joined our classroom community this week from the ECERP program. This is a program that connects Vietnamese teachers with all teachers here in our ECC. Ms. Chinh will join us for three additional weeks throughout the year.

A new math game called Treasure Hunt was introduced to the children today. This game incorporates counting, one to one correspondence and instant recognition. It’s also a great game to practice social skills and cooperation.

Pictures of the week

Have a lovely weekend,

Deborah & Thu



October 5th – K1C

Dear parents,

It was so great to see all of you for your child’s conference on Monday and share all of their successes so far. The more time I spend with your children, the more they continue to amaze me and to put a smile on my face. There was definitely a pattern in some of the things that came up and so I would like to address the importance of them.

~Bedtime: Children need a good deal of sleep at this age especially because we do not nap at school. So my suggetion would be to put them to bed between 7pm-8pm. They need it so they don’t run out of energy by the end of the day.

~Reading: Please read to your child every night before bed and any other time you have the opportunity. K1 has many opportunities to browse books themselves throughout the day and then listen and participate with shared read-alouds. This will be even more meaningful if they are offered the opportunity at home. If you need some advice on what types of books to read or how to share a story with your child, I would be happy to help. Please let me know.

~Blogs: Children often don’t know how to articulate an answer to the question, “What did you do at school today?” One thing you could try is asking them what was your favorite/best part or what was the worst/or something you didn’t like. It’s important to acknowledge both positive/happy and negative/sad feelings. Both of these will happen with children often throughout the day.

Also, share the Tin Tuc K1C classroom Blog and Seesaw with your child. They can explain the pictures to you in your home language which will give you a better idea of what has happened during the week in K1C.

This week each ECC class put together ideas from the children about how to be kind, safe and responsible on the playground. Ms. Kris then presented it at our ECC assembly this week. This was very timely as we are working on this inside the classroom as well.

Pictures of the week

Have a lovely October holiday!

Deborah & Thu



September 28th – K1C

Dear Parents,

This week we continued our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme Who we are with the central idea: personal choices affect ourselves and the community.  We have been focusing on how to be caring, safe and responsible on the playground and in the classroom.

Ms. Kris came to talk to us about ways to enter play situations and what to do if someone doesn’t let you join their play. The children are learning new strategies to deal with conflicts and difficulties in their play.

There has been such deep play happening in the classroom over the past two weeks involving math, writing, storytelling, fine motor, communication and cooperation just to name a few. Please look through the photos with your child for extra information and description. They really enjoy reflecting!

Monday: There is no school for students, as there are Parent-Teacher Conferences. Please make sure you are on time for your conference and we look forward to seeing you!

Enjoy these pictures of the past two weeks

Have a great weekend,

Deborah & Thu


September 14th – K1C

Dear Parents,

Ducks, ducks and more ducks!!

The middle school science department hatched five baby ducklings and invited us over for a visit. In preparation for this, the children learned about the life cycle of a duck and we have been reading duck stories that they have had lots of fun retelling. And of course our ‘Five Little Ducks’ song is a favorite. Finally the day arrived where we took a walk over to observe the ducklings using our senses. We looked closely at their features, especially their beaks and webbed feet. We listened closely to their peeping. Finally, the children were able to touch the soft feathers on the ducklings. This was all very exciting and the children want to inquire further. We will see where this goes.

Unit of Inquiry

This week we continued our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme Who we are with the central idea: personal choices affect ourselves and the community.  We have been talking about what makes us a community and that we all belong and are welcome. The children are beginning to understand that we have a responsibility as an active member of our community and the choices we make affects others.

Outdoor Play Space

It cooled down enough this week that we were able to utilize our K1C outdoor space. The kids took advantage of the sand pit, the water table, picnic benches, balance beam and chalk board. Lots of fun!

International Day of Peace

Next Friday, is the UN International Day of Peace. We have begun reading books about peace to help define the meaning and will be doing some activities leading up to this special day.

During dinnertime this week, It would be helpful if you could discuss what peace and community mean to you. Please email the word peace and community in your home language.

Moon Festival

We are making a connection to our host nation culture by preparing for the Tet Trung Thu . We are making paper lanterns, moon cakes with playdough and we are working together to make a dragon. On Thursday, your child is encouraged to wear an AO DAI to school for the celebration.


Yesterday we celebrated International Dot Day with our buddies. We read the story titled ‘The Dot’ written by Peter H. Reynolds with our buddies and then each group participated in a collaborative dot art piece. This story has a special message about believing in yourself. They all worked really well together. This provided an opportunity to practice caring and kindness. This story can be found on Youtube if you don’t already own a copy.

Monday Sept 17: Snack Sale – Please send in 20,000VND for your child to purchase snacks.

Thursday Sept 20: Moon Festival

Here are some photos from the week.

Have a relaxing weekend,

Deborah & Thu



Ducks, ducks, ducks! picture of books, life cycle, visit to middle school

Grade 3 buddies and International Dot Day