From the Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Families,

As we sign off for the summer, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our entire community – together we have weathered an enormous storm, and kept our students’ learning, wellbeing and safety at the centre of every decision, every day.
To our students – thank you for making us smile every single day this year!  Each and every one of you are the reason that our school exists, and the reason your teachers come to work every day.  You have shown strength and perseverance this year and we’ve made some wonderful memories together. Thank you for your beautiful singing yesterday as we celebrate the passing of another year.
To our parents – thank you for your partnership, your understanding and your grace through the rollercoaster ride of school closure and Distance Learning.  This was the year for us all to lean into our value of ‘community’ and really dig deep with our home-school partnership. Together, we have ensured a strong year of learning for your children.
To our teachers – thank you for your tireless dedication to your students. For collaborating on and creating an entire Distance Learning platform in under 24 hours, which we refined and improved every single week. For engaging with your students and their families around the world and ensuring that learning could continue despite all of our challenges.
To our Elementary leadership team – for solutions, support, systems thinking, strategic visioning, and laughter.
I am so grateful to be part of this dynamic, resilient community. We look forward to welcoming you all back in August. For those leaving us, we are so glad to have shared part of your journey with you – thanks for stopping a while at UNIS Hanoi – you leave us as part of our Phoenix family.
Warmly,
Megan Brazil

Teachers Recommend Books for Summer

The summer break is a great time for people of all ages to catch up with their reading. That’s why the teachers in Elementary School have created a video that highlights the books they would recommend for young children to read.

Watch closely, you may notice some familiar faces on these covers!

 

From the Elementary Principal

Dear Elementary Parents,

Class Lists for 2020/2021

In July and August, we will be creating class lists for your child, and matching them with a homeroom teacher for the next academic year.  

Here at UNIS Hanoi, we mix the children’s groupings every year as they pass from one grade level to the next.  In such a transient population, this enables us to continuously ensure each class is a well-balanced group with a mix of gender, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, learning styles and differences. The mixing of class groups also helps establish a grade level identity and community as well as individual homeroom communities. Children are able to develop and maintain a broader range of friendships across the whole age group. It also helps new children integrate more quickly as the class they enter is newly formed rather than being a group that has been together for several years.

Because we value parent input about your child, you are invited to provide information to the school that might help us with the class placement process. 

Final decisions about class placement of students are the responsibility of UNIS Hanoi.  

Please note that UNIS Hanoi employs only highly qualified and experienced teachers, therefore requests for students to be placed with specific teachers will not be considered. 

Please take a moment to complete this form for each of your Elementary age students:  Student Class Placement Information for 2020/21

Class lists will be published and sent to families on Monday, August 10, 2020.  

Sincerely,
Megan Brazil

Saying Farewell

Dear Elementary Families, in Hanoi and far away.  

On Tuesday June 9, please join us on Zoom at 13.30 for a short, virtual assembly as we say farewell to the 19/20 school year, farewell to those students and faculty leaving us this year, and say goodbye to one another for the summer. Please check the ES Calendar for full information.  

Today our Elementary students participated in some important traditions around transition. During “Moving Up Morning”, students who are returning next year spent the morning with teachers from the next grade level, getting to know next year’s teachers and learning more about the exciting events and units that are to come.

Students who are leaving UNIS Hanoi this year had the opportunity to ‘leave something behind’ through a series of symbolic activities.

  • They created  ‘Goodbye UNIS’ banners which will be on display in the ECC and ES courtyards for the rest of this year.
  • They painted a ‘secret rock’ and hid it in the rock garden for UNIS Hanoi students to discover in the future.
  • They left a message or wish on a ribbon which was tied up in the ES playground, joining ribbons from leavers in previous years.
  • They chose a book in the library that they had enjoyed, and added a book plate sticker with their name inside it, as a recommendation for other students.  

Finally, as a way to celebrate and look forward to their new destinations, our leavers got to celebrate with a small ice-cream party.  

A great weekend conversation will be to speak with your children about the farewell and moving up events that they participated in today, helping them get excited (and reduce anxiety) about the changes to come.  

Sincerely,
Megan Brazil

Annie Jr. – Grades 4-5 Musical Production Mash Up

Due to the effects of Covid-19, this year, the ES Grades 4-5 musical production of Annie Jr. was cancelled. However, the students were still able to share their talent through a mash-up film of songs and scenes from the show. Cast members were asked to submit videos of their favorite moments from the show, and Martin Hamilton, our Aquatics Academy Manager, masterfully synced all the clips together to capture the story.

It was extremely sad not being able to have a production this year as normal, but students were still able to rehearse via Zoom, with several small off-campus rehearsals (before social distancing was taken into effect). Videos were also shared with cast members so that they could still practice their choreography at home. Once the production was officially cancelled in April, we asked students to submit videos of themselves singing, dancing and performing scenes in order to create something to capture the essence of the story and acknowledge all their hard work.

We are so proud of all the students and so grateful to our amazing production team of Daniel Brewster, Molly Moore, Audrey Pagoli, Nguyen Thy Thuy Lien, and, of course, to Martin Hamilton for creating the mash up. Congrats to everyone for all their dedication, positive energy and hard work.

Enjoy the musical production mash up: https://youtu.be/4j4iLin6-Gs

Parent Tips for Summer Reading

The summer is a wonderful time for children to read what they most enjoy, to learn new things, and to have fun! Summer reading is also an important way to prevent kids from losing too much ground over the summer. As a parent, there are a number of things you can do to encourage your child to read and to develop strong reading and writing skills over the summer.

Make time for reading
Set aside a quiet time each day for reading, and remember to include “reading time” when planning summer activities. Bring a book in your backpack and read whenever you have time. Read right before lights out in bed, after lunch in a hammock, or in the car riding home from the park.

Connect books to experiences
Read books related to places you have been or experiences you have had. For example, you might read a book about ocean animals if you live near the beach. Helping your child connect books with their own experiences will build their vocabulary and make their experiences more meaningful. 

Allow your child to choose what they read
Allow your child to choose their own reading material, including popular fiction, magazines, graphic novels, and comic books. Summer is a time when children can discover the joys of reading, and they will be more motivated if they are reading something they enjoy. As always, if you are concerned about the content of what your child is reading, talk with them about their interests and set some guidelines for appropriate choices.

Keep it fun
Don’t set rules about reading for a certain amount of time or reading a minimum number of pages, and don’t make reading a punishment — keep it fun so that it’s something that your child wants to keep doing!

Keep different kinds of reading materials at home
To stimulate reading at home, keep reading materials throughout the house, including newspapers, magazines, and brochures. Keep other fun literacy materials on hand too, like word games, puzzles, or the kids’ section of the newspaper. This will increase your child’s access to books and printed material, providing more opportunities to practice reading.

Beat boredom with books
Help your child find books that they find interesting — especially on rainy days! These might include non-fiction books, fun fact books, arts and crafts books, hands-on activity and project books, or cookbooks with kid-friendly recipes. Encourage your child to help plan and prepare a favorite meal – they can help write out the shopping list and read the directions while you cook!

Give your child a chance to read aloud to you
Reading aloud will give your child the opportunity to practice their reading skills. Encourage rereading of favorite books they can read easily. For older kids, ask them to read you things that are interesting to them, such as the newspaper sports page, a detective novel, or a music magazine.

Read aloud to your child
Read aloud to your children — even the older ones. Reading aloud benefits children and teens, particularly those who are struggling readers. Read aloud in different places, from the porch to the park. And don’t be afraid to use silly voices and act out the story!

Read together in your strongest language and experiment in others
If your family speaks a language other than English, make sure to read and discuss books in your home language. Research shows that when students build vocabulary, reading, and comprehension skills in their first language, it will help them learn to read in English. And, look for opportunities for your child to practice what they have learned in other languages. If you don’t speak that language, let them be your teacher!

Write away
Keep writing materials (pencils, paper, and crayons) easily available so that your child can practice writing. Encourage them to write letters or postcards to friends and relatives over the summer, to keep a journal, make a summer scrapbook, or to write stories and poems. Ask your child to help you when making shopping lists or copying a recipe.

Talk about what your child is reading
Talk about the books you and your child have read together — what you liked, what you didn’t like, or who your favorite character was. Ask your child to tell you about what they are reading.

Listen to audio books
If you will be spending a lot of time in the car or at home, find audio books online or at your local library and listen to them together. Listening to books is a fun and low stress way for kids to enjoy stories.

Explore online resources but set limits on screen time
Help your child find fun websites with online books and games that promote literacy. Ask your child what resources they have used here at school. Visit the UNIS Library website for links to Tumblebooks, BrainPop, Britannica Online and other great resources. If your child is still practicing letters and sounds, visit starfall.com.  

Tips adapted from the Colorin Colorado website – www.colorincolorado.org

Summer Math Activities for Kids

When school is out and the weather is nice, kids and adults alike can enjoy the outdoors while still stretching the brain. Summer is a rich opportunity to bring mathematical thinking into these fun outdoor activities. Explore numbers, engineering, measurements and more with structured activities, or ask the right questions to evoke mathematical thinking in almost any activity!

Here are some different activities that have been collected from around the internet and can be adapted for children of different ages, for outdoors or at the beach, and with different materials.

Outdoor Number Line Activity
Allison from No Time for Flashcards shares this activity where kids can find numbers and solve equations using the number line. All you need is a sidewalk and a piece of chalk!

Finding Symmetry in Nature
Young explorers can find natural objects on a hike or at a park and explore symmetry in this activity from Chelsey at Buggy and Buddy.

Paper Frisbee Geometry
Use geometry concepts to create your own frisbee, then fly them as an experiment, following the outline from Almost Unschoolers.

Build a Marble Run
Sarah from Frugal Fun with Boys shows us how to get crafty with craft sticks and cardboard boxes to create marble runs and mazes with young engineers.

Lego Math
Using legos as a measurement of weight, children gain number sense by comparing and estimating weight in this activity idea also from Sarah.

Newspaper Forts
Young engineers create triangles out of rolled up newspapers to build their own fort structures. Find the activity at Modern Parents Messy Kids.

Skewer Structures
Children get hands on with this engineering activity shared by Ana from Babble Dabble Do.

Math Art with Parabolic Curves
Get hands-on with parabolic curves by creating your own math art with these activities from What Do We Do All Day? Get physical and use string to recreate the art in 3-D!

Timing Outdoor Races
Young children explore the concept of time (How long is a minute?) in this outdoor activity from Carla at Preschool Powol Packets.

Sum, Say & Spray Math Game
Young mathematicians can practice sums, while older mathematicians can create number problems and equations in this outdoor activity shared by Kate at Kitchen Floor Crafts.

Water Balloon Math
Make a splash with math! This activity from No Time for Flashcards can be adapted to practice sums, fractions or multiplication, for any level of mathematician.

Circle Project
Use a camera and snap pictures of circles (or another shape) anywhere you go. This activity is a great opportunity to explore shapes and perspective. For example, if the angle of the picture isn’t right, how might a circle look like an ellipse?

Explore Shadows
This activity from The Pinterested Parent combines art and math to explore shapes, and the connections between 2D and 3D objects.

Balancing Scales
Have fun in the garden by challenging students to find objects that weigh more than, less than or equal to other objects. Create the do-it-yourself garden scales with instructions from Jode at Mummy Musings and Mayhem.

DIY Water Wall
Rachel from Tinkerlab shares this do-it-yourself water wall. Students can help you design the wall as well as interacting with the wall by pouring water to see what happens. What happens when you pour 1 cup of water? What about a pint?

Design and Build a Math Game
Design and build a math board game, card game, app or outdoor game and share it in the K-12 Game-a-thon. 

 Turn Any Summer Activity into a Math Experience

Any summer activity you do, whether it is outside or in, can be turned into a math activity. Whether you are cooking together, traveling to the beach, or just walking around your neighborhood, questions like these help make math more accessible and applicable to the world around us.

  •   What do you notice about…?
  •   What do you think will happen if…?
  •   What changed when we did that?
  •   Why did that happen?
  •   How can we…?
  •   Which way was better/shorter/faster?

 

ES Arts Week

This week all of the Elementary students, from Discovery to Grade 5 participated in our first ever Arts Week. Even those still in Distance Learning were able to create art and sing or dance at home with their families. Below we share a short video that is a snapshot of a wonderful week.

The children also contributed art and music to our Virtual Exhibitions and Concerts through grade level Padlets.

Please click the links below to have a look at all of the wonderful ways our students expressed their own creativity.

Visual Arts Padlets Music and Performing Arts Padlets

Discovery  and K1 Art

K2 Art

Grade 1 Art

Grade 2 Art

Grade 3 Art

Grade 4 Art

Grade 5 Art

K2 Music Sharing

Grade 1 – Music and Choir 

Grade 2 Virtual Talent Show

Grade 3 Virtual Talent Show

Grade 4 Virtual Talent Show

Grade 5 Virtual Talent Show

Many thanks to all of the parents, teachers and students who participated and shared their creativity in so many different and unique ways.

Yours, 

The ES Arts team.
Ms. Emma, Ms. Vicki, Ms. Noor, Ms. Liz and Ms. Abella

From the Elementary Principal

Dear Elementary Parents,

Transitions – onwards, forwards, upwards…

The two hardest things to say in life are hello for the first time and goodbye for the last.”
Moira Rogers

Teaching students how to navigate the emotional challenges that come with change and transition is something that caring adults are constantly doing.  Here at school, there are a few key events that support the end of year transitions that our students are experiencing.  

One big event on our calendar that our students look forward to every year is “Moving Up Morning”. Moving Up Morning is a time where students spend time in their new grade level, with their new teacher, developing a sense of excitement about the year ahead.  This is an important event as we help students say goodbye to their current grade level and teacher, and look forward to the next.

This year, Moving Up Morning is scheduled for Friday, June 5 and will look a little different to previous years.

Given that our enrolment numbers are unconfirmed for next year, we will not be releasing information about class lists at this time.  Students will not know who their next homeroom teacher is, until the information is shared with families via email, before the new year starts in August.  

Moving Up Morning will still take place, with students spending time in new classrooms and getting to know the teachers in the next grade level. They will develop an understanding of things that are different in their new grade level and learning experiences they can look forward to.  

Students who are leaving UNIS Hanoi at the end of this year will be included in the Moving Up Morning event, as well as participating in small group sessions hosted by Lee Cassidy, our school psychologist. In these small group sessions, students will receive a special UNIS Hanoi “Moving Journal” and will work through some aspects of the transition process with other students who are also departing. The journal will serve as a way for our departing students to reflect on important memories made at UNIS Hanoi and help them to look forward to their new destination.  

For further materials to support your children in transition, this is a helpful article:  Transitioning Well: Build a Raft that can stimulate some great family conversations, whether your child is leaving UNIS Hanoi or simply saying goodbye to their current class for the summer and returning in August, ‘building a RAFT’ to say goodbye is a useful tool for children and adults. 

Our aim for all students as we head into the end of the year, is to make every goodbye as ‘good’ they can possibly be.  

Sincerely,
Megan Brazil

From the Elementary Principal

Dear Elementary Parents,

Transitions – onwards, forwards, upwards…

The two hardest things to say in life are hello for the first time and goodbye for the last.” – Moira Rogers

Teaching students how to navigate the emotional challenges that come with change and transition is something that caring adults are constantly doing.  Here at school, there are a few key events that support the end of year transitions that our students are experiencing.  

One big event on our calendar that our students look forward to every year is “Moving Up Morning”. Moving Up Morning is a time where students spend time in their new grade level, with their new teacher, developing a sense of excitement about the year ahead.  This is an important event as we help students say goodbye to their current grade level and teacher, and look forward to the next.

This year, Moving Up Morning is scheduled for Friday, June 5th and will look a little different to previous years.

Given that our enrolment numbers are unconfirmed for next year, we will not be releasing information about class lists at this time.  Students will not know who their next homeroom teacher is, until the information is shared with families via email, before the new year starts in August.  

Moving Up Morning will still take place, with students spending time in new classrooms and getting to know the teachers in the next grade level.  They will develop an understanding of things that are different in their new grade level and learning experiences they can look forward to.  

Students who are leaving UNIS Hanoi at the end of this year will be included in the Moving Up Morning event, as well as participating in small group sessions hosted by Lee Cassidy, our school psychologist.  In these small group sessions, students will receive a special UNIS Hanoi “Moving Journal” and will work through some aspects of the transition process with other students who are also departing.  The journal will serve as a way for our departing students to reflect on important memories made at UNIS and help them to look forward to their new destination.  

For further materials to support your children in transition, this is a helpful article:  Transitioning Well: Build a Raft that can stimulate some great family conversations, whether your child is leaving UNIS Hanoi or simply saying goodbye to their current class for the summer and returning in August, ‘building a RAFT’ to say goodbye is a useful tool for children and adults. 

Our aim for all students as we head into the end of the year, is to make every goodbye as ‘good’ they can possibly be.  

Sincerely,
Megan Brazil

Parent Input Needed – End of Year Report Cards

Dear Parents, 

We at UNIS Hanoi believe that the education of each of our students is best when there is a strong and positive partnership between the home and school. This partnership has never been more important than during this semester of unprecedented uncertainty. Parents have had a role in the education of their children and a view into the educational programme of the school to a degree that’s never been experienced before. 

Because of this increased opportunity for parents to be involved, your insights as a parent are invaluable in relation to your child as a learner throughout the period of Distance Learning.

Take a moment to answer two questions for us in this form by this Sunday (May 24). Your input will be included on your child’s end of year report card.

We Need You Input on Your Child for Report Card- Complete Two Questions

Thank you,

Stephen Lush

ES Deputy Principal

Be a Buddy not a Bully – Students Take Action!

The culminating experience for our Elementary students is the PYP Exhibition in Grade 5. The PYP Exhibition provides an experience for students to carry out an extended and in-depth, collaborative project the involves students with real-life issues and problems. Students are not only encouraged to inquire into an issue they are deeply interested in, but they are also encouraged to take some sort of tangible action to address the issue.

This week at our Elementary virtual assembly, two students did just that. Ole Vanhees and Dean Judge wanted to impact the entire Elementary School by sharing their learning from their PYP Exhibition project on bullying. In Ole and Dean’s presentation to all Elementary students, they defined bullying and gave three main things each of us could do if we ever encounter it.

The three main things we all need to do is to:

    1. Speak up when you see it, even if it is a friend who is being mean to someone else
    2. Help others who are being hurt or bullied
    3. Be a Friend!

Ole and Dean finished their presentation by challenging each Elementary student to join them in making a pledge to take steps in making our school bully-free. Way to go Ole and Dean!

Fun Art and Music Activities Planned for Art Week

From Monday 25th May to Friday 29th The Elementary School will be celebrating the Arts with a week of art and music challenges. This week is designed to allow further opportunities for creative expression and a celebration of the Visual Arts Exhibition and Music Virtual Talent shows. The week will include fun morning art or music activities where children can freely express their ideas, creativity and imagination. Our week is entitled #expressyourself.

Even though we will be looking at the Grade level art and music Padlets in school during this week we will share these at the end of the Arts Week so if you haven’t yet uploaded your favourite artwork and your best music performance find the link in the DL website and upload it now! Don’t miss your chance to express yourself through these virtual galleries.

We are excited to see what our young artists and musicians will create wether back on campus or continuing with Distance Learning.

Grade 3 Students Explore Space

     The students of Grade 3 had a fun time this morning, presenting and exploring each other’s space-related projects. 

The showcase was a culmination of weeks of learning and the end of their ‘Where we are in place and time’ unit of inquiry.

Students learned how day and night is formed and about the planets that exist in the solar system before they launched off to investigate more about the universe. 

Presentations were given about Black Holes, the structure of planets and how the solar system is organised, to name but a few. 

Children who are still participating in the School’s Distance Learning programme did not miss out! Thanks to zoom, they too presented their work in front of their classmates.

In respect of Government guidelines concerning large gatherings in school settings, the four Grade 3 classes rotated through each other’s rooms, taking a keen interest in each others’ work. 

Congratulations!

From the ES Principal

Dear Elementary Parents,

The end of the school year is not far away.  We are overjoyed to have welcomed your children back to campus this week – their transition has been seamless.  Even with additional health and safety expectations placed on them both in and out of the classroom, they have adjusted quickly.  

Over the next few weeks, as learning continues both face to face and through Distance Learning, we will also be finishing off our end of year assessments, writing reports, and planning for the year ahead.

Our Elementary School Leadership Team invites Elementary Parents to a virtual ‘Coffee and Chat’ session at 13:30, next Wednesday May 20. This is an opportunity for us to connect and answer any questions you may have about our Distance Learning programme, end of year events and other topics of interest.

Please RSVP here to register your interest, send in any questions you would like to have addressed, and so that a secure Zoom link can be sent to you ahead of time.  

We look forward to the opportunity to meet with you.

Sincerely,
Megan Brazil