First Full Week- Total Success!

We’ve had a great week getting to know each other as we are develop expectations and routines that will help the rest of the year run smoothly. It’s very important to take things slow in the beginning as we focus on community building, getting to know each other, behaviors and developing a growth mindset! I’ve also enjoyed getting to know the students as mathematicians, writers, readers and learners.


We do not assign homework in the UNIS Elementary School, but we do expect students to read every night. We will go to the library as a class on Thursdays, but students are invited to go to the library every lunch time if they choose. They should always have a book to read! 

I am still learning about your child as a reader, but they are expected to be able to pick appropriate books. We have talked about using the I-PICK strategy to know if a book is a good choice for them.


Please note their have been a few changes to the schedule. We have also added Here is a link to the updated schedule.

Who We Are: An Inquiry Into Beliefs and Values   

We enjoyed learning about some of the different things that students value today.  We saw some wonderful examples things we value, such as family, learning, play, nature, friendships, sports, religion, travel, etc. Some students are still working on their bags and have promised to bring them by Wednesday, August 29. Here are some photos of today’s presentations! 

Teacher Learning 

I am very fortunate to work at UNIS which values both student and teacher learning. Over the next 2 weeks, I will be in 3 different workshops. While it is unusual to have so much Professional Development at the beginning of the year, it is also very good because I will be able to apply what I’ve learnt for the rest of the year, to the benefit of your child! Please accept my apologies for being out, but I ensure that our learning will continue in my absence! I have included links to the workshop details if you are curious about what I am learning.

We have a wonderful substitute, Ms. Johanna Ponsen, on the following days:

Monday and Tuesday (August 27 & 28) Cognitive Coaching @ UNIS

Thursday and Friday (August 30 & 31) STEM Ingenuity Summit, Bangkok

Thursday and Friday (September 6 & 7) Structured Word Inquiry @ UNIS

Building Community

We’ve had so much fun building a positive community in our classrooms as well as a grade level. Here are some photos of the fun times we’ve had this week and last!



  • Class Photos on Wednesday, August 29th!
  • Back-to-School Night, Thursday, September 6th 
  • Students should have a snack, hat and water bottle every day.
  • Students should have a pair of headphones to keep at school.

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to a new school year! I am thrilled to be your child’s 3rd grade teacher, along with my amazing sidekick/teaching assistant, Ms. Thuy. We’ve had a wonderful first week of school, the first of many. I’ve enjoyed getting to know our room full of curious and enthusiastic young learners and am keen to see where our learning will take us this year.

This is my 8th year at UNIS. With the exception of my childhood home, I’ve never lived anywhere longer than 5 years, so that is a strong testament of how much I love UNIS and Hanoi. Prior to Vietnam, I’ve lived in Florida (USA), Shanghai and Munich. I love traveling, exploring and new experiences in general, whether it is a new city, new nooks within a place, ideas, books, and my own creativity! My husband, Chris, and I are now exploring the new world of parenthood with our amazing 1-year-old daughter, Lorelie. Her big, furry brother, Brody (our Black Labrador) has adjusted well to sharing the attention and particularly enjoys cleaning up after mealtime, although he is a bit disappointed that she is not able to throw a frisbee yet.

We will spend the first few weeks setting up classroom routines and expectations, as well as developing a strong community. Creating a positive and safe learning environment is our number one priority to ensure that children feel ready to learn. We will continue to work on this over the next few weeks, as it is important to take the time at the beginning of the year to lay the foundation for continued excellence.

To ensure that your child is ready to learn and play each day, please ensure that your child has the following: (They are welcome to leave any of these things in their class cubbies or lockers)
  • snack
  • headphones
  • hat
  • water bottle
  • lunch or lunch card

More detailed information will be coming in the next few weeks through this blog, which will be delivered every Friday through Tin Tuc. Please save Thursday, September 6th for our ES Back-to-School Night, where tons of information will be shared directly! Here is a link to the schedule, although there may be minor changes in the following weeks.

Have a wonderful weekend. Please take some time for your child to share some of their learning this week. Some discussion ideas are:

  • New friends they’ve made.
  • How is 3rd grade different from 2nd grade.
  • Four 4’s (math)
  • Books we’ve read (Phileas’s Fortune, The Brand New Kid, First Day Jitters, & The Exceptionally, Extraordinarly Ordinary First Day of School)
  • Community Games (See an example below!)

As you can see, it hasn’t been a been a boring week!


Posted in 3C