K1C Week 6: September 21st-25th

Dear K1C families,

It has been an eventful week in K1!

This week we saw the beginning of the swimming unit in PE, which was majorly exciting for our lovely students. Swimming will continue until October 23rd. 

On Monday we celebrated the International Day of Peace together as a Discovery and K1 community. We all gathered together in our lovely Arts Building and enjoyed a story read by the D/K1 teachers – “I am Peace,” by Susan Verde. After, Ms. Kris led the group in some calming yoga. K1B then reflected on what makes us feel peaceful. The children’s drawings and comments can be found in this week’s photos.

On Thursday we celebrated our Moon Festival. It was such a treat to see all of K1 in their beautiful ao dais! The students enjoyed sharing their ao dais with their friends and watching the performances through a livestream. The highlight of the morning was seeing the dragon dance through our ECC playground! 


  • Making pizza in cooking
  • Gathering as a D/K1 group for International Day of Peace celebrations
  • Watching the dragon dance during our Moon Festival 
  • Painting traditional bamboo masks to celebrate the Moon Festival
  • Exploring explore different types of sounds through technology and musical instruments. 
  • K1C Weekly Photos  


  • Thursday October 1 Learning Conferences – No school for Students
  • October 12-18 October Break
  • November 13 UN Day


We hope everyone has a lovely weekend,

Warm regards,

Ms. Kristen and Ms. Thu


K1C Week 5: September 14th-18th

Dear K1C Parents,

Our first unit of inquiry under the transdisciplinary theme ‘Who we are,‘ will have the children exploring the central idea that: ‘Children know they belong and have a sense of connection to others and the environment.‘ We continue to look for opportunities to open the K1 classrooms and give the children agency to move from one room to another and to play with and make connections with many different friends and teachers. The children have started asking when we can play in K1B and K1A which is wonderful to hear.

We look forward to celebrating the International Day of Peace and the Moon Festival next week.  On Thursday we will have a Moon Festival assembly at the school.  Please send your children to school wearing an Ao Dai on Thursday.  Does your family celebrate the Moon Festival or another Mid Autumn Festival?  Please let us know if you have any photos, stories, crafts, songs or other information to share.

Below is the email you should have received from Ms. Clare regarding swimming.

Dear Families,

Next week our swimming unit begins and will run for 4 weeks, finishing on 23rd October. This will take place in PE lessons for all lower Elementary classes (Discovery, K1, K2, and Grade 1)

 When your child has PE, please send them to school with a named swimming bag, inside a towel, goggles, swimming costume, and a cap if you have a child with long hair. Please make sure all these items are named. 

Please see the swimming blog for detailed information about our swimming program and expectations. 

 If you need to order any swimwear from our school shop:

A list of products sold at the shop is found here. Please either email Phuong: shop@unishanoi.org for the items you would like.

 If you have any questions about our upcoming swimming unit, please feel free to email me.

Kind Regards,

Ms Clare


  • During a read aloud of the book “Love” By Matt De Le Pena, the teacher read the phrase ‘the echo of your laughter is love.’ And the K1C children asked what is an echo? This created a wonderful discussion of shared experiences, and knowledge of what an echo is, or is not. We will continue our exploration of echoes and sounds next week. 
  • We celebrated Dot day by making digital dots on our iPads
  • We made books-we are authors!
  • Made a number line with our paper lanterns
  • Made mango smoothies during our cooking time
  • Painted salt dough mooncakes
  • Check out our Weekly Photos!


  • Monday September 21 International Day of Peace-Please wear blue or white on Monday
  • Monday September 21 Swimming Starts
  • Thursday September 24 Moon Festival
  • Thursday October 1 Learning Conferences-No school for Students
  • October 12-18 October Break
  • November 13 UN Day. 

We hope you have a great weekend!

Warm regards,

Ms. Kristen and Ms. Thu

K1C Week 4: September 7th-11th

Dear K1C Families, 

It has been another great week in K1C! We have been busy working on our flamingo project. Last week we did observational drawings of flamingos and this week we chose a drawing and had it enlarged. The children then used charcoal to trace the image so that we could transfer the drawing onto a large canvas. This week the K1C children have been working together to paint the image, and create a colorful background inspired by the storybook Sky Color, by Peter H. Reynolds.  Please make sure to check out the children’s work so far in the Documentation below and the Weekly Photos! 

Highlights of the week!

  • We saw some beautiful smiles on Photo day!
  • We did an experiment, we used glitter to represent dirt and germs. This gave kids a chance to see how dirt and “germs” respond to soap.
  • Baking apple cinnamon cupcakes in the ECC kitchen
  • Making and decorating mooncakes in preparation for the Moon Festival
  • K1C got moving doing the Dragon Dance in Vietnamese class


  • Please remember to bring a hat to school for our outdoor playtime. 
  • Please remember to have your child wear their PE kit on Wednesdays and Thursdays and if your child has long hair please have them put their hair up on those days as well. 
  • K1’s swimming unit will start September 21st. 

Upcoming Calendar Dates to make note of: 

  • September 24: Moon Festival 9:25am children are encouraged to wear Ao Dai’s 
  • September 25: Parent Coffee Morning with Admin
  • October 1: Parent Teacher Conferences

We hope you have a lovely weekend!

Warm regards, 

Ms. Kristen and Ms. Thu


K1C Week 3: August 31st-September 4th

Dear K1C families,

It has been another eventful week in K1C! We have all settled into routines nicely and are deepening our relationships with each other and our spaces. We’ve been having lots of wonderful open classroom time and enjoying our morning snack outside with all of K1. It has been a delight to watch friendships blossom between the classes as we build a sense of community in K1. 

Highlights of the week:

  • Baking delicious passionfruit cookies in the ECC kitchen
  • Making colorful rice for our sensory station
  • Decorating our “Hopes and Dreams” display with our special ribbons 
  • Exploring water play in the classroom and on the playground
  • K1C continued our exploration of flamingos. Last week we did observational drawings of flamingos and this week we chose a drawing and had it enlarged. The children then used charcoal to trace the image so that we could transfer the drawing onto a large canvas, please make sure to check out the children’s work so far in the Weekly Photos! 
  • Next week we will start painting the flamingo and creating a colorful background inspired the storybook Sky Color, by Peter H. Reynolds. 
  • Additionally there have been a lot of discussions this week about how buildings are made, and who makes them.  K1C has started to explore what it means to be an architect and a designer, and we have been creating our own buildings with various materials. 


  • School picture day is Wednesday, September 9th. Please pack PE clothes in your child’s backpack – we will change in our PE clothes after we take the photos. 
  • Please remember to bring a hat to school for our outdoor playtime. 
  • K1’s swimming unit will start September 21st. The Aquatics Director will be sending more information on the unit in the upcoming coming week.
  • Look out for an email invitation to join Seesaw, our online learning journal. If you have any issues logging into your seesaw account please reach out to our amazing ES Technology and Innovation Coach Neil Clark at wclark@unishanoi.org 

Have a lovely weekend together.

Warm regards,

Ms. Kristen and Ms. Thu

K1C Week 2: August 24th

Dear K1 Parents,

We continue to have a lovely start to the K1 year!  It has been such a pleasure getting to know your children this week.  The children seemed to feel very comfortable at school and enjoyed playing with each other.  The block, kitchen, water and play dough areas were particularly busy this week.  The children are learning to get themselves ready for snack, outdoor play and lunch.  Washing hands, wearing masks and getting hats and water bottles for outdoor play are all the students’ responsibilities and they have taken on these tasks very quickly.  We are also learning to greet each other with smiles and a pleasant “good morning” to start the day.

Please help your children prepare for the school day by ensuring they have hats, full water bottles, and two snacks each day.  Just a reminder that PE uniforms and sports shoes should be worn to school on Mondays and Fridays.


  • Playing with our friends in K1A and K1B during open classroom time
  • Our first assembly on zoom and listening to the story “We don’t eat our Classmates”by Ryan T Higgins.
  • Our first evacuation drill-the ECC did the best out of the whole school!
  • Visiting our Vietnamese classrooms for the first time
  • K1C has been wondering about Flamingos this week. So we collected books from the library about Flamingos, shared our knowledge of flamingos and did some observational drawings of Flamingos! 


  • September 1: ES New Parent Coffee 9am
  • September 2: NO SCHOOL Vietnamese Independence Day
  • Please don’t forget to write your hopes and dreams on the ribbon that we sent home in your child’s bag, please send them back Monday morning. 
  • Hats must be worn during outdoor play
  •  Please send in or email family photos if you haven’t done so already

Here are photos from our week together:

K1C Weekly Photo Album August 24th

I hope you find some time to look at them together with your child. Have a wonderful weekend!



First week in K1C!

~What a wonderful week we have had together at school!  Your children have shown bravery as they were risk takers coming back to school, resilience as they adapt to social distancing and masks and cooperation as they make new friends and get to know their classmates and teachers!

SO awesome!

Please follow the click to view the K1C Weekly Photos 

~Our first Unit of Inquiry is all about Who We Are. Could you please email a family photo for us to display in our classroom? We will be asking the children to share who lives at their house and tell us a little bit of information about them.

~Articulation and Language screenings

UNIS’ speech-language pathologist, Brian Walker, will begin the start of year speech and language screenings next week. This is a very quick look at your child’s ability to say sounds clearly, describe some things with short sentences and follow some simple directions.   If you child has some challenges, Brian will reach out to you in a few weeks.

If your child is in the distance learning or bridge program, Brian will screen your child when they return to campus.

If Brian worked with your child last year in K1, he/she will also be screened with therapy resuming by the end of September.

~Today we would like to introduce our specialist and support teachers that your children will come into contact with over the year.

Ms Kris – School Counselor

Hello families! This is my third year at UNIS where I work with students, teachers and families in Discovery to Grade 3. I love coming into the classroom to teach lessons about feelings, getting along, calmness and solving problems. I am always here to help children and their families as they navigate growing up. I look forward to seeing all students in person or on Zoom throughout the year.

Ms. Emma – Art ehamilton@unishanoi.org


Greetings. This is my 5th year here at UNIS where I teach art from Discovery to Grade 2. Ms. Trang is our art teaching assistant and your children will also meet her during art lessons. Art is my passion both at school and at home, where I will often be found in my studio (well garage) creating and making. I am originally from the UK where I taught for several years before teaching in Malawi, Dubai and now Vietnam. The UNIS Early Year’s art curriculum is structured to deepen your child’s interest and passion for making and creating as well as develop their artistic skills and knowledge. I am very excited about the year ahead and am really looking forward to seeing the new and innovative creations I know your children will be making. I am always available for any questions or queries and I look forward to reconnecting with my students from last year as well as meeting all the new students and families.

Ms. Liz – Music ewolden@unishanoi.org

I am originally from the United States and have worked in schools in Egypt, Myanmar, India, UAE and now am in my second year at UNIS working in the ECC. Music is a language that all children can access and enjoy and I look forward to singing, saying, moving and playing with your children this year! In my free time I enjoy playing the piano and spending time with my beautiful cat, Chipsy.

Ms. Dung- Vietnamese K2B tkdung@unishanoi.org

Xin chào. My name is Dung and I come from Vietnam. UNIS has held a very special place in my heart as I have been teaching Vietnamese at UNIS for quite a long time. The Vietnamese program at ECC is designed to help students to explore different aspects of Vietnamese culture and to build up appreciation and respect for the host country culture and language.  In my free time I enjoy reading books and spending time with my family and friends.  I am very excited about the year ahead and I am looking forward to meeting all the new and returning students and families.

Ms. Huyen- Vietnamese Teacher of K2 A, C and D ntthuyen@unishanoi.org

I’m Huyen and I come from Vietnam. I have taught in several International schools and UNIS is my second home. I love teaching Vietnamese as it is an opportunity for me to work with many of you from all over the world and share with you our Vietnamese culture and our language. In my spare time, I love exploring new places all over Vietnam, listening to music and playing with my puppy- Milo. I am looking forward to meeting you all.

Ms. Clare – PE calbertson@unishanoi.org

Kia Ora everyone! I am Clare Albertson and this is my 6th year teaching PE at UNIS Hanoi. I started my teaching career in my home country, New Zealand as a Kindergarten homeroom teacher, then moved to PE when I joined the International School of London before coming to UNIS. In my spare time I love exploring and hanging out with my 2 boys, reading, cooking and of course playing Sport! The ECC PE program is based around the philosophy of a Love for Movement. Myself and Mr Quang have a lot of exciting things in store for this year and we are really looking forward to moving through it together! Please reach out if you have any questions now, or throughout the year.

Mr. C – Information Technology Coach wclark@unishanoi.org

Hi everybody!  Big C here!!  I CANNOT WAIT to get this year started!  We have so many wonderful opportunities to create with technology at UNIS Hanoi! But maybe I should back up a bit… My name is William Clark (also known as “Big C”).  This is my 2nd year as the ES Technology Coach at UNIS Hanoi, a role I truly love with all my heart!  I have been a technology coach for the last 8 years.  Prior to coming to Hanoi, I worked at an IB school in Dubai, GEMS World Academy.  Before becoming a technology coach, I was a Grade 5 teacher for 3 years and a Grade 4 teacher for 1 year.  I was also an English teacher  in South Korea for 3 years. My passion is technology, more specifically…what can be created with technology.  Whether we are in the classroom or in our ES Makerspace, creativity with technology is certain at UNIS Hanoi and I feel so lucky and blessed to be a part of it all!

Ms. Monica – Librarian eslibrarian@unishanoi.org

I am Monica Mayer and this is my third year at UNIS, Hanoi. I have been involved in Education for more than 30 years mainly in the fields of Literacy and Boys’ Education. I have worked previously in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore before coming to Vietnam. In my spare time I love to go bushwalking along as many tracks as I can find, usually with my youngest son, Will who loves the outdoors as much as me. I also really enjoy yoga and of course exploring Vietnamese culture whenever I get a chance. I have two grown up sons – Michael and Will and my husband teaches Grade 4 at UNIS.

At UNIS, I look after the Library and thoroughly enjoy our elementary students and families visiting and borrowing each week. The Library always seems to me to be the heart of any school and I welcome every family to come and visit us and browse our beautiful collection of books. There is always something for everyone!

Mr. Brian – Speech and Language Teacher  bwalker@unishanoi.org

I am Brian Walker, and this is my second year at UNIS. I have been a speech-language pathologist for 25 years.  Vietnam is the fifth country I have lived and worked in outside of my home country of the United States. I had a great summer traveling through Vietnam and gaining a greater appreciation for the Vietnamese people, their diverse culture and language. Returning students will already know me from being in their classrooms and seeing me on the playground during recess.  I had fun seeing everyone back on campus this week!




Friday September 6

Dear Parents-

Thank you for coming to Back to School night and letting me show you around the classroom that your children have been a big part in creating. It makes me proud to see how much they have accomplished in the few weeks that we have been together.  Link to powerpoint is at the bottom of this blog post.

This week we finally got our visual schedule cards ready to use. I have been waiting for the kids to help me make them and they turned out fantastic. We also started our classroom jobs. The children also helped create these. They decided we already need to add a new one….the Problem Solver! This job will entail helping any friend that has a problem and needs help coming up with a solution.

The central idea of our first unit of inquiry is “we know we belong and have a strong sense of connection to others and the environment”.

I began with a simple provocation of asking them to leave one shoe in a pile and then we had to figure out who the shoe belonged too. The next day I smuggled some items from their backpacks, unbeknownst to them, and held up the items saying I wonder who this belongs to? In this way we’ll begin  to crack up the children’s understanding of the central idea.

On Wednesday the children were back in the kitchen with Ms. Hien to make lemon cake. Cooking days are fast becoming my favorite day of the week!

Friday we had our first open classroom and there was a lot of excitement. The children enjoyed the chance to spend time with old and new friends and to check out the other two K1 classrooms.

Moon Festival Assembly- we will celebrate the Moon Festival on Sept 12th. Students and faculty in the ES all wear Ao Dai’s for the assembly. Parents are welcome to attend the ECC-Gr1 assembly from 9.25 to 10:15.

Please can you label your child’s hat with K1C so that if they are found on the playground they will make it back to us. Also, if you could double check backpacks and make sure to send back any hats that might have gone home in the wrong backpack it would be much appreciated. We have some missing hats and it would be great if we could find them.


  • Sept 10th, 11th, 12th & 14th: Jacqui & Marianne @ math PD
  • Weds Sept 11th: Snack sale-please send your child with 20,000 VND
  • Thurs Sept 12th: Moon Festival
  • Fri Sept 13th: PD day, no students
  • Sat Sept 14th: Sparkly Social

Here’s the slide show from last night.

Please enjoy more photos of our week together! Week 4

Friday August 30th

We started off our week sharing our weekend adventures with our Monday morning news. The children are getting better at recalling the things they did over the weekend while we are apart. Ms Hien asked the children if they would like to help make our playdough for the week and had lots of volunteers. I introduced the maker space and it has quickly become a favorite spot for all the children. Right now, I am letting them explore the materials and build whatever they feel like but I will slowly get more intentional with my questions and with the process. I would like them to start with a drawing of their idea and be able to explain to what purpose their creation will be used. It will help them to make their thinking visible and to verbalize why their initial “plan” may be different than the end result. Thank you to everyone who has sent in materials for us to use in the maker space-please keep it coming-Makers Gotta Make!

We also continue to explore emotions. Teaching emotions in the moment that they are happening is a more connected and authentic experience for the children and we will keep adding feelings to our chart as the children think of them and/or experience them.

On Tuesday we had our first cooking day in the kitchen with Ms. Hien. The children made shortbread cookies which were delicious and quickly gobbled down at the end of the day.

On Thursday we started to look at our family photos (still waiting on a few) and we had our first meeting with our 3rd grade buddies. We will meet with them every other week as a way to build relationships within our school community.

On Friday we had a visit from Ms. Nitasha who read a book to us and then we went on a surprise trip to middle school to see the new baby ducklings. It was a great end to a fantastic week!

Please enjoy some photos from our week! Week 3

We look forward to hearing about all your adventures over the long weekend. We will miss the children!

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 K1 and Discovery 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.

Important reminders:

No school Monday, September 2nd

Fire Drill 9am Tuesday

Back to School Night Thursday September 5th (details to follow)

Friday August 23rd

Dear K1C Parents

This week in K1C I started the week by showing the children a picture of my dog Billy who is still in the USA. I told the children that I had a missing feeling when I thought of Billy. I asked them “What is a missing feeling?”

Luy: “If you have a cat. When I am at school. I miss my cat.”

Jihwan: “My dog in Korea”

Eden: “my dog died.”

Emily: “friends in Japanese miss me”

Cyrus: “My mom is missing me.”

We continued exploring emotions by reading “When Sophie’s Feelings Got Really Hurt”  and a book the children absolutely loved called “Beegu.” Through these books we looked at feelings of hurt and loneliness. The children made emotion sticks to use when we listen to stories to see if we all feel the same way about things. Sebi made one for curious and Hannah made up one called the love feeling. Looking at feelings led us into how we show emotions on our face. The children used loose parts to explore the details in their faces and to add emotions.

In the book “When Sophie’s Feelings Got Really Hurt”  a young girls feelings get hurt when she paints her favorite tree blue and yellow and her classmates laugh at her. She tells them that she chose colors that show how the tree makes her feel. We borrowed a little tree from Ms. M’s classroom and the children tried to paint using colors that showed how it made them feel just like Sophie.

After reading Beegu the story of a little space creature that gets lost. I had the children draw a picture of Beegu and then sent them off to use three different materials to think of a way to help Beegu get home. Some of the children used Legos, some Kapla blocks and the rest used Unifix cubes. When I spoke with them about their creations, they all had thought carefully about the details they felt their constructions needed for Beegu to get home safely.

All this time thinking about emotions is hopefully leading the children to think deeply about how we want to be together as a community. What will we do to make sure everyone feels included in our community? These are big ideas for the children and I can’t wait to see how these questions will be answered.

The children have met all our specialist teachers and are enjoying the change of environment these classes provide. We had our first assembly of the year and all the Discovery and K1 students made us teachers proud with how well they handled the Auditorium and the large number of students gathered in one place!

Friday morning I told the children that as of Monday I did not want any more toys or electronics coming to school. I explained that the safest place for their special things was at home. We talked about how we will be able to share toys and important things after the October break during our show and tell time.

Please enjoy many more photos from our week together! Week 2

I am still waiting for quite a few family photos. Please try to get those to me as soon as possible as I have started displaying the ones I have in the classroom.

We have noticed that many of the children are not eating the fruit snack in the afternoon. We were hoping you could ask them if they would like a little more in the morning snack. We always give the children the option to eat the remaining items in their morning snack if they prefer.

Important dates to Remember

Wednesday 28th August – Individual and class photos. PE is scheduled that day but please send your child in photo clothes.

Monday 2nd September – School will be CLOSED due to a public holiday.

Thursday 5th September – Back To School Night @ 6pm.  More details to follow.


August 16

Dear K1C Parents,

It is hard to believe that we have only been together three days! From the moment the children walked through the door on Wednesday morning they seem to have known what to do and how to do it without a whole lot of help from me or Ms. Hien. I am excited to learn alongside your children as both a guide and a resource as we become a community of friends, inquirers, researchers, scientists, mathematicians and artists to name just a few!

Here are some observations and overheard conversations I was fortunate to experience…

Magic potion was being made in the loft to turn people into giants.

“But don’t drink it inside or you’ll break the roof”.

I’ll drink it and then take over the world!”

“Everyone prepare to get shrunked!”

“I can’t draw 4 people but I can draw 68”

“Put it in the middle so we both can see it”

We had sticky playdough and I asked the children if they had any ideas about how to make it less sticky. I told them the ingredients of the playdough and they wanted to try adding more flour which we had plenty of in the kitchen. The kids spent most of the morning at this table experimenting with how much was needed to make the playdough better.

At the end of the day on Wednesday I gave each of the children a clipboard to draw what they remembered. We spent some time reflecting as a group to help us recall all that had happened and then I asked the children to draw what they enjoyed most. Luy drew the dragon from the dragon dance at our assembly. Mimi drew a picture of the outside play area. Their drawings are hanging in the classroom and you are welcome to come take a look.

Mr. Clark the digital technology coach came to visit from the IT department. He brought along a voice machine that had the children fully engaged as he showed them how he could make their voices sound different. There were lots of smiles, laughter and wonder in our classroom during his visit.


  • PE uniforms and sports shoes should be worn to school on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Children need to have hats, full water bottles and a morning snack each day. Hats must be worn during outside play.
  • Afternoon snack (fruit) is provided by the school. Please send a healthy morning snack
  • Help us build our maker space! We will need a continuous supply of cardboard, boxes, corks, bottle caps, tubes, coffee capsules, etc. (you name it we could probably use it!)
  • Please remember to send in or email family photos. My email is jstransky@unishanoi.org

Please enjoy many more photos from this week. K1C Media