Friday October 18

Welcome back families! It was wonderful to be reunited with the children after such a long time apart. The children enjoyed sharing maps from their vacation adventures. We also had a few children bring in objects/souvenirs from their trips. We discussed how sometimes objects can help us remember people and places and therefore make connections to events from our past and to people who are not present. I used our time apart as a way to introduce a new visible thinking routine called Think, Pair, Share. This is a great way to limit the amount of talking I do during our “big ideas” time and to let the children have ownership of our conversations. We practiced sitting elbow to elbow, knee to knee. I asked the children to talk with their partner about what they did over the holiday. When time was up, I then asked the children to share something their partner had told them. This is a great way to practice how to be a good listener. We will continue to add other visible thinking routines to our day.

Tuesday was Sustainable Development Goals day with Discovery and K1. Discovery was exploring SDG# 12-Responsible Consumption and Production. Ms. Charla was looking at SDG #4 Quality Education, Ms. M was doing #15 Life under water and our class explored SDG#5 Gender Equality. The children are excited about the SDG’s and we will continue to examine them in the upcoming weeks using another visible thinking routine called Color, Symbol, Image and see if the children can create SDG’s of their own.

UN Day Monday – important information for K1

  • children should come to school already wearing their national dress
  • drop off your community lunch contributions in the ECC gym before the assembly
  • be seated in the Sports Centre by 11am
  • after the assembly, meet your child back at our classroom for lunch and dismissal – please do not take your children from the Sports Centre, nor pull them out of the class line walking back to the ECC
  • each child will be marked off as they are picked up from the classroom. Let Ms. Jacqui know if you are taking your child home, or if s/he is taking the bus.
  • once you collect your child from the classroom s/he is under your care -please help your child with lunch and supervise on the playground
  • dismissal is at 1pm.  Children going home on the bus should be brought back to the classroom at 12:50. Thank you!

Reminders:

  • Friday October 25th: Final swimming session
  • Thursday October 31st: Dress up day – more details will be shared in the Tin Tuc
  • Show and tell will start the last week of October.  Please see details in next week’s blog

Enjoy photos from Week 9

Friday October 4th

Thank you for attending our learning conversations on Monday. It is a new format and one that will surely improve as we figure out how best to include the children in our conversations surrounding their learning.

Several of you asked about how to support the growing interest in reading that you are seeing in your children. I have contacted Angela, our literacy coach, and asked her to help me put together some helpful information for you. I will keep you posted and send it out as soon as I can.

This week we continued adding to our lego town. The children came up with lots of ideas on how to “connect” our homes. ….

  • Luy: use tape
  • Emily: Tape and arrows
  • Simone: Glue, tape and roads
  • Cyrus: Stick them close together
  • Lukas: Use tape to connect the cardboard

I have included some pictures of how our town has been progressing. Today Lukas and Yuya added a bridge!

We talked about how maps connect us…

  • Emily: maps show us how to go to school, or find your home, and find your class. To go to friends.
  • Cyrus: they show us where we are going.
  • Hannah P: If someone says “I don’t know how to get to your house” you can give them a map to show them the way.

This week under the loft there was a big “wedding”. The children made invitations, drew maps and decorated the walls with sparkles. It was exciting to see them independently determine what they needed and then go off to make it.

On Tuesday we read “A Squiggly story” about a little boy who decides to write a story with encouragement from his big sister. Simone made her own book and brought it in to share. This sparked a real interest in the other children as well.   Cyrus, Luy, Jihwan, Emily, An and Jack all made books which we are finding ways to display so children can keep adding pages and read them to each other.

I have started a “catch you being kind” heart to encourage the children to find ways to show kindness in their interactions with each other, and their teachers. You may be hearing the children talk about this and please know that everyday Hein and I are making sure to “catch” every child being kind. We are making a class goal to get 100!

If you are traveling this break we would love to have some maps of where you have been. Please enjoy your holidays whether you are traveling or staying put. I will miss the children and look forward to hearing about their adventures when we return on the 14th.

Enjoy photos of Week 8 and here is the link from last week that I added incorrectly. Apologies!

Reminders

  • Show and Tell will start the last week of October
  • UN Day Oct 21st-See Tin Tuc
  • SDG Week-Litterless snacks

Friday September 27

This week we continued our inquiry into the central idea: ‘Children know they belong and have a sense of connection to others and the environment.‘  Last week Eden and Luy used dots to create a map from 3D to K1C during our time with Buddies. This week we used Eden and Luys idea to make more maps with our buddies and then worked on a collaborative piece with the 3rd graders.  The children were prompted draw their homes and then to think about how we can show how our homes “connect”. Jack said we could use zip lines!

We had a great first week swimming. The children loved being in the pool with Mr. Micah and his team. Swimming will be on both Wednesday and Thursday next week. Please make sure to label all swim items.

In cooking this week Ms. Hien showed the children how to make banana smoothies and we had a picnic snack outside.

I look forward to meeting you all on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Lots of great photos this week! Week 7

Friday September 20

This week we continued our inquiry under the transdisciplinary theme ‘Who we are,‘ with the central idea: ‘Children know they belong and have a sense of connection to others and the environment.‘ We are learning about the meaning of connecting and belonging. Some questions that are starting to bubble up are;

How do we connect if we speak different languages? How do maps help us connect? How do we connect when we are far away? Can objects help us feel connected?

On Thursday we visited our Grade 3 buddies in their classroom!  We decorated “dots” with our buddies to celebrate Dot Day – a book by Peter Reynolds.

We also spent time generating some agreements for our meeting times and for our classroom expectations. We had some rich thinking around these classroom agreements because we had a few things come up while I have been attending PD.

As I may have mentioned I think that some of the behavior that was happening was directly linked to the amount of time I had to be out of the classroom in the last two weeks. I have now completed all the required training for new teachers at UNIS and have no further professional development planned. I am eager to get back into a routine with the children and I think they are too.

Swimming starts next week.  Please check the Tin Tuc and your email for important information.  Any questions about the swimming program can be directed to our school Aquatics Academy Manager, Martin Hamilton, at aquaticsmanager@unishanoi.org

Please enjoy photos from WEEK 6

Reminders:

  • Swimming starts this Monday. Children will swim on our PE Days – Thursday and Wednesday.  Please see the Tin Tuc for more information.
  • Monday September 30th: Learning Conversations with Students, Parents and Teachers (no school for students except for during your booked time). Please see the Tin Tuc for more information about how to sign up.
  • Friday October 4th: Last day of school before the October Break
  • Many children in K1 have been falling ill.  Please do keep your children home if they are unwell. Additionally, it is school policy that children are fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school.  Thank you!

Friday September 13

Dear Families-

This week was a busy one for the children and myself. We started off together on Monday using stickers to make our name and also used letter beads and buttons to make wire sculptures. We welcomed Hannah S and her family to school as well. All of the children have done a wonderful job helping her transition into our classroom community.

Our Vietnamese teachers provided many opportunities to engage with all the elements of the Moon Festival. The children made animal masks and paper dragons as well as playing with traditional Vietnamese toys.

This week in cooking the children made oatmeal cookies with Ms. Hien and Ms Binh who worked together to care for your children while I was out for math training. Ms Hien also celebrated her birthday on Tuesday. Happy Birthday to our much loved Ms. Hien!

We had our first snack sale as well. My apologies for those of you who did not realize that was happening. I did leave extra dong with Ms. Hien so that no child would be left out. I will be sure to send out reminders the next time the snack sale happens.

I have been out of the classroom since Tuesday on a Math training course. It has been incredibly helpful to have this training so early in the year. It will inform assessment and learning and help me to recognize more about the way your children develop their math sense, which in turn will help me better meet them where they are at.

Please enjoy looking at and talking about the photos from this week with your child! Week 5

Reminders

Monday, September 30 Parent Teacher Conferences (No school for students)-Please see TIn Tuk for details.

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.

Reminders:

  • 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.

Reminders:

  • 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