Totem Poles as a form of cultural expression

Our final full week of learning was both wonderfully energetic and peacefully reflective.  Students worked both individually and together as a group to develop the tools they plan to use to help with all the upcoming transitions.  Ms. Kris was an integral part of our community as we discussed transitions:

In Social Studies, students learned about how some North American cultures express their creativity and values through totem poles.  Students then used their own cultural iceberg and the inspiration of the animals and birds used on totem poles to create their very own totem pole showing what they value.

At this time of year we are all looking forward to summer break with excitement.  Today was our last Friday morning meeting (ask your students about our special Friday morning meeting greeting and message) which makes me reflect on the wonderful year of learning we have had together.  I will miss our community and each member of our community; however, as a digital citizen, I hope to stay connected with these wonderful children and their families. Thank you to all for your support and involvement this year.


  • Monday-your students will bring most of their school books and work home.  We will keep one book to work in.
  • Leavers Assembly – Tuesday 11th June 1.15 – 1.45pm Sports Centre
  • Wednesday last day school finishes at 12.00 noon.  There is no lunch that day, so please send a healthy snack that will keep your student going until they get home.

VERY IMPORTANT:  Read A Million Minutes! – UNIS Hanoi Reads Summer 2019

If everyone reads for just 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week in the long holiday (14 June – 13 August 2019), together we can read for a million minutes!

You can read anything! Listening to an audiobook while you travel counts as “reading” as well.

Students who read the most will be rewarded. The grade that reads for the most minutes will get a unique prize. If we succeed in reaching the million minutes mark for the school.

Click below to input your minutes.

1 Million Minutes of Reading

Posted in 2B


Our 2B community shared our thoughts about grade two with visiting first graders this week:

As we think about transitioning to third grade, we have started to talk about our transitions during our community time.  We are all transitioning, some to new countries and schools, all to a new grade three community.  Here are some prompts we are using to discuss our feelings about transitions:

  • I am looking forward to…
  • I will miss…
  • I am nervous about…
  • I am confident about…
  • I am excited about…

2B continues to consider how cultures express their creativity by designing masks representing their values and hairstyles that show their own unique flair.

In math, students investigated mass by estimating, weighing, and comparing items in the classroom.

In reading, students practiced projecting their voices with appropriate volume in Reader’s Theater.  They also used narrative structure to retell a story to a friend.

In writing, students wrote cinquain poems.  These poems have five lines with a set number of syllables on each line (2-4-6-8-2).  With limited words, students focused on word choice to convey meaning in their poems.  In addition to poetry, students wrote microstories using pictures as pompts.  In word inquiry, students set SMART goals for the spelling pattern they plan to focus on these last few weekd.  Ask your student what spelling goal they are working toward.


  • Paper Towel Rolls-please send these to school next week for an important project the first week of June.
  • Swimming Extravaganza Wednesday, June 5th 9:30-11:00
  • PE is back to normal next week:  Swimming Monday and Thursday, Trampoline on Wednesday
  • Friday is moving-up morning
  • Grade 2 Year-End Party: Grade 2 will celebrate their end of year party on June 7 from 1:45-3:00. What we need from parents at this point is a snack for G2 to share at 1:45. We think activities will start at 2:00 but will be finalizing those early in the week. An email will follow with the details and your children will also inform you.  

    Snacks should be “nude food”. We’d like to keep with the sustainability of our school which means little or no plastic and rubbish. Name a plate or any containers so we can get them back to you.

    Parents are welcome to the snack if you are keen.


Posted in 2B

Cultures express their creativity in many ways

Please find some important information and updates below.

PE Next Week Only-Monday Trampoline (long pants, socks, long sleeves) and Wednesday Swimming, Thursday Swimming. Change due to sports centre being booked from Wednesday on for graduation preparation.

Paper Towel Rolls-please send these to school next week for an important project the first week of June.

May 31st Early Release-Students go home at 11:30 because of High School Graduation.

Swimming Extravangza Wednesday, June 5th 9:30-11:00

UOI:  Grade Two is finishing the year by wrapping up our year long unit of inquiry; How We Express Ourselves, Cultures Express Creativity in Many Ways. We began by reviewing the central ideas and lines of inquiry. Students also looked back at their individual cultural icebergs to review the aspects of culture that are seen (food, clothes, music) and aspects that are unseen (values, sense of time, sense of fairness). The provocation this week was learning about mandalas and then creating them using fresh flowers and leaves. They were so beautiful!

To celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day on Friday, 2A and 2B joined to learn cultural games from China, India, and Indonesia.  Games are part of cultural we can see (the part of the iceberg that’s above the water); ask your student what values they think these games represent.

Students are invited to bring in stories or games from their own culture/language next week.

Math:  This week we continued to learn about arrays and multiplication. We also added some work with estimating and measuring length.

Literacy:  Students are enjoing the start of our creative writing unit. They are applying the writing skills earned this year to authoring original, creative stories and poems. We also started oral story telling by watching a great version of, The Big Carrot. Ask you child about the story.

Fun with our buddies:

Posted in 2B

Actions to save water, a limited resource

Dear Parents,

Some parents have asked about an end of year party in grade two. We are still discussing possible events and will get back to you as soon as possible. There will be something towards the end of the school year!


HOT HOT HOT! The heat is back so please make sure that your child comes to school with a hat and water bottle everyday. I am doing my best to encourage constant hydration.

Friday, May 31st, Early Dismissal for high school graduation. Classes dismissed at 11:30.

UOI:  This week was our final assessment for our Sharing the Planet. Our central idea for this unit has been, People Take Actions to Share Limited Resources. Students created an action plan to solve a problem that they see in our UNIS community, listed what various perspectives on the problem might be, and then came up with possible solutions and tangible actions to solve the problem.Student engagement and excitement with this assessment was very high. Students identified numerous problems on campus ranging from leaving the tap on to wasting drinking water. As a class, students created posters, t-shirt designs and models.  They asked Ms. Monica if they could set up a display in the library so that they could pass on their action ideas to all students and families that use the library.

Ask your child about their specific action plan.  Please reinforce the idea that action does not stop because the assessment is over, it can carry on outside of school. As always, if you have any photos or action that is happening at home please send them to me. I am happy to share them with the class.

Math: This week, students started their work with multiplication through the use of arrays and repeated addition.  Ask your student to find arrays in real life and expain how arrays are useful ways to solve mathematical problems (how many eggs are on the back of that scooter??).

Literacy:  Next week, students will start their final  (and maybe most exciting) reading and writing unit for the school year. Students will learn all about narratives through oral storytelling, read alouds, readers theatre, with some poetry thrown in for fun.

From grade four students:

Posted in 2B

Hosting this week’s assembly

2A and 2B joined together to prepare a student-led assembly.  Students decided the topics, sub-topics, roles, and format of their assembly.  Working together, students:

  • introduced our Unit of Inquiry, Central Idea, and SDG focus
  • presented research in the form of “Do you know…” statements about water
  • acted in four different skits to show bad and good uses of water
  • offered teaspoon of change ideas for improving water usage at home and at school

Grade 2 investigated the energy efficiency and water usage in the new canteen led by Mr. Duc from our facilities team.  Ask you student about the different ways our new canteen is energy efficient and more sustainable.

Students are entering the final week of our Sharing the Planet unit. Today we started our final task to create an action plan for a problem related to our unit. Students identified different problems our community faces at home and at school related to water as a limited resource.  They began to think of the different perspectives that people can have towards these problems. Next week students will think of some solutions and create their own individual action plan.

In English, students are completing our final persuasive piece of writing. Our new focus will be narratives and poetry until the end of the school year.

In Math this week students finished an inquiry into geometry and will start to focus on multiplication and division using arrays.


  • Swimming is now Mondays and Thursdays; Wednesdays students are on the trampoline
  • This coming Monday (May 13) we are having the ES Snack SalePlease bring 10,000 to 20,000VND to school purchase snacks .
  • UNIS Tennis Academy ASA’s end of May:  I write to give notice that UNIS Tennis Academy ASA classes on Thursday 23rd May 2019 and Friday 24th May 2019 will be postponed. They will run a week later during catch up week on Thursday 30th May and Friday 31st May 2019 at the usual times. Students will go home directly after school (earlier bus) as there is no ASA on 23rd and 24th May.


Posted in 2B

Reading is…

…wonderful, calming, fantastic, enjoyable, funny, entertaining, outstanding, sleepy, nonsense (sometimes), lovely, informational, valuable, realistic, helpful, mind opening, amazing, important, learning, fun, interesting, good, persuasive, exciting, awesome, incredible, fascinating, fabulous, super, relaxing, and cool! (adjectives by 2B students)

Your 2B students enjoyed book week, check Seesaw for pictures.

In Social Studies, students explored WASH behaviors (WAter, Sanitation, and Hygiene) and began to think about actions to irmprove these behaviors and be more healthy.


-Please read the swim blog for an important change to the PE timetable.

Posted in 2B

Water Inquiry, Upcycling, and more!

Students inquired into the water used at UNIS through an exploration of the bore hole, pump room, water filtration, and an activity focused on developing an understanding of scarcity, sanitation, and plentiful.


Through the lens of art, students considered the meaning of the word “upcycle”, comparing it to what they know about the words recycle and bicycle.  They also applied their understanding of the attributes of plane shapes throughout the exbhiti (ask your student about the rug made out of opened/flattened sports balls).

Through the lens of math, students used a 100’s chart to better understand the availability of fresh water on Earth.  Students also learned about required water intake for children their age based on information from the school nurse.  They are checking their water bottles to see how much they need to drink to get to at least 1.2 litres/day as recommended in the water intake chart for children below, which is based on research done in the UK/USA. This shows minimum requirements and amounts should be increased by 1-2 litres in heat and humidity and during exercise.

Total water intake per day (including water contained in food)

Water obtained from drinks per day


1-3 years

1.3 litres

0.9 litres


4-8 years

1.7 litres

1.2 litres

Through the lens of research, students investigated water in books and through our class water padlet.  They eagerly shared new facts, pondered new vocabulary related to water, and asked many questions.  Students visited Grade 5 PYPX to learn more about action our students are taking in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Students in 2B considered Earth Day all week as they brainstormed actions that should be taken all the time to save our earth.  Here are some ideas:


  • No School April 29, 30 and May 1.
  • Book Week – Dress Up Character Day Thursday 2nd May
  • MRISA assembly. Wear your UNIS gear to support our Volleyball teams. Friday 3rd May
  • SCO Book Sale May 3-4; 2B will attend on Friday 3 May in the first period.
  • PE-please remember to send a long sleeve shirt and long pants, plus socks, to school for trampolining on Mondays, and Wednesdays. Swim gear on Thursdays. This will go until the end of the school year.
Posted in 2B

Student-Led Conferences

Dear 2B parents,

Thank you for coming to our student-led conferences.  What a wonderful day to celebrate learning, growth, and set goals with your student!

Reading:  Is there a special story that has passed down in your family?  Perhaps something your Grandma read to you, then you read to your child?  Students explored the genre of classics in the library this week.

Writing:  Students continued to work on their persuasive texts; some finished their first draft and began a second toopic.

Unit of Inquiry:  Students will inquire into SDG #6 Clean Water and Sanitation, starting off with a provocation on Monday about Earth Day.  Please browse our class padlet with your student to help them with their research into water as a limited resource.  Please encourage your student to wear green on Monday!image.png

Math:  A glimpse of your students preparing for student-led conferences:



Counseling:  Over the next few weeks our D-2 School Counselor, Kris Bezzerides, will begin a series of lessons about Body Safety. One of the main goals for these lessons is to provide our children with knowledge and teach protective behaviors in regards to their bodies and their right to be safe.

These lessons are age – appropriate and non-threatening. They are designed to empower students.

A typical series of lessons will include:

  • Keeping Our Bodies Safe
  • Safe Touch /Comfortable and Uncomfortable Feelings
  • Trusted Adults

Please see Ms. Bezzerides (  if you have any questions about these lessons or how to talk with your children about this topic at home.

Additional resources for parents can be found at


  • Monday April 22 Earth Day – WEAR GREEN!
  • No School April 29, 30 and May 1.
  • PE-please remember to send a long sleeve shirt and long pants, plus socks, to school for trampolining on Mondays, and Wednesdays. Swim gear on Thursdays. This will go until the end of the school year.
  • SCO Book Sale May 3-4 – Keep donating books – Final week next week.
  • Book Week – Dress Up Character Day Thursday 2nd May
  • MRISA assembly. Wear your UNIS gear to support our Volleyball teams. Friday 3rd May
Posted in 2B

Inquiring into Limited Resources

Dear Parents,

We have had a great week back at school after our relaxing and fun spring break. This month there are several important dates and Vietnamese national holidays to be aware of. Please find the reminders below along with some photos and information about our learning this week.


  • No School Monday, April 15th
  • Saturday, April 13th:  come cheer on UNIS Varsity Boys for APAC soccer at 10:00
  • Student Led Conferences on Friday, April 19th. Please book your time on Veracross and remember that your child will lead you through the conference at your scheduled time.
  • Send any used and unwanted books to school. We are collecting them for the annual Book Sale. All languages are welcome.
  • Thursday, 18 Apr:  Community Blood Drive 8:30-5:30, B7-1-104 Community Room
  • Shrek the Musical, Thursday 18th and Friday 19th at 6.30pm and Saturday 20th at 4pm. The show will run for approximately 2hrs and 20 min inc, 20 min interval and is suitable for all ages. Tickets are 150,000 vnd each and are available from the Arts Office during class time. Come along and enjoy this big, bright, beautiful show!!
  • No School April 29, 30 and May 1.
  • PE-please remember to send a long sleeve shirt and long pants, plus socks, to school for trampolining on Mondays, and Wednesdays. Swim gear on Thursdays. This will go until the end of the school year.
  • SCO Book Sale May 3-4

Seesaw:  Please remember to TAG your student when visiting their Seesaw portfolio.  Tell them something specific you like about their work, ask them a question, or give them a suggestion in the form of “I wonder…”.  Thank you for your support!

UOI:  This week students delved deeper into Sharing the Planet and the actions people take to share limited resources, by experiencing four of the Sustainable Development Goals. Students in grade two got to experience first hand the issues of Quality Education, Clean Water and Sanitation, Good Health and Well-being, and Global Climate. 2B students discussed how limited resources that we all share are connected to each of these SDGs. Ask your students about their experiences and limited resources at home.

SDG #3 Good Health and Well-Being

SDG #4 Quality Eduction

SDG #6 Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG # 13 Climate Action


Math:  This week students began a new unit on Geometry by learning about 2D shapes. Students learned the names of shapes and how to classify them based on the number of sides and corners each shape has. Ask your student how many sides and corners a circle has!

Literacy:  Students continued to practice their powers of persuasion by describing why writers write persuasive texts.  They then created a list of topics they could write about using the areas of home, school, and world as a guide.  Using the structure of a persuasive text, students planned a persuasive text using an OREO model. Ask your students what topics they thought of to write about persuasively for home. (maybe a later bedtime, maybe getting a new pet…) In reading, students focused on paying attention to their reading by stopping to think when a word or idea doesn’t make sense.

Posted in 2B

Spring Break

Dear Parents,

Reminders and Information

Spring Break, no school from April 1-5, see you back here on Monday, April 9.

Swimming:  Mr. Martin Hamilton has asked me to remind all parents that children require a doctor’s note to be excused from swimming. The school believes that all children should be swimming if they are well enough to attend school. Please see the link below for more information.

New Unit of Inquiry:  Please find information and vocabulary for our new unit below.

Sports Day:  We were so lucky with the air and weather on Friday! Everything came together at the last minute so the students could get out and have some fun. It was a fantastic morning. Here is a picture of our group warm-up:

Math:  This week we wrapped up our unit looking at how to use place value in our addition and subtraction work. Of course our work with numbercontinues throughout the year. After Spring Break we are looking forward to a change of pace with a unit in geometry and shapes.

Literacy:  This week we started our new writing genre, persuasive writing. Students used an example to understand the structure of persuasive text. In reading, we practiced visualizing while we read. Good readers stop and think when they no longer have a picture in their minds of the story.  Students also continued to read from a variety of genres.

Social Studies:  We started to unpack our new unit of inquiry, Sharing the Planet-People Take Actions to Share Limited Resources. Students brainstormed a list of resources that we share with everyone on our planet. We then put those responses into a wordle and created the image below. As you can see, the resources students mentioned most were: water, food, schools, air, books, and countries.

Our next activity was look at the concept of fairness. We played a game in class that was intentionally designed to be unfair. They provoked a lot of discussion.

Posted in 2B