Enjoy your winter break!

Dear Families,

As we head into the holiday I just want to share a couple of thoughts and ideas to continue the learning:

Unit of Inquiry: We will continue with our exploration unit through the holidays and have created a padlet that you can use to share your holiday adventures with the whole of grade 2. Upload a picture, and a little note so we can share in the holiday explorations.  Students have been discussing how they can be explorers over Winter Break, and are bringing home the following activity for your family:


Mathematics: Continue practicing time, looking at both a digital and analog clock- this could happen in a train station, airport, anywhere! Time is everywhere. Students need to be able to express time using the language of quarter past, half past, and a quarter to the hour. For a challenge, ask about elapsed time (how much time until our flight boards, or between breakfast and lunch) . Also, playing some math games with a deck of cards or a pair of dice are easy to pack along in the suitcase. Keeping those basic facts to 20 in mind, and building towards being fluent in number is key. After the holidays we will venture into fractions, so if you happen to find yourself in the kitchen having some experiences in the kitchen measuring and using fractions would be a great support for your child.

Literacy: There are several great websites that offer free stories online. Students can also read/access Raz-Kids during the holidays to keep up their reading. Storyline online has an amazing amount of stories read by some famous actors in the US. Students were introduced to Epic! (code: dys5508)  to have access to thousands of books online- what a great resource! On Epic! books can be read to students, or students can read them. There are also learning videos and a lot of other cool stuff. Another idea is to have a travel journal. Students can keep track of their travels, feelings, and adventures over the holidays. A great way to foster a love of journaling and mindfulness, students can draw or sketch sights, and thoughts as well.

What I hope most of all is that you and your family find the time to enjoy one another, to have some fun. Happy holidays!

Getting ready for the winter holidays

Dear Parents,

Next week, December 10-14 grade 2 students will be exploring the different cultural celebrations that take place during December and January. We have a year-long unit of inquiry investigating what culture is, forms of cultural expression, the creation of cultural art forms, and an appreciation of various cultures. We have the wonderful opportunity to explore and learn about the different cultures in our community. Students will be experiencing different activities related to Hanukah, Christmas, New Years, Winter Solstice, etc…  Students will bring home a sheet titled “December/January Holidays” on Friday.  We ask families to take some time over the weekend to share your special celebrations.

This week, students were both risk-takers and communicators as they presented their learning about their exploration to their grade 5 buddies then to their classmates.  Students focused on making eye contact, speaking with good volume, giving more information (instead of only reading their slides!), and making gestures.  As an audience, students looked at the speaker and used whole body listening.  They “tagged” the presenter by Telling something specific they liked, Asking an open-ended question, or Giving a suggestion kindly.  Check your student’s Seesaw for their presentation.

After resolving a technology glitch, students were able to read their own and their classmates published book reviews on Biblionasium.  One parent for each student should have received an invitation to Biblionasium so that you can see what your child is reading in the library and read their spectacular book review.

Time marches on in math as students deepen their knowledge through a variety of games and activities.  Using mini ten-frames, students investigated sums and differences of two-digit numbers.


-UNIS Hanoi’s Winterfest 2018, on Friday 7 December from 17.00-19.00 in front of the old canteen

Grades 2-3 Musical Production: Pirates Past Noon – Come and watch an exciting musical production by a cast composed of Grade 2 and Grade 3 students.  Saturday and Sunday at 3pm (8th and 9th of December)

-Winter Break 15  December to 6 January


This week in grade two, students were thinkers and caring as they inquired into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in a variety of activities.  First, inspired by the story of Sadako Sasaki–her struggle for life and dedication to peace–students set a goal of folding 1,000 peace cranes.   Next, led by the SDG Guardians, students contributed ideas for teaspoons of change. Students enjoyed celebrating kindness in the library.  Finally, in grade two, students inquired specifically into five SDGs:

SDG #3 Health and Well-Being: Students were involved in different games that provoked their thinking about exercise, nutrition and good medical care. During the games students learned about the major issues that Vietnam faces in relation to this SDG.

SDG #4 Quality Education: Students watched a video about schools around the world and compared the opportunities they have at UNIS to those of other children. In the spirit of gratitude, the students added to a Padlet what they love about going to UNIS.

SDG #5 Gender Equality:  Students watched a short video to show the reality of unequal pay between men and women. After a brief discussion, we went to the see the Gender Equality art exhibition in the art center. The art there inspired us to go back to the classroom and create our own art piece to support Gender Equality.

SDG #10 Reduced Inequalities:  Through the lens of math and word inquiry…as well as handfuls of Legos…students pondered the meaning of inequality and how there are different types of inequality in the world.

SDG #13 Climate Action:  Students explored the causes of climate change through video and discussion, then by exploring the classroom to create possible plastic alternatives.

Here’s a link to the Elementary School Choir song from UN Day.


Sac Son Field Trip and Thank you

Thank you so much for all the generosity and appreciation I felt this week as part of Teacher Appreciation Day.  I am so thankful for our 2B community!

Soc Son Field Trip

We had a great experience of exploring Soc Son at different locations. We learned new things, discovered things about Vietnam and ourselves and were very curious about the different places we went to. A highlight for all of us was climbing the hill and then coming down! Thank you to the parents who supported us on the field trip. Your children were a pleasure to explore with.

Global Goals Week
Next week is global goals week at UNIS.  We will put the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals front and centre in our thinking and our learning. As part of Global Goals week, we will be having a Nude Food Picnic on Thursday, November 29th. Put simply, Nude Food Day means sending your child to school with a snack that contains no disposable packaging. For more information, click here.
 Grade 2 Activity – Join in if you like!
If you have a skill in folding Origami Peace Cranes and would like to come and join the grade two students in reaching their goal of 1000 cranes so our wish for peace for all children of the world will come true- we’d love your help. Please join us on Tuesday, November 27 from 12:05-1:30 in folding cranes in rooms 137 and 138. We could use help folding and stringing if you are interested.
  • 26-30 November is our SDG week – what will you do to bring a teaspoon of change?
  • 27 November 12:05-1:30 peace crane folding
  • 27 November 5pm – Screening of A Plastic Ocean (see below)
  • 30 November United Nations Day – our community is encouraged to dress in national costume or a representation of their cultural identity.  Our class parents will be contacting you about our grade two UN Day lunch.
  • Student are released at 1.00pm on UN Day. Parents are able to take the children from the community lunch or they can go home the usual way.

From the ES Office:

Dear Parents,

Next week in our school is “SDG Week” –  focusing on connecting our student’s learning on the UN Sustainable Development Goals,  in the lead up to our school’s UN Day celebration.  Around the dinner table, ask your child about the SDG’s and what they are learning about them.

As part of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, we will be hosting a free community screening of “A Plastic Ocean” on Tuesday 27th November at 5.00pm.  The movie is in English, with Vietnamese subtitles.

Movie Trailer:  A Plastic Ocean 

What:  “A Plastic Ocean” documentary – FREE community screening

When:  Tuesday 27th November, 5.00pm (running time – 1 hour 42 minutes)

Who:  UNIS Hanoi students, families, teachers – 7 years +

Where:  Theatre, Centre for Arts, B10

Why:  To raise awareness of the issue of pollution being created by single use plastics and what we can do to help

Theatre will open at 4.50pm – free seating.

Elementary students will NOT be allowed to attend unless accompanied by an adult.

The UNIS Hanoi school store will host a ‘pop up’ shop showcasing and selling all of our recycled and environmentally sustainable products for families who wish to take immediate action to reduce their use of plastics.

Please join with us in taking action for the children who will be attending UNIS and living on our planet many generations from now….. this local and global problem needs us all to act now.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Kind regards,

Megan Brazil


Kính gửi Phụ huynh,

Tuần tới được gọi là “Tuần lễ hành động vì các Mục tiêu Phát triển bền vững của Liên hiệp quốc” tại trường UNIS. Trong suốt thời gian này, các mục tiêu phát triển bền vững của Liên hiệp quốc sẽ được lồng ghép vào nội dung học tập ở trường. Đây cũng là bước chuẩn bị cho lễ kỷ niệm Ngày Liên hiệp quốc sắp tới. Phụ huynh có thể hỏi các con, trong khi ăn tối, về Các mục tiêu phát triển bền vững này và các con đã học được những gì về các mục tiêu này.

Cũng là một phần trong Cam kết thực hiện các mục tiêu phát triển bền vững của Nhà trường, Nhà trường sẽ tổ chức buổi chiếu phim miễn phí phục vụ cộng đồng vào ngày 27 tháng 11 lúc 5:00 chiều; bộ phim có tiêu đề là “Đại Dương Nhựa”, phim Tiếng Anh, có phụ đề Tiếng Việt.

Phụ huynh có thể xem bản giới thiệu phim tại đây.

Tên phim: Phim tài liệu “Đại Dương Nhựa” – buổi chiếu miễn phí phục vụ cộng đồng

Thời gian: Ngày 27 tháng 11 lúc 5:00 chiều (độ dài phim: 1 tiếng 42 phút)

Đối tượng: Học sinh, phụ huynh, giáo viên UNIS (phim dành cho đối tượng trên 7 tuổi)

Địa điểm: Rạp hát, Trung tâm Nghệ thuật, B10, UNIS

Lý do chiếu phim: Nhằm nâng cao nhận thức của cộng đồng về vấn đề ô nhiễm do việc sử dụng các sản phẩm nhựa dùng một lần gây ra và khuyến khích hành động của cá nhân để giúp giảm thiểu vấn đề này.

Rạp hát sẽ mở cửa lúc 4:50 chiều, phụ huynh có thể tùy chọn ghế ngồi.

Học sinh Tiểu học chỉ có thể tham dự nếu có người lớn đi kèm.

Cửa hàng của Trường UNIS sẽ có gian hàng tạm thời ngay tại buổi chiếu phim để trưng bày và bán các sản phẩm tái chế và các sản phẩm bền vững cho môi trường. Phụ huynh có thể mua các sản phẩm này để giảm thiểu ngay việc sử dụng sản phẩm nhựa.

Hãy cùng chung tay với Nhà trường để cùng hành động vì trẻ em UNIS tương lại và trẻ em sống trên hành tinh của chúng ta và nhiều thế hệ mai sau ngay từ bây giờ. Chúng ta cần hành động ngay từ hôm nay để giải quyết vấn đề vừa mang tính địa phương và toàn cầu này.

Nhà trường Phụ huynh có thể sắp xếp thời gian để tham dự buổi chiếu phim.

Trân trọng,

Megan Brazil

Hiệu trưởng trường Tiểu học UNIS.

Thank you for coming to open classroom!

We practiced math with our buddies to get ready for open classroom day.

Our literacy rotations continue to run smoothly.  Students are focused on asking questions before, during, and after reading to build interest, excitement and understanding when reading.  During word inquiry, students are working on the different spelling patterns of long o.  In writing, after having written several responses to books, students are working on a final response to a library book that we plan to publish on Biblionasium.

Wrapping up our Digital Citizenship unit, 2B students joined students from China, New Zealand, and the United States in publishing a story called Mayhem at the Mona Lisa.

In exploration, students learned how to use Google Maps to plan our route for our field trip next week.  They also used Google Earth to identify landmarks along the route and at our two destinations.  Students wrapped up their research and worked on mapping their route to the destination of their choosing.


  • Tuesday 20 November:  Field Trip to Soc Son.  Students should come with sunscreen already applied and bring the following:
    • a hat
    • a backpack or bag
    • suitable walking shoes
    • a snack and water bottle
    • a packed lunch
  • 26-30 November is our SDG week – what will you do to bring a teaspoon of change?
  • 30 November United Nations Day – our community is encouraged to dress in national costume or a representation of their cultural identity.  Our class parents will be contacting you about our grade two UN Day lunch.

Exploring Space, Land, and Water

On Thursday students enjoyed the outdoor classroom activity where they taught their Grade 5 buddies to use a map to explore around the campus. Students were knowledgeable in using technology and maps.

In exploration, students are researching a destination of their choice in land, sea, or space.  Through books and websites, students are beginning to learn about note-taking as they write their discoveries in their own words.

In reading, students continue to make connections (text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world) as they read to deepen their understanding of the story.  In writing, students continue to develop their word choice and sentence fluency by writing responses to books they love.

Time and Mapping Exploration in math

After completing a pre assessment the students inquired using games and tools to learn about mapping (explorer unit) and time (math).

Math outcomes

  • Tell time to the quarter-hour, using language of ‘past’ and to.
  • Name and order month and seasons.
  • Use a calendar to identify the date and determine the number of days in each month.


  • Here’s our open classroom schedule for 15/16 November.

  • 26-30 November is our SDG week – what will you do to bring a teaspoon of change?
  • 30 November United Nations Day – our community is encouraged to dress in national costume or a representation of their cultural identity.  Our class parents will be contacting you about our grade two UN Day lunch.

Explorers are curious

Launching our inquiry into Where We Are in Place and Time, students…

  • explored our campus and took photos of their discoveries on our grade 2 Adventure Map of UNIS Padlet.
  • listened to a presentation by Mr. Loynes, who spend 150 days hiking in the Himalayan Mountains.
  • inquired into the word family and history of “explore” (ask your student what the base is!).
  • were visited by several famous explorers (!) from land, sea, and space.

Check out your student’s Seesaw for their thoughts on exploration at the beginning of our unit.

In math, students completed their rotations independently, reflecting on their use of models and tools as well as their math practice strategy after each rotation.

In reading, students made connections to what they were reading both through our class read aloud and in reading groups.  Connecting our stories to other books, movies, our lives, and our world makes reading more enjoyable and understandable.

In writing, students completed a graphic organizer for a wonderful story, Simon’s Cat in ‘Crow’.  Ask your student what their response to this funny story is!


  • No School on Thursday and Friday (1 and 2 November) due to Faculty/Staff professional development
  • I am away at a volleyball tournament; several 2B students expressed interest in seeing our UNIS team in the digital world.  If you have time, we are playing on Thursday and Friday.  The schedule and link to the livestream can be found here.
  • 8 November Outdoor Classroom Day:  weather permitting, the students will be outside from 8:10-10:25.  To help make this day successful, please make sure that your child has a hat, wears sunscreen to school, and has a full water bottle.
  • 15-16 November Open Classroom Days from 10:30-13:30 on Thursday, and from 10:30-12:45 on Friday.  Come visit 2B at 10:30, then eat lunch with your student, then head to special classes (Art and PE on Thurdsay, World Language on Friday).
  • 26-30 November is our SDG week – what will you do to bring a teaspoon of change?
  • 30 November United Nations Day – our community is encouraged to dress in national costume or a representation of their cultural identity



Celebrating Digital Citizenship

Our 2B community said goodbye to Yui today.  We wish her and her family a wonderful new adventure as they return to Japan.  On Monday, we will welcome Seewon to our 2B community.

Our 2B community celebrated our learning in digital citizenship this week by presenting our favorite media on Seesaw and by pariticipating in JumpStart’s “Read for the Record“.  We connected our Response writing unit by reviewing Maybe Something Beautiful as a class on Biblionasium.

In Seesaw, students used their understanding of being a safe, responsible, and respectful digital citizen by making comments on each other’s posts using TAG:

I am a safe, respectful, and responsible digital citizen when I comment on my friend’s posts.

T – Tell something you liked “I like how you sorted your pictures.” “I like how you added description from two descriptive bubbles.”
A – Ask a question “Have you read other books by this author?” “How did you learn so much about ____?”
G – Give a suggestion “I wonder what it would look like if you added labels?” “I wonder if you added a drawing I could see how you got your answer?”


We would love to invite parents to use our TAG guidelines when commenting on student posts.. Tell us why you liked our work, ask a question, or give a helpful suggestion!

On Monday, October 29th, grade two will begin a new unit of inquiry into Where We are in Place and Time.  The concepts below will be taught in class, however, it would be of great assistance to help your child become familiar with the main unit components and vocabulary in order to maximize their learning experiences and make connections in class.

This is especially imporant for non mother-tongue English speaking student.  Please translate the following into your child’s mother tongue in order to develop their linguistic abilities and foster their conceptual development.  Any extra reading, websites, films, or learning experiences you may give your child in their mother tongue to complement this unit would be extremely valuable.

Central Idea:  Curiosity drives exploration to discover and understand the world around us.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • types of exploration
  • how people explore
  • outcomes of exploration

Vocabulary:  world, map, adventure, ocean, river, lake, sea, continent, country, space, technology, mountain, exploration, to explore, curiousity, geography, to motivate, outcome, journey, to discover, to understand

In math, students are organizing their own activities to practice subtraction within 20, within 100, and also doing skip-counting.  Here’s a glimpse of students using models and written strategies to solve subtraction problems within 100:

In reading, students continue to use the comprehension skill of making predictions to make reading more enjoyable.  Here’s a glimpse of our reading rotations:


  • 29 October – ES Snack Sale – Please send your child to school with 10,000 to 20,000VND to purchase snacks!
  • 31 October – Dress Up day in support of MS/HS Spirit Week.  Please see the Tin Tuc for costume guidelines.
  • No School on Thursday and Friday (1 and 2 November) due to Faculty/Staff professional development
  • 26-30 November is our SDG week – what will you do to bring a teaspoon of change?
  • 30 November United Nations Day – our community is encouraged to dress in national costume or a representation of their cultural identity



What do you predict?

Our 2B community came back from break refreshed and has had a great week of learning and collaborating.

In reading, students continue to organize themselves to independently follow their own schedules.  They are working hard to self-monitor each of their reading activities.  Our focus this week is on making predictions as a strategy for comprehension.  Students inquired into how making predictions helps their reading and how to make predictions giving a reason or citing text evidence.  They pointed out that predictions make reading more fun and help the reader to think deeply about the story.  They noticed that they can make predications based on words and ideas in the story, based on pictures, from connections to other stories, or from their own lives.

In writing this week students began an inquiry into our next genre of writing, response. They completed a writing sample for to see what they know now and will compare this writing at the end of the unit to what they have learned. Below is the response writing checklist.

Response Writing Checklist

  • I planned my writing using the structure of a response (opening statement, linking sentence, judgement, closing statement)
  • I wrote an opening statement that tells about my topic (where and why).
  • My linking sentence has my opinion.
  • I gave at least three elements of judgement.
  • I used descriptive categories to make my judgements interesting.
  • I wrote at least one compound sentence.
  • I finished my writing with a closing statement.
  • Grammar:
    • Simple present tense verbs are used
    • At least one compound sentence using “and” is used
  • Spelling is correct.
  • Capital letters and punctuation are correct.

In word inquiry, students are becoming word scientists by noticing patterns in our word families and making hypotheses.  For example, “I hypothesize that -ing is a suffix.”  Students test their hypotheses by looking for words around the room and in books that have a similar spelling pattern.

In math, students are solving number stories using a variety of written strategies and checking their work with a model or tool.  Students are exploring unifix cubes, 100’s charts, and open number lines.  In fluency students are skip-counting by 10’s off the decuple (for example, start at 7, count by 10’s).  Students also practiced their fluency within 20 with their 5th grade buddies.

In social studies, students are exploring and evaluating different apps and websites using a checklist. Some of you may have received an email from your child as they were evaluating Gmail. We will continue this activity next week.

Below is the task that the children are working on; you can click on the links to see some of the inquiry that is taking place.

Exploring Media

  • Padlet – Add one post.  Evaluate Padlet using the checklist.
  • Seesaw – Make a post about something you are doing in Math- Could be Data Handling or something to do with Number.  Evaluate Seesaw using the checklist.
  • Gmail – Send an email to your parents about what you would like for dinner OR where you would like to go for your next holiday.  Make sure your email has a clear subject, a greeting, and a closing. Once your email is complete, evaluate Gmail using the checklist.
  • Flipgrid – Add one post.  Evaluate Flipgrid using the checklist.
  • Seesaw Comment – Add one comment to a friend’s math post.  Tell your friend something you liked, ask a question, and give a suggestion (“I Wonder…”).  Evaluate the Comment part of Seesaw.

Enjoy October Break

Dear Parents,

The students had a great week of inquiry and learning. They are ready for a well earned break. Enjoy your time away from school next week and return healthy and safely on Monday 15th of October.

In social studies, students considered how to be responsible, safe, and respectful in the digital world as they completed a variety of activites.  Grade 2 students collaborated on a friendship Flipgrid as part of our Global Read Aloud.  2B collaborated with 2A to share their favorite book digitally through a Padlet.   During our morning meetings this week, we greeted different people using technology, including a Skype call to 2A and a Twitter reply to 2D.

Students discussed safety in the real world, then applied their understanding to the digital world by creating a digital traffic light.  Please ask your student what types of websites and apps are red, yellow (orange), and green.

We also enjoyed an introduction to our new elementary school maker space.

After the holiday students will have the opportunity to explore and evaluate the technology we have experienced in this unit: Gmail, Seesaw, Padlets and Flipgrids.

In writing, students began an inquiry into word families and word sums.  In reading, students continued to develop strategies to clarify unknown or interesting words and ideas in their books.

In math, students continued to work on data handling in the real world by creating surveys and bar graphs.  Students also conducted surveys of other classes digitally.  We began an inquiry into large numbers and place value, as well as continued to develop strategies and fluency through number talks and games.

Parents have asked for some ideas to use at home. Ms Beth the UNIS Math Coach shared these websites for some ideas.

Math Games and Products 

This website can help with fluency. Many of you may have used this website before as many students know it.