March 1st

Dear Parents,

Unit of Inquiry

This week we continued our inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme How We Express Ourselves with the central idea: Storytelling allows us to share ideas, feelings and experiences. Over the past week, K1A has been collecting data on their favourite books. We are looking at characters and using descriptive language.


We will continue with Show and Tell.  Next week, I ask that each child bring in their favourite stuffed toy/stuffy. The Show and Tell schedule is below:

Here are some photos from the week.

Have a great weekend,

Hang and Kristi

Early notice – Units of Inquiry for K2 2017/2018

Here at UNIS Hanoi, we respect and value literature from all cultures and encourage children to bring and share books from their mother tongue or home languages with their classmates.

Next year, students in K2 will learn about a variety of topics during their Units of Inquiry (UOI). While you are traveling this summer, please consider getting books about the topics listed below. As students begin each unit, these books and the discussions you have with your child about the UOI topics will help them to understand and participate during Units of Inquiry. Understanding these topics in their Mother Tongue or Home Language will help EAL students to understand them in English, too.  

These are the topics we will be learning about.  

If you can bring books in your language on any of these ideas, please do.

Who We Are: Books about personal identity (where they come from), families, making friends, sharing, helping each other, cooperation

How the World Works:  Books about scientists, scientific process, experiments, movement of objects (forces)

Where We are in Place and Time:  Books about houses, buildings, shelters, weather, building materials (wood, metal, stone), construction

Sharing the Planet:  Books about recycling, taking care of the planet, the Earth

How We Organize Ourselves:  Books about shops, stores, how things are made, money

How We Express Ourselves:  Books about art, artists, feelings, emotions, talents, music, dance


Important dates for the last days of school…

Thursday 8th June

ES Garage Sale from 3:30-4:30pm,

Friday 9th June

Official ES “Moving Up Morning” when students will visit their new classroom for next year. This is the day you will find out who your child’s new teacher will be and who will be in their class! :o)

Monday 12th June 

K1 Grade Level Splash Party 1.30-2.30 (Parents may come if they wish – be ready to get wet!)

Tuesday 13th June

Elementary School Leavers Assembly 1.15pm (Parents may come if they wish)

Wednesday 14th June

Last day of school – Early dismissal 12pm


Our Unit of Inquiry needs you!



  1. If you have a pet of any kind at home, create a short (1-2 minute) video with you and/or your child briefly showing/explaining some of the important things you need to do to take good care of your pet.
  2. If your child notices any living creatures in or around your home, please send us a photo.

Many thanks for your support!


‘Discipline’ and 4/5 year olds

Dear Parents,

Following this morning’s Parent Coffee morning with Tom Cole. We wanted to share the following that we thought was useful and relevant to the issues that K1 parents have raised with us. These are the main points from a good article on

Let’s take a quick tour of the human brain, stopping at a little blob of gray matter behind the eyebrows called the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This is the part of the brain that regulates emotion and controls social behavior. It’s also the last area of the brain to develop; it has only just begun to mature at age 4.  The authors posit that the underdeveloped PFC is what allows young children to master a new language much more easily than adults. Simply put, our kids’ more disagreeable behavior may be an evolutionary trade-off for the sake of human communication.

  • Kids this age think magically, not logically,” explains Gina Mireault, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Johnson State College, in Vermont. “Events that are ordinary to us are confusing and scary to them.
  • This feeling of heightened arousal causes our bodies to release cortisol, known as the “fight or flight” hormone. Maybe it should be called “tantrum juice:” Cortisol increases blood pressure, speeds up breathing rates, and may lead to confused or unclear thinking (sound like anyone you know?).
  • The next time your child has an episode, Potegal recommends asking yourself “What function does this inappropriate behavior serve?” If your tyke is looking for attention or a “tangible” (toy, food, or other treat), the best response is to ignore the behavior and maintain your own emotional composure.
  • Potegal calls this the Anger Trap. “If you get just as mad and irrational as your child, it’s like throwing gas on a fire,” he says.
  • But he warns of another trap, too: the Sadness Trap. “When you comfort a child in the middle of a tantrum, you reinforce the behavior. Instead, say ‘I’m sorry you’re upset. When you calm down, I’ll give you a hug and we can talk about what happened.’” This way, you offer support and sympathy while still showing your tot how to regulate his emotions.
  • But the above strategy doesn’t apply to an “escape” tantrum: a child going bonkers because he doesn’t want to do whatever it is you want him to (clean up, sit at the table, etc.). In this case, ignoring him gives him what he wants: You’re no longer demanding that he wear his coat, or whatever it is that needs to be done. Putting him in a time-out chair doesn’t work, either, since that’s time he’s not putting on his jacket. If your tiny rebel makes no move after the five seconds are up, which he won’t at first, take his hands in yours and gently force the coat on.
  • Just as kids can quickly slip into anger and sadness, so can they slip out of them. The average tantrum lasts about three minutes, according to Potegal’s research. That’s why, shortly after a tantrum, your kid is back to playing as if nothing happened, while you’re still quaking from the event a half hour later.His immature PFC (that mushy part responsible for social cues) allows him to move on without dwelling on past hurts.

How to prevent tantrums?this is from another useful article on

  • Avoid the triggers. Try to figure out what sets your child off. Does he lose it when he’s hungry or tired? When he’s in the car seat for longer than 20 minutes? Plan ahead to stave off tantrums: Carry a snack, make sure he’s rested, or stop for a break between errands.
  • Offer options. When toddlers feel overwhelmed, they need your help, but they still want to have a say in things. That’s why offering two options (more is just confusing) can prevent a meltdown. Try saying, “Would you like to see the polar bears or the monkeys?” instead of “Which animal do you want to see first at the zoo?”
  • Give fair warning. If you have to tear your child away from something fun or drag him somewhere he’ll hate, preparation can nip frustration in the bud. Say, “We’re going to go home after one more trip down the slide.” Little kids are more likely to behave if they know ahead of time what they can and can’t do.
  • Show your child how you want him to act. Since one reason kids scream is that they don’t know what else to do, teach your child to use words to express himself. Good ones to start with: “Can you help me?” and “Excuse me.” The more specific you can be with your own requests, the better. Telling your child you want him to “be good” isn’t really informative. Instead, tell him you want him to ask for things in a quiet voice.