From the Middle School Principal

Hello Middle School!,

Thanks to those of you that were able to tune in to this Wednesday’s “Let’s Chat” webinar. The Middle and High School administrators were joined by Sue Perez, our School Community Organization’s Communications (SCO) Officer and Garry Reichart, the SCO’s Middle School Chair. It was a great discussion around navigating learning, family, and routines during these uncertain times. Thanks to Sue and Garry for joining and sharing and thanks to the High School for continuing to share our 6-12 message of student and family support.

Parent – Student – Teacher conferences begin on Thursday 23rd and run through Wednesday 29th. We encourage you to use conferences as a time to celebrate your child’s accomplishments, hear about the concepts and skills they have been learning, ask questions, and set goals. Our teachers are looking forward to this opportunity to showcase what has been happening in their courses, listen, and offer support. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask by contacting Ms. Nhung our MS Secretary at mspsecretary@unishanoi.org.

Please take a moment to read the TinTuc entry from Daniel Cooper, our IB Middle Years (6-10) Programme Coordinator. Dan, in consultation with the IBO, has taken the lead in consolidating teacher agreements that will drive reporting and assessment for the remainder of the year. The purpose of Dan’s work has been to simply and clarify expectations – for all members of the UNIS Hanoi (MYP) school community.

In closing, we want to share with you what we’ve been reading as Distance Learning continues 

Thank you for reading and for your continued support. Enjoy this film we made to thank and applaud your children!

Marc, JJ, and the MS Team

MYP Assessment – Determining End of Year Grades during Distance Learning

All MYP courses at UNIS Hanoi are year long courses, this means that teachers consider evidence from Semester 1 and 2 when making judgments on end of year criterion grades.  At the end of the school year, each MYP subject determines students’ final criterion grades and these are then calculated into a final grade from 1-7 using the published MYP grade boundaries- see table below under Additional Information.

Covid-19 school closure has changed our approach to assessment in Semester 2.  Firstly, the IB has officially made some adjustments to their assessment requirements by reducing the number of times each criterion is required to be assessed. This means that UNIS Hanoi MYP Teachers have redesigned their unit assessments, from summatively (end of unit of study, culminating assessment task) to smaller, more frequent tasks that systemically target the no more than two criterion per task. 

Students’ will receive end of year grades which will be determined by evidence recorded from Semester 1, which supplements the collection of real and specific evidence of each criteria during distance learning in Semester 2.

The upcoming Parent, student, teacher conferences in the middle and high schools are  a great opportunity to discuss how your child is engaging with distance learning and identify any criteria that requires further evidence.

UNIS Hanoi MYP Teachers  recognise the challenges associated with distance learning and award criterion grades based on what students have done, and not on what they haven’t done. 

Additional Information regarding MYP assessment

Labelling system for task types in Veracross

Distance Learning = Asynchronous and synchronous tasks and lessons 


Evidence of Learning = Criteria assigned evidence of learning assignment/task for the gradebook. 

An overview of MYP subject criteria

Criterion A – Knowledge and Understanding / analysing 

Criterion B – Investigating / developing ideas / organising

Criterion C – Communicating / applying / performing

Criterion D – Thinking / evaluating / reflecting

MYP Grade Boundaries

Final Grade Sum of Criterion Grades
1 0 -5
2 6-9
3 10-14
4 15-18
5 19-23
6 24-27
7 28-32

 

Grade 6 Science Chemistry Magic Trick Challenge

Grade 6 Science students have been working on a culminating project for our recent chemistry unit on Matter and Change. This has been a Grade 6 Science tradition for the past few years, and some students have done so well with their Chemistry “Magic”  that they have even stumped a few teachers! 

Students were tasked with the challenge of creating a Chemistry “Magic Trick” video to show off their skills as a magician-scientists. Through the video, they applied their knowledge of physical and chemical changes and also physical and chemical properties. The final Chemistry “Magic Trick” needed to be both safe and successful… and WOW their audience with their “magic”.

Students were asked to create a goal for their video and brainstorm strong research questions which they answered to help them learn about the science behind the trick. Next, they experimented with the trick to identify the most successful and SAFE method for performing a “magical” trick. They posted a draft video and received comments from “Feedback Buddies” made up of two to three students from their class. Finally, they used these tips (as well as some teacher feedback on their research) to write a “Disclaimer” to inform us that we have been fooled: this isn’t really magic, it was science. Their “Disclaimers” included an explanation of the science behind their trick and all the information we would need to be able to do it ourselves. 

Our Grade 6 Magician-Scientists took their challenge seriously, and produced some incredible videos! To do this, the students had to develop both their scientific knowledge AND many filming and editing skills to make their magic trick videos believable.

All videos were posted to our SeeSaw classes, and we had a final Popcorn and a Movie lesson where everyone watched the final products, added comments and likes, and voted for their favorites. It was hard to narrow them down, but here are a few of the wonderful videos created.

  • Harley Dore – Invisible Ink
  • Doyun Kim – Bouncy Egg
  • Linh Vuong – Amazing Pepper Trick
  • Marlowe McClelland – The Amazing Magic Show with Bob the Great
  • Manasa Nadessan – Magical Gloves Trick 
  • Aanya Barman – Color Changing Milk
  • Sandra Ngo – Magical Potion
  • Na Nguyen- Eruption in a Cup
  • Treshaun Reuter – The Magical Trick that Will Save us From the Aliens
  • Momo Iida – Bottle Slam
  • Khue Nguyen – Unicorn Tears 
  • BJ Park – Crushed Unopened Can
  • Mitsuki Okabe – Amazing Flame
  • Olivia Kim – Liquid Smoke 
  • Alfie Goosey – Magic Beaker 
  • Nghia Le – Ice, Ice, Baby 
  • Sophie Roche – Minion and the Magic Forest 
  • Greta Mawe – Magic Hands 
  • Dion Payne – Fireproof Banknote 
  • Khanh Linh – Magic Dragon Eggs 
  • Zoe Banh – Magical Artifact 
  • Jacky Padungtod- Lava Lamp

Middle School Parent Student Teacher Conferences

Dear Middle School Parents, 

We are looking forward to Parent Student Teacher Conferences starting 23 to 29 April, 2020. This is a change from the original plan at the beginning of the year. Normally, we would host our spring conferences with you, your student, and their mentor. This year we are hosting conferences with your student’s classroom teachers. We are making this switch in order to ensure that students, parents, and teachers all have a chance to celebrate, review, and set goals in order to make this year the best learning experience possible.

Due to the school campus being closed, we will hold Parent-Student-Teacher conferences online. 

This is another opportunity for you as parents to meet with subject area teachers for a 10-minute session to discuss your child’s performance in the subjects as well as to ask any questions about your child’s progress at school. During conferences there will be no synchronous classes for students. Please note, students are to attend conferences because we believe it is important for students to be able to demonstrate their accomplishments and learning, particularly since we have been conducting classes via Distance Learning these last months.

Conference registration dates online through Veracross:

  • Conference registration and sign-ups will open at 8:00am on Monday, April 13
  • Conference registration and sign-ups will close at 5:00pm on Friday, April 17.

Instructions to register for conferences: Online instructions including written and video instructions. Please use this link: Parent Student Teacher conference signup

Conference dates:

  • Thursday April 23 from 01:00pm to 06:00pm
  • Friday April 24 from 09:00am to 12:00pm
  • Monday April 27 from 02:00pm to 06:00pm
  • Tuesday April 28 from 02:00pm to 06:00p
  • Wednesday April 29 from 09:00am to 12:00pm

Conferences with Counsellors: book via Counselling office 024 7300 4500 ext. 8513 or email directly to your child’s Counsellor as follows: 

After registering parents will receive their conference schedule and further instructions on how to join the online meeting spaces for teachers.

If parents/guardians experience difficulties booking conferences or need login information please contact Ms. Nhung in the Middle School Office – mspsecretary@unishanoi.org 

Please enjoy your conferences! 

Marc Vermeire
Middle School Principal

Course Request in Middle School

Hello Middle School Parents of G6 and G7 students and welcome G5 Parents!!- 

As we continue this fourth quarter with our Distance Learning Programme, we also look forward to next year. Part of that planning is completing our master schedule and gathering student course requests for next school year, 2020/21.

On Monday April 13th, we will be sending out our Middle School course request form to students currently in G6 and G7 and to our incoming students, currently in G5!

Please review our Middle School schedule using these slides and Screencasts:

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out. Feel free to contact myself, msprincipal@unishanoi.org or Mr. Akin, msdprincipal@unishanoi.org

In addition, we will be hosting a MSHS Parent Let’s Chat Webinar on Wednesday April 15th at 10:00AM. This is another chance to be able to hear about Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences, End of Year Reporting, and to engage in a Q&A from MS and HS parents.

Also, remember that the course request form will go to your student’s UNIS Hanoi email address and must be completed on their computer login in order to correctly collect the information.

Again, we will send out the Middle School course request forms directly to students on Monday April 13th. We ask that these course requests are made by Friday April 17th.

Thank you for assisting your student in making these course requests.

As always, thank you for your support – 

Marc Vermeire and JJ Akin

G7 Investigates the Impact of COVID-19 for I&S

Students in Grade 7 Individuals and Societies classes have been examining how COVID-19 has impacted people and countries around the world. Students jumped on the chance to look at how different nations were responding to the virus, the xenophobia that has arisen, media narratives and the economic impact across the globe, to name but a few hard hitting investigations.

With freedom to decide their topic of inquiry, students were asked to followed the four stages of the IB Inquiry Cycle:

  1. Planning – brainstorming, questioning and narrowing down their inquiry
  2. Investigating – guided research including interviews and evaluating and discussing sources
  3. Taking action – developing their topic and creating the product, including posters, videos, animations and podcasts
  4. Reflecting – evaluating their work and thinking about what the learnings have been.  

Students presented their findings in a variety of formats including essays, animations and podcasts. 

UNIS Hanoi’s MYP Coordinator, Daniel Cooper said, “This investigation is the MYP in action. It not only developed understanding of the IB inquiry cycle but also allowed students to investigate the impact of Covid-19 on our local and global community. The work accomplished was impressive.”

Below is a snapshot of some of the projects submitted:

How did the spread of the fake information on social media affected Japan? by Haruka

Risk Assessment by Jonatan

Podcast by Oliver

2020-21 High School Course Request Process for Grade 8s

As we continue this fourth quarter with our Distance Learning Programme, we also look forward to next year. Planning for the 2020-21 school year is already underway! Our current Grade 10s have already submitted requests for courses in Grade 11, and in the coming weeks we will begin to share with Grade 8s and 9s more about the learning opportunities they will be offered in the High School next year.

Upcoming information sessions for students and important dates:

April 10 – Grade 8s and Grade 9s receive Grade Level screencasts about Course Requests 

April 13 – 16 – In Homebase meetings, Mentors will be talking with G8s and G9s about their Elective & iBlock requests

April 17 – Elective Course Request forms close

Parents are encouraged to watch the Grade Level screencast so they can discuss their student’s elective course requests with them prior to the submission date: Friday April 17. 

Year-Long electives in High School

UNIS Hanoi is very proud of the skills and talents that students develop through the many arts, design, and now STEAM courses we offer. For Grade 9-10s, the MYP offers greater flexibility within the programme which affords students the opportunity to pursue interests and focus for a full year by requesting two elective courses. Students are able to request from nine different courses below:

Band

Choir

Orchestra

Invent & engineering

Visual Arts

Design

Dance

Drama

Media

iBlock: Putting ‘I’ into learning

Another way UNIS Hanoi provides opportunities for high school students to pursue interests and explore contemporary topics is through iBlock. Students in the IB MYP are required to undertake one unit each year that is interdisciplinary in nature (IDU). To fulfill this expectation, students are able to request from a range of collaboratively designed semester-long HS Interdisciplinary courses. HS Courses next year will include:

  • Finance and Investment,
  • Vietnamese Language and Culture,
  • Is the Future Post Human? I am a documentary maker,
  • Ancient Ceramics,
  • Life After War. 

Explorations courses are designed to provide students with opportunities for enrichment and extension in areas of personal interest with a common focus on developing important skills like communication, social, research, self-management, thinking skills. New courses next year will include Athletic Training and Sports Medicine and E-Sports.

Global Online Academy

Over twenty UNIS Hanoi students took Global Online Academy courses this year. Grade 10s are able to request to take a GOA course as part of their iBlock schedule. Students interested in a GOA course will be asked to complete some additional items as part of their request process. 

Global Online Academy believes connecting students around the globe to explore topics they’re passionate about is the next frontier of learning. Building a network of students like you helps us build bridges, share ideas, and foster global citizenry. Courses are dynamic, rigorous, and fun. Expect to learn how to use technology to express yourself, to make global connections. (Global Online Academy Student and Parent Handbook.)

Some of the exciting topics covered by GOA courses that may be of interest to our students include:

Advocacy

Applying Philosophy to global issues

Bioethics

Climate change and Global inequality

Comparative politics

Gender studies

Genocide and Human rights

Computer Science Computational thinking

Game design and development

Java

Game theory

Graphic Design

iOS App Design

Number Theory

Parents and students can explore the GOA site and course catalogue here. NB: Grade 10 students do not need to register for GOA courses themselves. They do need to make a request on the UNIS Hanoi Request Form. 

If you have any questions about the Elective Course Request process please feel free to reach out. Next week there will be an update about 2020-21 Math and Language. 

Glenda Baker
HS Deputy Principal

Posted in MS

Happy Spring Break

We have reached our April Break. Though it will not “look” the same due to our current circumstances, we would like to make sure that students do TAKE A BREAK!

What does this mean? Teachers will not be holding synchronous sessions or assigning work via Veracross. Encourage your student to practice some physical and mental wellness, read for pleasure, cook together, talk with the family and most of all LIMIT their screen time. We all look forward to quarter four, beginning on April 6th, and have some exciting things to share at that time regarding upcoming course selection, parent teacher conferences, and end of the year celebrations. Enjoy!

Marc Vermeire

Photo credit:
Deschene, L.  Deschene, Lori. “40 Ways To Give Yourself A Break”. Tiny Buddha, 2015, https://tinybuddha.com/blog/40-ways-to-give-yourself-a-break/. Accessed 26 Mar 2020.

Distance Learning Checklist

This past week we have conducted an exercise in each student’s class to help ensure that students are developing in-depth and enduring understandings around our key learning objectives during Distance Learning.  In order to complete the checklist, students were guided through a teacher-led review of past weeks and the learning objectives associated with the activities accomplished.  Students then self-reported their level of understanding as “secure, partially secure, and no knowledge”. The data derived from this process will allow us to achieve the goals of;

  • Celebrating the learning that has been happening by making it visible to students, teachers and parents
  • Assisting teachers to make informed decisions about revision, reteaching and necessary adjustments in upcoming tasks and assessments
  • Validating the work and effort that students, teachers and parents have put in during Distance Learning by tying it directly to achievement of standards

Thank you for inquiring with your students as to how they may be feeling in their classes about this exercise and their learning. As always, if you have questions, please ask.

Marc Vermeire

Graphic credit:
Learning is an Everyday Job – UnwastedMind“Learning Is An Everyday Job – Unwastedmind”. Unwastedmind, 2014, http://www.unwastedmind.com/learning-is-an-everyday-job/. Accessed 26 Mar 2020.

Applause Campaign

We have completed two months of Distance Learning and have much to celebrate!  In “the middle” we are starting an Applause Campaign. This division-wide effort is aimed at providing continued feedback for students (and parents) through using the applause feature in Veracross.  Applauses have been designed for teachers to use and range from continuing to complement students that are 100% engaged, commending students that are exhibiting high-quality efforts in helping others, and reinforcing positive behaviors seen in students that are working to get caught up.

Keep up the fantastic work, and check your inbox for applause from your student’s teachers and mentor.  Parents, this applause is for you and your work throughout our Distance Learning journey… Thank you!

Marc Vermeire

Graphic credit:
3 great ideas for the National Thank You Month – Good Job, Pal!
“3 Great Ideas For The National Thank You Month – Good Job, Pal!”. Good Job, Pal!, 2019, https://goodjobpal.com/3-great-ideas-for-national-thank-you-month/. Accessed 26 Mar 2020.

Posted in MYP