Week 22: Feb 18-22

Greetings 5C Community,

In UOI, We continue to look deeply into government and what it means to have power, whether it be in a clothing store, a bank or governing a country. The students met this week to help create the criteria for their summative assessment. This assessment will take the form of designing a governing body for an organisation of their choice. We will share our thinking next week in a presentation style of their choosing. We look forward to seeing where their creativity and time management will take them. In the meantime our National Assembly continues to govern our actions, and after much debate, our constitution was amended to include two-week term limits for the ministers. This satisfied the 5C citizens, and they returned to work.

For Math and Literacy, we took part in the International Schools Association testing. This testing looks at reading, writing and mathematical literacy. We were very proud of the students’ ability to focus and showcase their strengths as learners. In addition, students learned to create simple financial plans and gained understanding of GST (goods and services tax). They supported opinions with text from their books and completed discussion essays on a topic of choice.

With just one week left in our government unit, we are preparing for a culminating experience for your child as part of the Primary Years Program. Please read below to find out more.

G5 PYP Exhibition

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What issues exist in this world that need your attention?
  • What are you going to do about it?

Our grade 5 students are about to launch into the culminating event of their time in the Primary Years Programme with the aim of answering all of these questions. Students and teachers have been busily preparing for this event all year. It is with great excitement that we are now ready to begin our G5 Exhibition otherwise known as PYPx.

PYPx is an opportunity for our oldest elementary school students to reflect on their time in the PYP and use the skills, knowledge and understandings that they have developed over the years to take action in an authentic and meaningful way.

This is very much a community project where we will involve students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community to support the G5 students work towards achieving their goals.

Parents and other community members are invited to join us for an information session on PYPx where we will share the Exhibition schedule, objectives and expectations.

Please join us on Friday, March 1st from 8:15 – 9:30am in the ES Creativity Space.

When? Friday, March 1st from 8:15 – 9:30am in the ES Creativity Space.

What?  Parent Information session on PYPx

Who?  All interested community members with a passion, skill or area of expertise to share with our students

Dinner Discussions:

  •   Have we collected our Blue Dragon money and returned it to school?
  •   What have you decided to govern for your final government project?
  •   What part of the ISA testing did you enjoy? What part did you find challenging?
  •   What was the topic of your discussion essay?

Important dates and announcements:

  • February 18 Snack Sale – bring in 10,000 – 20,000VND
  • February 18 – March 1 – Art Auction
  • February 22 Blue Dragon money due
  • February 23 SCO Fund Run
  • March 1 PYPx Parent Coffee Morning
  • March 3 Aquathlon – Sign Up here

Week 21: Jan 28 – Feb 1

Greetings 5C Community,

Have a happy and relaxing new year! Here is the week in pictures.


Week 20: Jan 21-25

Greetings 5C community,

The most exciting aspect of classroom life is the emergence of our new government that includes a prime minister and cabinet members, such as the defense minister and foreign affairs minister. By next week, we hope to have a working constitution!

Also in UOI this week, students have started sharing and critiquing home country government presentations. They were tasked with examining the form of government, how the government works, and its effectiveness. They created the criteria for a successful presentation and provided feedback for others using a Google form.

In literacy, we are reading new novels with the objective of developing our own points-of-view about a character’s behavior and supporting these opinions with evidence from the book.  We are also learning to add “testimonials” into our discussion essays.

In math this week, students reviewed their understanding of decimals and fractions with a variety of word problems, math games and quizzes. By now, most students are able to add, subtract and multiply fractions with common denominators on a number line.

Many thanks for the support from home in regards to the Blue Dragon Walkathon.

Dinner Discussions:

  •   How many laps do you think you will run for the Blue Dragon Walkathon?
  •   What have you learned about the government in your home country?
  •   What is happening in your guided reading book?
  •   What are testimonies and why are they useful?
  •   How do you read and write decimals?

Important dates and announcements:

  • 28th Jan – reports home to families
  • 30th Jan – Parent Teacher Conferences 10am – 6pm
  • 31st Jan – Tet Assembly
  • 1st Feb – Blue Dragon Walkathon

Swimming link for blogs


Week 19 (Jan 14-18)

Greetings 5C Community,

And an especially warm welcome to Chi Chen and her family, our new student who will begin on Monday.

If you could choose the governing system for your office or home, what would you choose? Now that students understand the main forms of government (monarchy, anarchy, dictatorship and democracy), they are trying to develop their own system based on Vietnam’s structure. It includes a national assembly and ministers who are responsible for the education, safety and environment of the citizens. Isn’t that cool!

In addition to creating their own government, students are researching the type of government system in their home countries. Next week, they will need to present the responsibilities and effectiveness of the system. Parents can help be giving their opinions, which we are calling “testimonies.”

Students applied their growing understanding of decimals by timing how long it took them to stack and unstack six cups. They recorded each attempt on a line graph and analyzed the pattern of the data. Of course, the students recognized that the downward slope of the line showed that their performance got better over time. Next week, students will be encouraged to time themselves in a skill that they choose.

Students continued to review the criteria for writing discussion essays, which provide two sides of an argument. They learned to include “testimonies” for each argument and “modality” in the conclusion. Next week, they will practice writing another essay.

In guided reading groups, students completed their novels and took a pre-assessment for the standard that requires students to give their own point of view. They were asked, “Do you agree with the way the main character behaved?”

Blue Dragon Walk-a-Thon
This annual fundraiser is upon us. On the 1st of February, ES students will be walking and or running laps around a 200 meter circuit to raise money to get children off the streets in Hanoi and into homes and schools. Your child will be given a sponsor sheet and will been encouraged to get as many sponsors as they can (students are not limited to one sheet).

Dinner Discussions

  • What novel are you reading?
  • What is the purpose of raising money for Blue Dragon?
  • What do you know about our country’s governing system?
  • Where do you see fractions and/or decimals in the real world?
  • What is a “testimony”?

Upcoming Events:

  • 21st Jan – Start of Semester 2,
  • 28th Jan – reports home to families
  • 30th Jan – Parent Teacher Conferences 10am – 6pm
  • 31st Jan – Tet Assembly
  • 1st Feb – Blue Dragon Walkathon

Sadly, we say goodbye to Ido. A fun-loving, hard-working student who cared for others and representing our class on the student counsel, he exuded the qualities of the learner profile. He will be missed, but not forgotten.

Week 18: Jan 7-11

Welcome back 5C Community!

I hope you had a restful break with family and friends. We are happy to have everyone back safe and sound and ready to learn. Speaking of safe, as many of you know, I was involved in a scooter accident just before the vacation. My helmet saved my life and I now am almost 100%. You can ask me more about my accident at Parent Teacher Conferences on January 30. Save the date. 

Students engaged in a week-long provocation for our new unit on governance. Our central idea is ‘Power comes with responsibility’, and students were exposed to a different style of leadership each day: monarchy, anarchy, dictatorship and democracy. On the last day, students got to choose their style of government to complete the task of making a shield to represent their government. I strongly encourage you to ask your child – or read their blogs – about their experiences with the different styles of government. Next week, students will get a chance to explore their own inquiries on the topic.

The purpose of this UOI is to inquire into

  • the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities
  • forms of governance (Form)
  • the responsibility of citizens and government (Responsibility) and
  • the effectiveness of governing systems (Perspective)

Students bow to Queen Aanya during our day of monarchy.

Reading and writing decimals was the focus of math this week. Students are also learning to convert fractions to decimals using 3D models.

In small reading groups, students selected books that they could read in two weeks. They are expected to read 6/10 of the book by Monday. Next week, students will meet to discuss their book and finish it by the end of the week. The writing focus for this unit will be “discussion essays,” which require the writer to consider two or more perspectives before giving their own opinion in the conclusion. Next week, we will review the criteria for a good essay.

Dinner Time Talk

  • What is your preferred system of governance?
  • What decimals can you find around the house?
  • What book are you reading and how did your reading group choose your book?

Save the Date
18th Jan – New family orientation
21st Jan – Start of Semester 2
28th Jan – reports home to families  
30th Jan – Parent Teacher Conferences: 10am – 6pm
31st Jan – Tet Assembly  
1st Feb – Blue Dragon Walkathon

Week 16: Dec 3-7

Greetings 5C Community,

Nearing the end of our energy unit, students have selected a form of energy – solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal, hydrogen, nuclear, fossil fuels and tidal – and are preparing to debate next week on the “best” energy choices. You can support the students by asking them to explain what they know about how the energy works, why it’s a good option and what is the impact of the energy on the environment.

In math, students modelled, compared and added fractions through various activities, including a simple fraction counting game that you can play at home over the holiday. The students can explain the game, but basically players take turns counting by a certain fraction, but say the whole numbers when they get to them. “1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 1, 5/4, 6/4, 7/4, 2, …”

In literacy, students shared their informational reports on an energy source and took notes from other student’s reports to prepare for an open book quiz. Many students struggled to explain what a generator was and how it works, and may benefit from a family discussion on the topic.

Another highlight from the week was teaching our Grade 1 Buddies how to play chess. We started out teaching them how to play “pawns.” Even if you already know how to play chess, you might enjoy this game that’s quick and still requires strategy.

Finally, students are encouraged to check out books from the library to read over the break.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Freddy explains how he solved the Pear Problem: 6 and 5/8 + 7 and 1/8 + 6 and 1/2

Week 14: Nov 19-23

Greetings 5C Community,

In UOI this week we began examining our second line of inquiry ‘Electrical Energy Options’ (causation). We brainstormed a list of energy sources, and built upon our list by searching for others in non-fiction books. On Tuesday, Carl Strefford (Senior Manager of Operations at UNIS) came in to talk with us about our energy needs at UNIS. We learned how our energy needs change throughout the year, and he also taught us about Vietnam’s reliance on non-renewable energy sources. On Thursday, students were introduced to their summative assessment task for this unit. They were placed into groups, selected energy sources and began researching. On Friday, we continued our hands-on exploration of circuits and created our own electricity using copper wire and magnets. Next week, students will continue their research in preparation for a presentation to the class the following week.

In Math this week, we began our examination of fractions by first completing a pre-assessment task. Students ordered fractions on a number line, made comparisons and then worked together to create a fraction display for the classroom. Next week we will continue our investigations by examining the relationship between fractions and decimals.

In Literacy students reviewed the structure of information reports. We used the structure to outline a report on energy as a whole class. Next week, students will create their own reports in small groups on a specific energy option.

Next week is SDG Week at UNIS. Students can expect a wide range of SDG activities, learning and action all week long.

UN Day is on Friday, November 30. Please join us for the flag ceremony and Global Lunch. Many thanks to those parents who have helped organize the Global Lunch. If you missed the sign-up sheet, please follow this link: Grade 5 Food Sign-up Sheet:

The schedule for UN day is as follows:

  • 8.00 – 10.00 – Parents/students deliver food. Class parent volunteers collect the food.
  • 9.45 – 10.15 – Class parent volunteers arrange tables for lunch
  • 10.15 – Leave classroom to attend ceremony
  • 10.30 – 11.30 UN DAY CELEBRATION
  • 11.30 – 12.00 Class parents return to classroom to finalize food setup
  • 12.00 – 13.00 UN Day Community Lunch – students eat first
  • 13.00 – 13.30 Clean-up and take down

Students will be dismissed at 13:00 (1:00 pm).

Dinner Time Talk:

  •      Which energy source are you researching for UOI?
  •      On average, what is the electricity bill at UNIS each month?
  •      What percentage of energy in Vietnam in non-renewable?
  •      What four sections must we always include in an information report?

The week that was: 

Week 13: Nov 12-16

Greeting 5C Community,

Let me begin by thanking all the parents who made it to our Open Classrooms this week. It was exciting to have your presence in the room. I hope that this opportunity has given you a better understanding of the learning engagements that take place both at UNIS, and within 5C.

Even more exciting, a new student, Manan Kala, joined our class today! He impressed us already by memorizing 14 out of 22 of our names. 

In UOI this week, we continued our examination of the first line of inquiry ‘Electrical energy that is transferred, transformed and controlled’ by building and manipulating circuits. In the classroom, students were engaging with traditional wire, lightbulb & battery pieces to construct single and parallel circuits. In the makerspace, Ms Michelle has had the class designing their own electronic inventions using ‘Little Bits’. Next week, the class will take a closer look at our second line of inquiry ‘Electrical Energy Options’.

In Literacy we published, shared and began assessing narratives that we wrote with the purpose of commenting on a social issue. Next week, we will examine non-fiction texts by skimming and scanning for key information. Students continued to read and discuss study novels in groups, and we are coming to the end of our class read-aloud, about a boy from Sudan who walks for years to find safety in refugee camps.

In Math, students have been solving questions related to the burning of calories through exercise. This required them to read and analyse data in tables, whilst working with area models and number lines to better organize their mathematical thinking. Next week we will take a closer look at fractions.

Dinner Time Talk

  • What items do you need to make a simple electronic circuit?
  • Can you show me how an area model works?
  • What is the rising action in Salva’s migration story?

Save the Date
Friday December 30th – UN day

Week 12: Nov 5-9

Greetings 5C Community,

Open Classrooms
5C would like to extend an invitation to visit our class at the following times.

  • Thursday 15th of November – 2:00 till 3:00 pm – Unit of Inquiry
  • Friday 16th of November – 10:30 till 11:10 pm – Mathematics (you may like to join your child for lunch afterwards)

This week students embarked on their new UOI – How the World Works,
An inquiry into…

  • electrical energy that is transferred, transformed and controlled (form, function)
  • electrical energy options (causation)
  • energy consumption choices that affect the environment and society (causation)

Students arrived to school Monday morning to find the power had been shut off to G5 classrooms. The morning was spent making group decisions on how we could accumulate through exercise watts to spend later that day. Specialist classes such as PE, Art and Music all contributed to the calorie burn by giving students a number of calories per effort in their class. After last recess, the power was turned back on and students had to calculate the number of watts they had as a combined G5 group and how they would spend the minutes of watts. Students chose to turn on one air conditioner, two ceiling fans and use a laptop and projector to watch ‘Billions in Change’ about clean energy inventions.

G5 teachers are calling for parents or associates of parents that would be willing to be a guest speaker about renewable energy – the idea is to give students a wider understanding of what is happening around the world through action currently being taken here in Vietnam (or elsewhere). I you would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact me.

In math we have been using tools to show our thinking in both addition and subtraction and multiplication. Work this week involved looking at number lines and area models as ways to represent equations. You can find an area model on their Seesaw post. Students then combined these to calculate calories in food and subtract activities that would reduce these.

As our unit changes so do does our literacy focus. We used this week to finish off narrative writing with a focus on editing and publishing. All that we have been learning will be showcased in our narrative post assessment as students are able to compare their first narrative with their last of the unit. The growth is amazing. Groups continue to read and discuss novels in “guided reading” groups.  

Finally we participated in Outdoor Classrooms with our Grade 1 Buddies. What a great morning to play and engage with our surroundings.

Dinner time talk

  • What is energy?
  • How are calories and physical activity related?
  • What wonderings do you have about electricity?
  • What did you do with your G1 buddy this week?

Save the Dates and Reminders:
Thursday November 15th-16th – ES Open Classrooms
Friday November 30th – UN day