Week 9: Oct 15-19

Greetings 5C Community,

In UOI this week, 5C began the research component of our Migration Museum assessment. Students have been tasked with examining their migrant through the lens of the key concepts: reasons for migration (causation), how migration results in change (change) & perspectives related to migration (perspective). Next week we will combine our literacy focus (narrative) with UOI to tell a migration story, to be delivered in the first-person at the migration museum.

In literacy, this week we examined time connectives, and began to look at different types of emotive language. We began guided reading groups, and all groups appear to be thoroughly engaged in their books.

In Math, we learned to assess our math practices. You can find our reflections on Seesaw. Next week students will need to find specific data related to their migrant so that the information can be used to tell their migration story.

Some of you may have noticed that the Chromebooks began coming home this week. I have granted some students permission to continue their school work at home, if necessary. Students will only be permitted to take the Chromebooks home if they have school work to go on with.

Field Trip Tuesday
Please be reminded that Tuesday October 23rd is our field-trip to the  Vietnamese Women’s Museum. We will leave school at 8.30, and plan to be back by 11.30. Please ensure your child has returned the permission slip. They will need a hat, snack, water bottle and suitable walking shoes.

Dinner Time Talk
What changes did your migrant experience when they arrived in their new home?
How has Vietnam changed since the arrival of the migrant community?


Week 8: October 1-5

Greetings 5C Community,

First, I enjoyed meeting with parents on Monday to discuss their child’s performance, progress and goals for the year. I also appreciated the chance to share student work and to gain parent insight. Moving forward, I will work with the students to help them meet their academic and social goals.

So, here is what we worked on this week:

Migration continues to be our inquiry focus. The students are beginning to make decisions about what migrant story they would like to tell. This story will be presented by celebrating all disciplines at a migration showcase on October 30. Please stay tuned for a formal invitation.

In groups and individually, students shared the causation, perspectives and changes involved in migration stories.

In Literacy, students created story arcs with a social message (coda) that is meaningful to them. Examples included bullying and gender equality. When we return to school, students will have a chance to turn these outlines into narratives with paragraphs and dialogue. We also completed an exciting read-aloud novel, Among the Hidden, about a boy who is hiding from the “population police.” While I read, students practiced making connections and asking open-ended questions.

In Math, we continued to improve our math practices (claim, support, explain) and gained conceptual understanding of two-digit multiplication using area models.

Dinnertime discussion topics:

  • How and why did you select your immigrant to study?
  • How is migration connected to our identity?
  • What social issue is important to you?
  • How do areas models help us understand multiplication?

Have an outstanding October break,

Week 6: Sept 17-21

Greetings 5C Community,

This week students continued to read and plot migration stories from various countries. We then started a discussion about the various reasons people move from one place to another. Learning the steps of the research process, students began their own “inquiry cycles” to find answers to questions they have about migration. One student inquired into the possibility of migration to other planets. Led by a group of students from the high school, students also learned about the current controversy in Rohingya.

Literacy also linked to migration this week as we plotted migration stories with a focus on orientation, conflict, rising action, climax and resolution. Next week we will use our understanding of story structure to assess and improve our own writing.

In math, students are learning to represent their solutions to problems using a math practices template (Claim, Support, Explain), that requires students to show their thinking with models, numbers and words. Students used this template to find the largest area with 30 meters of fence. They also practiced solving two-digit multiplication using area models.

Dinner Discussions

  • What’s are family’s migration story?
  • What are the parts of a story?
  • How many ways can you solve 12 x 14?
  • What is the Rohingya crisis?

G5 Overnight
We are asking each student to bring an English book to donate to a local school that is building an English library.

Please deliver any medications that are required at scheduled to the School Health Center the day before departure.

Written instructions from the parent must include the following:

Student’s full name
Name of medications
Times to be given
Parent signature

Week 5: Sept 10-14

Greetings 5C Community,

We began the week with an identity museum to showcase our learning about our identities.

To introduce our next unit on migration, students participated in a role-playing provocation, where the classrooms became countries and the students became refugees. We also read and discussed a migration story about a Vietnamese family that emigrated to Australia.

In literacy, students wrote their first narrative (story) of the year, which will be graded based on a set of criteria so that students will know their strengths and be able to set goals to improve on areas of weakness. After this pre-assessment, students were taught the basic structure for stories (setting, conflict, rising action, climax and resolution).

In math, students reviewed the concept of factors and solved The Locker Problem by looking for patterns involving prime, composite and square numbers.

Certainly a highlight of the week was word inquiry with Ms. Fiona. She taught us how to write word sums and to look at words in a whole new way!

The week in photos:

Dinnertime Discussions:

  • What does migration mean? What migration stories do you know?
  • What are the parts of a story arc? Which part of the story is the most interesting to read?
  • What is a square number? What are the factors of __?

Save the dates

  • Wednesday 19th September – G5 Math Coffee Morning with Ms Beth 8:30 – 9:30 Wednesday 26th – 28th September – G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)
  • Thursday 27th September – EAL Coffee Morning for new families (Returning families are more than welcome to attend)
  • Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)
  • Monday 8th – 12th October – Autumn Break

Finally, we are still looking for a 5C class parent. If you are interested in helping out, please contact me.

In partnership,

Week 4: Sept 4-7

Greetings 5C Community,

I enjoyed meetings many of you at Back-to-School Night. As promised, I have attached my presentation slides so that you can review important dates and information regarding the curriculum, communication and how best we can support the students.

The most significant thing parents can do to stay engaged in their child’s education is to read and comment on their children’s online portfolio (Seesaw). For those who have not yet signed up, here is the link to view your child’s thinking about their work. Students generally post a weekly reflection on Friday afternoons.

The G5 Overnight Trip: September 26-28
On Thursday, students received information packets to share with parents. It included information and permission forms that need to be signed and returned to school.

The week in action:

Dinnertime conversation starters:

  • How have certain factors influenced (affected) your identity?
  • What is the conflict (problem) in the book you are reading?
  • How do you play “number battles?”
  • How do you feel about the new Nike advertisement and slogan?

Week 3: August 27-31

Greetings 5C Community!

We had a wet, but wonderful week of work. Continuing our self-exploration of our identities, students learned that there our parts of our identity that can’t be seen, but can be inferred. We started to realize that others may have different perspectives as to our identities based on what they know about us. Next week we will have a project assessment to determine how much we have learned about the topic of identity.

In math, students learned that their are often several ways to solve the same problem, and they gained appreciation for using models while solving the Handshake Problem. During literacy times, students wrote identity poems, read news articles and discussed character traits in our read-aloud book.

I look forward to seeing parents at Back-to-School night this coming Thursday to formally introduce myself and to share with you the G5 goals for the year.

Have a wonderful lonnggg weekend!

5C and 1C Buddies
Thursday was the first time we met our new buddies, and we will meet with our buddies regularly to develop and support our school values of community, learning and responsibility.

Back to School Night
You should have received an email from our ES Principal, Megan Brazil with important information about our Back to School night. There are two session you can attend, either 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm. We can meet to go over the year ahead and answer any questions about the G5 program. Specialist teachers are available to meet from 6:00 pm till 7:30 pm.
Link to Megan’s email

Save the Date

  • Monday 3rd September – Vietnam National Day celebration – NO SCHOOL!
  • Tuesday 4th September – ASAs and Youth Sports Begin- Please inform the transport department regarding arrangements for your child if they go by bus.
  • Thursday 6th September – Back to School Night – 6pm
  • Tuesday 11th September – Parent Community Morning with Head of School – 8am
  • Wednesday 26th – 28th September – G5 Excursion (Camp)
  • Thursday 27th September – EAL Coffee Morning for new families (Returning families are more than welcome to attend)
  • Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)
  • Monday 8th – 12th October – Autumn Break

Dinner Time Talk
– How does the “butterfly cocoon” metaphor relate to student learning?
– How is identity similar to an iceberg (seen and unseen)?
– How many handshakes will it take for 5 people to shake hands with each other?
– What is the etymology of “perspective?”
– How do you write a Where I’m From poem?
– In Among the Hidden, who is the face in the window?

“Identity is something that
You are constantly earning.
It is not just who you are.
It is a process that you must be active in.
It’s not just parroting your parents or
the thoughts of your learned teachers.
It is now more than ever about understanding yourself
So you can become yourself”
Joss Whedon

Week 2: August 20-24

Greetings 5C Community,

This week we officially began our first unit of inquiry on “identity!” We started to develop our 5C identity by establishing essential agreements, and students explored their individual identities through drama, art, math and language. See pictures and ask 5C students to get a better sense of the engaging activities.

In literacy we began reading Among the Hidden, about a forbidden third-child, and we noted the character traits (identity) of the main character. Writing took the form of looking at mottos, quotes and slogans to create a quote that represents us and the year ahead. In addition to hands-on spatial awareness through origami, Math was centered on building “growth mindset,” the belief that all students can be good at math.

At the end of each week, students will highlight aspects of their learning on SeeSaw. Here is a link for parents to log onto to see what their child had to say. For more detailed long-on directions, review my post from last week.


This year, Tech Support is going to share the tech online forms directly to parents via Veracross. Kindly check your email and sign the following:

  • Responsible Use Agreement,  a document which explains what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.

  • Device Acceptance Form, which outlines the responsibilities to return the Devices in good condition when requested by the school.

  • Device Loss/Damage Programme (optional for parents to join)


  • Sign up to your child’s Seesaw platform
  • Sign up for ASAs and Youth Sports
  • Read to or with your child every night
  • Bring in Headphones for school
  • Students are expected to read at home for 30 minutes each day. Students are encouraging to maintain a book at home, school and in their backpacks.

Save the Date:

Friday August 31st is 5C’s class photo day

Thursday 6th September is Back to School Night

Grade 5 Retreat September 26, 27, 28

Dinner Time Talk
Can a word have two prefixes?
What is growth mindset?
What is the identity of the main character in Among the Hidden?

Have a wonderful weekend!



Week 1: August 15-17

Greeting 5C Community,

We had a wonderful time this week getting to know each other by engaging in team building activities and developing routines that allow us to work safely and productively. I feel very privileged to be working with your children.

This blog is the main form of communication between 5C and home. Each week we will post what we have done during the week and preview what to expect the following week. Reminders of important dates to save will be posted and updated. We will add dinner time talk questions which are a great way to engage conversations with your child about school. And of course, there will be photos of 5C at work. 

SeeSaw – The student platform
This year we are using Seesaw to share and communicate with families. Your child will post to Seesaw to share their learning. I’ll also use Seesaw to send you messages and reminders. Seesaw is private; you’ll only see posts created by your child.

Please Sign Up Now

  1. Click on this link: https://app.seesaw.me/s/916-084-055
  2. Choose your child from the list
  3. Create your account
  4. Once I approve you, you can see content from your child

After you sign up, download the free Seesaw Family app and sign in. You can also access Seesaw from a computer at https://app.seesaw.me.

Thank you for supporting your child’s learning!

Housekeeping Hints
The following are just a few reminders to ensure your child is able to participate fully in class.

1. Please contact Mr. Lai, the transport manager, if there is a change to your child’s bus schedule. His email is transportmanager@unishanoi.org

2. Each day students should bring . .

  • A hat to enjoy outside play
  • A reusable water bottle. I can’t stress enough the importance of hydration in this hot humid weather.
  • Personal headphones (a mic is optional, but often very important for clear recording). Personal headphones reduces the risk of ear and hair issues being shared amongst students.

G5 Activities and Physical Education Requirements
Your child is a pre teen and with this comes the responsibility of organising their needs. As the weather continues to be hot and sticky, all G5 students need to think about their hygiene requirements. Some suggestions are as follows:

  • Use an antiperspirant each day
  • Bring a change of clothes for after lunch play
  • Have a change of clothes to change into after PE lessons
  • Air shoes out over the weekends to avoid foot odour

With 22 students in a class, you can imagine the range of smells each person delivers and receives. Please have a discussion with your child to decide on their needs and how they may implement these.

For those of you whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, you can read a short brief in the “about Mr. Nathan” section of our class blog. Otherwise, I look forward to meeting you at our ‘Back-to-School Night’ on the evening of September 6th. You can always email me at the following address: nsmith@unishanoi.org. I am not able to answer emails while I’m teaching, so if it is important please contact the ES office.

Save the Date:
September 6th – Back to School Night

Dinner Time Talk
What games did G5 play this week to develop team spirit?
What ASA’s and Youth Sport activities are happening this semester?

Looking forward to a great year!
Nathan Smith 

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community”
– Anthony J. D’Angelo

Welcome to 5C!

Dear 5C Students, Parents and Guests,

You’ve found my blog! I hope you will find this site useful for finding information about what has done, what we are doing, and what we will do throughout the year. It will serve as a showcase of student work, and it will be a place to find additional resources to support student learning.

In partnership,

Nathan Smith
5C Homeroom Teacher