Week 27 – 18th to 22nd March

Welcome 5B Community,

Being away from class is always difficult. I look forward to getting back into class after Spring Break. While I am away, Agnieszka Schaffner will be covering 5B learning. 5B students have worked with Ms Agnieszka before and they really enjoy her style. 

The plans left for 5B will be keeping them on their toes. Here is a peek at what they are getting up too. 

Dream House Challenge
In teams of three, students designed a floor plan, a financial plan and then proceeded to build a model from the floor plan. Lots of discussion around the purpose of math being used in real life. I’m looking forward to seeing the final results upon my return. 

The criteria for this Math Challenge is:

  • Choose appropriate units of measurement for length and area.
  • Calculate perimeter and area of rectangles using familiar metric units to draw a floor plan.
  • Use numbers and place value to create a financial plan
  • Use technology design to create a 3D representation (scale model) that accurately follows a floor plan.

PYPx Weekly Video

Examples of Community Time Tasks

The week that was:



Week 26 – 12th to 15th March – Celebrating Learning

Welcome 5B Community,

It may have been a short week but nonetheless, it was full of celebrating learning.

Video by Mr Brewster 

Students have all met their mentors and begun the process of researching essential questions. Some students have gone on field trips already and others have made appointments to interview experts. Your child’s coordinating teacher will guide your child to start thinking about how they (and their group) will include a language element into their PYPx. The G5 coordinating teachers would welcome your expertise. The role could include anything from proofreading to helping with pronunciation. Please let your child’s teacher know you are interested in participating. Your involvement is always welcome.

Music Concert

Wow, what a morning. A huge thank you to all the parents who attended. G5 students have been working tirelessly to prepare for this moment. Behind the scenes, there was a huge team of people organising logistics and ensuring your child was set up for success. There were close to 200 students moving on and off the stage, changing instruments and reordering lines for different performances on stage. The students looked amazing in their new polo shirts which added to the polished performances. Congratulations to all who made this a successful event.

Art Exhibition

One of the most wonderful exhibits of the year is the Elementary Art Show. This display of creative pieces crafted by students always delights those who take the time to explore them. Too often we overlook the creative elements of our children’s minds as we ensure they are achieving in curriculum areas.

Open Classrooms

We opened our doors to parents this week so they could catch a glimpse of their children at work. If you joined us, we hope you had an interesting and productive visit and you developed an overview of where your child was in the PYPx process.

Spring Fair this Sunday

A reminder that the Spring Fair is on this weekend. Keep an eye out for some of our 5B students who are taking action by selling homemade products. They call themselves the UBK’s (United Business Kids) and have partnered up with ‘Project Sprouts’ who buy educational resources and clothes for children who are less fortunate. Go along and support these driven students by buying a treat or two to sustain your walk around the fair.

The Week that Was:



Week 25 – 4th to 8th March

Welcome 5B Community,

PYPx is underway
Students were excited to find out their groups and began the planning process to drive their inquiry. PYPx groups were lucky enough to have Mr Dylan lead a workshop around developing lines of inquiry and driving questions. These elements were driven by key concepts which groups identified as important. We also saw our experienced TA’s, Ms Huong and Ms Nguyen lead a workshop on how to write emails to mentors and experts. This week is often one of the most challenging for students as they make connections, select roles and responsibilities and make contact with their mentors. Remember to check out the website or look over your child’s process journal to see how your child is progressing.

Calling for Experts or People with Connections
Students need to source a wide range of information in order for them to acquire accurate and timely information. Interviewing and field trips are encouraged, but we need your help to do this. If you are or know of anyone connected to an issue a group is researching, please contact me or your child’s coordinating teacher.

Weekly Seesaw Posts Have Changed
During PYPx, students have been asked to craft three posts a week around their PYPx learning. Adding a photo of their group or any work they are doing, along with a comment to explain their choice of photo. Again I ask that you contribute a comment or question to develop their thinking.

5B continues to develop and apply their understanding of fractions and decimals through playing and reflecting on new games, as well as unpacking and solving abstract or word problems.

Visit from Mr Tom – Blue Dragon
On Thursday, 5B students were thanked by Mr Tom for the fundraising effort they made. Mr Tom said he was overwhelmed with what students had done and asked to return in a couple of weeks to have a long conversation about their ideas and learning. Mr Tom presented 5B with a Blue Dragon which BJ kindly accepted on their behalf.

Thank you to the Walk-a-Thon Champions for the Doughnuts
We loved every bite.

Congratulations to Endric and Chikashi for their extraordinary efforts at the Aquathon last weekend. Check out the Aquatics Blog for more fantastic photos and results. Good luck Endric and Chikashi, for this weekends swim meet in Bangkok.

Literacy – AVAILLL continues
The lessons this week were around fluency and how to connect images to what you have read. This strategy helps students to remember what they have read and how to read naturally like a narrator. Students are enjoying this unique way of reading.

Open Classrooms – Thursday 14th & Friday 15th March
You are invited to join 5B on Thursday and Friday next week, for another round of open classrooms. Please see the schedule below for open lessons, and visit times:
Music Concert @ 9am
PYPx & Closing Circle: 2.30 – 3.20
(Check with your child for their room location during PYPx)
PE – 9.25

The Week that Was in Video


Week 24 – 25th of February to 1st March

Welcome 5B Community,
Thank you for the wonderful turn out of parents this morning for our PYPx coffee information morning.

PYPx has begun!

Please view the PYPx web site as we will referring to it regularly over the coming weeks. PYPx web site.

Week 1:

The Week that Was:

Week 23 – 18th to 22nd February

Welcome, 5B Community,

Blue Dragon Walk-a-Thon Fundraising Results are
In and We are Proud!

5B raised 112, 425,000 VND (4,889 USD). A sincere thank you to the 167 sponsors who supported 5B students. Students have calculated that the money will send approximately 28 children to school for a year ($4,889 divided by $169 is 28.9). We are looking forward to seeing how much ES raised as in total.
* Most sponsors – BJ (22) – Number of sponsors for 5B (167)
* Most laps run – Endric (25) – Average Laps run (16)

“Taking action to make a change has huge benifits for our futures” Anonymous 

5B presented their Governance UOI understanding today. Many students had innovative ways of showing what they had learned over the past 6 weeks. Have a look at their Seesaw platform to view each presentation. Give your child some feedback.

We embark on the largest unit of the year next week; The Primary Years Program Exhibition (PYPX). You should have received a permission slip via email on Thursday requesting permission for your child to attend a mystery field trip on Wednesday 27th of February. Please sign or send me an email saying your child can attend.

A reminder that there is a parent coffee morning on the 1st of March to explain what PYPX is all about. Please be sure to attend so you can support your child during this very challenging unit.

With excellent assessment results from our fractions and decimals unit and our financial plans for our governing system all done; 5B have been fine-tuning their mathematical explanation and visual representation skills along with new games (Yatzee and Find the Rule) being played to develop strategies and notice patterns.

Some students have been working on abstract problems in order to see if they can transfer their understanding of value and Volume and how these connect to decimals. Keep an eye out for their findings, coming soon.

Being a Transdisciplinary Class is Part of Learning; Math & Lit
5B took the opportunity to demonstrate how big they thought the largest crocodile might be after we read about them in a non-fiction text during AVAILLL. Knowing volumes and masses is important for the imagination, so we tested our thinking by estimating how long an 8.6-metre croc might be. 

AVAILLL – Audio, Visual Assessment in Literacy Language and Learning
The next topic in the AVAILLL program is reading fluency. Students will be introduced to team coaching, strengthening imagery and going beyond decoding, to reading larger chunks of texts. See if you can give an explanation for the following symbols (the first two have been done for you) and how often have you thought about what you do when you come across these symbols?

Dinner Time Talk:

  • What does a financial plan show?
  • Was learning about governance important? Why? Why not?
  • What issue might you look at for PYPX?
  • What might your next service action be?



  • February 18 – March 1 – Art Auction
  • February 23 SCO Fund Run

  • February 27 Passion Speaker

  • March 1 PYPx Parent Coffee Morning

  • March 3 Aquathlon – Sign Up here

The Week that Was

Week 22 – 11th to 15th February

Welcome 5B Community

We are well into the assessment process of our Governance UOI. G5 students worked to construct the success criteria (rubric) that would be used to grade their presentation. A rubric is a tool that students can refer to throughout the assessment process, as it guides the learner towards the required outcome whilst they develop their presentations. It is an effective practice that is becoming more common, as it makes sense that assessment is something that should be done ‘with students’, and not ‘to students’.

Financial Plans; Students are learning how to create simple financial plans. This is an opportunity for students to use math in a real-life context, not to mention the benefits of students learning early how to earn, spend and save money wisely. Integrating math with UOI helps to deepen student understanding and provides opportunities to apply what they have previously learned in context.


Developing and understanding the Discussion Text type continues. Hedging sentences, strong modal language, pros and cons, evidence and testimonies, are all elements of this text type. After students reviewed their pre-assessment, they identified areas for improvement and have been practising to make these areas a strength.

AVAILLL continues to develop reading strategies and skills that support the learning of content, oral fluency, reading stamina and enjoyment. Students are being exposed to new vocabulary and writing styles as they work through this program. This week students took a dictionary to the movies to connect specific words and meanings to context.

Blue Dragon Walk-a-Thon

The commitment to action was again demonstrated by 5B students who were away for the last day, before the TET break. Angel and Na both took to the track and ran as their peers cheered them on. Well done girls and what a fantastically supportive group of peers you have.

The sponsor money has begun to come in. It looks like another huge effort from 5B this year. The final amount will be shared once all monies have been collected. Many thanks for the support and encouragement you have given to this worthy cause. 

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


  • 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 Get Information here

Sign up Quick – Limited Numbers for the Aquathlon

Dinner Time Talk

  • What feelings did you experience when the sponsorship money for Blue Dragon started to add up?
  • How do you feel about the ISA testing you had this week? Did you feel confident, concerned, nervous?
  • How would you describe the new game you learnt this week?
  • What was the funniest thing that happened this week?

The Week that Was

Week 21 – 28th January to 1st February

Chúc mừng năm mới
Happy New Year from 5B

Have a safe and happy break.

Năm mới, thắng lợi mới
New year, new triumphs

Week 20 – 21st to 25th January

Welcome G5 Community,

Firstly, we would like to welcome Euan to our class. He and his family are coming from Japan. We look forward to learning more about Euan as he settles into UNIS and 5B’s routines.


Discussion text types have been our focus this week. Looking at how to see both sides of an issue, backing each side up with evidence and testimonials and then finishing with a conclusion, justifying a side taken. Students will find this text type very helpful when moving into the ‘finding out’ stage of their exhibition (PYPX). 5B students recorded themselves reading a short story in preparation to monitor their progress as they begin AVAILLL (audio, visual achievement in literacy, language and learning). And Friday saw them attempt to record subtitles in their first AVAILLL activity. Students were surprised to find that they were reading with a focus for a solid 25 minutes.

Reading Responses

Students have a new focus. They are to investigate issues that they are passionate about. Students need to discuss both sides of the issue and then pose a question for their peers to respond to. They can add evidence in the form of a quote, reference or link to a youtube clip. Then students must respond to at least 3 of their peer’s posts. A response to these should be thought-provoking or supporting/debating the evidence or responses of others. Parents are encouraged to support thier childs posts by reading and responding.


Just a reminder that this is a chance for your child to share their work. Most of 5B parents have signed up to see their child’s posts, but there are still some families who have not. If you haven’t please do so. This is an opportunity to read and responds to your child’s work as it happens. I would also like to encourage parents to respond with comments, words of encouragement or questions that provoke thinking.

Please Sign Up Now if you haven’t already.

  1. Click on this link: https://app.seesaw.me/s/175-042-146
  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!

Parent-teacher conferences:

These are scheduled for next Wednesday. I’d ask that you look over your child’s report and come to the meeting with any questions regarding your child’s progress. As some families are not able to attend, I am happy to meet after the TET holidays. Just let me know and I can organise a time and date.

Blue Dragon Walk-a-Thon

Students in 5B are encouraged to get as many sponsors as possible. Students have been advised to work in pairs if they are going to seek support from neighbours. Some students have enlisted the help of their parents by taking sponsor sheets to their workplace. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to see how their actions can make a difference in a child’s life.


This week probability lines and dice games have been avenues to strengthen students understanding of fractions, decimals and percentages. Here is an example of a problem students have been working on.

We also looked at some interesting number talks that involved conversions of money.


5B students continued to research the effectiveness of different governing systems. Alone with this, students spent time reviewing different platforms to present their information about Governance. A number of students lead digital literacy workshops – Presentation Platforms, for other G5 students. This was an authentic opportunity to practice leadership skills and share their expert skills.

Next week students will share what they know about the governing system in their home country or a country they feel especially connected to. Look out for these presentations on their Seesaw platforms.

Dinner time talk

  • Explain what a probability line is.
  • What are the two main categories of governing systems?
  • What have you been learning in Mr Dylan’s lessons?
  • Could you teach me how to play ‘six’?
  • What was the last thing you posted to your Seesaw platform?
  • What worldwide or local issue concerns you?

The week that was

Week 19 – 14th to 18th January

Dear 5B Community,

This week students embarked on investigating two of our unit’s lines of inquiry

  • forms of governance (Form)
  • the responsibility of citizens and government (Responsibility)

Students decided through a democratic process on a way to research the lines of inquiry. They split into two groups, one taking Democracy and the other taking Autocracy. From there they researched the different types of governing systems that fall under each category. Students began identifying how these governing systems operate and what the responsibilities are, for both the citizens and the government. Some students were tasked with finding out how their home country is governed.

Grade 5 welcomed our Head of School, Ms Jane, who presented and answered many questions regarding the governing system UNIS has. It was interesting to hear questions from students, who were interested in how our school makes decisions about curriculum, healthy eating and student placement. There were even inquiries about our campus infrastructure.

Next week we will take a closer look at the effectiveness of different governing systems and locate local and world news events, associated with political perspectives.

This week 5B used their knowledge of decimals, as they calculated how fast they could complete one circuit of the track being used for the up and coming walk-a-ton. Students had to compare walking times with running times and measure the distance of the circuit, using meter wheels. Students are calculating an average pace to achieve their lap goals, then working out the amount of time they need to train for the event. Another area students have been working on is the value of money. Calculating the exchange rate of VND and USD (after all, they will receive pledges in both currencies).

Next week we will return to conversions of decimals, percentages and fractions.

Word inquiry has been a major part of helping students to understand the complicated governance vocabulary. Students are reading non-fiction texts as they research their UOI. Writing has included looking at modal language. A modal is a type of auxiliary (helping) verb that is used to express: ability, possibility, permission or obligation. This skill helps students to select a specific language for discussions and debates.

Next week we will begin a new reading program called AVAILLL (Audio Visual Achievement in Literacy, Language and Learning). Students will be reading a range of subtitles from selected movies and participating in a selection of literacy tasks to improve student fluency and expression. They will use visualization techniques to improve comprehension and recall while being highly engaged in reading.

Read more from the New Zealand Literacy Association, Does viewing movies with subtitles count as reading? by Ronnie Davey and Faye Parkhill, 2015.

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 has been given their sponsor sheet and has been encouraged to get as many sponsors as they can (students are not limited to one sheet). 5B also needs volunteers on the day to keep track of laps and cheer students on as they push themselves to complete as many laps as they can.

Students unable to attend the event will be given the chance to run prior to departing early for the TET holidays.

5B spending time searching for a safe place to sleep at night. Then going one step further to experience an uncomfortable place to sleep.

Dinner time talk

  • What things have 5B been doing to prepare for the Blue Dragon walk-a-thon?
  • What is the purpose of raising money for Blue Dragon?
  • What forms of governance have you inquired into this week?
  • Do you know how our home country is governed?

The week that was