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

Week 18 – 7th to 11th January

Welcome 5B Community to 2019

I entrust you all had a break that satisfied each of your families needs.

We began our new UOI – ‘Power comes with responsibility’, with a week-long provocation.  Monday saw students learning environment become a Monarchy. King Khoi was chosen as 5B’s King for the day, from an old French tradition called Galette Des Rois.

Statements from King Khoi’s subjects

“King Khoi was a good leader because he balanced free time and learning. He said he wanted his subjects to be educated” Na

“King Khoi made me a Knight and while I was a Knight I in charge of communications between the subjects and King Khoi. I thought he was a really good King because he listened to the ideas and suggestions of his subjects.” Grant

“I felt I was less than King Khoi because he had all the power and made all the decisions.” Agustin

Tuesday saw anarchy ensue after King Khoi was poisoned on Monday.

Statements about Anarchy;

“I thought that it was cool to be free and have no one to rule us” BJ

“Anarchy is very chaotic and if someone steps up to lead, no one listens and it is kind of annoying. No one learns anything because they all just want to play games. It just all over the place because there is no leader to guide us.” Zoe

The all-powerful dictator, Sunjae announced rules for her 5B citizens on Wednesday, as well as handed out harsh punishments for anyone who defied her rules.

Statements from Dictator Sunjae’s citizens

“Everyone had to follow what the Dictator said. The Dictator wasn’t fair because some people had to stand and others had to sit. Some people lost their break time and had to listen to a story. We didn’t get heard at all.” Agustin

“Dictator Sunjae wasn’t good at giving orders that were fair for her citizens. She had some people sitting on the ground while others wre standing. I think dictatorship isn’t fair because only the dictator has the power to control everyone” Do Hyun

Thursday and Friday was a long day of voting and decision making as 5B embarked on a democratic system of governance. President Grant appointed his ministers and set about working out what roles and responsibilities his citizens would have.

Minister of Recreation; Alinghi, President: Grant, Minister of Sanitation; Khoi, Minister of Equality; Chikashi, Minister of Justice; Hannah,

Friday saw G5 reflect and identify what they know and need to know about different forms of governance. Students selected a governance system they wished to explore further and were tasked with building a shield to represent their system. Anarchy was overwhelmed with students.

These Democrats should think about politics as a future. They were outstanding when coming together to work as a group for the first time.

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)

5B are continuing to explore fractions, decimals and percentages and how they can be converted and applied to everyday situations.

Discussion text type; 5B students completed their pre-assessment for discussion text type. They had to choose from two prompts.

  • Choose an energy source to power UNIS and write a discussion showing why this is and is not a good choice
  • Would you choose to be an only child or to have siblings? Write a discussion showing why this is or is not a good option.

The results of this assessment will be given to students next week. From there 5B will determine which elements of the writing they need to make improvements.

Dinner time talk

  • What governance system would you choose to live in?
  • Is it important for citizens to have a voice in this modern world?
  • What shapes were used to create the Japanese star which celebrates the new year?
  • What governace system rules the country we come from?


  • 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

The Week that Was

Enjoy your weekend

Elementary School Movie Night (Grades 3-5)

December 13th, 2018

Dear Parents,
The UNIS High School Habitat for Humanity Service Learning group are planning an Elementary School Movie Night on December 13th, 2018. The Habitat for Humanity Service Learning group raises money through fundraising events for the Habitat for Humanity organization. This money is used to build and repair homes in sustainable communities around Vietnam.

As part of fundraising, a movie night has been planned for students in grades 3- 5. The students will be able to watch CoCo, a family-friendly Disney movie. Students will be asked to bring 100,000 VND for the movie and a bag of popcorn each to enjoy the movie.

Students also have the option to buy other snacks and drinks during the intermission. The price of a pizza slice will be 50,000 VND and drinks will be 20,000 VND. All profits will go directly to funding an upcoming house build.

Please note that there will be no buses available after the movie. Parents are required to indicate how the students are going back home afterwards.

Date of Movie Night:     December 13th, 2018
Name and Location: UNIS Theatre
Start Time:  4:00 pm Finish Time: 6:30  pm

Your child needs to bring with them:  


  • 100,000 VND for the popcorn and movie
  • Extra money according to snacks that they want


Students are asked to bring the completed permission slips and money on the day of the movie – December 13th, 2018.


  • Students won’t be allowed to enter the theatre without the permission slip.
  • Students won’t be allowed to leave after the movie without an adult.

Permission Form for printing

Week 16 – 2nd to 7th December

Welcome, 5B Community,

Another busy week for 5B as we head towards a well-deserved break.

Students shared their energy reports with 5A students. The purpose was to enable students to share their findings (research), check that sources were reliable and relevant, and identify information that may have been omitted from their reports.

A new experience for students this week was to develop the criteria for their Energy rubric. Each G5 class was responsible for crafting statements to describe learning in four different areas; ‘Function’,’ Causation’, ‘Responsibility and ‘Self Management’. This is a challenging process but one that deepens and enriches a students understanding of how they can show or demonstrate their understanding and learning. 5B was responsible for ‘Function’.

Next week students will enter the world of debating. Small groups of students have to express, prove and disprove energies effectiveness, in order to control how a make-believe island will be powered. As the student’s craft their debates, competition is beginning to heat up. Comments such as “your given energy source isn’t renewable” or “your given energy source is closely related to ours”. We are all looking forward to the chance to argue for, and against an energy source.

As we continue to work towards understanding fractions, decimals and percentages we are also working on abstract problems that make us think, questions and call on prior knowledge to solve problems.

Writing an information report has involved a range of elements. Some new to students and some not so new. General statements that state facts and not opinions. Connecting sentences that link important and relevant information and finding visual literacy pieces that clearly explain and support the content within the report. Your child’s group’s report will be linking into their Seesaw platform for you to enjoy and hopefully learn a little bit more about energy sources and what the world is saying about them.

Development Challenges
This week 5B students have begun to embark on personal development challenges that strengthen perseverance and focus. The ‘Cup Stacking’ challenge is developing coordination, strategies and healthy competition. Students are enjoying beating their own times and challenging others as well as figuring out more efficient ways of stacking and unstacking cups.

See more photos in the Week That Was section 

The ‘Sketch What You See’ challenge is developing focus, perspective and calm (a moment to be still). The days are so full that we hardly get a chance to stop and look at our environment or be on our own to create. These challenges are time short but hold great value. We will continue to set ‘Development Challenges’ as the year unfolds.

Makey Space Inventions
5B continues to create inventions that use electrical energy. Some students are making pot plant alarms that let the class know when the plants are dry and need watering. Some students are experimenting with motion sensors that will activate a light. Some students are attempting to create a wind turbine that powers our classroom lamp and others are creating solar-powered vehicles. These hands-on tasks allow students to put their understanding of circuitry and alternative power knowledge to the test.

Save the Date:
Elementary School Movie Night (Grades 3-5) – December 13th, 2018

The Week That Was:

Dinner Time Talk

  • What is a teaspoon of action?
  • What energy source are you investigating?
  • What is the difference between transferring energy and transforming energy?
  • Which energy source do you think countries should use and why?


A Plastic Ocean is Screening at UNIS

One of the most powerful and enlightening films dedicated to saving our planet will be screened, with Vietnamese subtitles, at UNIS.

Where: Center For the Arts, UNIS
When: Tuesday; 27th November 2018
Time: 5 pm
Cost: Free (donation buckets will be about)

If this film does not make you think twice about your plastic purchases, then the world doesn’t have a hope of being protected.

Come and join the conversation


Week 14 – 19th to 23rd of November

Welcome, 5B Community,

I’d like to extend my thanks to you, the families of my wonderful 5B students, who spoilt me rotten on Tuesday, which was recognised as Teachers’ day. I was overwhelmed with the thoughtful notes and surprises. Thank you.

Teachers’ Day giggles with 5B and Big Ted

This week students had the privilege of listening to Mr Carl Strefford, the Senior Manager of Operations for UNIS. He shared his knowledge of how UNIS manages the daily power consumption. He explained that UNIS uses over 1,100kw per hour and asked students to hypothesis why there is a significant power increase this year compared to last. During the presentation, Mr Carl explained that UNIS also uses wind and solar power along with 4 generators as power outage backups.

In class, 5B have begun to investigate a range of energy sources. Students are becoming quite the experts about some sources and have been eager to learn how renewable energy sources can be adapted for home use. 5B also worked with ‘little Bits’ in the Makey Space, creating an array of items such as anti-theft devices, moving vehicles and motion markers. 

Next week 5B will delve into debating which energy source is superior in two areas, renewable and sustainable.

This week students continue to learn about mathematical relationships between fractions and decimals. Students are working on different stages of understanding but within the same area of mathematical knowledge.


Word Inquiry: Fiona Hamilton, owner and director of wordtorque visited 5B this week to model a word inquiry lesson for teachers to observe and learn.

Students investigated a new element; ‘Matrices’. The matrix is a very useful tool as it incorporates a number of morphemes that can be used to develop a bank of words around one main base element. Every base is bolded in a matrix and the core base for the family being investigated will be slightly larger to draw attention to it. A compound word has two bases, as can be seen in <overpower>. Not every prefix can be used with every suffix and thus decisions must be made as to whether a synthesized word makes sense. For example, Could <empowerful> be a word? What would it mean? How could you use it in a sentence?

Writing and Speaking: Report writing continues with an emphasis on structure, voice and reading widely whilst researching to ensure information is valid and reliable. Questions are still a focus this week. Learning to ask complete and specific questions enables students to strengthen their thinking skills and develop efficient information gathering techniques.

Students also had a go at the 60-second speech challenge, where they had to talk about something they know quite well. The catch was they didn’t know they were doing it. 

Next Week we Celebrate

This is a huge week for UNIS. With a week filled with SDG activities, action and learning and the infamous UN Day on Friday.

Please join us on Friday to watch the flag ceremony and enjoy a global lunch. A huge thank you to our class parents who have been the organisational force behind the global lunch. If you missed the sign-up sheet sent to you by Akiko and CY, 5B’s class parents, please see the sign-up link Grade 5 Food Sign-up Sheet:

Here is the schedule for UN day:

  • 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 the ceremony
  • 10.30 – 11.30 UN DAY CELEBRATION
  • 11.30 – 12.00 Class parents return to the classroom to finalise 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:

  • How much money does UNIS spend on power per week?
  • Name five energy sources?
  • What was the name of Ms Tina’s Word Study teacher? (Ms Fiona)
  • What SDG is connected to your UOI?
  • How were students chosen for the 60 second speech challenge?

The week that was: