Engineering Design Challenge: Aluminum Foil Boats


Today in Science, Class 4A students were charged with the task of engineering boats with maximum floating capacity in order to hold the maximum amount of cargo (colored markers). At first, students were distracted by the concept of design, preferring to draw beautiful boats rather than consider the purpose of the boats. Once they realized that they really ONLY had ONE piece of aluminum foil, scissors, and their own four hands, they reconsidered their designs in favor of practicality.

We haven’t completed testing of all the boats, but so far our record is 43 markers!!! Can’t wait to see final results and give them a chance to innovate their designs.





Guess away!



Students geared up for our spelling test today by getting some practice using the words in a guessing game. In this game, students select one of the 20 words they’ve written from our list and give clues of meaning to help them guess. If I could make every lesson a game, I would. Its so encouraging to see students engage themselves in learning.

How do we measure up?


This week in Health class, 4A students got some useful practice measuring in centimeters. In order to track their growth through the year, they helped each other to measure different parts of their bodies, including head, hands, and feet. We’re looking forward to checking back at the end of the year to see how they’ve changed.

Act 1: Altruism


To reinforce our ESLR (Expected Schoolwide Learning Results) “Altruism”, student groups planned, directed, rehearsed, and performed skits which demonstrated how they might be altruistic in different settings. This group was given the setting “in the street”. They showed how one might approach defending someone, befriending them, and asking forgiveness all in about 30 seconds. It was heart-warming to see.

Welcome to the Class of 2026!!

Hello 4A Families!

Welcome to the 2017/2018 EduBlog for Class 4A. My name is Ms. Corie, and I’m so happy to be getting to know your children. We have been having a lot of fun so far, and I have witnessed many moments of success in our class.  The best part is…It’s only DAY 13 of school.

What have we been learning this week:

ELA – Students are getting acquainted with the Reading and Writing Workshop again.  Every class at TAS has their own style of approaching the workshops, but overall, our goal is to get students to enjoy reading and writing. We hope to build stamina and engage students in finding meaning in what they read and creating engaging texts for others to read. So far this year, students have been reading from books of their choice. We have also begun to read the book Holes by Louis Sachar together as a class.

In spelling, we’ve been focusing on grade-level words with first short and then long vowel sounds.

In grammar, we are looking at different types of sentences and their corresponding punctuation.


Math – Students have been learning all the many facets of geometry. There is a lot of tricky vocabulary, but many of our learning activities have been  hands-on, so we hope that students are able to remember all of the names and properties for all the shapes in the world around us.

Science – We’re just getting started with science, so we want review the basics. We’re asking students what a scientist is, and what makes a good scientific question? We’re also becoming familiar with some of the tools that scientists use. Next week, we will make sure we learn how to safely use them.

Social Studies – This month, we will focus on our 4 major ESLRs : Academics, Athletics, Altruism, and Aesthetics.  This week, we looked at ways to take care of our mental and physical health. We learned some ways to deal with stress and resolve simple and serious conflicts. Next week, we will examine what it means to be altruistic. This ESLR is very important here at TAS, and many of our monthly ESLRs fall into this category.

We’ve also made some time for songs, dancing, and games. We wrapped up this Friday with a dance and song about not reading like a robot, some Tai Chi, and a final meditation to end the day.

I hope this helped to send students off on the right foot for the weekend.


Until next week…. Ms. Corie

Jump Arena!


It’s raining cats and dogs at the moment in Ho Chi Minh, but we had a safe and dry field trip this afternoon to Jump Arena in Thao Dien. This new addition to the neighborhood is housed in a warehouse-style building and includes a large trampoline course, a dodge ball trampoline court, climbing walls, a padded block “swimming pool”, and a large inflatable bag to jump into. The students were so excited to go all week, and Friday couldn’t come soon enough. Before we were clear to go, however, we had a lot of academic ground to cover.

The week started with an assembly on Monday to announce the winner of the Heartbeat Vietnam fundraiser. The winning class was Grade 7, with an average of over 800,000/dong per student. Their prize was the chance to tape Mr. Matt Bailey to the wall. Our students didn’t get to witness this, but they did get to see Ms. Chelsea, Vice Principal of the MSHS, get a pie in the face. This was the prize for another one of the fundraiser events. In total, The American School raised over $7000 USD to fund at least 5 heart surgeries for children in need in Vietnam. We are so proud of our students for the hard work they put into our bubble tea stand and heart face painting.


Academically, students had a very dynamic week.

In ELA, students have wrapped up their opinion writing unit and will continue to read opinion pieces and other literature that ties in with our current science and social studies units. Their writing focused on the use of auxiliary verbs such as must, can, should, will, etc. Presently, we are working on identifying the correct prepositions to use to note time, place, and manner of doing something.

In Math, students were assessed on their ability with fractions, and have moved on to discovering reflections. We did some really fun activities to investigate how reflection works, and we’re excited to move on next week to more geometry.

In Science, students looked at how living things can change their environment, and how living things must compete for resources.  We tied this into our Social Studies unit, which deals with basic economics including the study of scarcity. Next week, we will look closer at renewable and nonrenewable resources in science, and we will tie this into our Social Studies economics unit as well.

We can’t believe that only a few weeks remain of school. It has been a wonderful year, and we plan to learn as much as we can and enjoy every last minute of our remaining time together.

Until next time…

Ms. Corie

Happy Spring Break!!

Another busy (partial) week is coming to an end here in TAS Class 4A. After an excellent trip to Dong Nai Province last Thursday and Friday, we’re embarking on another extended holiday for Spring Break.

What did we get up to this week in class?

ELA – Students continued working on their informational reports that they’ve built into Powerpoint “books”. Today, we learned how to use an online tool to create our bibliography citations quickly. Next week, we will finish proofreading and publish our final products.

Math – We’ve begun Unit 7 which deals with fractions and probability. Today we analyzed a deck of playing cards and figured out the probability of drawing different suits, face cards, colors, and numbers. Students got to learn that probability is just that; sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you don’t. The odds do not always match the outcome.

Science – Students have been investigating what sound is and how it travels. We built telephones and compared different materials to see which ones conducted sound better.

When we return from Spring Break:

Earth Week – April 17th-21st 

Recyclable Art Competition- students have been instructed to collect recyclable materials to create upcycled art for a campus-wide contest being held throughout Earth Week. Please see my pinterest board to get some ideas.


Stuff Swap – In an effort to practice one of the “Three Rs” – “Reuse”, students are asked to bring gently used books, toys, or clothes to swap with each other and avoid throwing them out throughout the week of April 17-21st. All remaining items on Friday will be donated to charity.

That about wraps things up. Please enjoy a safe and pleasurable Spring Break!

-Ms. Corie