Ms. Melissa's Class

Our 1st Grade Memories

Ms. Melissa's Class

Science- Air and Water Fountain

September 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Today we made an air and water fountain to discover how air pressure can move water!   Students used syringes, bottles and water to confirm that air is matter and takes up space.  We made a mess and had a lot of fun!


Word Bank  What We Learned
  • Fountain
  • Air takes up space in a bottle and won’t let water in if the air can’t get out.
  • Air pressure can push on water and make it move.



Science: Pushing on Air

September 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Today the scientists learned about what happens when they push air into a smaller space.  Students used syringes to investigate air.  They discovered that air can be compressed and that air under pressure can push objects around.

Word Bank  What We Learned
  • Syringe
  • Plunger
  • Barrel
  • Tubing
  • Compress
  • Pressure
  • System
  • You cannot push the plunger in all the way when air is trapped inside.
  • Plunging one syringe compresses the air, creating pressure and pushing the other one out.

photo 2

 Neal and Annie “air wrestle.”  The plunger pushes the air into the other syringe.


photo 3Jimmy and Akka try the “Pop Off.” Air compresses in the syringe, and the pressure pops the top off!


Parachute Drop

September 11th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Today we explored air resistance.  Students made parachutes from plastic, string, adhesive dots and paper clips.  We considered the questions, “What is a parachute?”  and “How does a parachute work?”   Students are coming home with their homemade parachutes.  Please ask them the questions and explore with the parachute at home!

Word Bank  What We Learned

  • Parachute
  • Air resistance


  • A parachute falls slowly because the air pushes against it.
  • Air resistance slows the parachute down

Ellen and Jiwon work to build their parachutes.

Adam and Bao Nhi create their parachutes.

Alex with his parachute.

Brooke and Mya drop their parachutes!

Check out our video of the parachute drop!


Science Experiments

September 10th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Our first science unit on Air and Weather is underway.  The students have been busy exploring with different materials to see what they can discover about air.  Today we got a little wet when we learned air can be trapped inside a vial when it is submerged under the water! In just 2 experiments, we have learned a lot about air and a lot of new vocabulary words!

New Vocabulary What We Learned
  • air
  • matter
  • gas
  • invisible
  • vial
  • bubble
  • water
  • paper towel
  • submerge
  • Air can move things around.
  • You can feel air.
  • Air takes up space.
  • Air is matter.
  • Air can be trapped in a vial under water.
  • Air bubbles come out of the vial if it’s tipped sideways.
  • Air takes up space, so water can’t get in and get the towel wet.


Abby blows air into the balloon.

The students had a fun time making squeaking noises and letting the air out of the balloon quickly.

Jia-Chi discovers that air can make things move.

Eitaro notices that you can keep a paper towel dry when submerging the vial in the water.

Mya and Sung Ho explore with a bucket of water, a ball and a vial.

Neal explores.

Jimmy, Rainver and Annie enjoy exploring water and air.


Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

September 10th, 2014 · No Comments · Celebrations

On Monday afternoon there was a lot of excitement in the Atrium.  The students surrounded a drum set.  As we heard the loud pounds of the drums, we all watched the Dragon Dance!  Thank you to the PTA for sponsoring this event!



LionDANCE090914_14(Photos courtesy of Thiet Vu)



September 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Childhood Race


Debug: Solving Problems in Grade 1

September 4th, 2014 · No Comments · Social Studies, Uncategorized

We have been learning how to solve problems in the classroom, at recess and at home when we are playing with our brothers, sisters and friends. The students learned five problem solving steps.
1. Decide to Ignore
2. Exit
3. Be Friendly: For this step, the students learned how to use an I Statement. For example:
*I feel ________ when ___________.
*I want you to stop _____________.
*I don’t like it when you _______.
4. Use a Firm Voice
5. Get Adult help.

The students have done lots of role play to practice the steps and using the language in an I Statement. Have them share what they learned with you at home!

Akka creates her Debug.

Akka creates her Debug.

Here is Jia-Chi's bug!

Here is Jia-Chi’s bug!


Welcome to a new year!

August 29th, 2014 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Ms. Ngan and I are very excited to begin the new school year! Over the past few weeks we’ve enjoyed getting to know all the children. We’ve been working very hard to learn routines and rules and each other’s names! DSC_0242


A little about me…

August 28th, 2014 · No Comments · Uncategorized

I grew up on a dairy farm in Maryland 45 minutes outside Washington, DC.  I can always remember wanting to follow in the footsteps of my inspirational kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Miller, and knew that one day I would be a teacher! I went to Towson University to study Early Childhood Education, and it was in my first year that I studied abroad for a summer in France and fell in love with traveling.  After graduating from university, I taught kindergarten at Beall Elementary School for three years and 2nd grade for two years.  I have a Master’s Certificate from George Washington University in Bilingual Special Education and am passionate about supporting EAL students in my classroom.  I knew I had to merge my two passions: traveling and teaching, which is why I decided to come to SSIS.  SSIS is a supportive community which makes living in Vietnam and international teaching a very positive experience.  In my spare time, I enjoy yoga, hiking, cooking, photography and reading.




June 13th, 2014 · No Comments · Celebrations

Happy End of the Year!!! Hope you have a wonderful summer! See you in August!