Category: Back To School!

Books To Help With “The New Normal”: Masks, Greetings, and More!

With masks and social distancing now becoming the “new normal” here in New York and across the country, it can be hard to determine how best to explain these changes to young children. In any new type of situation, one of the best ways to teach children about something new is through reading.

Fortunately, there are several great books for preschoolers and school-aged children available for purchase. Here are a few books that we have used here at The International Preschools inside of our classrooms:

  • If You Can’t Bear Hug, Air Hug by Katie Sedmak: A cute story demonstrating the different ways that people can greet each other and participate in activities together, even when keeping away from handshakes and hugs.
  • The Love Behind the Mask by Lizy Toth: A story about the importance of wearing masks and how they protect others.
  • Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen: Although not about masks and social distancing, this book reinforces the idea of resilience and how friends and teachers can be their own type of family.
  • Lucy’s Mask by Lisa Thompson: This book finds a fun side to the not-so-fun parts of social distancing for kids: creating and wearing your own mask.

Interested in learning about how our school has reopened in Fall 2020? Visit our website by clicking here: https://www.ipsnyc.org/fall-2020-reopening-plan/

Same…But Different: School Days at IPS

The global pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. Here at The International Preschools, we celebrate the month of October with the idea of similarities and differences; that is, we may look different on the outside, but we are the same on the inside. Our school is determined to maintain our daily routines with this same idea…that although we are doing some things differently (i.e. wearing masks, washing our hands more frequently, not using the multi-purpose room for specialty classes), we are still the same IPS that we all know and love (i.e. we still learn through play, we sing songs, we have fun!). Here are some of the activities that we take part in that look a little different, but are actually ones that took place this time last year in our classrooms…

Table Time Games: We still play bingo in small groups with our teachers…but instead of sitting at the table, we space out a little more on the floor!
Morning Meeting: The children still take turns performing classroom jobs, such as the schedule reader. On the rug, we sit a little more spaced out…and, of course, we wear masks throughout the meeting (and the day!).
Science Exploration: At the Discovery Table, children still use magnifying glasses and other tools to take a closer look at animals and other items.
Outdoor Play: Our playground equipment is sanitized on a regular basis, and we aren’t using the sand table for now, but climbing, running, pretending, and writing with chalk (among other activities) are still taking place!
Sensory Exploration: Inside the classroom, children are provided with their own play dough, sand, and other sensory materials in separate containers or bags. This way, sensory play (which is so important for early childhood development) can still take place, even while keeping germs at bay.
Arriving at School: The kids come to school wearing masks and with only the necessities for the day (i.e. lunch)…but they are still coming to school happy and excited to be a part of the IPS community!

Like what you see? Want to join the IPS community for the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 school year? Learn more about our school by visiting the admissions section on our website: https://www.ipsnyc.org/a-letter-from-our-director/

IPS Specialty Classes Have Begun!

Ms. Peggy leads a Green 2 Movement class.

The children at The International Preschools enjoyed their first week of specialty classes beginning on September 14th. Our Green Rooms (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classes will take part in Library, Music, Movement, and Technology once a week, as they have in previous years.

Mr. Doug plays the ukelele to one of the Pre-K classes.

To accommodate our new social distancing and hygiene guidelines, a few changes were made to the way that specialty classes take place. Our specialty teachers will be visiting each classroom, rather than having the classes come to them in each location’s multipurpose rooms. Books are not being lent out to students for the time being to minimize contact germs. The specialty teachers will sanitize any equipment used between classes as well. And this year, Mr. Doug will be playing a ukelele instead of the guitar, as he has obtained a new ukelele for each location!

Ms. Nikki introduces IPS’ Technology class to Green Room students.

Other than that, the specialty classes will remain the same as they have always been. The children will sing and explore with instruments and music tempos in Music class. In Library, the children will learn finger plays and poems, and of course listen to lots of stories both read from books and told from memory. Technology class will continue to utilize the iPads, BeeBots, and StopMotion to strengthen early coding skills. Movement class will incorporate creative dance and gross motor skills via music and storytelling.

Ms. Talcott reads a story to the Junior Kindergarten class.

We are looking forward to some wonderful experiences in our specialty classes this year!

Interested in joining the IPS community? Learn more about our school by clicking here: https://www.ipsnyc.org/public_class/example-class/

Welcome Back to IPS!

After being closed since March due to the global pandemic, The International Preschools opened its doors to many happy parents and students during the week of September 7th.

Red Room students choose a "mask" each day as a welcome activity during meeting time.
Red Room students choose a “mask” to “wear” each day during Morning Meeting. It’s a fun way to normalize and make masks a part of a preschoolers’ day.

To accommodate new hygiene protocols and social distancing guidelines, IPS has implemented certain aspects to our daily routines. All adults wear masks when inside the school building. Parents drop their child(ren) off at the door instead of walking children to their classrooms to reduce the amount of people in the building. Parents and caregivers are required to fill out a “health questionnaire” upon entering the building, confirming that their child (and themselves) have not been exposed to, or exhibited symptoms of, COVID-19.

Finally, our school has strongly encouraged that all children, from the Red Room (2s) to the Junior K (4s/5s), to wear masks for the duration of the school day. We are happy to report that our students have embraced “masking up,” wearing masks of their own choosing. Some students have excitedly displayed their homemade mask designs…IPS sent each student a white cotton mask to decorate as a gift for the 2020-2021 school year.

Wearing a mask while playing with the farm animals = fun!

We are looking forward to an exciting, fun-filled 2020-2021 school year!

Do you know a family who is looking to apply to preschool? Tell them about us and send them a link to apply online: https://www.ipsnyc.org/apply/

Helpful Hygiene Habits at The International Preschools

With the 2020-2021 school year approaching, the team at The International Preschools have been preparing to welcome back children into our 76th Street and 86th Street locations.  This will be the first time since mid-March that classes will take place in person, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IPS faculty and administration have put into place several increased safety and hygiene practices and protocols in order to keep our students and staff as safe and healthy as possible.  Some of these practices will include more frequent sanitizing of equipment and common use areas, limiting interactions between classes, and smaller class sizes.

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Curriculum Night 2019 at The International Preschools

Working with math manipulative toys in the classroom.

On Wednesday, October 16th, The International Preschools will host its annual Curriculum Night for the families of our students.  The purpose of this evening is to teach parents the important aspects of the school day, including IPS teaching philosophies, topics of study, daily schedules and routines, and upcoming events throughout the school year, as well as answer any questions that parents have about their child’s school day.  On Curriculum Night, the 76th Street and 86th Street locations will allow visiting families to take a look at their  child(ren)’s classrooms from two points of view:  the teachers’ and the students’!

The curriculum of The International Preschools centers around the philosophy of play-based learning.  Play-based learning allows for children to organize and make sense of their social worlds.  It supports a child’s ability to acquire cognitive skills (i.e. number/shape/letter/color recognition), increase motor skills (used for writing, climbing, running, etc.), boost language development (the ability to converse with teachers and peers, and express needs and wants), and assist with problem-solving.  Teachers facilitate learning by sitting with and observing the children when engaged in independent or small group play, answering questions or providing guidelines.  During whole group activities, teachers prompt the children with verbal and visual directions which allow the children to complete tasks at hand.

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After School Programs at The International Preschools

Mr. Doug leads a music class at our 86th Street location. You can join Mr. Doug in two after school programs this fall: Mr. Doug Music Academy and Chibikko Karate.

On Monday, September 16th, the after school programs at The International Preschools welcomed excited children into a variety of engaging classes. Enrolling your child in after school programs allows him/her to make new friends, practice transitioning between classes, and most of all, learn a new skill while having fun!

If you haven’t signed up already, there’s still time to join us!  Read on to see what we offer, why you should register your child for one (or more) of the classes, and finally, how to enroll!

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Back-to-School Jitters: Separation Anxiety

Pre-K children during their first days of school at IPS.

Separation anxiety (and the separation process) can be one of the most difficult times of the year for children and parents alike!  At The International Preschools, we take separation seriously and strive to provide the most productive and nurturing route for our students.  Click below for a blog post on separation anxiety and how to deal with it, which I run every year in September.  Happy first days of school!

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Back-to-School Books For Preschoolers

Stick and Stone tells the story of two friends who support and show kindness towards each other.

A book to help promote self-esteem and self-confidence for the new school year!

A great way for parents to prepare their children for a new experience is to read books about the topic at hand.  A story read aloud provides children with a setting, characters, and activities that they can relate to.  Books also act as a springboard for questions both raised by the children and facilitated by the readers.  Reading a book aloud, as well as discussing and answering questions, can help alleviate anxiety about a new situation.

There are many wonderful back-to-school books available for your child’s reading pleasure.  Read on for a list of highly recommended books from The International Preschools to help kick off the school year!

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Getting Ready for the 2019-2020 School Year!

The International Preschools begins the 2019-2020 school year on Monday, September 9th (76th Street location) and Tuesday, September 10th (86th Street location).  We are looking forward to welcoming our families to school after a relaxing, fun-filled summer!

Read on for a link to a great article about preparing your little ones (and the rest of your family!) for the transition between summer and school!

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