Category: Classroom Themes

Every Day is Earth Day at The International Preschools!

Creating a collaborative spring project using paint and collage materials. The green and blue colors represent the land and water of the Earth respectively.

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd every year, but at The International Preschools, we believe that Earth Day is every day!  Although a special curriculum focus is placed upon taking care of the Earth throughout the month of April, the skills learned by the children are meant to be used every day of the year.  Topics such as plant and animal life cycles, recycling, gardening, and keeping the Earth clean are touched upon inside of our classrooms during this time.  Continue reading to learn more about the concepts that IPS students are exploring throughout the spring months!

 

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76th Street Museum Night at The International Preschools

76 Pre-K 1 created a replica of the Empire State Building for their New York City-themed book study.
Families observing the Pre-K 3 exhibit at the 76th Street Museum Night.

On Tuesday, April 9th, The International Preschools’ 76th Street location hosted its second annual Museum Night for the Green Rooms (3s) and Pre-Kindergarten classes (4s).  Museum Night first took place in 2018, as a Green Room function. Families were invited to observe artwork, photos, and other projects created during each class’ curriculum theme.  Pizza was served and children were invited to dress up for this special evening celebration!

This year, our Pre-K classes joined the Green Rooms in displaying work from their winter author and book studies. Read on to find out more about this special event!

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The Early Bird Catches The Worm: Welcoming Chicks at IPS!

Quiver Farms visited our 86th Street location to teach the students about the life cycle of chicks.

In hopes of ushering in an early spring, the students at The International Preschools spent some time in February learning about the life cycle of chicks.  Each location welcomed farmers from Quiver Farms, located in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania.  The farmers introduced the children to a hen and a rooster, and spoke about the process of how chicks grow and ultimately hatch from eggs.  Read on to view photos of the chicks’ time at IPS, as well as to learn about how each location prepared for the chicks’ arrival!

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Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud at The International Preschools

Each year, The International Preschools hosts an event called the Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud.  It was created ten years ago to foster a love of reading in young children.  Because, in the past, mothers and female relatives had often made up the majority of guest readers, the Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud provided an opportunity for fathers, as well as other male relatives and friends (brothers, grandfathers, uncles, neighbors, etc.), to model positive feelings about reading to preschoolers.  Currently, our Read-Aloud occurs in conjunction with the author and literary studies that take place in the Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms during the winter months. Continue reading →

End-Of-School Transitions: From School to Summer

760a97cc25146479740451724-900x675The last few weeks of classes at The International Preschools are exciting for our students.  Teachers and children begin play-based learning activities to celebrate the end of the school year:  classroom parties with parents, end-of-the-year gifts, and memory books.

But after the festivities have concluded, what’s next?  The “what’s next,” for some children, can be  filled with uncertainty, sadness, or fear.  Sometimes, these feelings can result in regressing behaviors, such as difficulty separating from parents or caregivers.  This is an opportunity for children to develop life-strategies for transitioning between one set of routines towards another exciting phase in their lives.

The process actually begins in September when teachers spend time helping students acclimate to the routines and expectations of the classroom.  This action is crucial in helping the children feel confident and comfortable in their surroundings; toddlers and preschool-age children crave stability in their day-to-day schedules, thriving most when they know “what comes next.”  Providing consistency is key to helping children feel safe, secure, and confident.

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Life Cycles and Our End-Of-Year Units: How Are They Connected?

 

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Interacting with a baby chick!
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Observing Caterpillars

Spring is an exciting season in play-based curriculum. Following thematic classroom units on the Earth, students at The International Preschools explore life cycles.  Students of all ages are introduced to live caterpillars who are then placed in a “butterfly garden” and observed and recorded closely.  Preschoolers excitedly experience firsthand as caterpillars enter their chrysalises and emerge as butterflies! For a few joyful days, the children enjoy spending time with their new “classmates.”  But soon, the teachers will tell the class that it is time to release the butterflies to live in their natural habitats. There is a bittersweet “ceremony,” where the butterfly gardens are opened and its inhabitants are set free, to live in a local park.

Chicken eggs are introduced at each location in early May by Quiver Farms and are placed in an incubator until they hatch. All of the students (and teachers!) from the entire school spend time visiting and examining the eggs.  Soon, the location is filled with delighted squeals of our preschoolers, as they have a front-row seat to the arrival of baby chicks!  Under careful supervision, the students help to care for, and even pet, these tiny creatures for about a week.  They are then transported back to Quiver Farms to live after a final goodbye and hug from the children.

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Celebrating Earth Day 2017 at The International Preschools

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Our youngest students learned about Earth Day via planting activities.
Our youngest students learned about Earth Day via planting activities.

Earth Day is every day at The International Preschools!  Of course, during the month of April, celebrating Earth Day becomes a focused portion of our play-based learning curriculum.  Every year the teachers and students at IPS commemorate this day with a rich, impressive, and varied curriculum.

Many classes embarked on their Earth Day-related units by planting.  Lima beans and grass seeds were popular plants among the classrooms, and are great choices:  both sprout quickly, allowing for the children to witness the growth process.  Children learned about the parts of a plant (i.e. stems, leaves, roots) and what is needed for seeds to grow (sunlight, water, soil).  Then, via hands-on activities (daily plant watering, placement of plants on the windowsill for adequate light), students assist the plants by giving them what they need!

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Earth Day is Every Day at The International Preschools!

Children working on the 45th Street rooftop garden.
Children working on the 45th Street rooftop garden.

At The International Preschools, every day is a day to take care of the Earth!  During the month of April, the classroom themes center around Earth Day; sub-topics include ways to keep our Earth clean and safe for animals and people, including recycling and gardening.  The goal is to teach the children small things that we can do to care for our Earth during April, that ultimately we can carry out year-round!

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Author Studies and Chapter Books in the Pre-K (4s) and Junior K (4s/5s) Classes

At The International Preschools, literacy and pre-reading skills are at the forefront of our interdisciplinary, play-based learning curriculum.  During the months of January, February, and March, these skills are highlighted via our school-wide author and book studies.

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Author/Book/Character Studies in the Red (2s) and Green (3s) Rooms

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A scene from Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson…
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…and the Red Room children at 86th Street, reenacting Harold’s drawing adventures at the art table!

The author study season is well underway at The International Preschools!  Classrooms at all three locations are thoroughly immersed in learning about their chosen author, book, or character.  This curriculum theme is an effective way to promote early literacy among young children.  In keeping with our play-based learning approach, each classroom will create interdisciplinary activity centers about the books being read there.  This method will assist in children retaining as many skills and as much information as possible about the books at hand, while having fun at the same time!

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