Category: Classroom Themes

Fall Happenings at The International Preschools

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the month of November at The International Preschools! September and October were very busy months at IPS, with lots of fun activities and (hurray!) several in-person family events. Here’s a look at what’s been happening at IPS over the last few weeks:

We welcomed parents back into the school building for our annual Curriculum Night. Here, parents were able to take part in a sample of activities that their children participate in every day. They also learned about what’s to come in the year ahead. Here, the Green Room (3s) parents take part in “Table Time,” where the children work individually or in small groups every day. Table Time allows the children to strengthen many skills, including fine motor, visual discrimination, and pre-math.
The Pre-K class poses for a group photo before our United Nations (UN) Day sing-along celebration in the gym…the first in-person UN Day since 2019! The children (and grown-ups!) were invited to wear clothing that represented their culture or heritage. This could be in the form of traditional dress, a sports jersey, or even a tee shirt.
Parents, children, and teachers came together in the gym on October 25th to participate in our UN Day celebration. There was a multilingual sing-along, as well as dancing and movement with our students and families. The sing-along was lead by Mr. Doug, our music teacher.
We’re seeing double! Two of our Junior Kindergarten friends dressed as Elsa for the PA’s Halloween party in Central Park. Many children, parents, and siblings attended this event, which included a bubble show!
The Halloween festivities continued on the 31st of October! The children (and teachers!) came to school dressed in their Halloween best. The Red 2 class posed with their teachers to display their costumes!
Members of the Ajna Dance Company visited IPS in November to celebrate Diwali. We read a story about Diwali, watched a dance performance, and then joined in to dance as well! Here, the Red and Green Room teachers and students pose with the Ajna dancers.

We are looking forward to many more exciting in-person events over the next several weeks, including our annual Winter Solstice Sing-Along in December!

Take another look inside our wonderful school! Or, if you are ready to join the IPS community, apply online on our website.

What’s Happening At IPS: Chicks, Literacy, and More!

Before: Children observe the fertilized eggs in the incubator at our 86th Street location.

Throughout the months of February and March, there have been a variety of themes displayed within our classrooms. Interdisciplinary themes, combined with our play-based learning philosophy, were evident everywhere you went at The International Preschools!

In February, both locations welcomed twelve fertilized eggs in incubators, which produced many fluffy chicks that were born on Valentine’s Day! At 76th Street and 86th Street, the classes visited the chicks throughout the hatching process and celebrated with a “birthday party” to commemorate our feathered friends’ entry into the world.

After: A successful “chick hatch” at 86th Street!

In addition to Valentine’s Day, the Winter Olympics, and Pediatric Dental Health Month (February), our annual literacy units began in the Green and Pre-K Rooms. Our Green Rooms studied a particular author in the weeks leading up to our two-week Spring Break, while the Pre-K Rooms concentrated on a chapter book study of their choosing. The Red Rooms worked on a color unit, focusing on a different color each week.

Blue Week “Show and Share” in the 76th Street Red Room. Children were asked to bring in an object of their choosing in the color of the week to “show” and “share” with the class.

Take a look into our classrooms at the wide range of themes and learning that’s happening at The International Preschools!

When we return in April, we will turn our studies to Earth Day, life cycles, and of course, the spring season!

Like what you see? Learn more about The International Preschools by visiting our website.

Interested in applying to our school? You can do that online! Visit our website to fill out an application and learn more about the admissions process.

October Events at The International Preschools

The first month of school has been a huge success! Over the last several weeks, the children have acclimated nicely to the daily routines at IPS. The children and teachers are building strong relationships and creating a sense of community within their classrooms. The 2021-2022 school year is definitely off to a great start!

What If We Were All The Same! by C.M. Harris is a wonderful book appreciating similarities and differences between people…and is simply worded for young children.

During the month of October, a variety of topics are covered within our classrooms. The overall theme is “We Are Different, Yet We Are The Same,” a nod to the celebration of multiculturalism at our school. IPS was founded more than 50 years ago as a place for those families affiliated with the United Nations to come together as a community. (For more on why United Nations Day is so important to The International Preschools, click here.)

Take a look inside of our classrooms and learn about what’s going on at IPS…

Be sure to return to the IPS blog next month for more photos, curriuculum, and events taking place at our wonderful school!

Are you interested in joining the IPS community? Learn about the application process by visiting our website.

Observing (And Learning!) About The World Around Us

Red Room children use magnifying glasses to closely observe the parts of a flower.

The changing of seasons helps children embark on a learning adventure by employing their five senses. From the Red Room (2s) to the Junior Kindergarten (4s/5s), the children in every classroom are asked questions about what they see, feel, hear, smell, and taste when introducing a new season.

At our 86th Street location, some classes have started learning about the caterpillar-to-butterfly life cycle! Here, a child observes the caterpillars, as well as a life cycle chart.

Now that the spring season has arrived, the students are applying their senses to learn about what changes have occurred. How does the weather feel when you go outside? Do you need a heavy coat, or a light jacket? What do the trees look like? Are there leaves on the trees? What else do you see (flowers, animals, green grass)? What do you hear when you are outside (i.e. birds chirping)? Thinking about, and utilizing, the five senses helps children make connections between the world around them and the themes that they are learning about in the classroom.

In the Green Room, students observe the life cycle of plants by using a special translucent container. This way, the changes underneath the soil’s surface, such as the forming of roots, can be seen.

The next time you are out and about with your child, be sure to ask them some questions about what they are seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. It will open up a world of learning, as well as provide a prompt for meaningful conversation!

Want to learn more about The International Preschools? Take a look inside an IPS classroom on our website.

Ready to join the IPS community? Apply online today!

IPS Classrooms: January-March 2021

Classes at The International Preschools resume on Tuesday, April 6th, after a two-week spring break. Before the final stretch to summer begins, please enjoy the following snapshots of our IPS students hard at work in our classrooms. Happy Spring!

Learn more about our play-based curriculum, read a letter from our director, or better yet, apply online for the 2021-2022 school year by visiting our website!

Caterpillars to Butterflies at IPS

Creating butterflies with coffee filters in Pre-K 1!

A spring curriculum tradition at The International Preschools is to learn about life cycles.  Every year, IPS teachers receive caterpillars and/or ladybug larvae and, through observation, watch these tiny animals transform into butterflies and ladybugs respectively.  Although COVID-19 has prevented us from maintaining this tradition in person, our crafty teachers were able to still take part in this amazing unit via Zoom (and their homes)!

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Earth Day is Every Day (Even Remotely!) at IPS!

Pre-K Earth Day art!

The International Preschools celebrated Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22nd.  Though we are weeks into our remote learning experience, the children were able to immerse themselves in the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling…and taking care of the Earth…with the help of their amazing teachers!

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Winter Solstice at The International Preschools

Pre-K students working on a collaborative moon project in honor of the Winter Solstice.

December has arrived, and with that comes holiday preparations, gift giving…and, at The International Preschools, the annual celebration of the Winter Solstice.  The Winter Solstice marks the day with the shortest amount of daylight and the longest amount of darkness.  Traditionally, the Winter Solstice celebrates the return of the sun, as the days following the solstice contain more minutes, and ultimately hours, of daylight, culminating with the Summer Solstice (the longest amount of daylight in one day of the year) in June.

Curriculum at IPS during December focuses on the concept of light and dark while integrating aspects of the holiday season.  Many of the holidays that our families celebrate, from Diwali to Hanukkah to Christmas, cherish light sources such as candles and lanterns; the

Exploring outer space in Pre-K!

se items act as icons of the season.   In some cultures, people choose not to use electricity on the Winter Solstice and rather, live by candlelight on this day.  Nature is also revered during this season and within the classrooms; traditionally, evergreen trees are decorated because they are seen as the “eternal symbol of life during the dark months of the winter.”  They are referred to as Yule Trees or Winter Solstice Trees and are decorated with symbols of light (i.e. sun, moon, star ornaments; candles) as well as pinecones and garlands filled with food for animals during the winter months.

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Halloween 2019 at IPS!

86th Street students pose in their Halloween costumes!

The fall season at The International Preschools is filled with many different events, from Curriculum Night to United Nations Day to Thanksgiving, not to mention Parent/Teacher Conferences, Diwali, Thanksgiving…the list goes on!  Of course, the year would not be complete without celebrating a holiday that the children (and teachers) look forward to all year…Halloween!

Here at IPS, our 76th Street and 86th Street locations commemorated Halloween in a variety of ways.  Keep reading to learn about our Halloween curriculum and view photos from Halloween 2019!

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United Nations Day at The International Preschools

Green Room children play “Flag Bingo” in preparation for United Nations Day.

In late October, The International Preschools commemorates United Nations Day with a school-wide celebration.  United Nations Day is special to The International Preschools because more than 50 years ago, our school was created in order to assist families who were affiliated with the United Nations.  IPS (back then, known as IPG, The International Play Group) gave families who were new to the United States a place to come together, to make friends, and to acclimate to a new culture.  Today, IPS honors our roots by hosting a multi-lingual sing-along for families and children, as well as an international potluck.

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