Category: Curriculum

IPS Book Fairs: Promoting Literacy and Community

Shopping at the IPS 86th Street Book Fair!

As a child, one of my favorite events of the school year was our annual book fair.  I loved going to the fair with my class, choosing my own books, and taking those treasures home to read and add to my ever-expanding home library, much of which I still have and share with my own children today.

As a teacher (and now administrator), the annual IPS Book Fair is still one of my favorite school year occasions.  I had the opportunity to attend the book fairs at both our 76th Street and 86th Street locations this year, and both featured extended shopping hours, large selections of books, helpful volunteers from the IPS parent community, and special guests!

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Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud: Winter 2020

Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud in a classroom at our 76th Street location.

The International Preschools is in the middle of its annual Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud.  For this event, male relatives and friends of our students are invited into the classrooms to read to the children.  This person can be a father, brother, grandfather, cousin, uncle, or special friend.

While the program was originally founded many years ago to identify male figures as reading role models for young boys, it has evolved simply into a wonderful opportunity for cherished caregivers and loved ones to provide a literacy-based activity for our preschoolers.

 

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Celebrating the New Year at The International Preschools

86th Street children dance with scarves to honor the Lunar New Year.

Throughout the school year, the children at The International Preschools celebrate holidays from around the world.  Each child’s family is invited to visit IPS and teach about a special tradition or family that he/she participates in at home.  As a result, IPS children acquire a lot of information about world holidays and festivals!

One universal commemoration is the arrival of the new year.  IPS students learned that there are several common themes among the new year celebrations around the world:  eating certain foods, wearing new or specific types of clothing, and making noise via fireworks and noisemakers to scare away “evil spirits” to ensure a good year.  This month, children at both IPS locations became well-versed on how we honor the new year here in our home of New York City, as well as how the Lunar New Year is observed both here and around the world.

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Extended Day 2020-2021 at The International Preschools

Red Room having fun on the playground!

Attention families!  The International Preschools is offering an extended day program for the 2020-2021 school year.  The program would run 8:00am-6:00pm on Mondays-Fridays at our 86th Street location, while the 76th Street location would offer 8:00am-6:00pm on Mondays-Thursdays and 8:00am-4:00pm on Fridays.  The extended hours (4:00pm-6:00pm) would add on to our current after school programming.

Additionally, The International Preschools has added a few options to the program offerings for next year.  For the Red Room children, IPS is presenting several opportunities for the school day, which include a 9:00am-12:00pm choice and a 9:00am-3:00pm choice.  Also, Red Room children can choose to attend school for either two, three, or five days a week at both locations.

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December 2019: Happy Holidays From The International Preschools!

The International Preschools is closed for the holidays from Monday, December 23, 2019 through Friday, January 3, 2020.  We will reopen on Monday, January 6, 2020.  Please enjoy the photo gallery below, consisting of our light/dark theme projects and activities in honor of the Winter Solstice, holiday culture shares in our Green, Pre-K, and Junior K classrooms, as well as photos from the annual Winter Solstice Sing-Alongs and International Potlucks at our 76th Street and 86th Street locations.

Happy holidays from the IPS family to yours!  See you in 2020!

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New IPS After School Season Starts in January 2020!

Chess@3 offers a fantastic chess class at both IPS locations.

IPS is in our last week of school before the two-week holiday vacation, but we are already preparing for the Spring 2020 after school session, which begins upon our return to school on Monday, January 6th.  Traditionally, our spring season has a higher turnout, as families are now settled into school and the children have acclimated to the daily routines. It’s also a great way for children to make new friends and reconnect with old friends of all preschool ages.

Have you signed up your child(ren) for one (or more) after school programs yet?  Still having trouble deciding what to choose?  Here’s a breakdown of what we offer and why it’s the perfect place for your child this spring!

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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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Thanksgiving Curriculum at The International Preschools

The students, faculty, and administration at The International Preschools recognizes and celebrates holidays from all over the world throughout our play-based curriculum.  Thanksgiving is especially festive here in New York City, as both an American holiday as well as providing a cherished tradition:  the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  On the Upper West Side near our 76th Street location, the giant parade balloons are inflated just blocks from our school.  At both of our schools, children in all IPS classes explored Thanksgiving in an age-appropriate manner.  Continue reading to learn about and view examples of the Thanksgiving curriculum in action!

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IPS Culture Shares and Family Traditions

One of our Pre-K classes celebrated World Children’s Day on November 20th, which honors children’s rights around the world.  The class wore blue (the official color of WCD) and identified children’s rights in discussion and in representational drawings.

A primary curriculum focus of The International Preschools is to celebrate the cultural diversity in our families and in our world.   In October, our Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms begin with studies of families (i.e. how many people are in our families, how many brothers/sisters we have) and ourselves (i.e. eye color, hair color, skin color).  Classes incorporate the study and awareness of the flags that each family identifies with as well.  Our school-wide United Nations Day celebration officially kicks off the IPS international unit, known as Culture Shares.  The international curriculum runs simultaneously with, not in place of, units on fall, winter, transportation, farms, spring, and the like.

Read on to see how IPS fuses the international study into our play-based learning experience!

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Celebrating Diwali at The International Preschools

Green Room celebrates Diwali, in traditional clothing!

At The International Preschools, students, teachers, and their families celebrate holidays from around the world.  As part of our ongoing international unit, families are invited to visit the IPS classrooms and teach the children about traditions, holidays, and other celebrations that are important to their culture. Recently, IPS commemorated Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, at both of our locations.

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