Category: Curriculum

Literacy Studies at The International Preschools

The children in the Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms at The International Preschools have been working on literacy studies throughout the months of February and March. The Green Rooms primarily choose one author to focus on, while the Pre-K and Junior K classes choose either a book/book series or a chapter book/series to concentrate on.

At our 76th Street location, the Pre-K 3 children are reading My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. Here, they have drawn, colored in, cut out, and labeled the animals and characters in the book for a classroom bulletin board.

As in all of our play-based learning themes, the classrooms are transformed to reflect the topic at hand. Dramatic play centers, discovery centers, and book shelves will exhibit books by a particular author or topic. Art projects and writing/drawing activities will represent characters and plot lines from the books being read. This way, the children will fully immerse themselves in the books they are reading, and usually, better understand the text and concepts being taught.

Green 2 children at our 86th Street location create spiders to coincide with their Eric Carle author study. The spider is the main character in Eric Carle’s book, The Very Busy Spider.

One may ask, are chapter books age-appropriate for the Pre-K and Junior K children? Will the information and stories be difficult for them to understand? The answer is no, provided that you pick the right books…which our teachers have certainly done. The chapter books and chapter book series that have been chosen by our teachers this year all include illustrations, which help provide the children with a visual source for plot lines and characters. At the same time, the lesser amount of illustrations allows for children to use their imaginations, creating their own versions of what the characters and the settings in the stories look like. With less pictures for visual comprehension, chapter books require children to fine tune their listening skills, as they will need to rely on their receptive language to understand what is going on in the story being read aloud.

Be sure to return for next week’s blog entry, which will spotlight the Pre-K and Junior K classes’ work on their book studies. (The Green Rooms’ author studies will be highlighted the week after.)

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IPS Classroom Events: January/February 2021

Pre-K children display their polar animal scenes (with special guest stars – themselves!) during the class’ polar region study. The children conducted experiments (such as testing out how blubber keeps animals warm in the polar regions) during their science workshops as well.

The classrooms at The International Preschools continue to overflow with exciting and engaging curriculum themes and activities. Among the classroom studies and events: polar regions, Valentine’s Day, and a long-awaited Pajama Day! Among the curriculum themes, you’ll also find the usual business of “workshops” (a 20-30 minute focus on a particular skill in our Green, Pre-K, and Junior K rooms, such as handwriting, building, math, literacy, or science). Scroll through this post to take a peek inside of our 76th Street and 86th Street locations!

Pajama Day at 76th Street was postponed twice due to winter snowstorms! The beloved event finally took place on February 5th…here, the 76th Street Red Room children and teachers pose in their PJs!
A Green Room student at 86th Street works on creating the letter H during her Handwriting Without Tears class. Each week, there is a focus on a new letter, where the children explore constructing the letter using a variety of materials from play dough to wooden lines and curves.
Working on a Valentine’s Day craft in the Red Room at 86th Street! While learning about Valentine’s Day, our teachers use a color scheme of red, pink, purple, and white, allowing the children to make an association between those colors and the holiday.
Some classes have a “Building Workshop” in their schedule, while others simply open the block building area during Choice Time. Either way, block building provides children with practice in problem solving, spatial sense, and working individually or collaboratively. These are just a few skills that the Junior K students at 86th Street (pictured here) are acquiring while playing in the block center.

For more IPS classroom activities, or to learn more about the IPS admissions process, visit our website! We’d love to have your family join the IPS community!

Scenes of Winter at The International Preschools

The Pre-K 2 children create a “friendship snowflake’ during their winter unit.

It’s been an eventful January! We welcomed the new year, began units on polar regions and winter weather, and witnessed the inauguration of the next United States president. Here’s a look at some fun activities that have taken place within our classrooms over the last several weeks…

The Pre-K 3 class honored Inauguration Day by dressing to the nines and watching some of the festivities as they occurred.
The Red Room went “ice skating” (using paper plates as skates) after listening to a reading of Angelina Ice Skates by Katharine Holabird.
Exploring “snow” (the instant kind!) in the Green Room at 86th Street.
Playing with shaving cream “snow” at 76th Street.
Happy New Year from Green 1, who celebrated by making “fireworks” sounds via jumping on bubble wrap!
Mitten lacing results!
Snow people creations from the Green Room!

Happy Winter to all!

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Happy Holidays: Winter Solstice Curriculum 2020

Every December, The International Preschools celebrates the Winter Solstice with a month-long curriculum on light, dark, and how families around the world celebrate the holiday season. This year, our Winter Solstice festivities were held via Zoom, live from each individual classroom. Although we missed having our traditional international potlucks and our school-wide sing-along, the feelings of community and togetherness were still evident.

Currently, IPS is closed for the holiday break. Please enjoy some photos from our classrooms, commemorating the Winter Solstice, light/dark curriculum, and the 2020 holiday season. Happy Holidays!

Election 2020: Preschool-Style!

A Pre-K class votes for the president of the United States on Election Day!

No matter who you voted for, the 2020 election season brought up strong feelings…not to mention no clear winner on election night!

Many classroom teachers at The International Preschools turned this current event into a teachable moment, incorporating the concept of voting, casting ballots, and holding an election into the curriculum.

Books to Promote Diversity in Young Children: Part 4

The IPS blog will highlight books on diversity that are age-appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners over the next few weeks.   The following post is #4 in the series.

At The International Preschools, celebrating diversity and an awareness of how we are all different, yet we are all alike, is the cornerstone of our play-based learning philosophy.  Children as young as age 2 are able to pick up on differences…and the acceptance and reactions of adults around them.

Books are an instrumental way to foster learning and to use as a springboard for discussions, in even our smallest students.  Here are a few books, appropriate for preschoolers, that promote diversity in a tangible, understandable way.  These books also celebrate traditions and everyday activities that look different, yet alike, in each family’s household.

Continue reading →

Books to Promote Diversity for Young Children: Part 3

The IPS blog will highlight books on diversity that are age-appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners over the next few weeks.   The following post is #3 in the series.

At The International Preschools, celebrating diversity and an awareness of how we are all different, yet we are all alike, is the cornerstone of our play-based learning philosophy.  Children as young as age 2 are able to pick up on differences…and the acceptance and reactions of adults around them.

Books are an instrumental way to foster learning and to use as a springboard for discussions, in even our smallest students.  Here are a few books, appropriate for preschoolers, that promote diversity in a tangible, understandable way.  These books also celebrate traditions and everyday activities that look different, yet alike, in each family’s household.

Continue reading →

Books to Promote Diversity for Young Children: Part 2

The IPS blog will highlight books on diversity that are age-appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners over the next few weeks.   The following post is #2 in the series.

At The International Preschools, celebrating diversity and an awareness of how we are all different, yet we are all alike, is the cornerstone of our play-based learning philosophy.  Children as young as age 2 are able to pick up on differences…and the acceptance and reactions of adults around them.

Books are an instrumental way to foster learning and to use as a springboard for discussions, in even our smallest students.  Here are a few books, appropriate for preschoolers, that promote diversity in a tangible, understandable way.  These books also celebrate traditions and everyday activities that look different, yet alike, in each family’s household.

Continue reading →

Books Promoting Diversity for Young Children: Part 1

At The International Preschools, celebrating diversity and an awareness of how we are all different, yet we are all alike, is the cornerstone of our play-based learning philosophy.  Children as young as age 2 are able to pick up on differences…and the acceptance and reactions of adults around them.

Books are an instrumental way to foster learning and to use as a springboard for discussions, in even our smallest students.  Here are a few books, appropriate for preschoolers, that promote diversity in a tangible, understandable way.  These books also celebrate traditions and everyday activities that look different, yet alike, in each family’s household.

Continue reading →

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)!

Continue reading →