Category: Fall 2020

Thanksgiving 2020: Different, But Still Special

The Pre-K 3 children display their leaf collection projects

The students at The International Preschools spent the month of November learning about fall, harvest, and Thanksgiving. In previous years, IPS celebrated the holiday with feasts shared among age-levels, school-wide Thanksgiving Day Parades, and the idea of coming together as a whole group. This year, due to our commitment to social distancing and remaining in our static pods, the children were unable to congregate as a whole school to commemorate Thanksgiving.

A Green Room student plays “Feed the Turkey,” a fun Thanksgiving game that strengthens their fine motor skills!

However, Thanksgiving was still recognized and studied within our IPS classrooms. Instead of sizable feasts and coming together as a large group, the teachers shifted the focus of Thanksgiving to fall, families, and the harvest season. Many classrooms discovered the types of foods typically grown during fall harvest (corn, pumpkin, apple) as well as foods from around the world. Children examined their family structures and talked about what made each family similar and different.

Children making Thanksgiving-themed pumpkin pie play dough as a whole group project!

Of course, turkeys and other symbols of the Thanksgiving holiday were decorated, discussed, and read about in all of our classrooms. In the Green, Pre-K, and Junior K classes, children and teachers discussed their plans for Thanksgiving instead of At 76th Street, the Green Rooms decided to have pizza parties to celebrate Thanksgiving; while the groups may be smaller, they still function as a “family,” and the Thanksgiving holiday is always worthy of a celebration!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from The International Preschools!

Take a look inside an IPS classroom by clicking here.

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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/