Category: Holidays/Culture Share

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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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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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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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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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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Celebrating Lunar New Year at The International Preschools

Lion dancers (left and above) perform at IPS in honor of Lunar New Year.

The International Preschools welcomed some special visitors this week.  We celebrated Lunar New Year with a performance by lion dancers at all three of our locations on Friday, February 1st, to commemorate 2019 as the “Year of the Boar.”

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Winter Solstice 2018: Celebrations at The International Preschools

Families and children come together for a sing-along in honor of the Winter Solstice.

The Winter Solstice is observed each year at The International Preschools during the month of December.  The Winter Solstice is the day with the shortest amount of daylight/longest amount of darkness.  Because many of the international holidays during this time of year celebrate the concept of light, the commemoration of the Winter Solstice at our school acts as a way to collectively celebrate many family and holiday traditions.

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Culture Shares and Family Traditions at The International Preschools

The culture share curriculum kicks off with our United Nations Day celebration, where children wear clothing that represents the country that their family identifies with.

Sharing and celebrating each other’s family traditions and cultures is an important part of the curriculum at The International Preschools.  Our mission statement expresses that “at The International Preschools, where English language learners are welcomed and supported, children and families from New York City and all over the world share their cultures and gain a sense of international awareness through mutual understanding and respect.”  This objective is achieved via a variety of events and activities that occur throughout the school year.

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A Look Back at a Great Year: 2016-2017

The International Preschools ends the 2016-2017 school year on Wednesday, June 7th…and what a wonderful year of play-based learning it has been!  Here’s a look back on some of the fabulous events of the past school year…

September: We welcomed the new school year by getting to know the daily routines in our new classrooms...not to mention, meeting new teachers and friends!
September: We welcomed the new school year by getting to know the daily routines in our new classrooms…not to mention, meeting new teachers and friends!
October: Fall units and our annual United Nations Day celebrations took place at all three locations. After UN Day, "culture shares" begin; this is where families are invited into the classrooms to share a family tradition with the children.
October: Fall units and our annual United Nations Day celebrations took place at all three locations. Classrooms began their international “culture share” units, asking parents to join the class to teach about a holiday their family celebrates.
November: Classrooms begin their "culture share" units, often by asking parents to teach the class about a holiday that their family celebrates. The American holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated via themes of family, food, and friendship.
November: The American holiday of Thanksgiving was celebrated via themes of family, food, and friendship.  Food, clothing, and toy drives took place, teaching children in a hands-on manner about the importance of helping those less fortunate in and around New York City.
December: Units on "light" and "dark" take place in honor of our Winter Solstice celebration. Families are invited to IPS to take part in a sing-along and international potluck during the holiday season.
December: The concepts of “light” and “dark” were explored in honor of our Winter Solstice celebration. Families were invited to IPS to take part in a sing-along and international potluck during the holiday season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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