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.
Category: Holidays/Culture Share
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…
The topics of love, friendship, and being kind are underlying themes throughout every school year at The International Preschools. In February, the students at The International Preschools bring these concepts to the forefront of their learning by celebrating Valentine’s Day.
The teachers at all three locations approached this subject in ways that were both similar and unique. Colors commonly associated with Valentine’s Day (red, pink, purple) popped up in many classrooms. In fact, many of our Red Rooms (2s) used this opportunity to begin their color units. Children were invited to wear red, pink, and purple to school on Valentine’s Day, and some classes also held a show-and-share of red items. The “heart” shape was also used as a symbol of Valentine’s Day and love; in one classroom, students learned about the heart muscle and became versed in how to take their own pulses!
To further the concept of friendship and working together, many students participated in whole-group projects such as collaborative collages to promote the idea of functioning as a team. Many classroom writing centers provided older children with the tools to make their own valentines, including word boxes (with Valentine’s Day-related words and phrases for children to reproduce, such as “I Love You”), markers, crayons, pencils, paper, and scissors. This type of open-ended activity allows for students to work at their own ability level, the common goal being that the “process” is more important than the final “product, thereby reinforcing the school learning through play philosophy.
Small group and whole group discussions are important in our preschoolers’ learning. Many classrooms discussed ways that we can express our love and friendship to our families and peers. Children came up with a variety of answers as to how to do this, ranging from “giving hugs” to “playing with friends.”
Below is a list of love-and-friendship-themed books that various classes have read at school:
- Clifford, I Love You by Norman Bridwell
- The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
- Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
- Heart Prints by P.K. Hallinan
- Love is You and Me by Monica Sheehan
- We Love Each Other by Yusuke Yonezu
- Love by Eric Carle
- Hugs From Pearl by Paul Schmid
- The ‘I Love You’ Book by Todd Parr
- Clifford’s First Valentine by Norman Bridwell
We at The International Preschools wish you and your family a very Happy Valentine’s Day!
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The observance of holidays from around the world has long been a tradition here at The International Preschools. This week, each of the three locations commemorated Lunar New Year with school-wide celebrations on Friday, January 27th. The holiday, celebrated in most Asian countries, is also called Chinese New Year and honors a different animal in a 12-year cycle. 2017 is the “Year of the Rooster.”
The Winter Solstice celebrations at The International Preschools have long been a tradition to welcome and honor the longest night of the year and the diverse holidays celebrated by our families. Each location hosts an all-school Sing-Along, followed by individual classroom potlucks. December holidays celebrated around the world are feasts and festivals of light; our students explore the concepts of “light” and “dark” to delve into these themes via play-based learning.
Each year, The International Preschools’ community celebrates the holiday season through an observance of the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, with the fewest hours of light. 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.
Happy United Nations Day! Our UN Day celebrations have been an annual tradition at The International Preschools since the founding of the school in 1963. The themes of peace, friendship, and acceptance run through the 2s, 3s, Pre-K, and Junior K classes at all three locations during this time of year. Here is a window into some of the classrooms for you to see the fun and various way students are preparing to celebrate this unique tradition.