Category: Junior Kindergarten (4s/5s)

Observing (And Learning!) About The World Around Us

Red Room children use magnifying glasses to closely observe the parts of a flower.

The changing of seasons helps children embark on a learning adventure by employing their five senses. From the Red Room (2s) to the Junior Kindergarten (4s/5s), the children in every classroom are asked questions about what they see, feel, hear, smell, and taste when introducing a new season.

At our 86th Street location, some classes have started learning about the caterpillar-to-butterfly life cycle! Here, a child observes the caterpillars, as well as a life cycle chart.

Now that the spring season has arrived, the students are applying their senses to learn about what changes have occurred. How does the weather feel when you go outside? Do you need a heavy coat, or a light jacket? What do the trees look like? Are there leaves on the trees? What else do you see (flowers, animals, green grass)? What do you hear when you are outside (i.e. birds chirping)? Thinking about, and utilizing, the five senses helps children make connections between the world around them and the themes that they are learning about in the classroom.

In the Green Room, students observe the life cycle of plants by using a special translucent container. This way, the changes underneath the soil’s surface, such as the forming of roots, can be seen.

The next time you are out and about with your child, be sure to ask them some questions about what they are seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. It will open up a world of learning, as well as provide a prompt for meaningful conversation!

Want to learn more about The International Preschools? Take a look inside an IPS classroom on our website.

Ready to join the IPS community? Apply online today!

IPS Classrooms: January-March 2021

Classes at The International Preschools resume on Tuesday, April 6th, after a two-week spring break. Before the final stretch to summer begins, please enjoy the following snapshots of our IPS students hard at work in our classrooms. Happy Spring!

Learn more about our play-based curriculum, read a letter from our director, or better yet, apply online for the 2021-2022 school year by visiting our website!

IPS Pre-K and Junior K Book Studies

Last week’s blog introduced the literacy study units that are occurring at The International Preschools in February and March. This week’s blog will spotlight the units taking place in our Pre-K (4s) and our Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms.

The children in these classes are focusing on either a chapter book series or on a singular chapter book. Art projects, science centers, dramatic play centers, math, music, and more carry the book’s theme throughout the classroom. This type of unit showcases the play-based learning that occurs inside of our school every day!

Scroll down for photos and descriptions of the books chosen by our Pre-K and Junior K teachers.

76 Pre-K 1: Zoe and Sassafras Chapter Book Series by Asia Citro

76 Pre-K 2: Dinosaurs Before Dark (from the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne)

86 Pre-K 1: Don Freeman Author Study

Each year, IPS hosts an online auction for our annual Spring Benefit. Due to COVID-19, we will not be celebrating in-person this year…but the auction lives on! One of the projects that is auctioned off are journals that the children contribute to. In these journals, the children take home a stuffed animal character from the book/books that they are reading, and write/draw what the animal did with the child during their stay. 86 Pre-K 1 is conducting an author study on Don Freeman, who wrote the book, Corduroy, among others. Each child is making his/her own COVID-safe paper “Corduroy” to take home for adventures, photos, and writing!

76 Pre-K 3: My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

In honor of 76 Pre-K 3’s reading of My Father’s Dragon, each child made his/her own striped dragon using construction paper, paint, and paper.

86 Junior K: Stuart Little by E.B. White

The Junior Kindergarten at 86th Street is reading Stuart Little by E.B. White. Each child will take a mouse (a.k.a. Stuart Little) home to embark on a journey with the Junior K students. We are looking forward to learning about Stuart’s journey, which will be documented in their classroom journal!

Next week, be sure to visit the IPS blog to learn about the Green Room (3s) author studies!

Interested in learning more about the IPS curriculum? Read all about our play-based learning philosophy on our website!

Want to join the IPS community? Apply online today!

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.)

Not a member of the IPS community, but would like to be? Learn more about our admissions process by visiting our website.

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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Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud at The International Preschools

Each year, The International Preschools hosts an event called the Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud.  It was created ten years ago to foster a love of reading in young children.  Because, in the past, mothers and female relatives had often made up the majority of guest readers, the Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud provided an opportunity for fathers, as well as other male relatives and friends (brothers, grandfathers, uncles, neighbors, etc.), to model positive feelings about reading to preschoolers.  Currently, our Read-Aloud occurs in conjunction with the author and literary studies that take place in the Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms during the winter months. Continue reading →

Spring 2019: A Look Ahead at The International Preschools

The Junior K class welcomes 2019 (and winter) by exploring snowflakes!

Happy New Year!  As 2019 begins, so does the spring semester at The International Preschools!  We have a lot of exciting programs and events that will take place over the coming weeks and months.

Read on to learn about what’s to come in Spring 2019!

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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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Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud: An IPS Tradition!

The 2017-fathers-read-aloud-7Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud is a time-honored tradition here at The International Preschools.  The annual event coincides with the school’s literacy units, which include book, character, and author studies.   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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Author Studies and Chapter Books in the Pre-K (4s) and Junior K (4s/5s) Classes

At The International Preschools, literacy and pre-reading skills are at the forefront of our interdisciplinary, play-based learning curriculum.  During the months of January, February, and March, these skills are highlighted via our school-wide author and book studies.

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