Category: Spotlight on: 86th Street

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!

Welcome Spring! What’s Ahead at The International Preschools

Spring means…more time playing outside!

After a restful and relaxing spring break, the students and teachers are back at The International Preschools for the final stretch of the 2020-2021 school year!

Spring means…learning about topics such as birds and nests!

In the classrooms, spring will bring about a variety of new topics: gardening, planting, recycling, trees, birds, insects, and more! We will spend time learning about Earth Day, and why it is so important to take care of the planet that we live on.

Spring means…learning about the parts of a flower, and creating representational flower paintings using a “live” model!

Our Parents’ Association is hard at work in putting together our annual Spring Benefit, which will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28th. An online auction will include contributions from each classroom from both locations. One of the many items to bid on or buy include an “Almost Sleepover,” where a few lucky guests will join their teachers in wearing pajamas, making a craft, watching a movie, and enjoying a meal right here at IPS!

Happy Spring to all!

Learn more about the 2021 Virtual Spring Benefit on our website.

Not a member of The International Preschools’ community, but would like to be? Apply online on our website 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!

Red Room Color Units at IPS

The Red Room at 76th Street creates a paint/collage masterpiece in honor of Orange Week.

While our Green Rooms (3s), Pre-K Rooms (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) are concentrating on their author and book studies, the Red Rooms (2s) are hard at work learning about colors! The children in the Red Room spend six to seven weeks throughout February and March learning about primary and secondary colors. Each week, a different color (red, yellow, blue, green, orange, and purple) is highlighted, with the seventh week being the “favorite color week” for the children.

Throughout the designated color week, children are invited to dress in clothing of that color. The children participate in a “show and share,” where they are asked to bring in an item from home in the color of the week. Art projects, games, books, and even snacks often highlight the specific color that the class is studying.

Scroll down for some photo examples of the Red Rooms’ color units…

The Red Room at 86th Street explores mixing yellow and blue paint to create the color green during their class’ Green Week.
At 76th Street, the Red Room children work on a “friendship finger painting,” where they work in pairs to mix yellow and blue paint, creating the color green, during their Green Week.
Red Room children at 86th Street are dressed in the color green for Green Week!
It’s “Green Week Show and Share” time at 76th Street in the Red Room!

The Red Room will focus on learning shapes in the coming weeks as well. Cheers to our littlest students for all of their hard work!

Interested in learning more about IPS curriculum? Take a peek inside of our classrooms by visiting our website.

Ready to join the IPS community? Learn about the IPS admissions process by visiting our website.

Green Room Author Studies at The International Preschools

This week’s blog post features the next portion of our book/author studies unit at The International Preschools: the author studies being conducted in our Green (3s) Rooms.

The Green Rooms at our 76th Street and 86th Street locations have been working hard on their author studies. Each class chose an author that they are focusing on. Throughout the months of February and March, the children have been reading books by that particular author. Scroll down to see some photos of the great literacy-based work occurring in our Green Rooms!

Mo Willems is the chosen author in the Green 2 classroom at 76th Street. The class is focusing on Mo’s Gerald and Piggie series of books. Here, Piggie (in puppet form) visits a Green Room friend’s home. The children were asked to document Piggie’s travels via photos, drawings, and writing, and send the finished pages back to school to share with friends. By the time you read this, each child in Green 2 will have welcomed Piggie into his/her home!
Eric Carle is the author of choice in 76 Green 1. The children learned that Eric Carle is an author and an illustrator, and studied his illustration methods closely. They learned that Eric Carle used collage, as well as layers of materials from paint to paper, to create his drawings. Here is a sample of a multi-step project that the children constructed in honor of Eric Carle, using layers of paint, paper, and glue.
86 Green 2 is also learning about Eric Carle! After reading Eric Carle’s book, The Very Busy Spider, the children created a collaborative spider web with yarn. The children worked their fine motor muscles while looping and threading the yarn through the tiny holes.
Another Eric Carle author study, this time with 86 Green 1! The children in this class are experimenting with artwork inspired by Eric Carle’s illustrations.
86 Green 3 read all of the books in the Harold and the Purple Crayon series. Here, the children are voting as to which of the books they liked best.

Be sure to return next week, where the Red Rooms will be showcased through their annual Color Unit!

Interested in seeing more classroom footage? Take a peek inside an IPS classroom by visiting our website.

Ready to join the IPS community? Apply online here!

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.

Lunar New Year 2021

86th Street students recreate the traditional Ribbon Dance, a staple of Lunar New Year celebrations, with location director Monique Tabbs.

The International Preschools commemorated the Year of the Ox with in-house celebrations for the Lunar New Year. In February 2020, the Chinese Cultural Center visited our 76th Street and 86th Street locations and performed a traditional, vibrant Lion Dance and Ribbon Dance. Last year, the children at both locations joined the performers in reenacting the Ribbon Dance in our very own gym!

The Chinese Cultural Center performs the Ribbon Dance in a taped performance, which was shared and shown to our students and teachers.

This year, due to COVID restrictions, we were unable to have the Chinese Cultural Center members visit us in person. Instead, we welcomed them virtually with videotaped productions of both the Lion Dance and the Ribbon Dance. The children at both locations were able to join the Ribbon Dance, copying the movements of the dancers with sticks tied with red ribbon. Both locations welcomed the Lunar New Year with lantern projects, red good luck envelopes, and books.

Green 1 students at our 76th Street location perform the Ribbon Dance from their classroom.

Gong hei fat choy to all!

Red Room students decorate traditional Chinese lanterns using gold stickers and markers.

Want to learn more about play-based curriculum? Take a look inside of our amazing classrooms on the IPS website.

Interested in joining the IPS community? Visit our website and apply online!

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!

Ready to join the IPS community? Learn more about our application process by clicking here.