The International Preschools Blog

Spotlight on Specialty Classes: Library with Miss Talcott-#IPSNYC

Throughout the month of November, the blog will focus on the specialty classes offered at The International Preschools.  This week’s post is from Miss Talcott, our library teacher.

As a librarian for The International Preschools, I have been asked many questions about reading, such as how to read a story aloud or what types of books to choose.  Here are two stories relayed to me by parents, with a goal at the end.  I hope you find these anecdotes helpful during your child(ren)’s bedtime story routines.  (Perhaps they can be considered a variation on a fable.)

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Spotlight on Specialty Classes: Music with Mr. Doug

Throughout the month of November, the blog posts will highlight the various specialty classes at The International Preschools.  This week’s blog post is by Mr. Doug, music teacher for all three locations.

Music is an important part of everyone’s life, and is one of the most accessible things that you can share with your child. I have been teaching at IPS since 2000, and I had the great pleasure of having my own son attend The International Preschools!

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Picture Books: Opening a Child’s Imagination

This week’s blog post is from MacKerrow Talcott, librarian at The International Preschools.  November is Picture Book Month. To celebrate, Ms. Talcott reflects on how picture books are designed to open children’s imaginations and welcome their creativity to the classroom.

61zfolvfjnlAs a librarian for young children, my mission is to expose children to a variety of books and stories.  Throughout the school year, the picture books that are read aloud (and checked out by students) are meant to inspire children to think deeply, to let their imaginations run wild, and to use the illustrations in the stories to help them determine “what comes next.” Continue reading →

Family Traditions and Culture Shares at The International Preschools

We had fun learning about Mr. Ali's culture!
The 86th Street location learned about Mr. Ali’s culture!

The International Preschools spent the last several days commemorating United Nations Day.  Parents, caregivers, and families were invited to each location to participate in multi-lingual sing-alongs and international potlucks.   Although the parties lasted a mere few hours,  the United Nations Day festivities serve as a kick-off for an important year-long unit at our school:  culture shares.

The idea of a “culture share” was implemented into the curriculum at The International Preschools to celebrate and learn about the traditions of each other’s families.  The idea of being a “community” is an important value at our school, and one that IPS strives to instill in our students.  For a “community” to truly thrive, it is important that all members of the community have respect, understanding, and knowledge of the beliefs and traditions that each other holds dear.  This is where our culture share unit comes in!

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United Nations Day: How and Why We Celebrate at The International Preschools

An in-class United Nations Day celebration at 45th Street.
An in-class United Nations Day celebration at 45th Street.

More than fifty years ago, The International Preschools (then called The International Playgroup) was created here in New York City to assist families of United Nations diplomats, ambassadors, and employees.  Their mission was to help these families become acclimated to life both in New York City and in the United States.   Today, IPS maintains the core philosophies that it held in the 1960s:  to be accepting of all cultures and differences; to offer and cultivate friendships; to help those in need, whatever that need may be; and to build an inclusive, welcoming community.

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Play-Based Learning: For Children and Parents Alike!

Parents at our 76th Street location "work" in the block center, where skills such as balance, shape recognition, and working collaboratively take place!
Parents at our 76th Street location “work” in the block center, where skills such as balance, shape recognition, and working collaboratively take place!
Parents at work in Pre-K 2!
Parents at work (and play)  on Curriculum Night!








At The International Preschools, play-based learning is at the core of our teaching philosophy.  On our website,  it states that play is the central activity in the life of a child, and through our structured, teacher led play-based activities, children learn naturally how to think, how to solve problems, and how to achieve goals. How to express their ideas and their emotions, how to cooperate, collaborate and respect each other, how to be a friend. Skills that children will use every day, for their entire lives, are learned simply by taking risks, trying new things, and exploring through play.  Our teachers facilitate this play-based learning by establishing learning-center activities in the classroom. The teachers ask questions, provide prompts and share their knowledge to engage the children in the play-based activity.

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Talking With Young Children About Difficult Topics



In recent weeks, the United States and neighboring countries have been hit with a slew of natural disasters and other terrorist-like attacks:  Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas; terrorist attacks in and around Barcelona, Spain; and others.

We, as parents and teachers, want to protect our children from any type of danger and distress, both physical and emotional.  But how can we verbally tackle topics as difficult as these?  Here are some actions that you can take to assist your children in dealing with difficult topics:owen-mzee-ipsnyc-difficultytopics-children-the_international_preschools

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Fall is FULL of Parent Events at The International Preschools!

0df5eafc2660e8d8771191c4c94bbb84-900x600The first day of fall has come and gone, but the season is alive with events at The International Preschools!  The next few weeks will bring about a variety of parent-attended events which will help you and your families learn more about the teaching philosophies, the inner workings of your child’s classrooms, and the traditions that make The International Preschools so unique.

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Building a Community: School Events at The International Preschools


I have been a member of The International Preschools’ faculty for over ten years now, and while many things have changed – use of technology, our social media presence – other fundamental concepts have remained the same.  Building a sense of community has long been a priority at our school.  This sense of community is built within the classrooms from the very first days of school: daily jobs, circle time, and collaborative projects allow children to work together to experience a genuine sense of belonging among their teachers and peers.  Shared experiences create kinship, and this helps the children to feel comfortable and safe in their school setting.

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Welcome Back to School!

The a371914cc72ec524eb3b93202cb28d6c-elementary-school-library-preschool-libraryInternational Preschools opened its doors to students on September 11th, excitedly welcoming families and students to the 2017-2018 school year.  We are off to a great start!

The IPS Blog has also returned with its first new entry of the school year.  We hope that you have enjoyed the summer and reading (or rereading) some of the blog posts from the previous school year.


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