The International Preschools Blog

Earth Day is Every Day at The International Preschools!

Children working on the 45th Street rooftop garden.
Children working on the 45th Street rooftop garden.

At The International Preschools, every day is a day to take care of the Earth!  During the month of April, the classroom themes center around Earth Day; sub-topics include ways to keep our Earth clean and safe for animals and people, including recycling and gardening.  The goal is to teach the children small things that we can do to care for our Earth during April, that ultimately we can carry out year-round!

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Celebrating the Spring Benefit at The International Preschools

Parents and teachers dressed for last year's Bollywood-themed Spring Benefit.
Parents and teachers dressed for last year’s Bollywood-themed Spring Benefit.

Every spring, The International Preschools hosts a Spring Benefit here in New York City. Faculty, administration, current and former IPS parents, and friends gather to support our school in a variety of ways.

Each year, the benefit has a special theme, usually with a multicultural motif.  Cuisine, clothing, and music at the event represent the chosen theme (much like the teachers facilitate with each month’s classroom subjects!). During the first part of the evening, the IPS community enjoys great food and drink and mingle with each other.

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Eight Reasons to Send Your Child to Summer Camp

Spring has officially arrived, and we at The International Preschools are preparing for…summer camp!  Yes, summer camp!  Planning has been underway for our school camp for the last few months.  As the Camp Coordinator,  many parents ask me about the benefits of signing up their child for preschool summer camp.  Here are ten reasons why (and how) your child would benefit from attending our summer program:

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A Look Into The Classrooms at The International Preschools: Part 2

The International Preschools is closed this week for spring break.  Please enjoy some photos from across our three locations, displaying the play-based learning experiences of our preschoolers during the months of February and March.  Be sure to visit the blog next week for a brand-new post.  Have a great vacation!

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A Look Into The Classrooms at The International Preschools – Part 1

Our 45th Street and 86th Street locations are closed this week for spring break, and our 76th Street location will join them next week!  In lieu of our usual blog posts, here is a peek into the classrooms at The International Preschools during the months of February and March.  More photos to come!

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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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Author/Book/Character Studies in the Red (2s) and Green (3s) Rooms

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A scene from Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson…
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…and the Red Room children at 86th Street, reenacting Harold’s drawing adventures at the art table!

The author study season is well underway at The International Preschools!  Classrooms at all three locations are thoroughly immersed in learning about their chosen author, book, or character.  This curriculum theme is an effective way to promote early literacy among young children.  In keeping with our play-based learning approach, each classroom will create interdisciplinary activity centers about the books being read there.  This method will assist in children retaining as many skills and as much information as possible about the books at hand, while having fun at the same time!

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Author Study Curriculum at The International Preschools

"Crazy Sock Day" in honor of Dr. Seuss' Fox in Socks.
“Crazy Sock Day” in honor of Dr. Seuss’ Fox in Socks.

Jan Brett, Dr. Seuss, Andrea Beaty, Leo Lionni, Eric Carle, Karma Wilson, Todd Parr, Mo Willems…what do all of these authors have in common?  They have all been featured author study subjects at The International Preschools as part of its play-based learning curriculum.

Each year, students at The International Preschools embark on an author study during the months of February and March.  The curriculum is approached in different ways, based upon the children’s age level.  In the Red Rooms (2s) and Green Rooms (3s), one author is chosen, and a variety of his/her books are read.  In the Pre-K (4s) and Junior K (4s/5s), a chapter book is selected by the teachers, and a chapter is read every day in class by parent volunteers.

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Love, Love, Love: Valentine’s Day at The International Preschools

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Students created their own valentines for family members at the art table.

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!

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Some children built on their letter acquisition skills by learning to spell Valentine’s Day-related phrases!

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!

To purchase any of the books above, while also supporting our school, click here.

To learn more about our school, visit our admissions pages, including a letter from our director, click here.