The International Preschools Blog

WE LOVE IPS TEACHERS!

Green Room students love their teachers!

May 5th marked National Teacher Appreciation Day.  Here at The International Preschools, we like to think that are teachers are appreciated every day!  The fabulous IPS Parents Association, in honor of the immense amount of work that our teachers are preparing and executing every day via our Zoom sessions, decided to present the faculty by coordinating a special surprise…

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Earth Day is Every Day (Even Remotely!) at IPS!

Pre-K Earth Day art!

The International Preschools celebrated Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22nd.  Though we are weeks into our remote learning experience, the children were able to immerse themselves in the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling…and taking care of the Earth…with the help of their amazing teachers!

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Inside a (Remote Learning) Classroom at IPS

A Pre-K class created the letter R (their “letter of the week”) using play dough during a recent Zoom session.

The International Preschools has entered its third week of remote learning.  Upon entering the classrooms, one might feel as if they are actually visiting a “brick and mortar” version of what you’d find at the 76th Street and 86th Street locations.  Our faculty has done a spectacular job of transmitting their teaching styles through technological devices while still keeping the student/teacher connections that make IPS so special.

When you enter an IPS remote learning classroom, you might see…

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IPS Remote Learning: Our (New) Adventure Begins!

Greetings via Zoom from 86th Street!

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our play-based learning environment has taken on a new look.  After a two-week spring break, The International Preschools reopened on Monday, March 30th…online!  Every day, our Red (2s), Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) Rooms are logging into their technical devices and bringing the IPS curriculum into our (currently socially distant) homes.

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Encore: “A Train Analogy”

The following post originally was published in spring of 2019.  Enjoy!

As a parent to a three-and-a-half year old and an eight month old, one of the most difficult concepts to navigate is how to help your child when he/she is upset.  It pains me beyond words when my daughter or son is (seemingly) inconsolable. Adults use distraction techniques to help soothe themselves and avoid having to deal with unwanted feelings.  As an adult, I’ve learned to “compartmentalize” as a coping mechanism; that is, instead of being overwhelmed for weeks about an upcoming event, I’m able to shorten the anticipatory anxiety to occur only just before the experience.

Children, however, need to learn how to handle these difficult feelings not only with the support of their parents or caregivers, but also through the ability to self-soothe.  (This is a technique best learned, in my experience, when you are younger, rather than having to learn it as an adult!) . The only way to learn to self-soothe is to allow your child to experience all of the feelings in the moment:  sadness, despair, hysteria (on occasion), to name a few.  A few years ago, I was aghast when our beloved pediatrician suggested that we leave our (at the time) nine-month-old daughter in her crib, whether she was crying or not, for short amounts of time in order to teach her how to get herself to go to sleep.  After one or two nights of extreme upset (where I actually left the apartment, leaving my husband to hear the brunt of the tears), my daughter magically was able to go to sleep on her own.  Who would’ve thought that could happen?  Not me, even as an experienced teacher, but sure enough, it happened.

I recently read a blog post by Katie McLaughlin called, “The Train Analogy That Will Change How You See Your Crying Child.”  It reminded me of what our pediatrician told us, and how incredibly helpful it was to myself, my husband, and our daughter, despite the pain I may have felt at the time.  I’ve provided the link to the article for you all below, in hopes that it can help other parents and families.

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IPS Book Fairs: Promoting Literacy and Community

Shopping at the IPS 86th Street Book Fair!

As a child, one of my favorite events of the school year was our annual book fair.  I loved going to the fair with my class, choosing my own books, and taking those treasures home to read and add to my ever-expanding home library, much of which I still have and share with my own children today.

As a teacher (and now administrator), the annual IPS Book Fair is still one of my favorite school year occasions.  I had the opportunity to attend the book fairs at both our 76th Street and 86th Street locations this year, and both featured extended shopping hours, large selections of books, helpful volunteers from the IPS parent community, and special guests!

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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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The Chicks Are (Were) Here: IPS Hatches Some Eggs

Our pre-hatched chicks, all snug in their egg shells!

February:  not exactly the month one would think of when contemplating the idea of baby chicks.  But here at The International Preschools, we do things differently!

For the last few years during the month of February, The International Preschools has welcomed twelve eggs into each location. The eggs come to us courtesy of Quiver Farms in Montgomery, Pennsylvania.  Farmer Brenda of Quiver Farms visited our schools recently and talked to the children about where the eggs came from, how long it will take for the eggs to hatch, and what the children (and teachers) need to do in order to keep the eggs/chicks safe and happy.  The eggs that arrived at our school were a little more than halfway through the egg portion of their life cycle, so our job at IPS was to keep the eggs warm in incubators, in order to take the place of the mother hen(s).

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Celebrating the New Year at The International Preschools

86th Street children dance with scarves to honor the Lunar New Year.

Throughout the school year, the children at The International Preschools celebrate holidays from around the world.  Each child’s family is invited to visit IPS and teach about a special tradition or family that he/she participates in at home.  As a result, IPS children acquire a lot of information about world holidays and festivals!

One universal commemoration is the arrival of the new year.  IPS students learned that there are several common themes among the new year celebrations around the world:  eating certain foods, wearing new or specific types of clothing, and making noise via fireworks and noisemakers to scare away “evil spirits” to ensure a good year.  This month, children at both IPS locations became well-versed on how we honor the new year here in our home of New York City, as well as how the Lunar New Year is observed both here and around the world.

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