The International Preschools Blog

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.

 

 

Specialty Classes: An Important Part of Your Preschooler’s Day

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During Music class, children have the opportunity to assist creatively in making up songs and patterns.

 

Children build up their attention spans by listening to stories read aloud in a whole group during Library class.
Children build up their attention spans by listening to stories read aloud in a whole group during Library class.

At The International Preschools, interdisciplinary classroom themes are taught through play-based learning.  Children are exposed to units on topics from transportation to hibernation via science, math, art, literacy, music, and other subject areas.  Our school is proud to also offer a variety of specialty classes to help enrich your child’s learning.  Here’s a look at what skills your child is fine-tuning during each of our specialty classes…
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Celebrating Lunar New Year at The International Preschools

lunar-new-year-2017The observance of holidays from around the world has long been a tradition here at The International Preschools.  This week, each of the three locations commemorated Lunar New Year with school-wide celebrations on Friday, January 27th.  The holiday, celebrated in most Asian countries, is also called Chinese New Year and honors a different animal in a 12-year cycle.  2017 is the “Year of the Rooster.”

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Celebrating Milestone Recipients at The International Preschools


Each year, The International Preschools’ community celebrates the milestone recipients of the school’s faculty and administration.  Staff members who have worked at The International Preschools for five, ten, fifteen, twenty years and beyond are honored at our annual Spring Benefit in April.  They are also recognized with a special luncheon and gift to commemorate their commitment and dedication to our school and its community. Continue reading →

Collaborative Art in the Classroom: A Multicultural Mosaic

Ms. Sarah, Green 2 teacher, collaborated with Ms. Christina on this week’s blog post about a wonderful mosaic art project she worked on with the children at 45th Street. 

Art is an important part of the curriculum at The International Preschools. Children strengthen fine motor skills by participating in art activities such as cutting, drawing, tearing, taping, and drizzling. It is also a chance to let a child’s creative talents shine. Children are also encouraged to work collaboratively when creating classroom murals, collages, and paintings.

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Preschoolers + After School Program = An Enriching Addition to Your Child’s Day

Children boost their individual coordination and motor skills while playing together in a large group during Super Soccer Stars.

Although dismissal time signals the end of the school day for some, the fun continues “after hours” at The International Preschools.  Our school provides a wide variety of after school program choices for parents to choose from, all of which build upon the concepts being taught inside the classrooms each day.

  • Language Development:  Children acquire new vocabulary words when playing sports (i.e. “dribble” during Soccer) and learn to process and follow directions when playing games.
  • Social Skills:  Making friends and initiating play is an important concept taught in every IPS classroom.  After school programs allow children to meet fellow students who are not in their everyday class.

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