The International Preschools Blog

United Nations Day: How We Celebrate at The International Preschools

Happy United Nations Day!  Our UN Day celebrations have been an annual tradition at The International Preschools since the founding of the school in 1963.  The themes of peace, friendship, and acceptance run through the 2s, 3s, Pre-K, and Junior K classes at all three locations during this time of year.   Here is a window into some of the classrooms for you to see the fun and various way students are preparing to celebrate this unique tradition.

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Why We Celebrate United Nations Day at The International Preschools

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Families celebrating United Nations Day at The International Preschools.

Each year, the faculty, staff, parents, and children of The International Preschools come together to celebrate a special holiday:  United Nations Day.  More than 50 years ago, The International Preschools was created as a way to assist international families who relocated to the United States.  Formerly known as The International Play Group, the school opened locations throughout Manhattan and Queens.  Today, we celebrate United Nations Day as a way to commemorate IPS’ inception and to introduce our students and families to the many cultures that make up our school community.

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Talking to Children About Difficult Topics

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One of the most entertaining everyday occurrences at The International Preschools are the many “sound bites” that children share with their teachers.  Children provide unique yet innocent insights and observations about the world around them on a daily basis, from a trip that they will be taking with their families to a gaggle of puppies that they saw frolicking in Central Park.  As teachers, parents, caregivers, and friends, we are happy to engage in these little conversations.

Sometimes, with both parents and teachers, these conversations can take on a more serious tone.  Topics such as death, divorce, moving to a new house or school, or even the addition of a new baby can bring up worries and questions in young children.  And, in the world that we live in today, the addition of terrorist attacks close to home can further exacerbate the internal fears within children.

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“All About Me”: September Classroom Themes at The International Preschools

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Exploring our “flags” (the countries that we are from) is an important activity during our “All About Me” unit.

At The International Preschools, a different theme is assigned to every month of the school year.  Teachers incorporate this theme into every classroom center, from the sensory table to the discovery center to the songs that are sung and books that are read.

A common unit for the month of September is called “All About Me,” where children learn and share information about themselves and their families with each other.  Last year, many classrooms incorporated this unit into the month of September and into all of their classroom centers.  Each classroom and age level explored this topic in a variety of ways.  Listed below are some highlights from the classrooms across the three locations:

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Separation Anxiety: It Can Happen to Anyone!

Toddlers lining up to play on the first days of school!

The children’s book, Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes, tells the story of a child named Wemberly who worries about everything.  Her biggest worry of all?  The first day of school!  Ultimately, Wemberly vows not to worry so much in the future, so that she won’t miss out on the fun.

Like Wemberly, separation anxiety is a natural thing for children (and parents) to feel during the first days of school.  Some children transition easily into school right away, saying goodbye to their parents without ever turning back.  Others might start on day one, excited and enthusiastic, and return on day two hesitantly and apprehensively; this often occurs when a child realizes that school doesn’t occur just one day a year!  And still, other children take days or weeks to warm up to their new school environment.  Rest assured, this behavior is to be expected, and the teachers and staff at The International Preschools are ready to help!

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Back To School Books For Your Child

books-2Exploring books in the Red Room (2s)

Story time is an important part of your child’s day at The International Preschools. Each day, at least one book is read aloud to the class that is related to the current classroom theme. During these first days and weeks of school, most teachers focus on getting children acquainted with the daily routines inside their classroom, in addition to following simple rules: cleaning up after themselves after choice time and snack, hanging their coats and backpacks in their cubbies, and playing cooperatively with their peers, to name a few. The books read aloud at IPS during the month of September often center around the topic of the first day of school.

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Preparing Your Child For the New School Year

Our amazing maintenance staff worked all through August to prepare for the 2016-2017 school year!
Our amazing maintenance staff worked all through August to prepare for the 2016-2017 school year!

Welcome back to school!  Here at The International Preschools, the teachers and staff are preparing for the children’s arrival.  Our hallways are being decorated with fall-themed photos and art, and the classrooms are filled with play-based centers for the children to explore. Continue reading →