The International Preschools Blog

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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Celebrating the Winter Solstice & Diversity at The International Preschools NYC

The Winter Solstice celebrations at The International Preschools have long been a tradition to welcome and honor the longest night of the year and the diverse holidays celebrated by our families.  Each location hosts an all-school Sing-Along, followed by individual classroom potlucks. December holidays celebrated around the world are feasts and festivals of light; our students explore the concepts of “light” and “dark” to delve into these themes via play-based learning.

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Winter Solstice at The International Preschools

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An IPS family taught a three-year-old class about Hanukkah, a festival of light.

Each year, The International Preschools’ community celebrates the holiday season through an observance of the Winter Solstice.  The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, with the fewest hours of light. Many of the international holidays during this time of year celebrate the concept of light; the commemoration of the Winter Solstice at our school acts as a way to collectively celebrate many family and holiday traditions.

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Community Outreach Programs at The International Preschools

At the 86th Street location, children sorted dimes, nickels, quarters, and pennies for UNICEF.
At the 86th Street location, children sorted dimes, nickels, quarters, and pennies for UNICEF.

The holiday season has arrived, and with that comes a focus on community outreach programs here at The International Preschools. Every year, the parents, teachers, and children of our school work with several organizations to help those in need, be it here in New York City, elsewhere in the United States, and around the world.

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Pre-K (4 years old) and Junior K (4/5 years old): Fall Themes at The International Preschools

November is in full swing, and the oldest students at The International Preschools are learning about a wide variety of fall-related topics.  This week, we will take a look at the fall themes inside the Pre-K (4 years old) and Junior K (4/5 years old) classes at The International Preschools.

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Picture Books: Reading For All Ages

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On occasion, IPS will publish an additional blog post during the week on special topics.  MacKerrow Talcott, the librarian at The International Preschools, is our guest blogger this week.

As the librarian for The International Preschools,  I am often asked questions about my favorite books.  Recently, I was asked what was my favorite holiday-themed book.   In honor of November being Picture Book Month, I wanted to share with you why this book is so dear to me.  

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How Toddlers (Two Year Olds) Learn About Fall: November Classroom Themes

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Children in 45 Creche (1.5s-2s) sat as a whole group to sing songs, using fall props such as pumpkins and leaves.

At The International Preschools, play-based learning is used to help students acquire a love of learning.  This week, we will take a look at how our youngest students in the Crèche (1.5-2-year olds) and Red Rooms (2-year olds) explore the season of fall via thematic units and play-based learning.

Children at 45th Street learn about the inside and outside of a pumpkin by observing its seeds. They also learned a new vocabulary word - jack o'lantern - which is a pumpkin that has a face!
45th Street children learned about the inside and outside of a pumpkin by observing its seeds. They also learned a new vocabulary word – jack o’lantern – which is a pumpkin that has a face!

Songs and books are an effective way to explore classroom themes and expose young children to new vocabulary. The classes at 76th Street used real pumpkins to act out the story of the “five little pumpkins.”  Here, the children practiced counting with correspondence and provided another visual cue for storytelling.  Some fall books that were read in the classrooms were Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills, Five Little Pumpkins by Iris Von Rynback, Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell, and Clifford’s First Halloween by Norman Bridwell.

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Fall, Harvest, Families, Food: November Classroom Themes in the Green Rooms (3 year olds)

At 76th Street, a three-year-old class painted and decorated their own pumpkins to take home.
At 76th Street, a three-year-old class painted and decorated their own pumpkins to take home.

The month of November truly reflects the season of fall here in New York City.  The weather is noticeably cooler, the leaves on the trees have changed colors, and with the recent celebration of Halloween, fall finally feels upon us.  At The International Preschools, fall, food, families, and Thanksgiving are the topics that we focus on within the classrooms from late October through November.  The blog posts over the next few weeks will focus on how these themes are implemented into the classrooms.  This week, we will take a look at Halloween and the overall theme of fall in the Green Rooms (3 year olds) at all three locations….

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The Importance of Parent/Teacher Conferences

Our youngest students hard at work! The children here are bolstering a variety of skills while at the play dough table: strengthening their hands for future writing activities; learning to share tools; engaging in both parallel and cooperative play; and working on expressive and receptive language skills...just to name a few!
Our youngest students hard at work! The children here are bolstering a variety of skills while at the play dough table: strengthening their hands for future writing activities; learning to share tools; engaging in both parallel and cooperative play; and working on expressive and receptive language skills…just to name a few!

A friend of mine recently attended the parent/teacher conference for his eighteen-month-old son.  Prior to the meeting, he questioned the importance of attending a conference for a child so young.  What would the teachers possibly have to say about his son, he asked?  After attending the conference, he had an answer: a lot!

At The International Preschools, parent/teacher conferences are held twice a year:  once in the fall and once in the spring.  Parents have the opportunity to speak directly with their child’s teachers about the child’s school experience. Whether your child is two-years-old and just starting school, or five-years-old and heading to kindergarten next year (or beyond), there is important information to be learned at every level.  Here are some of the many topics you can expect to (or ask to) hear about at your child’s conference:

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