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!
The Fathers 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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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… Continue reading →
The 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.”
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 →
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.
The International Preschools Blog is an opportunity to journey into the school's classrooms. Here you will find information about play-based education, diversity, classroom themes; all the things that make learning joyful and fun at one of the best preschools in New York City.