On Wednesday, October 16th, The International Preschools will host its annual Curriculum Night for the families of our students. The purpose of this evening is to teach parents the important aspects of the school day, including IPS teaching philosophies, topics of study, daily schedules and routines, and upcoming events throughout the school year, as well as answer any questions that parents have about their child’s school day. On Curriculum Night, the 76th Street and 86th Street locations will allow visiting families to take a look at their child(ren)’s classrooms from two points of view: the teachers’ and the students’!
The curriculum of The International Preschools centers around the philosophy of play-based learning. Play-based learning allows for children to organize and make sense of their social worlds. It supports a child’s ability to acquire cognitive skills (i.e. number/shape/letter/color recognition), increase motor skills (used for writing, climbing, running, etc.), boost language development (the ability to converse with teachers and peers, and express needs and wants), and assist with problem-solving. Teachers facilitate learning by sitting with and observing the children when engaged in independent or small group play, answering questions or providing guidelines. During whole group activities, teachers prompt the children with verbal and visual directions which allow the children to complete tasks at hand.
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 posters and “welcome back” decor, and the classrooms are filled with play-based centers for the children to explore.
This time of year brings about a variety of feelings amongst children and parents. Some children might feel excitement over returning to a familiar setting and routine and seeing old friends, while others might feel nervous about entering a new classroom with new teachers. Both parents and children might grapple with the idea of separation, particularly if this is a child’s first time in a school setting.
Happily, there are some things that parents can do to help ease the transition from summertime to school time. Here’s a list of activities that you might want to try with your child in the days leading up to the first day of school:
Stick to a regular daily routine. Small children crave the structure of a schedule; it gives them a feeling of control over their environment by allowing them to know what activity/transition comes next during the day. At The International Preschools, the daily schedule is used as a visual cue for students to know what will happen during school that day. There is always a picture of “arrival time” and “dismissal time,” to remind children that someone always comes back at the end of the day to pick them up. This small action helps to comfort children who are uneasy about returning to school.
Engage in pretend-play with your child. Role-playing is a wonderful way for children to test out social interactions, solve problems, and recreate situations that they observe in real life. Taking on the roles of “student” and “teacher” can help your child become comfortable with classroom life. Often, it can bring up questions that your child might have about school, and will give you the opportunity to answer them in a fun setting.
Establish “school day bedtimes” several days before the start of school. Allow bedtime to be a relaxing time for your child (i.e. bath, story, etc.) and begin to transition back slowly into “school day bedtimes,” which most likely are earlier than the more laid-back routines of summer.
Read books to your child about returning to school. According to the Scholastic Books website, “Picture books offer your young child the chance to answer her never-ending questions about the world” around him/her. The stories below provide a forum for asking and answering questions to gain comfort and confidence when encountering common social situations:
Sometimes You Get What You Want by Meredith Gary My Preschool by Anne Rockwell Will I Have A Friend? by Miriam Cohen Do You Want To Be My Friend? by Eric Carle Mommy Always Comes Back by Penny Schnee-Bosch Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney Otto Goes to School by Todd Parr Best, Best Friends by Anne Rockwell Maisy Goes to Preschool by Lucy Cousins I Can Share by Karen Katz Spot Goes to School by Eric Hill You Go Away by Dorothy Corey My First Day at Nursery School by Becky Edwards
We are looking forward to a wonderful 2018-2019 school year!
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!
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.
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 →
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.