As a child, one of my favorite events of the school year was our annual book fair. I loved going to the fair with my class, choosing my own books, and taking those treasures home to read and add to my ever-expanding home library, much of which I still have and share with my own children today.
As a teacher (and now administrator), the annual IPS Book Fair is still one of my favorite school year occasions. I had the opportunity to attend the book fairs at both our 76th Street and 86th Street locations this year, and both featured extended shopping hours, large selections of books, helpful volunteers from the IPS parent community, and special guests!
The International Preschools is in the middle of its annual Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud. For this event, male relatives and friends of our students are invited into the classrooms to read to the children. This person can be a father, brother, grandfather, cousin, uncle, or special friend.
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.
A great way for parents to prepare their children for a new experience is to read books about the topic at hand. A story read aloud provides children with a setting, characters, and activities that they can relate to. Books also act as a springboard for questions both raised by the children and facilitated by the readers. Reading a book aloud, as well as discussing and answering questions, can help alleviate anxiety about a new situation.
There are many wonderful back-to-school books available for your child’s reading pleasure. Read on for a list of highly recommended books from The International Preschools to help kick off the school year!
In 2014, the Elizabeth Patrick Leadership Award was established at The International Preschools. Named in honor of IPS Board of Trustees member Elizabeth Patrick, the award was created to honor a faculty member who has demonstrated leadership via initiative and creativity to the classroom and the school community. The award is given each year to a head, associate, assistant, or specialty teacher. Read on to find out more about the 2018 winner, MacKerrow Talcott, who received the honor in June.
Each year, The International Preschools hosts an event called the Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud. It was created ten years ago to foster a love of reading in young children. Because, in the past, mothers and female relatives had often made up the majority of guest readers, the Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud provided an opportunity for fathers, as well as other male relatives and friends (brothers, grandfathers, uncles, neighbors, etc.), to model positive feelings about reading to preschoolers. Currently, our Read-Aloud occurs in conjunction with the author and literary studies that take place in the Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms during the winter months. Continue reading →
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!
The International Preschools offers unique specialty classes to supplement the already multi-faceted play-based learning curriculum in our classrooms. Currently, we offer five specialty classes: music, creative movement, clay art, library, and iPads/technology. To connect and culminate a year of enlightenment in our specialty classes, the Pre-K and Junior K children participate in a performance for the Green (3s) classes entitled “Learning Through The Arts.”
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.
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 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.