This week’s blog post is an updated version of one that originally ran in May 2017.
The last few weeks of classes at The International Preschools are exciting for our students. Teachers and children begin play-based learning activities to celebrate the end of the school year: classroom parties with parents, end-of-the-year gifts, and memory books.
But after the festivities have concluded, what’s next? The “what’s next,” for some children, can be filled with uncertainty, sadness, or fear. Sometimes, these feelings can result in regressing behaviors, such as difficulty separating from parents or caregivers. This is an opportunity for children to develop life-strategies for transitioning between one set of routines towards another exciting phase in their lives.
This week’s blog post was written by an IPS parent on choosing a pre-kindergarten class for her child. The post originally appeared in our blog during the 2017-2018 school year.
Our daughter attended The International Preschools for two years: in the Red (2s) and Green (3s) Rooms. We chose to send her to Universal Pre-K (UPK) after that because of the cost and because we knew she would ultimately be attending public kindergarten. I offered to share what our experience was to help IPS in marketing itself and to assist other families grappling with this decision. UPK programs do vary, so I emphasize that this was just our experience.
Spring is an exciting season in play-based curriculum. Following thematic classroom units on the Earth, students at The International Preschools explore life cycles. Students of all ages are introduced to live caterpillars who are then placed in a “butterfly garden” and observed and recorded closely. Preschoolers excitedly experience firsthand as caterpillars enter their chrysalises and emerge as butterflies! For a few joyful days, the children enjoy spending time with their new “classmates.” But soon, the teachers will tell the class that it is time to release the butterflies to live in their natural habitats. There is a bittersweet “ceremony,” where the butterfly gardens are opened and its inhabitants are set free, to live in a local park.
Chicken eggs are introduced at each location in early May by Quiver Farms and are placed in an incubator until they hatch. All of the students (and teachers!) from the entire school spend time visiting and examining the eggs. Soon, the location is filled with delighted squeals of our preschoolers, as they have a front-row seat to the arrival of baby chicks! Under careful supervision, the students help to care for, and even pet, these tiny creatures for about a week. They are then transported back to Quiver Farms to live after a final goodbye and hug from the children.
At The International Preschools, every day is a day to take care of the Earth! During the month of April, the classroom themes center around Earth Day; sub-topics include ways to keep our Earth clean and safe for animals and people, including recycling and gardening. The goal is to teach the children small things that we can do to care for our Earth during April, that ultimately we can carry out year-round!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.