A primary curriculum focus of The International Preschools is to celebrate the cultural diversity in our families and in our world. In October, our Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms begin with studies of families (i.e. how many people are in our families, how many brothers/sisters we have) and ourselves (i.e. eye color, hair color, skin color). Classes incorporate the study and awareness of the flags that each family identifies with as well. Our school-wide United Nations Day celebration officially kicks off the IPS international unit, known as Culture Shares. The international curriculum runs simultaneously with, not in place of, units on fall, winter, transportation, farms, spring, and the like.
Read on to see how IPS fuses the international study into our play-based learning experience!
The International Preschools held its annual United Nations Day celebrations this week. Children, teachers, and family members entered IPS dressed in clothing that represented the countries that they identify with; this clothing ranged from soccer jerseys to traditional dress. Families in the Red, Green, Pre-K, and Junior K classes gathered together to sing songs in a variety of languages such as Portuguese, Hebrew, Mandarin, and Serbian, to name a few.
Afterwards, the children and their guests enjoyed an international potluck for each class that parents had contributed to. Many teachers also provided an activity for children and families to engage in that helped demonstrate how IPS teaches children about United Nations Day. The food was delicious, the singing was vibrant, and the day overall was, as always, a wonderful experience!
Continue reading to view photos from both locations’ United Nations Day celebrations!
In late October, The International Preschools commemorates United Nations Day with a school-wide celebration. United Nations Day is special to The International Preschools because more than 50 years ago, our school was created in order to assist families who were affiliated with the United Nations. IPS (back then, known as IPG, The International Play Group) gave families who were new to the United States a place to come together, to make friends, and to acclimate to a new culture. Today, IPS honors our roots by hosting a multi-lingual sing-along for families and children, as well as an international potluck.
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.
In 2015, The International Preschools’ Board of Trustees established the ElizabethPatrick Leadership Fund in appreciation of Ms. Patrick‘s leadership as the Board Chair. An annual award is given to a faculty member who has made a notable contribution to living out and promoting the IPS mission statement by taking initiative within the school community.
This year’s recipient is 76th Street head teacher, Jamie Raboy. Read on to find out more about Ms. Jamie, and why she was chosen as this year’s winner!
Spring is high season for field trips at The International Preschools! Our students thoroughly enjoy attending class trips and look forward to doing so every year. New York City (and its surrounding areas) provide a wealth of opportunity for extended learning within our school curriculum and for making connections between home and school. Read on to see where we’ve been and why we went!
On Tuesday, April 9th, The International Preschools’ 76th Street location hosted its second annual Museum Night for the Green Rooms (3s) and Pre-Kindergarten classes (4s). MuseumNight first took place in 2018, as a Green Room function. Families were invited to observe artwork, photos, and other projects created during each class’ curriculum theme. Pizza was served and children were invited to dress up for this special evening celebration!
This year, our Pre-K classes joined the Green Rooms in displaying work from their winter author and book studies. Read on to find out more about this special event!
The Winter Solstice is observed each year at The International Preschools during the month of December. The Winter Solstice is the day with the shortest amount of daylight/longest amount of darkness. Because 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.
Each year, The International Preschools invites parents to a fun and educational Curriculum Night during the early fall. 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. This year, on Wednesday, October 17th, parents at our 45th Street, 76th Street, and 86th Street locations will visit their child(ren)’s classrooms to learn about the school day from two points of view: the teachers and the students!
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.
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.