A spring curriculum tradition at The International Preschools is to learn about life cycles. Every year, IPS teachers receive caterpillars and/or ladybug larvae and, through observation, watch these tiny animals transform into butterflies and ladybugs respectively. Although COVID-19 has prevented us from maintaining this tradition in person, our crafty teachers were able to still take part in this amazing unit via Zoom (and their homes)!
Throughout the school year, the children at The International Preschools celebrate holidays from around the world. Each child’s family is invited to visit IPS and teach about a special tradition or family that he/she participates in at home. As a result, IPS children acquire a lot of information about world holidays and festivals!
One universal commemoration is the arrival of the new year. IPS students learned that there are several common themes among the new year celebrations around the world: eating certain foods, wearing new or specific types of clothing, and making noise via fireworks and noisemakers to scare away “evil spirits” to ensure a good year. This month, children at both IPS locations became well-versed on how we honor the new year here in our home of New York City, as well as how the Lunar New Year is observed both here and around the world.
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 Elizabeth Patrick 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). Museum Night 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.