Throughout the months of February and March, there have been a variety of themes displayed within our classrooms. Interdisciplinary themes, combined with our play-based learning philosophy, were evident everywhere you went at The International Preschools!
In February, both locations welcomed twelve fertilized eggs in incubators, which produced many fluffy chicks that were born on Valentine’s Day! At 76th Street and 86th Street, the classes visited the chicks throughout the hatching process and celebrated with a “birthday party” to commemorate our feathered friends’ entry into the world.
February: not exactly the month one would think of when contemplating the idea of baby chicks. But here at The International Preschools, we do things differently!
For the last few years during the month of February, The International Preschools has welcomed twelve eggs into each location. The eggs come to us courtesy of Quiver Farms in Montgomery, Pennsylvania. Farmer Brenda of Quiver Farms visited our schools recently and talked to the children about where the eggs came from, how long it will take for the eggs to hatch, and what the children (and teachers) need to do in order to keep the eggs/chicks safe and happy. The eggs that arrived at our school were a little more than halfway through the egg portion of their life cycle, so our job at IPS was to keep the eggs warm in incubators, in order to take the place of the mother hen(s).
In hopes of ushering in an early spring, the students at The International Preschools spent some time in February learning about the life cycle of chicks. Each location welcomed farmers from Quiver Farms, located in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania. The farmers introduced the children to a hen and a rooster, and spoke about the process of how chicks grow and ultimately hatch from eggs. Read on to view photos of the chicks’ time at IPS, as well as to learn about how each location prepared for the chicks’ arrival!
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.