The first month of school has been a huge success! Over the last several weeks, the children have acclimated nicely to the daily routines at IPS. The children and teachers are building strong relationships and creating a sense of community within their classrooms. The 2021-2022 school year is definitely off to a great start!
During the month of October, a variety of topics are covered within our classrooms. The overall theme is “We Are Different, Yet We Are The Same,” a nod to the celebration of multiculturalism at our school. IPS was founded more than 50 years ago as a place for those families affiliated with the United Nations to come together as a community. (For more on why United Nations Day is so important to The International Preschools, click here.)
Take a look inside of our classrooms and learn about what’s going on at IPS…
Be sure to return to the IPS blog next month for more photos, curriuculum, and events taking place at our wonderful school!
Are you interested in joining the IPS community? Learn about the application process by visiting our website.
Our camp season was derailed in summer 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but The International Preschools is back for three weeks of summer camp in 2021!
The theme for this year’s summer camp season is the Olympics, in honor of the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The Olympics are a perfect theme for IPS Summer Camp, as it not only puts gross motor skills to the forefront, but also embraces countries and cultures from all around the world coming together, which is the founding principle of The International Preschools.
To open up the 2021 camp season, our two IPS locations celebrated the Olympics with some fun activities. At 86th Street, campers participated in individual events in the gym such as egg-on-a-spoon and other balancing activities. At 76th Street, the campers welcomed the season with a torch lighting ceremony, where the children practiced lighting the Olympic torch from the Olympic cauldron. Then, they had a turn to march around the room as the Olympic theme played in the background. The Goldfish at 76th Street also made their own flags out of stickers, as part of the groups’ “Parade of Nations” (similar to what takes place during the actual Olympics).
Be sure to return to the blog next week for more IPS Summer Camp fun!
Want to learn more about IPS Summer Camp? Though it’s only open to current and incoming students, you can read about our program on our website.
Ready for your child(ren) to become an incoming student? It’s easy! Apply online here.
The International Preschools celebrated United Nations Day last week with a virtual sing-along in each classroom, as well as United Nations-related activities via Zoom. See below for some photos of the creative festivities!
Happy United Nations Day to all!
Interested in joining the IPS community? Take a look at our two locations by clicking here.
Already decided to be a part of next year’s United Nations Day celebration? Apply online here!
Learning about ourselves, families, and flags is an ongoing unit throughout the school year. At The International Preschools, the children familiarize themselves with the flags that represent their families in the fall. The children will play flag matching games, recreate flags at the art table, and explore flags from around the world at the discovery center. In many classrooms, each child’s family flags are present on his/her snack time placemat. Our play-based learning philosophy and thematic units allow for even the youngest children in our school to grasp this concept in honor of United Nations Day, and for use throughout the school year.
In addition to our study of flags, common themes for the month of October include “All About Me” and “We Are Different, But We Are The Same.” For both of these topics, children notice and identify characteristics that make them unique, while acknowledging that though we may have different colored hair, skin, or eyes, we are still the same on the inside. We all have families. We all eat food and drink water. We all have feelings.
The celebration of United Nations Day, in conjunction with these units of study, help kick off our yearlong “Culture Share” theme. Here, families are invited to “visit” school (in person during previous years; virtually this year) to share a family tradition, holiday, or cultural aspect (music, dance, books, activities).
Be sure to return to the IPS blog next week, where we will post photos from our United Nations Day celebrations!
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.
This week’s blog post was written by Heather Miller, an IPS alum who is the Director of LePage-Miller, Inc., an education firm based in New York City. A graduate of MIT, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Heather has developed and delivered educational programs for children for over twenty years. As a researcher on children’s interactions with educational technology, she has worked in China, France, India, and in the United States. She has written over 30 plays for children and lives in Manhattan with her family. Heather recently spoke to parents at IPS about her new book, Prime Time Parenting
A few words about my IPS experience—from a Class of 1976 preschooler:
“I attended IPG, as it was then called, in the mid-1970s at its midtown location on First Avenue. I vividly remember the warm, creative and welcoming atmosphere. It seemed to me that we were constantly painting at easels; I remember the feel of the paint under my paintbrush. The smell of the paint and the look of the paint bottles are some of my keenest and earliest sensory memories.
Having our flags in front of each of us at lunch made a big impression on my four-year-old self. I understood that these flags represented our countries, where our parents were from. In that respect, having a teacher place my two little flags in front of me at lunch each day told me that the school saw me as an individual. That felt wonderful. Some of us, myself included, had two flags. I remember looking around the lunch table, taking in the colors and patterns of the flags and looking from the flags to the faces they belonged to. Even though each of our flags were personal to us and our families, taken together, they were a celebration of our school’s glorious diversity. It provoked a wonder in the wider world, in all the faraway places our flags represented. I could connect our little flags at our lunch table to the huge flags that hung outside the UN Secretariat that I passed each day on the bus to school.
I remember being happy, busy, and engaged at IPS—and never being rushed. I remember being read lots of wonderful stories and having lots of time for imaginative play. I greatly enjoyed playing house in our outdoor playhouse and dreaming up stories and adventures with my friends. It was a place where a young child’s imagination could flourish. Many of my IPS classmates joined me in kindergarten at UNIS and two years later, when I moved to Convent of the Sacred Heart, I found several of my other IPS classmates there, too. IPS was a joyful environment, in the words of my father ‘a magical place’ that truly understood the developmental needs and potential of its young students. The school’s creativity, warmth and friendliness made a lifelong impression.”
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.
Ms. Sarah, Green 2 teacher, collaborated with Ms. Christina on this week’s blog post about a wonderful mosaic art project she worked on with the children at 45th Street.
Art is an important part of the curriculum at The International Preschools. Children strengthen fine motor skills by participating in art activities such as cutting, drawing, tearing, taping, and drizzling. It is also a chance to let a child’s creative talents shine. Children are also encouraged to work collaboratively when creating classroom murals, collages, and paintings.
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.