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.
At The International Preschools, all children have a morning snack time built into their daily schedule. Full day children have about 45 minutes for lunch, in addition to their morning snack.
This is an important time of day for the children. First and foremost, snack time (and lunch time) keep the children nourished and their energy levels regulated for the activities that they will participate in. Many social, emotional, and cognitive skills are also honed and strengthened while enjoying a well-balanced meal or snack.
Here are some of the important skills that your child is acquiring during snack and lunch at The International Preschools:
Self-Help Skills: During snack time, children clean up their place setting on their own, which might require putting a placemat in its proper place; disposing of plates, cups, and utensils; and washing hands. At lunch time, children (where applicable) help to take out their lunches (containers, drinks, etc.) and put everything back inside their lunch box when finished. The children also put their lunch boxes back into their cubbies.
Expressive Language Skills: Teachers model responses and questions for the children. For example, if a child would like more of a certain snack (Chex, Cheerios, etc.), the teacher would model, “More Chex, please,” so that he/she can copy the verbal request. The goal is for the child to use the words on his/her own, in any situation, to ask for what he/she needs.
Number Sense: During conversation at snack or lunch time, a child might notice things such as how many Cheerios he/she has on his plate, or how many chicken nuggets he/she has in his/her lunch. This is play-based learning at its most casual! Becoming aware of what makes a number (i.e. that five objects make the number 5) is a math skills required for counting with correspondence, addition, subtraction…you name it!
Social Skills: Snack time and lunch time provide a perfect opportunity for children to socialize with their peers and teachers. Often, teachers will place children strategically next to different classmates at each snack time, so that they get an opportunity to chat with (and get to know) all of the children in the room. Teachers will model expressive language when needed, so that children can practice asking for what they want, interacting with peers, and reading social cues, to name a few skills.
Life Skills: In the Green (3s) and Pre-K (4s) Rooms, children have “jobs” that they are in charge of throughout the day. These jobs might change daily or weekly. Jobs instill confidence and responsibility in young children; achieving the goal of a job (such as watering a plant) boosts their self-esteem and motivation. A few of these jobs are completed during snack or lunch time: one child passes out the napkins, another might count the lunch boxes (to be sure everyone’s lunch is present), another child might pass out cups. At home, parents can allow children to carry out these jobs as well, in the form of setting the table (in part or in its entirety). Children love to help out, and giving them a job (or jobs) at home will help develop your child’s confidence as well.
Any time of the day can be a time for learning (the play-based kind is our favorite)!
Classes at The International Preschools resume on Tuesday, April 6th, after a two-week spring break. Before the final stretch to summer begins, please enjoy the following snapshots of our IPS students hard at work in our classrooms. Happy Spring!
This week’s blog post features the next portion of our book/author studies unit at The International Preschools: the author studies being conducted in our Green (3s) Rooms.
The Green Rooms at our 76th Street and 86th Street locations have been working hard on their author studies. Each class chose an author that they are focusing on. Throughout the months of February and March, the children have been reading books by that particular author. Scroll down to see some photos of the great literacy-based work occurring in our Green Rooms!
Be sure to return next week, where the Red Rooms will be showcased through their annual Color Unit!
The children in the Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms at The International Preschools have been working on literacy studies throughout the months of February and March. The Green Rooms primarily choose one author to focus on, while the Pre-K and Junior K classes choose either a book/book series or a chapter book/series to concentrate on.
As in all of our play-based learning themes, the classrooms are transformed to reflect the topic at hand. Dramatic play centers, discovery centers, and book shelves will exhibit books by a particular author or topic. Art projects and writing/drawing activities will represent characters and plot lines from the books being read. This way, the children will fully immerse themselves in the books they are reading, and usually, better understand the text and concepts being taught.
One may ask, are chapter books age-appropriate for the Pre-K and Junior K children? Will the information and stories be difficult for them to understand? The answer is no, provided that you pick the right books…which our teachers have certainly done. The chapter books and chapter book series that have been chosen by our teachers this year all include illustrations, which help provide the children with a visual source for plot lines and characters. At the same time, the lesser amount of illustrations allows for children to use their imaginations, creating their own versions of what the characters and the settings in the stories look like. With less pictures for visual comprehension, chapter books require children to fine tune their listening skills, as they will need to rely on their receptive language to understand what is going on in the story being read aloud.
Be sure to return for next week’s blog entry, which will spotlight the Pre-K and Junior K classes’ work on their book studies. (The Green Rooms’ author studies will be highlighted the week after.)
Not a member of the IPS community, but would like to be? Learn more about our admissions process by visiting our website.
The International Preschools created and instituted an iPad/Technology program for our Green Rooms (3s), Pre-Kindergarten (4s), and Junior Kindergarten (4s/5s) classes several years ago. The 2018-19 school year will bring about some changes to the curriculum, led and instituted by our Technology teacher, Ms. Nikki. While some aspects of the program will remain the same, other parts of the curriculum will include new learning topics and a larger focus on concepts such as coding.
Our 45th Street and 86th Street locations are closed this week for spring break, and our 76th Street location will join them next week! In lieu of our usual blog posts, here is a peek into the classrooms at The International Preschools during the months of February and March. More photos to come!
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.
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.