Tag: IPS

Happy Halloween from The International Preschools!

Halloween, like United Nations Day and other IPS events during the 2020-2021 school year, looked a bit different than years past. We weren’t able to have our usual school-wide Halloween fashion shows or parades. Happily, there were many things we were still able to do. The children and teachers had a great time attending school in costume. Many classrooms held Halloween-themed activities, including pumpkin carving and the baking of Halloween treats. Everyone had a great time!

Here’s a look at Halloween 2020 at The International Preschools:

Pumpkin experimentation in our Green 3 Room…with bubbles!
The Green 2 children (and teachers) show off their amazing costumes.
One of our Pre-K classes in full costume!
A surprise match-up! Pre-K and Red Room superheroes!

A great time was had by all!

Interested in joining the IPS community? Visit our website by clicking here: https://www.ipsnyc.org

Happy United Nations Day!

Red Room children pose with their collaborative Earth project. The children painted the Earth green (for land) and blue (for water), and then adhered the flags that represent their families.

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!

Pre-K children work on a collaborative Earth painting.
A “world” created from “people” of many different colors, holding hands!
United Nations Day Sing-Along with Mr. Doug and the Red Room kids and teachers!
Green Room children participate in the UN Day Sing-Along.
The Green Room children say hello to their families via Zoom during the UN Day celebration.
Pre-K children get ready to sing!
Classroom view of the Zoom for the United Nations Day Sing-Along…
…and a “parents’ view” of the screen during the UN Day celebration!

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!

Flags, Families, and Ourselves: October Curriculum at IPS

A Green Room (3s) class paints the planet Earth using blue and green puffy paint. This activity helped introduce our school-wide theme of celebrating each other’s cultures from around the world.

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.  

Green Room (3s) students create replicas of the flags that represent his/her family. The children use contact paper and tissue paper while viewing flags as a reference.

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.

Many students are also familiar with the official United Nations flag!

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!

IPS has an amazing virtual admissions process so that you can really get a feel for our school. For more information, click here: https://www.ipsnyc.org/admissions-process/

United Nations Day at IPS: How and Why We Celebrate

The celebration of United Nations (UN) Day is a tradition at The International Preschools (IPS). IPS was established in 1963 for UN-affiliated families who were new to the United States. The school (then called a “Play Group”) was a place for these parents and children to come together and connect with each other.

Families are encouraged to dress their children in traditional clothing from the countries that they identify with. It’s an IPS United Nations Day tradition!

In previous years, IPS commemorated United Nations Day with a school-wide sing-along and an international potluck. Families and children dressed in clothing that represented a multitude of countries. The sing-along consisted of songs in languages from around the world. Each family also contributed a dish for the international potluck, which was enjoyed with fellow families.

IPS music teacher Mr. Doug leads the children, teachers, parents, and caregivers in a school-wide sing-along. The children learn songs in a variety of languages from around the world, from Spanish to Korean to Hebrew!

UN Day is a time-honored tradition at IPS and is looked forward to every year. For 2020, however, there will be some changes. Due to social distancing guidelines, we won’t be able to invite our families into school as we have in the past. We won’t be able to enjoy the delicious potluck as in previous years. We are planning to host a socially-distanced sing-along for our students; parents and families will be invited to join us via Zoom. Our celebration will look different this year, but we are confident that it will still be just as fun!

A sample from last year’s delicious international potluck!

Next week’s topic: how the children at IPS learn about UN Day in their classrooms.

Want to take a peek into the IPS classrooms? Visit our website gallery by clicking here.

Same…But Different: School Days at IPS

The global pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. Here at The International Preschools, we celebrate the month of October with the idea of similarities and differences; that is, we may look different on the outside, but we are the same on the inside. Our school is determined to maintain our daily routines with this same idea…that although we are doing some things differently (i.e. wearing masks, washing our hands more frequently, not using the multi-purpose room for specialty classes), we are still the same IPS that we all know and love (i.e. we still learn through play, we sing songs, we have fun!). Here are some of the activities that we take part in that look a little different, but are actually ones that took place this time last year in our classrooms…

Table Time Games: We still play bingo in small groups with our teachers…but instead of sitting at the table, we space out a little more on the floor!
Morning Meeting: The children still take turns performing classroom jobs, such as the schedule reader. On the rug, we sit a little more spaced out…and, of course, we wear masks throughout the meeting (and the day!).
Science Exploration: At the Discovery Table, children still use magnifying glasses and other tools to take a closer look at animals and other items.
Outdoor Play: Our playground equipment is sanitized on a regular basis, and we aren’t using the sand table for now, but climbing, running, pretending, and writing with chalk (among other activities) are still taking place!
Sensory Exploration: Inside the classroom, children are provided with their own play dough, sand, and other sensory materials in separate containers or bags. This way, sensory play (which is so important for early childhood development) can still take place, even while keeping germs at bay.
Arriving at School: The kids come to school wearing masks and with only the necessities for the day (i.e. lunch)…but they are still coming to school happy and excited to be a part of the IPS community!

Like what you see? Want to join the IPS community for the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 school year? Learn more about our school by visiting the admissions section on our website: https://www.ipsnyc.org/a-letter-from-our-director/

IPS Specialty Classes Have Begun!

Ms. Peggy leads a Green 2 Movement class.

The children at The International Preschools enjoyed their first week of specialty classes beginning on September 14th. Our Green Rooms (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classes will take part in Library, Music, Movement, and Technology once a week, as they have in previous years.

Mr. Doug plays the ukelele to one of the Pre-K classes.

To accommodate our new social distancing and hygiene guidelines, a few changes were made to the way that specialty classes take place. Our specialty teachers will be visiting each classroom, rather than having the classes come to them in each location’s multipurpose rooms. Books are not being lent out to students for the time being to minimize contact germs. The specialty teachers will sanitize any equipment used between classes as well. And this year, Mr. Doug will be playing a ukelele instead of the guitar, as he has obtained a new ukelele for each location!

Ms. Nikki introduces IPS’ Technology class to Green Room students.

Other than that, the specialty classes will remain the same as they have always been. The children will sing and explore with instruments and music tempos in Music class. In Library, the children will learn finger plays and poems, and of course listen to lots of stories both read from books and told from memory. Technology class will continue to utilize the iPads, BeeBots, and StopMotion to strengthen early coding skills. Movement class will incorporate creative dance and gross motor skills via music and storytelling.

Ms. Talcott reads a story to the Junior Kindergarten class.

We are looking forward to some wonderful experiences in our specialty classes this year!

Interested in joining the IPS community? Learn more about our school by clicking here: https://www.ipsnyc.org/public_class/example-class/

Welcome Back to IPS!

After being closed since March due to the global pandemic, The International Preschools opened its doors to many happy parents and students during the week of September 7th.

Red Room students choose a "mask" each day as a welcome activity during meeting time.
Red Room students choose a “mask” to “wear” each day during Morning Meeting. It’s a fun way to normalize and make masks a part of a preschoolers’ day.

To accommodate new hygiene protocols and social distancing guidelines, IPS has implemented certain aspects to our daily routines. All adults wear masks when inside the school building. Parents drop their child(ren) off at the door instead of walking children to their classrooms to reduce the amount of people in the building. Parents and caregivers are required to fill out a “health questionnaire” upon entering the building, confirming that their child (and themselves) have not been exposed to, or exhibited symptoms of, COVID-19.

Finally, our school has strongly encouraged that all children, from the Red Room (2s) to the Junior K (4s/5s), to wear masks for the duration of the school day. We are happy to report that our students have embraced “masking up,” wearing masks of their own choosing. Some students have excitedly displayed their homemade mask designs…IPS sent each student a white cotton mask to decorate as a gift for the 2020-2021 school year.

Wearing a mask while playing with the farm animals = fun!

We are looking forward to an exciting, fun-filled 2020-2021 school year!

Do you know a family who is looking to apply to preschool? Tell them about us and send them a link to apply online: https://www.ipsnyc.org/apply/

Helpful Hygiene Habits at The International Preschools

With the 2020-2021 school year approaching, the team at The International Preschools have been preparing to welcome back children into our 76th Street and 86th Street locations.  This will be the first time since mid-March that classes will take place in person, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IPS faculty and administration have put into place several increased safety and hygiene practices and protocols in order to keep our students and staff as safe and healthy as possible.  Some of these practices will include more frequent sanitizing of equipment and common use areas, limiting interactions between classes, and smaller class sizes.

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Books to Promote Diversity in Young Children: Part 4

The IPS blog will highlight books on diversity that are age-appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners over the next few weeks.   The following post is #4 in the series.

At The International Preschools, celebrating diversity and an awareness of how we are all different, yet we are all alike, is the cornerstone of our play-based learning philosophy.  Children as young as age 2 are able to pick up on differences…and the acceptance and reactions of adults around them.

Books are an instrumental way to foster learning and to use as a springboard for discussions, in even our smallest students.  Here are a few books, appropriate for preschoolers, that promote diversity in a tangible, understandable way.  These books also celebrate traditions and everyday activities that look different, yet alike, in each family’s household.

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