IPS is currently closed for summer vacation. Please enjoy an encore post on a very timely back-to-school subject!
A great way for parents to prepare their children for a new experience is to read books about the topic at hand. A story read aloud provides children with a setting, characters, and activities that they can relate to. Books also act as a springboard for questions both raised by the children and facilitated by the readers. Reading a book aloud, as well as discussing and answering questions, can help alleviate anxiety about a new situation.
There are many wonderful back-to-school books available for your child’s reading pleasure. Read on for a list of highly recommended books from The International Preschools to help kick off the school year!
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.)
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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.
The Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud is a time-honored tradition here at The International Preschools. The annual event coincides with the school’s literacy units, which include book, character, and author studies. While the program was originally founded many years ago to identify male figures as reading role models for young boys, it has evolved simply into a wonderful opportunity for cherished caregivers and loved ones to provide a literacy-based activity for our preschoolers.
On occasion, IPS will publish an additional blog post during the week on special topics. MacKerrow Talcott, the librarian at The International Preschools, is our guest blogger this week.
As the librarian for The International Preschools, I am often asked questions about my favorite books. Recently, I was asked what was my favorite holiday-themed book. In honor of November being Picture Book Month, I wanted to share with you why this book is so dear to me.
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers, educator and Emmy-winning creator of the children’s show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
The idea of learning through play is a key principle here at The International Preschools. Our school mission states in part that “through play, we promote the cognitive, emotional, social and physical growth of each child in a nurturing atmosphere.” It is believed that, through this practice, children will learn the necessary social and cognitive skills that they will use throughout their lives. How, you might ask, can these goals be accomplished?
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.