Tag: themes

Observing (And Learning!) About The World Around Us

Red Room children use magnifying glasses to closely observe the parts of a flower.

The changing of seasons helps children embark on a learning adventure by employing their five senses. From the Red Room (2s) to the Junior Kindergarten (4s/5s), the children in every classroom are asked questions about what they see, feel, hear, smell, and taste when introducing a new season.

At our 86th Street location, some classes have started learning about the caterpillar-to-butterfly life cycle! Here, a child observes the caterpillars, as well as a life cycle chart.

Now that the spring season has arrived, the students are applying their senses to learn about what changes have occurred. How does the weather feel when you go outside? Do you need a heavy coat, or a light jacket? What do the trees look like? Are there leaves on the trees? What else do you see (flowers, animals, green grass)? What do you hear when you are outside (i.e. birds chirping)? Thinking about, and utilizing, the five senses helps children make connections between the world around them and the themes that they are learning about in the classroom.

In the Green Room, students observe the life cycle of plants by using a special translucent container. This way, the changes underneath the soil’s surface, such as the forming of roots, can be seen.

The next time you are out and about with your child, be sure to ask them some questions about what they are seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. It will open up a world of learning, as well as provide a prompt for meaningful conversation!

Want to learn more about The International Preschools? Take a look inside an IPS classroom on our website.

Ready to join the IPS community? Apply online today!

Life Cycles and Our End-Of-Year Units: How Are They Connected?

 

003b8b441b146358718390039-522x700
Interacting with a baby chick!

dsc_0027
Observing Caterpillars

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.

Continue reading →

Earth Day is Every Day at The International Preschools!

Children working on the 45th Street rooftop garden.
Children working on the 45th Street rooftop garden.

At The International Preschools, every day is a day to take care of the Earth!  During the month of April, the classroom themes center around Earth Day; sub-topics include ways to keep our Earth clean and safe for animals and people, including recycling and gardening.  The goal is to teach the children small things that we can do to care for our Earth during April, that ultimately we can carry out year-round!

Continue reading →

Pre-K (4 years old) and Junior K (4/5 years old): Fall Themes at The International Preschools

November is in full swing, and the oldest students at The International Preschools are learning about a wide variety of fall-related topics.  This week, we will take a look at the fall themes inside the Pre-K (4 years old) and Junior K (4/5 years old) classes at The International Preschools.

Continue reading →

How Toddlers (Two Year Olds) Learn About Fall: November Classroom Themes

creche-fall-2016-ips
Children in 45 Creche (1.5s-2s) sat as a whole group to sing songs, using fall props such as pumpkins and leaves.

At The International Preschools, play-based learning is used to help students acquire a love of learning.  This week, we will take a look at how our youngest students in the Crèche (1.5-2-year olds) and Red Rooms (2-year olds) explore the season of fall via thematic units and play-based learning.

Children at 45th Street learn about the inside and outside of a pumpkin by observing its seeds. They also learned a new vocabulary word - jack o'lantern - which is a pumpkin that has a face!
45th Street children learned about the inside and outside of a pumpkin by observing its seeds. They also learned a new vocabulary word – jack o’lantern – which is a pumpkin that has a face!

Songs and books are an effective way to explore classroom themes and expose young children to new vocabulary. The classes at 76th Street used real pumpkins to act out the story of the “five little pumpkins.”  Here, the children practiced counting with correspondence and provided another visual cue for storytelling.  Some fall books that were read in the classrooms were Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills, Five Little Pumpkins by Iris Von Rynback, Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell, and Clifford’s First Halloween by Norman Bridwell.

Continue reading →