Tag: traditions

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/

Books to Promote Diversity for Young Children: Part 3

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 #3 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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IPS Culture Shares and Family Traditions

One of our Pre-K classes celebrated World Children’s Day on November 20th, which honors children’s rights around the world.  The class wore blue (the official color of WCD) and identified children’s rights in discussion and in representational drawings.

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!

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Winter Solstice 2018: Celebrations at The International Preschools

Families and children come together for a sing-along in honor of the Winter Solstice.

The Winter Solstice is observed each year at The International Preschools during the month of December.  The Winter Solstice is the day with the shortest amount of daylight/longest amount of darkness.  Because many of the international holidays during this time of year celebrate the concept of light, the commemoration of the Winter Solstice at our school acts as a way to collectively celebrate many family and holiday traditions.

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Celebrating United Nations Day at The International Preschools

Creating a flag collage in honor of United Nations Day.

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.

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Winter Solstice at The International Preschools

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An IPS family taught a three-year-old class about Hanukkah, a festival of light.

Each year, The International Preschools’ community celebrates the holiday season through an observance of the Winter Solstice.  The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, with the fewest hours of light. Many of the international holidays during this time of year celebrate the concept of light; the commemoration of the Winter Solstice at our school acts as a way to collectively celebrate many family and holiday traditions.

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United Nations Day: How We Celebrate at The International Preschools

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.

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