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MT Zion United Methodist Church - Mother's Morning Out, Preschool Program

1770 Johnson Ferry Road
Marietta, GA 30062

(770) 971-1478


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

As a play-based program our children learn by experience, rather than workbooks & worksheets. There is a balance between free-play [allowing children to make choices]and teacher-directed learning opportunities, between active and quiet play, and indoor and outdoor activities.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • numerous manipulatives to sort, classify, and count.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Visual schedules to help children anticipate transitions
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • in addition to classroom science learning center, our children attend a seperate science class which is equipped with microsopes for each child & countless hands-on materials.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught The children aged 2 1/2+ through 5 also attend a Spanish class once a week.

From the Director:

All of our "academic readiness" work is embedded in the planned play experiences the teachers create. Our program is developmentally structured to provide for each child's success, with the goal of smoothly transitioning to a kindergarten class.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our teachers plan lessons that allow for flexibilty to meet each child's individual needs. The child that needs extra help mastering a skill will be given a variety of opportunities to practice with the teacher & other children. The child that has mastered the skill, will be encouraged to help others, and to try to extend their learning to see other ways to use the mastered skill.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"We offer a relaxed and loving learning environment.
We are dedicated to making this first venture away
from home a safe and happy experience for each
We understand that "play" is important in the
healthy growth of all children.
We believe that children have an active and natural
curiosity about the world around them and given
opportunities to explore and succeed, they will
develop a life-long love of learning.
We provide each child a balanced program of art,
music, science, language development, social &
cognitive skills and creative play.
We believe that we are in partnership with parents
in helping each child to develop a love of school and
a strong desire to learn.
Our dynamic and diverse teaching staff is made up
of talented, gifted professionals who make the fun of
learning come alive every day.
All of the teachers on our staff participate in
workshops and conferences each year in order to
keep their skills sharp and their classrooms exciting.
Every Mt. Zion staff member has been trained in
CPR & First Aid and has successfully completed
background checks.
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

Children arrive between 9:15-9:30am.
Their day includes learning center free-play time, storytime, teacher-directed learning activities, snack-time, outdoor playtime, music, movement, spanish, science, and chapel.
Dismissal is at 12:30pm, except for the Young 5's class, which dismisses at 1:30pm. The 3 & 4 year olds have the option to stay until 1:30 by signing up for "Lunch Bunch".

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

All parents receive a copy of the "Parent Handbook" which outlines policies & procedures, as well as curriculum and goals. The parent & child attend a scheduled "Meet & Greet" time the week before school begins, with just a few of the other families, so the children are not overwhelmed by the entire class on this first visit to the classroom. Within the first month of school, our parents attend a "Getting to Know You" conference, where parent & teacher can visit informally to discuss each child's adjustment to school. A fall evening "Open House" is held, so working parents can visit the school and meet the staff. Multiple times each year, we invite our families to join their children in special extra activities, such as a Spaghetti Supper or Carnival Day. On-going communication via email, written notes, phone calls, and additional conferences as needed keep home and school connected. In the spring, a traditional conference time is scheduled for each family, to discuss the child's progress and plan for the next learning experience.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions

Handling Separation: From the Director

Parents are encouraged to attend "Meet & Greet" with their child, in order to have the first visit to the classroom with just a few children and for a shorter class time. If a child has some difficulty seperating, parents are invited to wait nearby to give their child a chance to become involved in activities. If the child continues to be distressed, and cannot be distracted by activities, then the parent is asked to pick up early for the first week or so of school, so their child gets frequent reinforcement that Mommy or Daddy always comes back. For most children, a week or two of a shorter school day is enough to help with difficult adjustments.