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Edina Morningside Nursery School

4201 Morningside Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55416-0000

(952) 926-6555


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We offer a highly enriched classroom, with many learning centers choices during Discovery time. We teach in a theme based manner, connecting learning to the real world through field trips, speakers, experiments, cooking and walks. Our broad curriculum includes creative language, math and science activities supporting Kindergarten readiness.

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
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
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 Social Skills are modeled, encouraged, read about, and experienced.

From the Director:

Discovery Time is play based with some structure. Children make choices and teachers are supportive and available. Circle time and small group times are teacher organized play based experiences in each curriculum area.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We know our "friends" very well, beginning with home visits in Sept. During free play time teachers rotate around to spend time with each child. We arrange classroom to catch each child's interest and abilities. Frequent conversations with parents help us know where a child might need extra encouragement or enrichment.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We are a half day preschool featuring active learning and hands on fun. We know that children learn best through play. Our focus is on the social development of preschool children. We lovingly guide children through separation from parents, getting along in a group, making friends, learning together and helping others. Our mixed age program fosters empathy, leadership, imagination, problem solving and creativity. We are loving the whole child.

A Typical Day

Schedules are approximate as we are flexible to the needs of children each day.
The first 15 minutes are free play. Morning meeting goes over calendar, art & sharing.
Discovery time is about 45 minutes to an hour - children choose from all the activities in the room.
Small Group times are divided by age, working on skills for kindergarten in a play based manner
Music and Movement time features creative songs, instruments, singing and dancing. Circle time is relaxed learning with stories, fingerplays and "discussions". Outdoor play daily is an important part of our program.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We speak daily with parents at drop off and pick up. Weekly we send home a lesson plan and an email to advise about classroom activities. Our monthly newsletter lets parents know about upcoming themes and activities. Each month we also send a parent education sheet on a helpful topic. Annually we also have a parent educator speak on a topic chosen by our parents. We often have parent volunteers in the classroom, helping them connect with the school and their child's friends. We have individual conferences at least twice per year to share about each child's progress and set goals for the year, more often if requested. We also prepare a year end summary of each child's development and progress for parents and the next teacher.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We begin with an Open House in late summer where children can become familiar with their school. The first week of Sept. we meet with each child in the comfort of their home so they can get to know their teacher. Parents stay for the first hour of the first day of school and are welcome in the classroom at any time. When a child is having difficulty separating from their parent a teacher will gently speak with them, reassuring them they will stay with the child until the parent come back to pick them up, and that parents' always come back! Teachers will help the child find an activity that is comforting to begin the day. Parents have our promise that we will let them know if their child does not calm down and enjoy school. This is very rare.