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Magnolia Whizz Kids Academy

2450 33rd Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98199

(206) 284-2253

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Serving ages 12 months-5 years, Magnolia Whizz Kids Academy provides a full day of individual and group oriented learning activities, inside and outside, catering to the needs of the whole child.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

Socio-cultural learning theory (Vygotsky) espouses the belief that children are most available to new learning experiences when they are freely engaged in play with their peers. it is the primary responsibility of the teachers to help the children organize their interests and inquiries, provide materials and resources for them to explore, and document how children learn in this way.

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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  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world
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
  • 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 empathy, respect, negotiating, problem-solving, verbalization of feelings, responsibility, community, reciprocity, joy, jumping, running, throwing, catching, living, loving, reading (the world), reading (the word), writing, spelling, adding, subtracting, counting, shaping, molding, twisting, pulling, pushing....

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We view children as competent, confident learners and players from the moment they cross the threshold into our world. Children learn through play and group projects at their own pace, according to their own comfort in participation and learning style. The teacher's job is to guide provocation with respect and honor of the individual's characteristics as listed above. A love of learning and comfort with others is our top priority for children, preparing them to go forth into the world ready to negotiate.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Whizz Kids Philosophy

Whizz Kids Academy values the cultural diversity of our community and fosters an understanding of diversity by expecting and modeling behavior based on mutual and unconditional respect for self and others. All children are accepted without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental challenges.

We view children as incredibly creative and capable of complex learning through the “power of play” and making personal choices. Our philosophy has been developed to reflect NAEYC’s (National Assoc. for the Education of Young Children) position statement on developmentally appropriate practice, valuing the needs of each child, as well as individual and family beliefs and traditions.

We strongly believe play is at the heart of children’s learning. Incorporated into the curriculum are influences from High Scope, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia in Italy, and more specifically – Emergent Curriculum and the Project Approach.
We use childhood interests, family involvement, collaboration, and community as a framework for planning and learning. Building curriculum around children’s choices, interests, developmental themes and the skills they are attempting to master, brings meaningful discovery, thought and learning – reflecting childrens’ lives. With the use of observation and documentation in the classroom, and helping children to represent and re-represent their ideas and symbolic thinking with various media, adults are provided a window to understanding the interests and questions each child is pursuing, thus enabling teachers to plan curriculum in more relevant and developmentally appropriate ways. Cultivating self-esteem and positive dispositions toward learning are also key to our program, as well as encouraging risk taking, problem solving and peace making.

A Typical Day

Children who arrive before 8 are offered a light breakfast of fruit and breads/cereal. Before 9 am the classrooms offer free play. The preschool has it's first morning meeting at 9, when activity and project choices are discussed and roles are negotiated. Children then engage in work station or individual projects based on the current class investigations. Children are offered snack at 9:15 every day. Soon after snack the classroom is cleaned up and the children split off into focused, teacher-led small group activities, prior to adjourning to the glorious playground across the street. When they come back in they have lunch at 11:45, then go down for a nap until 2:30/3:00. Then snack again, followed by free play, a second outside time, and one final afternoon reflective meeting.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Center uses online portfolio for all children. Parents are provided password-protected login to their child's portfolio, where teachers post photos and descriptions of what goes on during the day while the child is in our care. Teachers assess child learning with Learning Stories, the New Zealand-based model of narrative assessment. Conferences are held twice a year to review learning stories and child work portfolios. Parents may confer with center director or teachers any time to share goals, offer perspective and contribute to the overall knowledge base about the child for the purposes of facilitating the best opportunities and possibilities for the child. Center director emails parents regularly, and teachers are encouraged to provide daily feedback to parents during drop off and pick up times.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • 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
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Teachers and center director work closely with the parents to engineer a drop off routine that instills confidence in the parents to walk out the door. We can email you updates throughout those first few difficult days, including photos of your child having fun in spite of the desperate temper tantrum he or she might have thrown at drop off time.