The elementary grades at Mount Zion Christian Schools begin the foundation your child needs as he or she becomes a life-long learner. Our instructional model allows time for expeditionary learning and helps your child discover and master the basic skills necessary--all through the lens of a Biblical worldview. In a Mount Zion elementary classroom you will find a broad range of teaching practices, including methods to reach all types of learners. We believe in finding what works and using best practices within our day to help our students achieve more than they would from a lecture or worksheet.
We use Pearson’s Reading Street, the 6+1 Traits of Writing, and Singapore Math as foundations to increase learning and unleash student potential. Then we go further. We expand upon the expected standards by giving students hands-on expeditionary learning opportunities which allow them to not only delve deeper into a facet of our world, but also create solutions and products through learning and problem solving. Students become ‘experts’ in a given area and take pride in sharing their understanding with others. To supplement our studies in Language Arts, we also use the Lexia Core 5 adaptive learning program. This computer-based program allows our students to reach new levels of reading and spelling ability by focusing on their individual strengths and growth areas. They have daily practice using games and lessons that correspond to their place in the learning continuum. Similarly, with the understanding that students are gifted in diverse ways and our world is becoming more technologically focused, time is set aside each week to teach and practice computer coding within the classroom. Students beam with joy as they discover ways to program a robot to interact in a certain way. This, and other STEM challenges, are commonly seen in the daily routine of a Mount Zion elementary classroom.
Supplementary to classroom learning, Mount Zion offers many specials to help your child grow in their thinking skills, creativity, musical ability, and gross-motor development. Your child participates in gym class twice a week, art class, music class, Spanish language class, computer lessons and research in the upper elementary classrooms, and a weekly chapel time where they have the opportunity to worship and to dig deeper into the Word of God. Throughout the week, each class has a daily Bible time where lessons from scripture are taught and students are challenged with how to best live out loving God and loving people--including neighbors, classmates, families, and more. Character development is a constant focus within the Mount Zion classroom, and establishing a trusting environment is key.
As our students enter our classrooms at the beginning of the year, we give them the opportunity to decide “For what do we want to be known?” Classes then use this to create classroom rules and contracts, establishing the kind of culture in which they desire to learn: a culture where we can all take risks in our learning, be challenged in our strengths and grow in our weaknesses, while feeling loved, respected, and recognized as being made in the image of a creative and loving God.
Teachers set goals with their students each marking unit and work with students to develop grit--the tenacity to keep going despite challenges and obstacles in learning and life. At Mount Zion, the statement “we work hard, and we play hard” is evident in every area of our day. We set high expectations for our students, knowing that they are able to meet and exceed goals when they have grit and believe in their capabilities. We come alongside those with learning difficulties to provide the tools and scaffolding that ensures their success. With that, we also understand the importance of play. This can be seen in our interactive, hands-on instruction, our outdoor learning areas, and our recess times. During free times, students can be found climbing trees, making forts in our wooded area, sledding down our hill, and riding bikes on the pavement. According to our students, their laughter and love for monitored and controlled risk-taking at recess time is one of the highlights of their day.
Along with the focus on life-worthy learning, a nurturing classroom environment, character development, and the freedom to truly play, Mount Zion offers an exceptional community of families. There are ample opportunities to be involved in your child’s classroom, or in the school as a whole. Our doors are open, and you are welcome to volunteer to be a part of our day. The bonds that are made here are lifelong, and the students and parents here are some of our most precious assets. We welcome you to come and see what a day is like at Mount Zion. Be a part of this incredible community, where you are always welcome, and we treat one another like a family. This, and so much more, is what makes being an elementary school student at Mount Zion Christian Schools such a wonderful, engaging, and life-changing experience.