HANDS ON…MINDS ON!

5 E's Inquiry LearningWe place emphasis on developing children’s inquiry and creative thinking skills by encouraging minds-on/hands-on, collaborative learning experiences.  Our goal as guide and facilitator, in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of inquiry-based learning experiences, is to make children’s thinking visible to themselves and others.

The basis for all great education is not answers… it’s questions!

Inquiry-based learning (IBL) is a form of active learning (based on constructivism) that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios—rather than simply presenting established facts.

  • The focus is on the process rather than the outcome.
  • Students are involved in piecing together knowledge by asking questions, listening to their peers, engaging in hands-on experiments and discovering answers by themselves.
  • The more tangible, authentic, practical or real the problem, the more interested students are in the process of learning. It’s all about engaging, hands-on activities
  • When students are engaged, the process of learning becomes almost effortless.

Inquiry Based Learning

Unlike traditional, “sage on the stage” models, our teachers focus less on giving students knowledge and more on giving children skills.

Our classrooms are vibrant, living spaces where children capture learning and employ problem-solving strategies to piece together answers to their most burning questions.

We use discovery centers, experiential learning, mind maps, graphic organizers, group work and journals to help children organize their thoughts. We teach children that their minds are powerful and that their voice matters.

We are committed to the process of individual growth and helping children find joy in discovery.  Put simply, there is nothing more powerful than giving children the skills to “do it themselves.”

We ❤ Mistakes

We believe the process of learning is much more important than the outcome.

Our campuses and our classrooms are safe places to experiment, explore and try new things.  Children ask questions. Lots of them. We embrace those questions and guide them toward resources or investigations that will help them discover their own answers.

With failure comes growth. With perseverance comes grit.  With experience comes understanding. With discovery comes self-confidence.

Inquiry Teachers

  • Provide authentic learning opportunities.
  • Focus on the process, not the outcome.
  • Are involved in guiding children through exploration activities and building knowledge by asking questions and listening to their thoughts.
  • Engage children in hands-on activities/invitations to learning where they test their hypotheses and find their own answers.
  • Provide the children with the tools to develop critical thinking skills.

Piezas Del Mundo®

Our proprietary Piezas del Mundo® curriculum was designed to provide real-world, topic-driven learning opportunities.

Rooted in constructivist pedagogy, our inquiry-based approach to early childhood education is not only aligned with early learning standards but it honors children’s inherent creativity. Adapted to the unique demands of teaching in a 2nd language, this curriculum is recognized as a leader in preschool bilingual education.

Guiding Philosophy and Principals:

  • We believe that every child is the star of their own show. Some children tell their story through art or music, others through dramatic performances, cooking or gardening. We strive to help children find their stage.

  • We adhere to a cross-functional, inquiry-based approach to education because we believe that children learn better through real-world, hands-on experiences.

  • We encourage questions, exploration and experimentation. We believe lasting knowledge comes through self-discovery.

  • We embrace our children’s differences and celebrate the things that makes them uniquely their own.

  • We believe in play but we recognize that not all play is created equal. We are dedicated to creating Hands On & Minds On experiences.

  • We believe that we have a responsibility to teach children about the world around them. Children who accept cultural differences with tolerance and understanding recognize that they are citizens of the world with a responsibility to care for our earth and one another.

  • We adhere to best practices in early childhood education.

  • We meet or exceed all Arizona early learning standards.

  • We dedicate ourselves to excellence in education and commit ourselves to high standards of professional development.

Kids on the Grow!

Little BIG minds are always on the go. They are busy learners working to make the most of every moment. Our teachers work really hard to capture that magic and create meaningful moments all week long.

Culture

Culture

We believe that it is important to nurture global awareness and grow responsible global citizens. Every Friday we incorporate rich cultural activities and connect with a different country or region through our Viernes Cultural (Cultural Friday). We bring regional art techniques, music, dress, food, and cultures to the classrooms where children can truly experience and interact with local customs. This awareness brings understanding and a celebration of the diversity and beautiful customs from around the world.

Values

Little Big Minds Values

Some of the greatest lessons learned in preschool boil down to basic values.

Honesty, kindness, sharing, gratitude, taking care of others and respecting nature are just some of the topics we discuss. Each week we dedicate time to explore and practice these important (and sometimes difficult) concepts through stories, play, crafts, projects and special visitors.

Community Garden

Community Garden

We believe in getting our hands dirty.  Our students help us plant, tend and harvest our community vegetable garden throughout the year. Our little plot is a beautiful living classroom.

We teach students about the life cycle of plants, the journey of food from farm to table, nutrition, cuisine from around the world, and more. Students even design and operate their own outdoor marketplace selling and trading the fruits of their labor.

Our Learning Standards

We know that when adults provide loving and intentional learning environments children thrive.  We believe that children construct their own knowledge about themselves and the world around them over time.  Based upon developmentally appropriate practices as described the Arizona Department of Education’s Early Learning Standards and The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), Little Big Minds Spanish Immersion Preschool has created a learning community that leverages best practices in early childhood bilingual education.

Learn more about the State of Arizona Early Childhood Learning Standards.

Learn more about The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)