Our Pedagogy – Active, Engaging, Exploratory!
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 bring children together through creative play and by learning to express themselves they gain confidence and awareness of self and others.
We adhere to a cross-functional approach to education because we believe that children learn better when they learn the same concepts through different lenses.
We recognize that healthy child development unfolds most fully in the context of a community with healthy social relationships among parents, teachers and children.
We carefully structure lessons to teach our students through interactive, play-based activities. We invite children to find joy in discovery and we praise exploration over accomplishment.
We believe that children learn from their surroundings. We create magical spaces that offer structure and protection as well as opportunities to explore, examine, imagine and dream!
We embrace our children’s differences and celebrate the things that makes them uniquely their own.
We know that children benefit from wide open spaces and fresh air. Our playgrounds and gardens are active classrooms where children stretch their legs and get their hands dirty.
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.
Piezas Del Mundo
The Piezas del Mundo© Curriculum is a comprehensive, cross-functional, and proprietary Spanish-immersion curriculum. The cross-curricular approach helps learners recognize natural connections between separate subjects which is important in developing a second language. The goal of Piezas del Mundo© is to provide the framework to help students put the pieces of knowledge together. Following are some of the critical components of our curriculum.
- Meets or exceeds Arizona Department of Education Early Learning Standards.
- Consistent academic progression.
- Validates a child’s EFFORT and exploration.
- Engages all senses and offers developmentally-appropriate lessons.
- Helps build confidence, independence and respect for others
- Promotes curiosity and facilitate opportunities to love learning.
- Established assessment and observation methods to meet individual child needs.
- Promotes critical thinking and problem solving.
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.
To learn more about the State of Arizona Early Childhood Learning Standards, please click here. http://www.azed.gov/early-childhood/files/2011/11/arizona-early-learning-standards-3rd-edition.pdf
To learn more about The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), please click here. https://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/Can-Do_Statements_2015.pdf
Click here to download a pdf of Little Big Minds Learning Standards Chart.
By engaging students in a variety of learning activities, we are able to leverage this critical phase of childhood brain development while laying the foundation for robust cognitive gains. Your child will be exposed to music, art, math, science, literacy and physical education and because all instruction will be done in Spanish, s/he will acquire the language naturally. Through immersion, your child will develop a strong academic foundation while simultaneously developing bilingual skills, self-confidence and cultural awareness.
Little Big Minds fosters a love of learning by nurturing children’s natural curiosity, perseverance, ingenuity and sense of adventure. We value fun and a joy of discovery. The LBM Preschool program provides your child with a variety of activities which include a balance of: whole group, small-group with differentiated instruction, individual learning opportunities, indoor and outdoor play, child-centered, and teacher-directed activities.
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 are proud of our diverse community and we always invite our families to share their family’s culture and heritage with the school. We also employ a well-established cultural curriculum through Nubaris. Each month we expose children to world art and music masterpieces. The ImaginArte Nubaris curriculum helps children develop an appreciation for fine arts through hands-on activities and music and movement. The Little Big Minds cross-curricular approach allows children to use their imaginations to explore the world around them.
As early childhood educators, we believe it is our job not only to provide a strong academic foundation but to support the growth and development of each child physically, socially and emotionally. As a preschooler, it is important that children develop gross motor skills and we create plenty of opportunities for them to run, jump, throw and climb. We have safe, developmentally appropriate playgrounds and each week a coach provides yoga and physical education instruction. Every Wednesday we have a special instructor that travels through all the classrooms and does Yoga or PE with all the students. As part of the curriculum, the instructor talks to the kids in Spanish about building muscles, eating well, and taking care of their bodies. The kids work on balancing, hopping, dancing, climbing, turning, twirling, running, and they have begun to master yoga essentials such as downward dog, tree and sun pose.