In our Language Immersion program, our mission is to engage children in hands-on, minds-on activities that teach children HOW to think not WHAT to think. We give children the confidence to find their voice in any language and to solve problems through creativity and innovation.
We employ a balanced curriculum with a focus on child-led investigations. Through the process of discovery, children can leverage their natural curiosity to explore the world around them.
By engaging students in a variety of cross-functional projects, we can harness this critical phase of early childhood brain development while laying the foundation for robust cognitive gains.
Through immersion, your child will develop a strong academic foundation while simultaneously developing bilingual skills, self-confidence, and cultural awareness.
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.
Piezas del Mundo
Spanish Immersion Curriculum for Preschoolers
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 Piezas del Mundo® 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.
Feeding Hearts and Souls
We work hard to nourish our students in every way. All of our families contribute to community snack once a month which is served in the classroom family-style.
We ask that families adhere to the healthy snack guidelines we provide. Students with allergies or food restrictions can opt-out and bring their own snack. Little Big Minds is a nut-free campus.
A Sample Day at Our Preschool
• Academic Day: 9am to 1pm
• Busy Bees: 9am to 3pm
• Early Birds: 7am to 3pm
• All Day: 7am to 5:30pm
*Most programs are available for 5 days (M–F), 3 days (M, W, F), or 2 days (T, Th). Check with your school director for detailed availability.
Kids on the Grow!
All children benefit from psychomotor skill development but at LBM it is a special focus. Playground games and music and movement in the classroom provide daily opportunities for practice. But the weekly yoga and PE classes are a preschool favorite. What could be cuter than a preschooler in tree-pose?
Healthy bodies = healthy minds.
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.
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.
Little Big Minds Preschool uses Conscious Discipline® techniques as the basis for classroom management and discipline.
We provide and practice simple self-regulation techniques, routines and rituals that support individual student growth and social-emotional well-being.
Equipping children with communication skills and impulse-control strategies to resolve conflict and manage emotions helps children develop healthy behavior patterns at school and at home.
Children spend every day learning and practicing language. Whether it is their first language or one of many, children are impressive mimics and adept language- learners.
Research confirms that learning a second language before age five significantly alters the brain’s structure. According to the Society for Neuroscience, increased brain activity is so prominent and predictable that neurologists can identify bilingualism from a brain scan. The cognitive benefits include reading proficiency, increased comprehension, greater flexibility in thinking, improved listening, and problem-solving skills.
The belief that learning two languages might confuse or delay young learners has been consistently disproven. Rather, new studies show that learning two languages before the age of 5 gives children the ability to scaffold fundamental skills and apply them to both languages.
We Don’t Teach Spanish; We Teach In Spanish
There is a great movement afoot in general education to re-introduce language as part of a growing curriculum.
As a practical matter, we believe that all language should be applauded but as point of clarification, all language programs are not created equal. Most early childhood language programs are summative rather than immersive. They are comprised of 20 to 60 minute sessions daily or weekly and they are simply added to the regular preschool curriculum as an enrichment activity. While these programs will provide students with meaningful vocabulary, they will not produce the sort of cognitive gains that come from true immersion.
Little Big Minds Preschool is a full Spanish immersion program. That means, the teachers speak Spanish all day, every day. Don’t worry though, no prior Spanish skills necessary. Children are amazingly adaptable, and they pick up the language quickly.
Learning Mandarin is becoming increasingly popular so, why Spanish?
The United States has the 2nd largest Spanish speaking population in the world. There will be 52 million Spanish speakers in the United States by 2020. Spanish provides a more practical opportunity for daily application than any other language. Once a child has learned a second language, they are able to transfer those skills to learning other languages, but Spanish is a functional academic add-on while providing all the cognitive advantages.
By the Numbers
4 Valley Locations
Watch for additional Little Big Minds Spanish Immersion Preschool locations coming soon!
“I’m so impressed with the learning environments (inside and outside) provided for the children. The space is absolutely beautiful! The teachers are warm and welcoming and appear to love teaching as much as the children love learning. I strongly recommend this school for any parent looking for a high-quality Montessori experience!”