Breakwater Learning's Board of Trustees has exciting news! Breakwater has been able to acquire the only available property adjoining our campus. In August the school purchased 838 Brighton Avenue, the land and house directly behind our Jessie Building. Please read the letter from Jo Pierce, Chair of the Board of Trustees, announcing the acquisition and it's use!Read More
At 3pm on August 26th we opened the door to the John W. Knight Curiosity Lab.
During it's inaugural use 100+ people - multigenerational families, friends, students, donors, and educators - from near and far put together, took apart, wondered, played, poked, prodded, laughed, looked, ate and celebrated together!Read More
- The Old Blacktop = Our Early Childhood Playscape
- The Former Kindergarten & EC AfterCare Room = Two Toddler Classrooms
- The Old Library Room = The Curiosity Lab
Some elements are still under construction, rapidly readying for our students' return in September!
Click through for details, timelines and photographs...
Major construction has begun on our campus! We are now making in earnest the improvements that are bringing our physical spaces more inline with the dynamic way we learn and teach at Breakwater everyday. With this next phase in our growth, we aim to bring Breakwater closer to realizing our full potential - to be one of the best, most truly innovative models of independent educational excellence. Anywhere.
We are, absolutely, "Up Leveling".
Opening a physical space that features innovation, technology and entrepreneurship learning activities. More than a maker space, more than a computer lab, the Curiosity Lab will encourage learners of all ages to wonder, explore, deconstruct and invent.
August 26, 2017. Breakwater Campus.Read More
As the tinkering space at Breakwater school continues to metamorphose into our Curiosity Lab, opportunities for young engineers to make, discover, experiment and invent are made possible. March 18 and 19 the Open Bench Project partnered with Breakwater school to offer a 3d printer building workshop. Yes. Printer building.Read More
BREAKWATER UP LEVEL UPDATE: The same amazing team who built many of our playground features and did the recently completed remodel of our toddler room entrance have been hard at work in our "Castle" preschool room over February break, and in the shared space between the Forest preschool room and the toddlers, a new home for little boots and classroom supplies has been crafted.
We’re keeping you updated on our Up Level page! Click through to learn more...Read More
1. To make something better.
synonyms: optimization, improve, enhance.
2. To increase, or to increase something.
synonyms: strengthen, add to, raise.
3. To transform and grow in an area.
1. (computing) Having greater capabilities or a higher version number.
Read more... about our library, Curiosity Lab, and outdoor spaces!Read More
A SPACE: A physical space that features innovation, technology and entrepreneurship learning activities, tools and experiences for youth. More than a maker space, more than a computer lab, the Curiosity Lab will encourage learners of all ages to wonder, explore, deconstruct and invent.
A MINDSET: More than the space, the Curiosity Lab is philosophy that fosters and promotes a curiosity mindset. Our learners are encouraged to be inquisitors, researchers, builders, tinkerers, scientists, artists, engineers, re-imaginers and myth busters, not just in the Lab, but outside of school and across their lifetimes.
The flagship Curiosity Lab will be at Breakwater, in the heart of the school, supporting an evolved and amplified tinkering program for our entire toddler - 8th grade student body. It will provide rich streams of experiences, questioning and novelty, fostering “conversations with phenomena” via art, tinkering, making, and other opportunities to interact with the Lab’s library of tools, materials, technologies and interactive components.
Here learners are encouraged to ask how does it work, why does it work that way and how could it work. The ultimate goals are to not only spark curiosity, but scaffold it so that learners are guided into deeper exploration and mastery, and to help learners not only develop key readiness skills such as STEM, grit, resilience and self-confidence, but also a broader curiosity mindset that prepares them to be active contributors, creators and entrepreneurs.
The current schedule is to build out the basic structure of the Curiosity Lab at Breakwater and launch before the start of the 2017/2018 school year! Curriculum development, planning and design are well underway.
Visit curiosity.life for more info and pics from last summer's Pop Up Lab in downtown Portland.
This is a collaborative environmental education and community development endeavor to transform our school’s playground and the adjacent Nason’s Corner Park into a natural, multipurpose play and learning area that will benefit not only Breakwater School and Enrichment Center, but the entire Portland community.Read More
What is a "Learning Commons"? or rather, what are learning commons?
Prompted by the impact changes to Breakwater's physical space will have on our existing library, we had this amazing idea for reimagining the way we facilitate a reading culture at Breakwater. Breakwater’s pedagogical approach is all about integration, authentication and collaboration. To match our model, students require library spaces that are more than repositories, but are welcoming areas that encourage exploration, creation, and collaboration between students, teachers, and a broader community. A vision began to come together about what this might look like...
And guess what? It's already a thing! More than a thing. A movement. It's called building "library commons" and it's showing up in conversations about school library redesigns all over.
What could library commons look like at Breakwater?
By developing spaces that allow children to make discoveries, put technology to imaginative use, learn, perform, and relax, as well as to read, we establish an even more exceptional culture of literacy and scholarship across our entire school.
The primary purpose of Breakwater’s library redesign is to think creatively and intentionally about what a forward-looking library should be, how it should function, and what scholarly and social learning goals it might serve. We will definitely continue to have a more conventional, dedicated library room, and supplement with areas and activities that heighten and facilitate reading at the school.
Our vision for Breakwater’s new Library apparatus can offer:
- Integration of the library throughout our campus with multiple hubs of activity for learning, teaching, and creation inside and outside of the classroom.
- A beautiful dedicated library space downstairs with progressive design details that facilitate visual and auditory connections for our youngest friends and meaningful browsing experiences for our older students.
- Flexible learning spaces that allow students to gather in collaborative groups, or study independently.
- Inspiring reading areas throughout our buildings that are fun, comfortable and invite children to engage creatively with the act of reading.
- Access to information through digital technology with curricular support for digital scholarship and ethics-building.
- Active leveraging of the Portland Public Library system providing both students and teachers access to over 300,000 books, audiobooks, musical recordings, movies, and digital resources as well as library services and cultural and community resources.