Showcase Week!

Showcase Week!

Showcase Week is one of Breakwater’s most enriching weeks. Check out all the ways our students engage and inspire us everyday. You’ll hear stories about maps, hibernating winter animals, Casco Bay, the food of Maine, landscapes that illicit emotion, and the history of money. You’ll travel through six beautiful countries to learn their stories and culture but best of all, you’ll see an entire school working together to share and learn, collaborate and inspire. Check out the full blog to access our celebratory slideshow to finish out the week!

Read More

Water Balloons and Algebra!

Water Balloons and Algebra!

Challenge, curiosity, community, and authenticity are all at the center of the "Breakwater Way" and are what make our teaching model so powerful. On a chilly Friday morning in November, all four were on display when our students from preschool - 8th grade gathered on the blacktop to see whether grades 5/6 algebra students could complete the water balloon challenge! The challenge entailed dropping water balloons from the roof of the school in hopes of one landing on their teacher who was running across the blacktop below. When the time came to take on this challenge, our community of teachers and students alike cheered on our mathematicians as they put their hard work to the test. It was a meaningful experience for all of us and an engaging lesson into the power of math! 

Read More

Adventure!

Adventure!

“The reason why we adventure is because at Breakwater we're doing so much more than just making students a little smarter each day. We're building character. We're showing them that it's ok for things to be hard and to expect to fall down from time to time. We help them back up and push them to pick themselves up. To pick each other up. We're showing them how to be great human beings by inspiring curiosity and appreciation of the world and its many wondrous inhabitants.  These incredible kids will be the stewards of our world someday. Why not start today?” - Patrick “Fitz” Fitzgibbons, Science and Adventure Educator

Read More

A Day in the Life: 8th Grade Costa Rica Adventure

A Day in the Life: 8th Grade Costa Rica Adventure

Costa Rica, Day 2
We woke up this morning at La Ensenada, an arid but lush ranch next to the Pacific Ocean's rolling waves. We woke in the early light of day because of the howler monkeys bellowing.  Not one but two troupes of monkeys were calling in very close proximity to our cabinas. We quickly located the two troupes and, together with a group of friendly birders from Europe, watched the monkey drama play out….

Read More

Mathematics in First and Second Grade

Mathematics in First and Second Grade

Student 1: My mother was in the Civil War.
Student 2: No, she couldn’t have been in the Civil War.
Student 1: Well she didn’t fight in the Civil War, she just helped.
Student 2: [to the teacher] How long ago was the Civil War?
Teacher: About 155 years ago.
Student 2: I don’t think your mother could have been in the Civil War. But maybe if she was an older mother.

How much older? Find out how our teachers use “teachable moments” like these as well as structured, thoughtfully pre-planned activities to optimize math education.  

Read More

RAINBOW leads No Name-Calling Week at Breakwater

RAINBOW leads No Name-Calling Week at Breakwater

By instituting a student initiated, faculty supported GSA group, Breakwater affirms our commitment to ensuring a safe, inclusive community that honors diversity and respects the rights of all. This year's GSA group calls themselves RAINBOW and is starting 2018 by spearheading Breakwater's involvement in GLSEN’s national No Name-Calling Week, January 15-19. 

Learn more about student led No Name-Calling Week activities... 

Read More

The Breakwater Way: Showcase Days 2017

The Breakwater Way: Showcase Days 2017

See the Breakwater Way at work! What do food systems, buoyancy, inventors, rivers, biomes and tape dispensers all have in common? Showcase Days! December 13-15 students, families and extended community visit classrooms for a glimpse of the magic behind the doors. Students share with the community both the process and product of their learning in interactive, curated “Showcases”.

Why do we make learning visible in this way? Read more...

Read More

Gratitude

Gratitude

"Gratitude is a sort of laughter of the heart that comes about after some surprising kindness." (David Brooks)

We are all used to the idea that learning can improve our minds. However, we may not think as much about an equally important idea - that understanding our own character, and the fact that we all have strengths of character and character traits with which we struggle, allows us to know who we are and how our attitudes impact our lives. One especially compelling trait is gratitude. 

Happy Thanks-Giving! Read about the 5th and 6th grade's study of character.

Read More