Breakwater has been celebrating Earth Week for over 30 years. What began as spark of hope and a desire to teach children how to love and care for our planet, quickly turned into a week long (read: lifelong) journey of exploration, education, sun, mud, and joy. Back in 1987, Sari Lindauer (former science and tinkering teacher) brought the idea to a handful of Breakwater educators after studying the work of Steve Van Matre and his book, Sunship Earth. That group of teachers, which included both Cheryl Hart (current 5/6 teacher) and Alex Johnston (current EC essentialist), were immediately taken with the idea and Earth Week, as we now know it, was born.Read More
It was such an exciting time in the garden! Students were abuzz talking about different lines and shapes, how to make lines that curved for C’s and D’s (curvy green beans were an excellent choice!) and how to decorate their letters using flower petals, seeds and berries. Not only that, students began thinking of other connections around letters and shapes. They even inspired a Breakwater garden font that can be seen inside the school!Read More
This winter and spring our preschool students have embarked on so many adventures and explorations about world cultures that it's hard to believe they have done it all while still staying at Breakwater! When a classmate moved to Switzerland last fall, students started to get curious about where their friend was going, what his new home might look like, and how far from Maine he was moving to. Because our Early Childhood program is Reggio Emilia inspired, following and honoring children’s inherent interests and desires drives our curriculum. The questions and curiosities sparked by their friend's move drove a rich study of world cultures that has taken place over the past several months in our preschool classrooms. Their curiosities have brought in parent visitors and speakers, driven art and sensory projects, and sparked conversations with their 3rd and 4th grade learning buddies!Read More
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
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
“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 EducatorRead More
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….
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.