News from BEEP - Harvest in the Classroom, Family Literacy Month, Hosting International Educators, and a new Early Education Center
All fall, Brookline Early Education explored the theme of "Harvest" in all classes. Students organized and created farm stands, apple orchards, bakeries, and restaurants. The students have explored all kinds of fruits and vegetables. They have weighed, measured, compared and investigated every aspect of the foods that we harvest. This has emerged into new themes of transportation (how do we get foods that we don't harvest in New England) to the Farm and even to Community Helpers.
November was Family Literacy Month and every BEEP classroom celebrated by having "Cuddle Up and Read" events all over town. Family members from grandparents to aunts, parents, and siblings have joined in the reading experience. Books on themes, special authors, science books, and poetry are all available for families. Along with reading together, families were able to share in the projects, art and play areas that children have been enjoying.
BEEP regularly hosts educators from across the world who come to see our inclusive approach to early education. Unlike BEEP, many countries separate their students with identified disabilities from their peers. This Fall, BEEP hosted international visitors from Singapore and China who came to learn about inclusion in our classrooms and our interdisciplinary approach to curriculum. Both the principals group from Singapore and the educators from China were interested in learning how we integrate learning and use themes that weave together lessons in literacy, math, science, social studies, and art. and the way we differentiate for students with needs. The BEEP team was able to demonstrate and explain how we make the units work for all children and the way we manage multidisciplinary teams.
Last year, the EE For All LLC announced their plan to build a new early education center for BEEP to use. The building is being privately built and is currently in the planning and zoning review process that all new private construction goes through in Brookline. Because the building is being privately built the School Department and School Committee are not involved in the planning, design or construction. The new center will be on Harvard Street and is scheduled to open in September 2019. Preliminary designs that have been shared with the Planning Board include 6-7 classrooms and space for the intake team, a community outreach liaison and administrative staff. These early concepts also include a covered play area so outdoor play can happen in good weather and bad, teacher workrooms, and a kitchen center for our emerging culinary arts students!