Improvisation Classes led by Eric Sumpter bring excitement and build confidence

Eric Sumpter introduced an improvisation class this year. Students were introduced to it as a “no, thank you” helping activity, which in LDFDS lingo, means we try new things at least once and if after trying we determine that it is not something we want to pursue at this time, we are not forced to participate. It’s an opportunity to learn and experience new things while maintaining control over whether we’re quite ready to pursue a new experience or interest (or food). The response was practically unanimously positive. Eric created a positive, safe environment for students to explore their creativity and communication skills and to take risks. It’s a great addition to the program.


Field Trip to Outer Island September 2015

As a part of a study of Connecticut ecology, students in Class IV took a trip to Outer Island, a marine research and education center. They had an opportunity to study tide pools and the Branford Harbor, using a variety of meters to measure the water’s salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH and temperature. They compared these results to one another and observed the changes over time as the tide came in. They also got an opportunity to do some birdwatching, as the island is home to a bird sanctuary.

Amy (Class IV)

Collaborative gardening project

Students in Classes II and IV are working together to plant and maintain vegetable gardens at the school. So far, students researched various plants that thrive in Connecticut’s climate, tilled the soil and weeded the beds, purchased supplies from a local Home Depot and planted seeds and small plants.

Students in Class IV study earth cycles

Students in Class IV completed research on chemical cycles that occur in nature, such as the phosphorus and nitrogen cycles. After researching topics like the environmental impact of humans, they created posters and presented their information to the class.

High School students partner with younger class for science lab

Students in Classes II and IV worked together on a science lab, testing various “mystery powders” for their chemical and physical properties. They utilized the information they gathered to determine the identities of the powders, which were common household items like cornstarch and gelatin. The collaboration was enjoyed by both the classes!

LDFDS Mentoring Group

Supervised by Eric Sumpter, our Physical Education & Health instructor, the mentoring group provides one of many opportunities for students to spend time with students in other classes. The group discusses topics of shared interests and themes common to their ages–and spend time together just having fun. The group is pictured playing a card game together.

When life gives you snow...

make snow ice cream! Storm Colbie/Juno left a nice blanket of fluffy snow, so the students in Class I, made snow ice cream that was shared with all.

Recipe: 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 8 cups clean snow (a bit more if it’s really fluffy), optional but recommended: sprinkles, chocolate sauce/hot fudge, &/or marachino cherries. In a large bowl, whisk milk, sugar & vanilla until combined. Put this in the refrigerator. Go out and scoop up some fresh, clean snow (about 8 cups). Then mix the snow and milk mixture until combined. Top with your choice of toppings & enjoy!

Students attend a performance of Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Long Wharf Theater

Students in Classes I and IV attended a performance of Steve Martin’s play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Long Wharf Theater. The play centers around a meeting between Picasso and Einstein at a Paris cafe, as the two discuss the value of art and science and the true meaning of genius. Before and after attending the play, students participated in workshops led by Long Wharf’s teaching staff, which discussed these themes in greater detail.

Spizzwinks Perform as LDFDS

Students and parents were treated to a special performance by one of Yale’s acapella groups, “The Spizzwinks (?)." They have a limited number of community concerts throughout the year, and LDFDS was lucky to be able to host one. Their unique blend of talent and humor was appreciated by all.

Student-led charity projects

Students in Class II recently began collecting monetary donations for two charities, The ASPCA and Save the Children. The students researched the charities and created small crafts to sell in their free time. Their dedication and excitement for the causes has been contagious!