In the first weeks of the school year, Ms. B. is providing her science students with a full-immersion course in the essentials of observation–a set of skills necessary for success in field biology. Her lessons involve vocabulary, explanations, clear instructions about procedures and organization, and LOTS of opportunities to practice.
Learning outdoors is an everyday part of the Foote experience. From searching the campus woods for animals to illustrate a food web to studying the monarchs that flock to the butterfly garden, students use the outdoors as an extension of the classroom.
Numerous studies support the benefits of outdoor time: boosted attention spans, improved academics, more fully developed senses and a fascination with the natural world. Unstructured play outdoors also develops problem-solving and executive function skills and encourages creative and collaborative play.
Beyond the campus, Foote students make great use of the area’s abundant natural and built resources, studying water quality in New Haven’s West River, touring New Haven’s outdoor public sculpture, investigating Milford salt marshes for invasive species, and much more.
Foote’s large community garden is a place of discovery and learning for every grade. Sixth graders carefully observed and measured plants to make detailed drawings.