Faculty Blog

Read, Read, Read

The quote below is the reason for encouraging boys to read what they love. Every week, I ask my students to look at the reading they enjoy and name the wow factor. What is it specifically that makes you want to curl up in a corner with a book and get lost in it? Sometimes the answer is simply, “I liked the way he wrote the action,” and we try to nail it down further. Does the author use descriptive action words or lots of setting changes? If the action is so easy to visualize, why?

Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. …

Posted by in Jen Waldeck on Friday January 24, 2014
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Art, Imagination, Schools and the Human Spirit

Could it be that schools, more often than not, prove right Thoreau's lament by failing to honor Sodergran’s primary principle about the human spirit? There is indeed that danger for any school as ever-present and expanding standardized testing can restrict and diminish the vitality of curriculum, learning, and teaching. Add to that danger the common circumstance of school budget cutting of the “non-essential” arts programs and “enrichment” classes and activities that are seen as expendable when hard financial choices are made.


"What does education often do? It …

Posted by in Jerry Ward on Monday January 20, 2014
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Remember the Time

I don’t always practice what I preach, especially when it comes to the simple, unaffected and ordinary “journal entry.” Much of my reticence towards the casual journal entry is the public nature of posting our journal writing as blogs that are more or less “open” to the public. It is hard for me as a teacher of writing to post an entry that I know is trivial, mundane—and perhaps of no interest to my readers—but that is precisely what I need to do if I am to model the full spectrum of the writing process. Keeping a journal is more than a search for …

Posted by in John Fitzsimmons on Friday January 17, 2014
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Widening the Definition of Reading

Reading is active. It is empowering. It is an experience that can lead to further understanding of one’s self and surroundings. At Fenn, this is our goal as teachers of reading: to be able to help boys foster the ability to find, read, and connect with stories that bring meaning and pleasure to their lives. In order for this to happen, we have learned that boys need space to explore their reading choices and time in class to practice their reading skills and build reading fluency. Whether a student is a reluctant or prolific reader, we have come to realize that reading choice empowers …

Posted by in Laurie Byron on Monday January 13, 2014
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