Faculty Blog

21st Century Schools

Attend a conference for educators in independent schools or pick up a magazine or journal on independent school education and it won't be long before you hear or read what you can and should do to become a 21st century school or how your students can develop 21st century skills. What does it all mean? How did these particular skills emerge from the pack? How intentional do you need to be in your focus on these topics? How do you measure whether you are succeeding or not? The answers to these questions and others can be elusive but there are certain truths, including that our students are …

Posted by in Derek Boonisar on Friday October 31, 2014
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Treasuring the Imperfect Boys Before Us

Last Friday afternoon most of the ninth graders were able to come over for our weekly get-together at the house. The fact that I said “were able to” indicates just how often many of them cannot come because of sports commitments, tutoring, and other academic and extracurricular commitments.  Several of them rued the reality of not being able to take the time out to be here eating cookies and Doritos and relaxing with their classmates even once a week. Life is very busy for them.

I usually start our time together sitting in a circle and asking them to tell me what have been …

Resource: Me Read? And How!

I met a fellow educator at the International Boys’ School Coalition in New York City at the Buckley School. We often share resources focused on boys and best literacy practice. Recently, he sent me a resource from a document released by the province of Ontario, Me Read? And How! Many of the teaching strategies described are often used in Fenn classrooms to encourage and support our boy writers: 

1. Boys who are allowed to choose writing topics show increased motivation and engagement.  p .10

2. Boys are helped by experiencing examples of different text forms. …

Posted by J. DeGemmis in Jen Waldeck on Wednesday October 22, 2014
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Fenn has Many Makers in its Midst

One of the joys of Fenn is that there are as many different interests as there are boys. A Makerspace at Fenn is going to allow those with an interest in technology, engineering, and creativity to have more opportunities to explore, tinker, and develop their ideas in these areas. We have spent time in the last year exploring how to engage boys with these interests through a variety of after school and activity offerings. Ms. MacLellan and I have collaborated on all of it and have found that a lot of boys at Fenn are clamoring for more. Some examples are:

  • making an electronic piano from …
Posted by in Susan Fisher on Sunday October 19, 2014
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Boys Learn Best From Each Other

Whether it's on the sports field, in the classroom, at recess, or somewhere in between, boys often learn best from each other. While this may seem obvious, it often is hard not to get involved when there is an argument, when a situation looks like it is getting out of hand, or when you feel you need to provide some sort of moral support or comfort.  As adults, we are the "frontal lobes" for the boys and we teach and guide them in every way possible, yet it is through their experience and interaction with their peers that boys apply and test out what they have learned. I was reminded of …

Posted by in Jon Byrd on Wednesday October 15, 2014
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George Writes His Essay

Why am I the poor schmuck saddled with a teacher who insists on finding meaning and metaphor in everything we read? Like The Odyssey: I mean, the book is full of random everythings. Like just when Odysseus starts to figure something out (and I have a half a clue what is going on) he breaks off into some wild story with a hundred new characters. "Oh," says my teacher, "that is a literary technique used to build the scope and sweep of the poem. It is the hallmark of an epic literary work." If that is the case, then I have a crazy old uncle—a guy who never knows when to …
Posted by in John Fitzsimmons on Sunday October 5, 2014
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An Independent Day School
for Boys Grades 4-9

516 Monument Street, Concord, MA 01742

Tel: (978) 369-5800 Email:  info@fenn.org

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