Faculty Blog

The 2015 D.C. Trip

On the way to The District with the Fenn 7th Graders

Well, we're in Maryland rolling down I-95 on our way to Washington, D.C. -- the epic "7th Grade D.C. Trip" which has made every yearbook as a cherished memory for decades. The boys are playing cards (one is learning solitaire from his buddy); they are sharing music, the are reading books and they are watching "Hoosiers" on bus video screens. They are hanging out and having fun.  We have already stopped at two food courts -- one for the boys to refuel, and one for the buses to.

Our next stop is to meet our guide at Country Hill …

Posted by in Patricia McCarthy on Thursday March 12, 2015
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Islands of Creativity and Learning

We are just finishing up the Explorer Project with presentations in my sixth grade Integrated Studies class.  The project is a long running one where students choose an Explorer from throughout history and spend several classes doing research in various note taking categories (i.e. early life experience, personal characteristics, challenges encountered, reason for exploration, etc.).  From there they construct journal entries written from the perspective of their chosen Explorer and create a map depicting her/his area of exploration.  To create the journal entries (of which …

Posted by in Patricia McCarthy on Wednesday December 17, 2014
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The Bus Ride Home

The bus is eerily quiet as we make our way home. These seventh grade Fenn boys are exhausted, and they should be; we have had an eventful few days. They have had a chance to walk all over D.C. They have been inquisitive, informative, impulsive, empathic, and exhilarated (and some even a little homesick), so they have come by these "bus naps" honestly and earnestly.  

They have asked questions about and offered impromptu presentations on the monuments, museums, and memorials that came about through some class work research and mini-presentations. In fact, our tour guide, Tracy, …

The Joy of Boys Learning

I recently attended the annual conference of the National Council of Teachers of English.  I was able to take in several informative and useful presentations. I attended an afternoon session titled From Blocks to Social Media:  Boys’ Play Based Composing of Self and Story. The presentation was an examination of case studies of a preschool play model, a high school virtual communication model and college level Role Playing Game model, all intended to help boys construct meaning and establish identity.  The conference itself was quite fascinating – especially to me as …

Posted by in Patricia McCarthy on Monday December 9, 2013
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In the Middle, Back to School

September brings us back to the business of school days and their accompanying mix of work and play. Boys are, at once, excited to be back among school buddies even if it does mean learning to manage the dreaded homework load that summer had made a distant memory. Middle school is a joyous time filled with energy and excitement. It is a time for challenge, triumph and even failure. As we head into the year, there are some things that I mentioned at Back to School Night that bear reiterating.

Middle schoolers are continually trying on new things as they undertake the main “job” of …

Posted by in Patricia McCarthy on Monday September 23, 2013
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