The Fessy Den Blog

Why Parents Must Get Comfortable with the Word ‘Failure’

Parents often have a visceral reaction to the word “failure” in the context of student learning. This is especially true of parents who pay tuition at a private or independent school. An investment in your child’s education should lead to success, right? And isn’t failure antithetical to achievement? You already know the answer to this,...
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Why Preschool Children Should Have Control Over Their Learning

When you imagine the ideal classroom environment for your preschooler, it probably looks like a colorful, orderly space where students are engaged, actively participating, and genuinely excited to learn. But what happens in a student-directed environment that promotes choice? Don’t conjure up images of “Kindergarten Cop” where students are screaming and running amok. Student-focused education...
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How Community Service Shapes Executive Functioning

The middle school years mark an important transition for young boys. Their educational journeys will undergo big changes as they move from a contained classroom setting with a single teacher to an experience in which they may see four or five different teachers per day. However, this is not the only change. Their adolescent brains...
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The Case for Studying Spanish in Pre-K and Kindergarten

At Fessenden, we believe students benefit in myriad ways from studying a second (or third) language. In fact, you can often find our youngest learners exploring Spanish in our Pre-K and Kindergarten classes. Throughout the year, children in our earliest grades expand their cultural awareness, reinforce fundamentals (such as math and literacy), and have fun...
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The ABCs of Middle School Boys: ‘C’ is for Change

This is part 3 of a three-part series. In parts one and two of this three-part series, we addressed common challenges and fears that can be associated with parenting a middle school boy. We assured you that feeling uncomfortable and uncertain about your parenting techniques is normal, and that it’s healthy and developmentally appropriate for...
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Pre-K Specials: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

In most middle and high schools, elective courses are offered to students to supplement core classes (English, math, science, history). You may even remember electives as your favorite subjects in school. Did you master the art of photography in a dark room? Perhaps you developed culinary techniques in home economics? Research suggests that it is...
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The Gift of a Challenge

The holiday season is the time of year when we find ourselves scurrying around during the hectic shopping days of December, searching tirelessly for that perfect gift for each of our loved ones. The powerful urge to bestow them with whatever will make them happy is difficult to resist, even though we know that the...
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Best of the Fessy-Den Blog 2018

  Before we ring in the New Year, we are taking a look back at some of 2018’s most popular Fessy-Den Blog posts. From our teachers’ advice on how to help boys embrace reading and math, to the story behind Fessenden’s Running Boy, we hope you enjoy The Best of the Fessy-Den Blog 2018.  ...
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Why Social-Emotional Development is More Important than Academics in Pre-K

Whether your child previously participated in a childcare center or Pre-K will be his first formal educational setting, it’s common to prioritize the curriculum and specific areas of study as you evaluate the best fit for your little learner. After all, everyone is talking about “kindergarten readiness,” and you want to be sure that your...
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The ABCs of Middle School Boys: ‘B’ is for Belonging

This is part 2 of a three-part series. In part one of this three-part series, we addressed the distinct challenges and fears that come along with parenting a middle school boy. We assured you that feeling uncomfortable and uncertain about your parenting techniques is normal, and that it’s healthy and developmentally appropriate for your son...
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