- Don’t compare boys to girls – boys take longer to develop language and literacy skills. And comparing boys to girls is just unfair. What's "on target" for girls is not the same as what's "on target" for girls. Here's an example: if you have a boy that can write the letter A in shaving cream, but is reluctant to pick up a pencil to write, is it really fair to say that this child "can't" writ the letter A. Well he can write it...maybe he needs more fine motor activities to help him with his pencil skills, but it's not fair to say flat-out that this child can't write the letter A.
- Evaluate your own teaching style – do you expect boys to adapt to you or are you adapting your teaching style to meet their needs? Is your circle time too long to really grasp the attention of the boys AND the girls in your room? Are you providing activities that meet the needs of all kinds of learners (visual, active, auditory, etc)?
- Do you have books and writing materials in ALL areas of the classroom? If the boys in your room rarely choose to go to the library or writing table, then they are missing potential learning opportunities. In order to overcome this challenge, encourage reading and writing in all areas: in block area, add construction and architecture books as well and pencils and paper for making signs; at the work bench, add paper and pencils for making "blueprints;" in the science area, include encyclopedias, nature books, and science-related diagrams. Be creative, but make sure that reading and writing opportunities are all around.
- Have male role models read to your class. In most child care programs, men are few and far between. So look to your parents or other members of the community to read stories to the classroom.
- When you do author studies, purposely ensure to feature as many male authors as you do female authors.
- Be sure that you have books that cater to the interests of the boys in your classroom.
- Visit websites such as Getting Boys to Read and Guys Read to learn new and exciting ways to engage the boys in your classroom. Another helpful site is Reading is for the Boys...it's a webquest geared for K-12 teachers but many of the information is helpful and can be adapted to the younger ages.
Books About Boys and Books