4 Steps to Teaching, Understanding & Parenting Boys

Perhaps the toughest thing for any mom of boys — and, I’d guess, female teacher of boys — is learning to understand boys. I’ve never been a boy. I don’t know how they think, I don’t know why they do what they do and I don’t know how they feel. I don’t know what their […]

9 Tips to Boost Boys’ (& Girls’) Literacy Skills

Schools need to focus on acknowledging the academic, psychological and physical needs of boys. For my doctoral dissertation, I examined the gender achievement gap in reading and writing of fourth and fifth grade boys versus girls and offered practical solutions. Here are nine tested boy-friendly literacy strategies: • Create a noticeable basket of boy-appealing books in your […]

Are Boys Failing School or Is School Failing Boys?

It’s the ultimate chicken-or-egg question. According to a comprehensive new report about gender and education: Compared to girls, boys are more likely to say they think school is a waste of time, show up late to class and generally be less ambitious with their education and career expectations. They also spend less time doing homework […]

7 Ways Teachers Can Make School Better For Boys

A lot of boys hate school. That’s not exactly a well-kept secret. If you have boys of your own, you’ve likely heard plenty about what they don’t like about school, ranging from the food served at lunch (in my kids’ case, disgusting and not enough) to teachers they don’t like (the word boring gets tossed around […]

How to Deal with a Troublemaker

This is a xylophone…. … It’s also a powerful tool to increase student engagement. Let me explain. Last night was my son’s school Christmas concert. This son, age eight, does not particularly like school, or music class. And with reason. This son, like many boys, is a get up-and-go kind of kid, not a sit-down-and-learn-quietly […]

Why Kids Can’t Sit Still in School: View From an 8-Year-old

My son saw the headline — “Why So Many Kids Can’t Sit Still in School Today” — over my shoulder. He yelled, “Nobody can!” To my son (who’s had his own issues with sitting still in school) and many other kids, the idea that school itself induces fidgeting is not at all a new idea. […]

Should Schools Be No-Touch Zones?

A 17-year-old high school has been suspended for touching a teacher. Sam McNair, a senior, entered the classroom and hugged his teacher from behind. The teacher says that his cheeks and lips also brushed against her face and neck and cheek. The teen — like the 6-year-old Colorado boy we talked about last week — […]

Helping Boys Succeed in School

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A lot of boys don’t like school. And a lot of boys don’t do well in school. Yet virtually every single boy who’s flunking out of school, not doing his homework, just getting by or wailing “I hate school!” was once a curious little toddler. What gives? That’s a question I’ve pondered many, many times […]

Taking a Shot: All Students Learn Differently

Yesterday, I had the staff meeting in the gymnasium. The teachers were bewildered as they walked in the hot gym, wearing their business attire: dresses, high heels, suits, dress shoes, and all. The teachers were divided into four teams, and I told them each person had to attempt to make a free throw before they could […]

Boy-Friendly Schools

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Is your son’s school boy-friendly? Is it place where his enthusiasm for learning is encouraged, even if his preferred style of learning is hands-on? Or does his school insist that students sit quietly while filling out worksheets? Does his school take away recess as a punishment, or do the teachers and administrators of his school […]