Thematic Thursday...Books for Boys

Thematic Thursday is on the blue team this week, but because I'm so late, it won't be a linky this time.  We're celebrating Books for Boys, and I'm sharing favorite books and activities that boys enjoy. Rather than linking up, I'd love to have readers share their favorite book recommendations for boys. My lists are just a start. Now...on to my post.

Well, I'm late again this week, so I apologize to those who have been my linky supporters. With all the Teacher Appreciation posts (yeah us!), TPT sale, and state testing (for me), it's been a busy week. I know you're right there with me too.  So...I'll start this off with a little guy humor (classroom style). This story is true, but I am changing the student's name to keep peace with my friends (the parents).

I was in deep focus mode trying to get my kiddos to understand an important math concept with Travis, a very bright and energetic boy in my class, got a not so bright idea. He decided to play a practical joke on me.  I am modeling (on the overhead... beginning teachers... this is what we used before Smartboards. :-).  I look up, and Travis has the eraser end of his pencil in his nose. He pretends to pull it out, and attached to it is used gum which stretches to look like snot.  I am not kidding!  The class erupts in laughter, and I was not laughing. The punishment... "Travis, you will need to call your parents and explain what you did." Of course, they were very serious and followed up with a punishment. For years though, we have laughed about how he shared it with them. I think that was a sign that Travis needed a lot more work. The image to the right gives you the idea of what I saw. Have you experienced anything like this??

So just how do we funnel that energy in the classroom?  How do you draw those busy boys/girls in and hook them? The answer...high interest books, activities with movement, opportunities to build things, and anything messy. 

Matching tasks to our students' interests, whether they are boys or girls, is a great motivator. Kids have learning preferences, so we need to mix it up and have a deep repertoire of ideas to make sure we address those needs. One place to start is with literature. I did a little research on the best authors for boys (and have a few favorites of my own).  
Book Suggestions for Boys

As you can see, there is kind of a common theme in these books. I selected ten different series that my students have enjoyed (I should have also included The Weird School Series, Captain Awesome Series, and the Jake Maddox books). I also had the struggling fourth and fifth graders in mind. The reason?? It seems that this is the age when we lose many of them. As kids move into middle school, we lose even more. Independent reading has to be a routine that kids enjoy and the place to emphasize independent reading is at school. Set your kids up with personal goals. Let them have time to talk about their reading with their peers, and most importantly, have book conversations with them. If you as a teacher are familiar with what kids are reading, you can have book suggestions ready for them.

Are your boys beyond these? No problem.  I have a next step list for you. (I could only include ten books in each widget, so truly, this list is not complete). My son, to this day, is an avid reader. The top of his list...Ender's Game and Science Fiction. Of course, he loved fantasy and adventure in upper elementary. For book alikes, teachers should check Good Reads and Amazon for similar titles.
Fun Activities to Check Out
I did not put together a Pinterest board this week, but here are a few busy/dirty learning ideas some of your boys may enjoy. Some of your girls may too.  I think with any activity or assignment we do, you have to make the match with kids' interests, talents, and needs.  I love hands-on learning, so the more we can keep kids actively engaged (no matter what gender they are), the deeper the learning will be. 

  These literacy ideas are perfect for car and truck play of young children. Ideas for learning the alphabet, sight words and spelling included.  materials:  1 2-liter soda bottle   1 water bottle  Soil  Sand  Leaf compost  Black construction paper and white / light colored crayons  Dry baby cereal or breadcrumbs  Practice sight words with Superheroes - play Superhero Sight Word Mash!
Best Websites to Visit for Boy Resource Ideas

Boys Read

Well, it is time to hang out with my boy who has just returned from college.  Guess what we will be doing??  Yep...unpacking.  Ugh! So until next time, happy reading!
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