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 consequence. For years though, we have laughed about how he shared it with them. I think that was a sign that Travis was bored and needed more attention from me. 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
Fun Activities to Check Out
As we work to come up with a list of great books for boys, there are a few websites to check out too. One I learned about at a reading conference was Boys Read which is linked below. You might also check THIS SITE for a book list too. It is sorted by age level which is nice. Kids Reads is another webiste with great book recommendation ideas.