Introduction - On the Web - What I've Tried - Hoping to Try - Web links (Teaching Boys in General)
I recently wrote a post describing challenges I'm experiencing teaching maths (Grade 6) to a boys only class. This page is for ideas, links to useful articles, things that have worked...obviously it will change over time.
Please add your ideas/thougts in the comments section. Whatever's posted here would probably work for mixed and even girls-only classes too - apparently making the learning experience more 'boy-friendly' makes it better for many girls too.
ON THE WEB
There is LOTS of information on what works for teaching boys in general - good quality stuff, from tips from experienced teachers to brain research. I'm putting a list of relevant links at the bottom of this page. as its quite long. Of course all these ideas should apply to teaching maths to boys - the bridge to cross is the application to the actual teaching of different topics in maths & seeing what works for my particular bunch.
Interestingly, google can find hardly anything on teaching math to boys. After years of worry about girls not achieving in math, there seems to be an assumption that boys are automatically fine. This is not my experience. Maybe my boy class would have been fine if I'd been a male teacher. Since a sex-change is not on the cards, I'll have to make other plans.
Here are the links I can find:
"Gender Differences and the Teaching of Mathematics" (Journal article)
Article from single sex schools organisation presents ideas on how to teach Fibonacci sequences and Phi to boys and girls in two distinct ways. Any thoughts?
Guardian article about using topics such as soccer when teaching maths to boys
Tom Wolken uses timed challenges and technology to teach maths (Edutopia)
To infinity... and beyond Brilliant boy-friendly resources
WHAT I'VE TRIED. WHAT WORKED OR DIDN'T (YET)
1. Timed challenge worksheet. Everyone who finished within 20 minutes got a sweet. Very early finishers asked if they could help others and I agreed. They loved helping out and those who needed help were less shy to ask than they would have been with girls around (we've only split them in July this year).
2. Just get on with it. We have an excellent goverment-provided, colour printed workbook with lots of visuals. Some of the activities are easy enough for learners to jump in and get busy without any explanation to start with, so I just wrote the pages on the board and they started. The boys were much more open to me giving short explanations to the whole class AFTER they'd been going for a while and got stuck here and there. Those who didn't need the explanation could continue working.
These didn't yet
1. Team challenges running over several weeks. Due to behaviour and learning issues, I frequently change seating so teams got muddled up. Maybe best to make teams just for one day or week.
WHAT I'M HOPING TO TRY AND RELEVANT RESOURCES
1. More games BUT these need to be simple to explain and best not likely to break down into physical chaos.
WEB LINKS - TEACHING BOYS
http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol6/604-gurian.aspx An article co-authored by Michael Gurian who has also written a number of books about boys' brains and how they learn, see his website:
"Teaching the Boys" - 1996 research article
"Tips for Teaching Boys" To the point and very useful.
"The single gender middle school classroom" - scholarly article containing a table with some good tips
"Making schools a better place for boys"
"Me Read? And How!" Excellent and comprehensive guide for developing literacy skills in boys by Ontario teachers: