Sunday 30 June 2013

How To Engage Boys in The Classroom

school days by sammo241 - back to school
Teaching boys can be quite difficult because of their rambunctious nature (at least my boys are). They go running wild whether it is at recess break or during class transitions. They have so much pent up energy that I usually run into even more problems when I decide to keep them in and away from their friends for time outs. I am certain that we share the same problems, especially when it comes to addressing misbehavior in the classroom. The boys seem to be the loudest, the most active and the most spirited. Of course you can pinpoint a few of them who swim against the tide by their quiet nature, but I'm pretty sure they are in the minority. For the most part, the girls seem more on task and always eager to engage in whatever activites you may have to offer.

Here are a few tips that I found that can help in engaging our boys in the classroom.
Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens, both renowned writers, suggested the following strategies.

1. Use more graphics and pictures in literacy-based instruction

It is suggested that when teachers use graphics and pictures in their delivery, the boys respond better. They retain more information and they write with more detail.

2. Use more hands-on, kinesthetic and project-driven assignments.

The more boys are engaged in projects that require physical movement, the more they are likely to retain information and score higher in tests and assignments. They enjoy the opportunity to move around rather than seat work.
3. Provide competitive learning opportunities

Arrange them in groups and raise the stakes with a competitive element. Boys just love to compete. They will work really hard and learn lots more too!

4. Teach them to manage their time

Boys need to learn how to manage their time, especially when at school. They play a lot and sometimes this play is translated into the classroom. They also need to learn how to do their homework and how to follow directions.
5. Regularly include nontraditional materials such as comics, magazines.

Have you ever seen how boys faces light up when they see comic books and magazines? They immediately show interest. I believe that we really need to get in tuned with the comics that they like and use them to capture their attention and interest in the classroom. 
6. Move around as you teach
 Checkup by bitterjug - Figure walking and writing on a clipboard
 For some reason boys are more attentive when the teacher is in motion. It sounds strange, but, according to Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens, " Instructors' physical movement increases boys' engagement, and includes the teacher leading students in physical "brain breaks"—quick, one-minute brain-awakening activities—that keep boys' minds engaged." In other words, get them movin' with you.

7. Let them move around as they learn

 Jumping rope by johnny_automatic - cartoon of a boy jumping rope from

National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture
Boys also need an opportunity that calls for lots and lots of movement in the classroom. Sitting still is not game for them. Get them to perform actions when they are reading, or tap their feet when they hear a particular sound, letter or word.

8. Male mentoring

Get a male mentor such as a fellow teacher or a parent to provide the necessary guidance from a male perspective. I know that some parents would love to give a helping hand from time to time.
9. Use boys-only groups

Arrange a boy's-against-girls competition and see how that goes. The boys would be beaming!
10. Provide skill building for sensitive boys
It is suggested that those boys who tend to shy away from others and keep to themselves need to be handled just as carefully as the loud ones. As a teacher you can identify those boys and get the necessary assistance to ensure that their needs are attended to. 

So now that you have some ideas, let's see how things will turn out for you in the next school year.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Free Jelly Bean Farm Numbers 0 to 20


Hi folks! Here is another fan freebie coming your way. This is my Jelly Bean Farm Numbers 0 to 20. This would be great for pre-school and kindergarten kids.

Click on any of the pictures to go to my facebook fan page.

Sunday 23 June 2013

A Teacher Planner Freebie!

Get this beautiful black and white teacher planner free when you become my loyal facebook fan! Once you become a fan you will get linked up with amazing content both for you and your students.
 If you're already a fan then, don't worry, it's there for you. Just visit my fb page and click on the tab entitled "Fan Freebies" and wala! :)

If you're new to my blog and wish to get in on this amazing experience, all you need to do is basically become a fan!

So here we go! Ready? Now, just CLICK on my button below to get tuned in.

Saturday 22 June 2013

The Misunderstood Child

 Working with kids every day is not as easy as many people show it to be. It is hard to get them away from their deepest hurts and feelings and toward things that are positive and enriching. Oftentimes we dismiss who they are to get to where we think they should go. Many times we read the outward signs and appearances without getting to know our dear charges. For this reason and many others our kids are misunderstood.

I came across a wonderful poem my Kathy Winters entitled 'The Misunderstood Child'. It is really captivating!

The Misunderstood Child

by Kathy Winters

I am the child that looks healthy and fine.
I was born with ten fingers and toes.
But something is different, somewhere in my mind,
And what it is, nobody knows.

I am the child that struggles in school,
Though they say that I'm perfectly smart.
They tell me I'm lazy -- can learn if I try --
But I don't seem to know where to start.

I am the child that won't wear the clothes
Which hurt me or bother my feet.
I dread sudden noises, can't handle most smells,
And tastes -- there are few foods I'll eat.

I am the child that can't catch the ball
And runs with an awkward gait.
I am the one chosen last on the team
And I cringe as I stand there and wait.

I am the child with whom no one will play --
The one that gets bullied and teased.
I try to fit in and I want to be liked,
But nothing I do seems to please.

I am the child that tantrums and freaks
Over things that seem petty and trite.
You'll never know how I panic inside,
When I'm lost in my anger and fright.

I am the child that fidgets and squirms
Though I'm told to sit still and be good.
Do you think that I choose to be out of control?
Don't you know that I would if I could?

I am the child with the broken heart
Though I act like I don't really care.
Perhaps there's a reason God made me this way --
Some message he sent me to share.

For I am the child that needs to be loved
And accepted and valued too.
I am the child that is misunderstood.
I am different - but look just like you.


 Here are 10 ways that we misunderstand children.

Thursday 20 June 2013

Free Common Core Reading Literature Awards For Kindergarten Kids

Free!!!! This set of awards can be used at the end of your focus on key aspects of Reading Literature in the Kindergarten class. Please take time to let me know how it works with you or how I can improve it. Click on the picture below.



Saturday 15 June 2013

Student Bullying Infographic

 Here is an interesting infographic on the universal problem of bullying in our schools. It is a visual reminder that all is not well in our classrooms. Please share!

The Truth About Bullying
Created by Grace Pamer of

Tuesday 11 June 2013

My Brightly Colored Teacher Planner- Editable!


 Get your EDITABLE brightly colored  66 page Teacher Planner now available at TPT and Teachers Notebook.

Saturday 8 June 2013

How To Make Money Online As A Teacher


Psssst! Are you a teacher who struggles daily to make ends meet? Have you tried other options of making money and failed at it miserably? Are you looking for a second job to supplement your income? Do you love teaching so much that you are willing to share your ideas and make money too? Well, if you can comfortably use your computer to make your own worksheets and slides then why not sell your ideas?
All you need to make this a reality is a web host such as Teachers Pay Teachers.

 TeachersPayTeachers  - Lesson Plans,Teaching Materials and Other Teacher-Created Resources


 Just sign up as a basic seller (you get 60% of your sales) and see how it goes. Then when things pick up you can upgrade to premium membership to  receive 85% of your sales.

Here is one teacher who has made this move a few years ago. Deanna Jump has sold over 160,000 products and made over one million dollars.


 So guys are you ready for the thrill? Let's get on with it! Click HERE!

Sunday 2 June 2013

How to Bounce Back After A Bad Day

math 4 u color

I know that some of you are already enjoying Summer break, but I'm still going to talk about it; the much dreaded topic..... TEACHER BURNOUT!

I still have a few weeks before I can enjoy the Summer bliss like many of my teacher friends, but for now I am trying to cope with my very challenging bunch of 6 year olds. I usually get my energy from exercise, gardening and such, but, this year it has been a sore point for me. Anyway, here it goes!

How To Bounce Back After A Bad Day!

You work hard and at the end of the day you feel spent. There is little or no energy to do anything and eventually you begin to feel depressed. How can you bounce back after having a bad day so fresh on your mind? The secret is in the letter....R!

Regain Perspective

So your day was a mess! Well then, look forward for a brand new day. Renew your mind with positive thoughts of the day to come. Tomorrow you get a chance to try again.


I know that sometimes even the thought of reliving the experience brings pain. I know that it is something that may cause a lot of negative thoughts, but, if you do it right it will bring healing. At one time I was so angry with my students at the end of the day that even thinking about them was very unnerving. Now, I think about all the things that upset me, then I comfort myself into believing that these kids are going to be the same way the next day so why not learn to deal with them positively?


 The idea of changing focus is a fantastic way to bounce back at the end of a bad day. I think of all the things that I can try, all the ideas that I can still pull out of my magician's hat. I think about changing the way that I cope with stress in order to jump over those daily bumps.


My family are great listeners at the end of the day. My own children are given an earful and it works on so many levels too. My husband is also a fantastic listener too, even though he gets all worked up about many things. He believes in 'Take the bull by the horns!" lol! Anyway our journey from school to home is a great time to talk about the things that have us on edge. It is so comforting!

These days I am so bogged down with creating stuff and blogging that I have neglected this much needed R. Losing sleep is not really a good idea so I know that I will have to change things. 

So here you have it! The 5 Rs to get YOU back on track! 

Hey! I think that I will be taking my own advice!:)

Enjoy your Rs!

30 Fun Would You Rather Opinion Writing Prompts

  You would love this exciting collection of fun "Would You Rather" writing prompts designed specifically for kids! These prompts ...