Monday, June 20, 2011

I love boys...

in a teacherly way of course!

I don't know if it's just me or does anyone else has always have more boys than girls in their classes? In eight years of teaching I may have had one year with an equal number of boys and girls, but never more girls. So when I see books with suggestions for teaching boys I take note!

(click image to preview at
Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys: How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives
This summer I've had the pleasure of reading Pam Allyn's book Best Books for Boys and it's been a great reminder of ways to get boys more interested and motivated to read. In first grade I don't think I have as much of a problem with excitement for reading as upper grades may, but I do like to be careful with the books I choose for read alouds, reading groups, and for individual book "bags". I try to be sure to introduce my students to a plethora of genres, characters, authors, etc. And at this age (first grade) it always seems that if I'm really excited about a book the kids will be too.

It seems that many of us are using the Daily 5 or some version of it and I love that it gives my kids time to pick their own books and read independently and with friends for an extended amount of time. When we're doing our reading stations my kids will often ask if they can just do "read to self" or "buddy read" the whole time instead of going to other stations. I always let them as long as they are really reading and not just playing with buddies (we al know that happens though!). One of Pam's suggestions for promoting a love of reading in boys is to provide more actual reading time and worry less about having reading activities for them to complete and that goes right along with the Daily 5, woohoo I'm already on track. 

Last year my wonderful school bought these bags for all the first grade classes and we use them to store familiar rereads (from guided reading), decodable texts, and student selected books (after we've practiced how to choose a just right book).
Store More® Medium Clearview Book Pouches - Primary Colors
I've been so focused on math lately but I wanted to share this in case anyone is in need of a resource to reach those boys that may be reluctant to read. Pam also gives a very extensive list of books by genre that boys have expressed interest in (and lots of story summaries and possible topics for conversations after reading). I also noticed that Kimberly over at Funky First Grade Fun also posted about this great book,  check it out! Summer's always a good time(yard sale season) to search for new books for your classroom that will spark an interest and lead to a love of reading.


  1. I love boys, too...and getting them excited to read can prove pretty difficult. Great Book!

  2. I love getting boys excited about reading. I've found that non-fiction is the trick! Here is a video of two of my boys doing partner reading during Daily 5!


  3. Hi Melissa,
    Enjoyed your post! Thanks for mentioning my review of her book. I use Daily 5 in my room too... but I should probably be a little more flexible when they request to stay at "read to self" or "buddy read".
    Funky First Grade Fun

  4. I always have more boys than girls too! I don't know what it principal says it's because I can handle them lol. Love you post about reading and finding books for boys. Another great professional read Boy Writers Reclaiming Their Voices by Ralph Fletcher. This helped me do become flexible in the writing process with boys.

  5. Oh my gosh yes!!! I thought I was alone!!! I teach 4th grade I.L. unit and this last year I had 12 boys and 6 girls!!!! You've got me fired up about this book! I'll be getting it soon!! Thanks, love and follow your blog:)

  6. I love those BAGS!!!! I have those for my daily 5 time and they are great. I had to use my classroom money, but it was worth the price. I have also been looking for a new read, so I will have to check that one out. Thanks!
    ****I'm new to blogging and would love some followers...come share with me!

  7. I love that you posted this! I think so many teachers treat young boys the same as girls, and they certainly have different interests! I recommend Misreading Masculinity as another book suggestion, some great management techniques for boys!