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Here a few tidbits I would like to pass on regarding some strategies and methods I researched, implemented, and found successful when teaching boys.
Boys work better in cooler environments. Studies have shown that boys stay more alert and active when the room temperatures is around 68F (20C). In California, our temperatures, even in the Winter, rarely get below the mid 50’s but it is good to prop a window to introduce fresh cool air even in a California Winter.
Using Video in Class?
Showing a video to boys, at the high school level, generally means lights out, heads down. When considering a video as part of the lesson determine if it is a scene or the parts of a movie you want to demonstrate, or use as your point. Videos can be edited in sections and even if you don’t have FinalCut™, AfterEffects™ or some other professional software, there are a host of free video editing softwares available both online and for downloading (I’ll be adding more on this in the EduTech section of this blog). Showing the whole video may be necessary, so in those cases I found it best to create a list of questions on the movie to answer while it was playing. At the end of the movie or class I collected the sheet of questions and answers, and added this to the grade as part of the overall assignment.
Teaching Math to boys? After explaining a lesson on how to complete the answer for a math problem I would generally write three problems on the chalkboard or whiteboard and then call up three students to work the problems out.
Once the student was at the board and working on the problem, I had a visual assessment on the lesson, as well as, being able to help a struggling student. If this procedure is done all the time, the boys tend to pay attention because they know they will be called up. In the end, it becomes a competition with the boys at the board and those still at their desks who are also working to find the math solutions, or maybe even an alternative solution that they can share and boast about. Alternative solutions were given extra credit, which made it more of a game.