This article is the fourteenth in a series that summarizes and reflects upon the Ontario Ministry of Education 2009 document Me Read? And How!
The fourteenth strategy advocated for improving boys’ reading:
Split Them Up
Split them up! This strategy was not one of the original reading strategies from Me Read? No Way!; however, it was added to the Me Read? And How! after further literacy research and pilot projects. Single-sex groupings for both girls and boys has the effect of making both groups feel more comfortable in lessons, less shy and inhibited than when in a mixed grouping.
According to the Me Read? And How! there are concrete reasons as to why same-sex groupings work:
“Some proponents of this strategy argue that boys and girls receive and process information differently, hear and see differently, and develop at different rates; therefore, different teaching styles and classroom structures should be adopted to accommodate both sexes. However, teachers should remember that there are far more similarities between boys and girls and differences among individuals within each group than there are broad, general differences between the sexes. Further research on this strategy is needed.” (81)
Classroom management has been an issue with the all-boy classes. It’s possible that with altered teaching strategies the boys would also be more successful.
It may be worth trying a project in class where students are divided based on gender to see if it’s worth the possible results.
Overview of Boys’ Literacy Strategies: Boys’ Reading Best Practices