Boys Class Report 2008


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Boys Class Report 2008

  1. 1. Educating Boys! at Hackham East Schools Jarrod Lamshed Boys Teacher • Hackham East Schools • 2008 Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 1
  2. 2. Table of Contents Part 1! 4 The journey 4 2006 4 Ian Lillico 4 2007 5 Michael Gurian 5 The Trial (Stage 1) 5 The Trial (Stage 2) 5 Part 2! 7 Single sex classes 2008 7 Overview 7 Literacy Programs 7 Maths 8 Specific Boys Learning Programs 9 Rules of Respect 9 Nursing Home Program 9 Wirreanda High School Visits 9 Boys Studies 10 Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 1
  3. 3. Part 3! 11 Data Collection 11 Behaviour Data 11 Reading Levels 13 Spelling Results 15 Part 4! 16 Conclusion 16 Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 2
  4. 4. Part 1 Educating Boys at Hackham East Schools THE JOURNEY 2006 Ian Lillico In 2006, all staff at Hackham East attended training in addressing the specific educational needs of boys. Presented by boys education expert Ian Lillico, the session was a part of the former federal governments ‘Success for Boys’ initiative. We know that many boys enjoy school and are successful in their studies. However, it is also clear that many others are underachieving in a range of key educational areas. We know that boys are underperforming in literacy and are less engaged with school. Through our involvement in the Success for Boys program, Hackham East Schools has made a commitment to improving boys’ educational outcomes by exploring effective teaching and learning practices for boys. After returning from the Lillico professional development session, teachers tried various Lillico suggestions including: •Covering lights with coloured fabric to complete the colour spectrum and create a calmer learning environment. •The use of ‘stress balls’ or ‘fiddle toys’ to help keep focus when listening. •Visual literacy practices to stimulate writing. •More hands on learning experiences. •Introducing short games and activities to break up longer lessons, and shortening blocks of learning to help hold boys attention. These trials saw various degrees of success, however, many of these practices were not sustained. Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 3
  5. 5. 2007 Michael Gurian The studies of Michael Gurian led to some new ideas about the specific educational needs of boys and paid particular attention to the differences in the structure of boys’ and girls’ brains. Gurian’s theories added to the learning from Ian Lillico’s training and made some strong arguments for a trial of single sex learning. The Trial (Stage 1) A small single sex trial was conducted with two classes of year 3/4 students. The students were separated into single sex groups for health lessons. Feedback from students and observations of increased participation in these sessions led to the trial being expanded to include Science and PE lessons. As first term progressed the students were surveyed and, through this, indicated that the overwhelming majority enjoyed learning in this way and believed that it was helping them to learn more productively. Observations from teachers showed an increase in participation and also in the willingness of students to try new learning and take risks. The Trial (Stage 2) After successful trials with individual lessons, the next stage of the trial was to offer single sex learning for a full day each week. This block of time allowed both of the teachers to trial some learning experiences tailored to meet the specific learning styles of both genders. Teacher observations saw a substantial increase in participation from all students, particularly in those who were hesitant to participate when in a mixed class setting. This stage of the single gender learning trial was very successful and was extended to include two full days of single sex learning each week. This stage of the trial saw clear improvements in boys’ engagement in their learning, output in writing tasks that were ‘visual literacy’ based, improved reading levels as well as the development of increasingly positive social interactions. Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 4
  6. 6. During this time, the teachers involved in the trial undertook various professional learning opportunities around single gender education including extensive reading and visits to schools where single sex trials were underway. From this trial, the teachers involved concluded that, for the effective education of boys, it is essential to consider: •The importance of relationships •The learning environment •Boys and their behaviour •Teaching and learning programs With this in mind, a proposal was put forward that both a single sex girls class and a single sex boys class be offered full time for the 2008 school year. This proposal was accepted and, with careful planning, our boys and girls classes were established at Hackham East. Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 5
  7. 7. Part 2 Educating Boys at Hackham East Schools SINGLE SEX CLASSES 2008 This section of the report details the programs put in place for the 2008 boys class that are specifically tailored toward boys’ learning styles. It outlines the rationale for each program and offers observations and data about the impact of these programs on student learning. The Nursing Home Program Overview Our 2008 boys class consists of 29 boys in year 4 and 5 who are taught by a male teacher. The class was designed as a ‘balanced class’ and was not designed to deal only with ‘boys with behavioural issues’. The class is a fairly typical class with a mix of well-behaved students and some students who find it difficult to manage their behaviour. The class is located in a classroom next door to the single sex girls class to allow for mixed gender learning where desired. Literacy Programs The literacy programs in our boys class are a mix of ‘traditional’ and ‘boys’ practices. Students are involved in the Jolie Reading program, Benchmarks Reading Program and Lexile Reading Program to suit their reading abilities. There is a strong focus on guided reading, which is supported by parent helpers as well as peer tutors from older classes in the school. We have a reading block each morning where both individual and group reading activities take place. ICT activities are offered on a rotation to better engage boys in reading. All students in the Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 6
  8. 8. class are taking part in the Premier’s Reading Challenge. This offers purpose for reading. At the time of writing, all but two students have completed this challenge ahead of schedule. Daily silent reading is also in our program. This time is designed to promote reading for enjoyment. The boys are able to select from a range of texts including magazines, graphic novels, comic books and novels aimed at boys’ interests. Writing programs in our class have a ‘visual literacy’ focus. Boys are shown an image as inspiration for their writing. This image is left on display for the entire writing time. This visual prompt is used for writing in all genres. Templates are used to support genre writing, with clear, easy to fill in boxes for use in planning a text. This allows the boys to clarify their ideas before they write. We have seen a big increase in the amount of writing produced by the boys, as well as improvements in the structure of writing over different genres. Maths Maths looks very different in our class this year. This term, we were invited to present at the ‘New Angles on Maths’ conference about engaging boys in maths. We are using ‘show me’ boards in every lesson where a new concept is explained. This allows me to quickly see who ‘gets it’ and who doesn't. The show me boards also allow the lesson to keep momentum, meaning that the boys’ focus is kept on the learning. Maths trails are also used regularly. Allowing opportunities for the boys to move around (where appropriate) during maths lessons keeps them motivated and on task. The maths trails also provide a ‘real life’ purpose for learning. Theory based maths lessons are broken up. They are run for 30 minutes before recess and then another 30 minutes after recess. Short bursts of learning help boys to maintain focus. Interactive whiteboards and web based maths resources are used very regularly to engage boys. This works particularly well for those students who avoid traditional learning experiences. Our ‘buddy maths’ program allows the boys to become the ‘experts’ and consolidate their basic skills as they help younger students with their maths learning. This program happens once a week on top of our regular maths lessons. Next term we will be offering a mixture of single sex and mixed group maths learning to enable us to extend some learners and cater for some who need extra support. Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 7
  9. 9. Specific Boys Learning Programs Specific programs have been designed to address the social, emotional and behavioural needs of boys. These types of programs are essential for ALL boys. They are not intended for use only with aggressive boys and those that misbehave. These programs address issues around masculinity, self perception, emotional intelligence, confidence, respect for self and others, self esteem and other specific gender related issues. Rules of Respect This is a really important program for our class. It is very closely based on the ‘Essential 55’ program by American Teacher, Ron Clark. These “Rules” have been adapted and “Australianised” to suit our needs. In the first few weeks of school, each ‘rule’ is discussed and added to a designated display area. The rules are referred to constantly throughout the year, and they are the basis for the classroom behaviour expectations. The boys remind each other about the expectations and really seem to respond well to ‘old fashioned’ rules based on manners and respecting each other. On first view, some of the rules may seem a little over the top, but they are really important for the success of other programs such as our nursing home visits. As the teacher of the class, I can be confident that the boys will represent themselves and the school well each and every time we go out into the community. Nursing Home Program This program allows an opportunity for our boys to be nurturing and show some care and compassion for members of our community. Each fortnight, the entire class walks to the local nursing home and spends some time with a group of residents. Many of the residents in our program do not have any other regular visitors and really look forward to our visits. The boys are equally enthusiastic about the program. They relish the opportunity to share their learning with an appreciative audience. They spend time listening to the residents’ stories, playing games or just chatting. Each week a small groups of boys are invited to join the ‘mens bowls’ competition. This is a fantastic opportunity for the boys to do something that is not just for themselves. This program will continue for the entire school year. Wirreanda High School Visits We have begun visits to Wirreanda High School to work with their year 8 boys class. Working on various Society and Environment topics, this is an opportunity for the boys to work with peer tutors. It is also an opportunity for discussion. Both classes of boys are a part of something that is fairly unique and it is important for them to be able to discuss and share Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 8
  10. 10. their experiences. As this program progresses, we will be able to work with other boys groups in the school on various projects including some tech studies projects and some challenge projects using the school’s rock climbing wall. The Wirreanda class will also visit us for some film making projects. Boys Studies “Boys studies” is what we call everything that doesn’t really fit anywhere else. It is essential for boys to discuss and be critical about issues of masculinity and self perception. If we want to develop happy, healthy, confident men who can cope with adult life, we can’t ignore these issues. They are not clearly covered in the curriculum, but need to be offered if we are going to cater for boys’ needs at school. Discussions around what it means to ‘be a man’ can be very powerful and force boys to challenge their perceptions of what a man or boy should behave like. These activities make boys feel as though they are being acknowledged. Much of ‘traditional’ schooling is more suited to girls’ needs and this is an area that the boys can own. Boys’ behaviour is discussed regularly in our class. Boys need have discussions about appropriate behaviour, and know that being a boy doesn’t mean being a ‘boof head’! There are times when being active and aggressive is appropriate and there are times when it needs to be turned off. Boys will not get this concept without it being taught to them. Teaching this only benefits learning, as less time will be spent dealing with inappropriate behaviour. It is just as important that we, as teachers, realise and respect that boys’ behaviour is different from girls’ behaviour. We need to be careful not to punish the boys because they are the loudest and therefore the first noticed. We need to find ways to let boys use their energy and strengths to enhance their learning. Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 9
  11. 11. Part 3 Educating Boys at Hackham East DATA COLLECTION We have begun the process of collecting data to support teacher observations and anecdotal evidence. The first set of graphs represent behaviour data. The second section represents literacy learning. Behaviour Data The following graphs represent behaviour data collected for the students in the 2008 boys class. We collected data for detentions and suspensions for these students for 2007 and compared them to the equivalent data for 2008. Major incidents recorded as being solved with restorative justice practices are included as detentions. DETENTIONS 2007 vs 2008 Number of Detentions 80 60 40 20 0 2007 2008 Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 10
  12. 12. SUSPENSIONS 2007 vs 2008 Number of Suspensions 5.00 3.75 2.50 1.25 0 2007 2008 Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 11
  13. 13. Reading Levels We have had good success with reading levels this year. Increased participation by reluctant learners in guided reading and individual reading experiences has seen some rapid improvement. Activities such as reader’s theatre and the Premier’s Reading Challenge have helped to engage boys in reading at a high level. The following graphs represent the reading levels for several students in our class who have previously shown little movement in reading level. Student 1: This student increased his reading level by 3 levels in total for 2007. He has been receiving support through the Rainbow Reading program for 2 years. At the time of writing he has progressed 7 levels for the first 2 terms of 2008. Reading Level 30.0 22.5 15.0 7.5 0 Term 3 (wk 8) 2007 Term 4 (wk 8) 2007 Term 1 (wk 8) 2008 Term 2 (wk 8) 2008 Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 12
  14. 14. Student 2: This student has been receiving reading support for 3 years. He has previously shown avoidance behaviours when it comes to reading activities, but has been more willing to participate in an all boys setting. Last year, he progressed a total of 4 reading levels. At time of writing he has progressed 6 levels in 2 terms for 2008. Reading Level 30.0 22.5 15.0 7.5 0 Term 3 (wk 8) 2007 Term4 (wk 8) 2007 Term 1 (wk 8) 2008 Term 2 (wk 8) 2008 Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 13
  15. 15. Spelling Results The following graph represents growth in spelling. Using the results of the Westwood Spelling Age Test, average actual age and average spelling age were calculated for the 2008 boys class. The averages for the same group of students were calculated using their 2007 results. This graph compares the two sets of results. As you can see, the boys’ spelling age increased by 22 months in the space of 13 months. !quot;#$%&&'()*quot;++,-.(/quot;#0+$#(1(2&3#(4+5##(67quot;85.quot;(/quot;#0+$#( %%quot;)$ %%quot;%$ %%quot;&$ %")$ %"'$ %"&$ !quot;)$ !quot;#$ !quot;#$ !quot;&$ (quot;)$ (quot;&$ $ $ $ $ &3 &3 &( &( 2& 2& 2& & $2 $ $ $ 01 01 01 $ 01 $* 0$* $* 0$* ./ ./ /67 /67 ,- ,- 1/ *+ *+ 1/ 45 45 Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 14
  16. 16. Part 4 Educating Boys at Hackham East Schools CONCLUSION As the first year of our boys’ class comes to a close, we have decided to add a year 1/2 boys’ class to our 2009 class structure. This report shows that the single sex boys class has been a successful addition to the school’s boys education program, and we believe that we can extend this success further across the school. We have seen both academic and social growth for all students, including several who were not achieving well in either of these areas. It has allowed this group of boys to begin learning in a way that suits them. This year’s data shows good academic growth for all students and behaviour data shows a very dramatic improvement. As the boys’ teacher, I have seen some amazing changes in social interactions in the class, yard and wider school community. On paper, this class does not look like an ‘easy’ one. In reality, I have very few behaviour problems that need special attention from me. The ‘boys practices’ in our classroom have bred a very strong team. These boys are very skilled at noticing when a classmate is going to ‘have a melt down’. ‘Walk and talk’ and other strategies are managed very well by the students without much need for teacher intervention. The strong team atmosphere in the group means that we don’t have any sub- groups that set each other off. They all support each other amazingly well, and they really feel that they are responsible for each others successes and set backs. ‘Relationship’ is the key word for boys’ learning. Relationships with the teacher and relationships with each other can make or break the success that lies ahead. It is important to take the time to establish these relationships at the beginning of each year, no matter how difficult it might seem with some kids. You can’t fake it. The boys will see through it. The relationships in our current boys class are great for learning. My relationship with the boys is strong enough that they will rarely argue about a task they are given, and their relationship with each other allows for an extremely strong and supportive learning environment. These already established relationships, and the success we are seeing for some previously unsuccessful boys, has lead to the decision to keep our class together for another year. I am thoroughly enjoying my role as boys teacher, and have no doubt that there is a place for single sex learning in our school setting for a long time to come. Jarrod Lamshed • email: • Hackham East Schools 15