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Group Empowered After “Reaching Reluctant Readers: Bringing Boys To Books”

During a week at NCCAT program participants experienced a variety of instructional methods such as text selection designed for boys, contests and competitions, focus reading groups and the latest websites and blogs to boost literacy achievement.

CULLOWHEE—Guilford County teacher Amy Gardner came to the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching for the first time not sure what to expect during the program “Reaching Reluctant Readers: Bringing Boys To Books.”

She left four days later feeling empowered to make a difference for readers in her classroom.

“Not only did I get the basics of what I wanted to get, but I got concrete ideas that I can put in place right away,” said Gardner, who teaches at Pilot Elementary School. “I came here wondering what am I going to do to reach these boys. But know I’m leaving with information about practices and grant possibilities for resources. I feel empowered to help them now, thanks to coming to NCCAT.”

The statistics are consistent: Young male readers lag behind their female counterparts in literacy skills. In many instances, the reading scores of boys bring down the reading scores for the entire school. Teachers at this program in October were able to explore the social, psychological and developmental reasons why boys lag behind girls. They identified reading materials they could use in the classroom to capture and keep the attention of struggling readers.

NCCAT faculty member Dr. Earnest Johnson led the group through a variety of instructional methods such as text selection designed for boys, contests and competitions, focus reading groups and the latest websites and blogs to boost literacy achievement. They discovered solutions that capture the attention of reluctant male readers and examined strategies that motivate boys to sustain reading in the classroom and at home.

Suzanne Sell, an English/Language Arts Instructional Specialist with Moore County Schools, returned to NCCAT and found the week very helpful.

“The presenter was fantastic and the information was great,” Sell said. “The beauty of NCCAT is the time to collaborate. When teachers have that time then the concepts can grown as they share it back in their districts.”

Participants said the text for the week of “The Book Whisperer” by Donalyn Miller, was extremely helpful.

“I loved it because it gave you permission to explore the genre and find the right book,” said Susan Letts from Wake County Schools. “The whole week was great. If I could use one word, it would by synergy. It was a great week to work together with these exceptional educators from across the state.”

Another “Reaching Reluctant Readers: Bringing Boys to Books” program will be held Feb. 20–23.

For a full list of future NCCAT professional development opportunities visit: http://www.nccat.org/programs/search-all-programs

 

About NCCAT

Increasing teacher effectiveness is fundamental to improving public education. NCCAT provides teachers with new knowledge, skills, teaching methods, best practices and information to take back to their classrooms. For more information about NCCAT’s professional development programs, visit www.nccat.org or call 828-293-5202.

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