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Writing the Playbook
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Writing the Playbook
A Practitioner’s Guide to Creating a Boy-Friendly School

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February 2013 | 216 pages | Corwin

Your game plan for getting boys on the path to higher achievement

You've seen it in your school: boys struggling to master basic literacy skills, sitting outside the principal's office, collecting labels like "hyperactive," getting failing grades. Checked out, kicked out, or dropped out, they're benched when they should be scoring goals on the academic playing field.

As a school leader, Kelley King has walked the talk: she successfully led her own staff to close the gender gap in reading and writing in just one year. In her step-by-step, research-based leadership plan for jump-starting boys' achievement, she shares:

  • Critical insight into the brain-based differences between boys and girls
  • First-hand leadership and classroom experiences
  • Ready-to-use activities and resources for leading a successful gap-closing initiative

With tips, anecdotes, and more, Writing the Playbook provides educators in all roles with a blueprint for creating schools where boys (and girls!) thrive.


"Finally, some practical advice from an experienced educator on how to make boys into successful students. King's credentials—mother of both a son and daughter as well as a principal who successfully addressed gender gaps at her school—are unbeatable."
—Richard Whitmire, Author of Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind

"Kelley King is both impassioned and level-headed, and she starts a conversation that we desperately need to have in our country."
—Michael Kimmel, Author of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men
SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology

"This is a highly practical and highly relevant book. Two thumbs up!"
—Eric Jensen, Author of Teaching with the Brain in Mind



 
Foreword by Michael Gurian
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Making the Call: Is There Really a Boy Crisis?
Final Buzzer

 
 
2. Getting Your Head in the Game: "Need-to-Knows" about the Male Brain
Laying the Groundwork

 
Why Do These Sex Differences Exist?

 
Our Beginnings

 
Does That Mean That Our Abilities Aare Fixed?

 
The Male Brain 101

 
Is There Such a Thing as an "Extreme Male Brain"?

 
The Male Adolescent Brain

 
It's Nature AND Nuture

 
The Final Buzzer

 
 
3. Chalk Talk: A Game Plan for Moving Your Team down the Field
School Climate and Culture - What's the Difference?

 
Activities for Your Professional Learning Communities

 
Got Data?

 
Getting Teacher Buy-In

 
SMART Goals

 
Developing an Action Plan

 
School Improvement and Teacher Growth

 
Developing a Yearlong Professional Development Plan

 
The Final Buzzer

 
 
4. Leveling the Playing Field: School Policies and Procedures That Don't Squeeze Boys out
Expectations and the Stereotype Threat

 
Discipline

 
Time, Place, and Manner

 
Grades and Homework

 
Banning Aggression Themes

 
The Final Buzzer

 
 
5. Touching Base: Relationship-Building to Guide Boys on Their Journey
The Social-Emotional Lives of Boys

 
Forging Positive Relationships With Boys

 
Male Mentoring and Role Models

 
The Final Buzzer

 
 
6. The Ground Game: Setting up Classrooms That Help Boys Succeed
Physical Arrangement of the Classroom

 
Classroom Procedures

 
The Final Buzzer

 
 
7. Hitting It out of the Park: Game-Winning Instructional Strategies for Boys (and Girls!)
Lecture Strategies

 
Movement Strategies

 
Student Interests Strategies

 
Real-World Learning Strategies

 
Student Choice Strategies

 
Visual-Spatial Strategies

 
Technology Strategies

 
Competition Strategies

 
Single-Gender Grouping Strategies

 
Music Strategies

 
Test Preparation Strategies

 
Test Administration Strategies

 
The Final Buzzer

 
 
Afterword
 
Sticky Teaching Graphic
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

"As I read this book, I am thrilled Kelley King is speaking out on behalf of our boys! While they sit motionless in the traditional classrooms and feel abandoned by education, she makes the case for justified changes. We owe it to them to acknowledge the differences and to design an educational experience that honors them. No longer can we, as citizens of this country, allow those so-called experts to claim that boys and girls are the same, and ask our schools to ignore the obvious differences. Enough! Bring on the strategies for our boys that will allow teachers to inspire them to greatness!"

Kim Bevill, Director of Gray Matters
Educational Consultant

"This book should be required reading for every teaching credential candidate and educator. Its neurobiological approach to learning and behavior is not rocket science; it's long overdue common sense. Bravo!"

Joe Manthey, Education Consultant

"As a lifelong feminist and the grandmother of three boys just starting school, I am passionately interested in boys being taken 'as they are' and taught in ways that will help them develop. For a long time we worried about girls, who are presently thriving in school and beyond. It's boys' turn now! Yes, men still 'rule' out in the world, but in school many boys are falling behind. For a strong America, we need both genders to thrive and to lead. King's book will help us get to that America."

Dottie Lamm, Columnist, Denver Post
Former First Lady of Colorado

"This is a must-read for school leaders. King, an expert on bridging the gender gap in schools, asks them to try to see things through 'the boy lens,' which is absolutely necessary today when so many boys aren't coming close to reaching their full educational potential. She offers practical advice for making schools 'boy-friendly,' which works just fine for girls too. I applaud her passion, dedication, and expertise. Here's a book that can truly make a positive difference for our society and its future."

Mark Sherman, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, SUNY, New Paltz
Editor of Boys and Young Men: Attention Must Be Paid blog

"In my heart, I believe that our husbands, sons, and brothers can write and read as well as their female relatives. They all have the ideas and the brilliance. Kelley's book is a guide to support all educators in making those ideas become reality. If we collaborate as educators and as parents, we can make sure that both boys and girls are challenged and supported in schools so that their dreams all become reality."

Cynthia Stevenson, Superintendent
Jeffco Public Schools, Denver, CO

"There is widespread consensus that our young males are not achieving to their full potential. We know the problems. It is time we tackle them, and it is time we foster leadership among those in positions of authority who can make change happen. Kelley's book is an important step in this direction—by calling on school leaders to become engaged and by giving them the tools to make change happen."

Dennis Barbour, Co-Founder and CEO, Boys Initiative
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Key features

Marketing Features and Benefits

Every chapter includes a mix of examples, anecdotes and tips to make the reading interesting and practical.

Throughout the chapters, the uses a variety of special materials to make the book easier to read and to provide tools for immediate use:

· inset boxes that highlight quick tips, reminders, statistics, etc. for the reader

· ready-to-use templates/forms

· samples of student work

· photos from actual school and classroom settings

· key learnings at the beginning of each chapter

· chapter summaries- The Final Buzzer

· annotated bibliography

· index

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One


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