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It is understood that the genders have some key psychological differences which affect the ways boys and girls think, behave and communicate. These differences are evident in various settings such as school, the playground and at home. Boys and girls even tend to play different games and relate to one another quite differently. Girls tend to be more social or collaborative and they are better at articulating their feelings than boys. It’s important to learn different strategies to help girls excel in the classroom. It may take a variety of teaching techniques to help them develop in an educational setting.
How Girls Learn
Girls are better able to plan and organize than boys can generally. They are also more likely to talk less in the classroom setting and much more likely to ask for help than boys. Girls are typically the ones who underestimate their abilities but then work harder to compensate for it. Girls are not as readily active when it comes to becoming more involved in classroom activities but they are typically more open with their aspirations than their male counterparts. Here are a few strategies for teachers to use to help girls excel in school.
Math and science should be hands-on in order for girls to grasp key concepts. Using manipulatives, visuals and models to teach math will help keep girls engaged. By incorporating other skills like writing into mathematics and science lessons they become easier to retain for girls. Use hands-on manipulatives like thermometers, dice, blocks and microscopes to help lessons become more concrete.
Help Girls Improve their Spatial Skills
As a general rule, girls are not as adept at solving non-verbal problems or spatial visualizations. Teachers can help girls excel by taking time to help them develop spatial problem solving skills. This means using tangible items in the classroom and having them available to girls to use. Use hands-on activities or learning centers that give them opportunities to develop spatial skills. Some ideas might include making various games and puzzles available like jigsaws, chess, or scrabble. Teach map reading skills and map making skills. Use physical representations where it is practical such as to represent atoms, planets or electrons.
Let Girls Talk
Many times, girls learn better when they are talking as it is a way for them to process what they have been thinking. Small groups can provide an exceptional setting for girls to discuss issues or what they have learned. Girls need activities to be structured in the sequence like talk – then think – then do. Girls work very well in group settings as it gives them time to process and share. However, they also work better in gender specific groups where they are paired with other girls otherwise they may be overshadowed by boys and fail to communicate properly.
Use of Technology
Girls will need to be encouraged to use the computer. It is likely that they are familiar with how to use computers or technology for social networking, but fail to use them for other tasks. Boys typically get a lot of computer time whereas girls are less interested in technology and need to be encouraged to use computers to complete tasks, seek out data or conduct research.
Most of the time, girls are less rambunctious than boys and teachers will be encouraging them to share more often. However, there are also some very high energy girls. It’s important to not dampen their enthusiasm by sending them the message that they should not get too excited, get to tired, or overdo it. It is possible to be too helpful with this type of female student. Don’t be too quick to tell them how to do something, allow them to work it out and solve it on their own.
Look for the Correct Answer
Girls tend to overdo it when it comes to hard work. They often feel like if they work harder and longer than others they will always succeed. However, they need to know that it’s not all about the work and sometimes it’s about getting the answer right. They may put a lot of work into a beautiful cover decorated with glitter pens but if they cover inadequate work there is no success. Girls need to be encouraged to concentrate more on the quality of work and following directions than in making it look good.