Exemplary teachers routinely have children actually reading and writing for as much as half of the school day – often around a 50/50 ratio of reading and writing to stuff (stuff is all the other things teachers have children do instead of reading and writing). (Allington, 2001)
Sometimes it can be more challenging engaging boys in learning than girls. There are a number of reasons for this which I won’t cover here but these are a few suggestions of ways to make learning more engaging for boys. They benefit girls as well.
It is now common practice to see teachers begin their lessons with clearly stated learning intentions or goals and success criteria which students dutifully copy. I recently asked a student why he was copying these things. He replied, ‘I don’t know – we just copy them down while Miss marks the roll.’
Summarising is a difficult skill but one that has, according to John Hattie, a high effect size (0.63). Other high impact literacy approaches associated with summarising also have similar high effect sizes (note-taking [0.59], organising and transforming notes [0.85], synthesising information across texts [0.63]). Therefore, the ability to summarise information is a worthwhile skill that has a significant impact on learning.