One teacher started providing a way to get her students involved in reading, give them one-on-one time, and get a fun new hairstyle for the day. She wanted to share this teacher’s strategy for her female students but also wanted to brain storm a few ways to do the same sort of event for her male students as well. She had no idea that thousands of people would be inspired by the idea!
My friend Sara Medalen, a Title I teacher at Sunnyside Elementary in Minot, North Dakota, invites girls to make a before-school appointment for a styling at her “Books and Braids” salon. The student checks in at the salon and then reads to Sara while she combs and braids the child’s hair. The child walks away with a brand new comb, a fancy new hairstyle, and some personal attention from a loving adult. What a beautiful low-stakes way to invite readers to read! And, better yet – there’s no silly stopwatches or unwanted stress. Just books and braids. How could we provide something similar for boys?”
A few ideas were tossed around, but no one has found one that was as powerful. One teacher speculated that the act of hair brushing is a uniquely nurturing experience, and trying to substitute it with something else just wouldn’t be the same. Others suggested that the boys be allowed to play with blocks while the teacher read to them.
What do you think the boys should get?
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