Boy-Friendly Classroom Strategies

boys sitting looking at teacher

boys sitting looking at teacher

4 Creative Classroom Strategies That Curtail Behavior "Issues"

Each year, teachers and parents align with the common goal of helping ALL kids be successful.

Soon into the year, however, teachers may be frustrated with wiggly bodies and parents may be overwhelmed and dreading another phone call from the school.

Having been on "both sides of the block," here's my message of hope to you, dear teachers and parents, including some boy-friendly strategies that may make everyone's lives a bit more sane, calm, and FUN!

Dear Teachers, 

As your school year begins, I know you’re busy and likely overwhelmed with all of the lesson prep, classroom prep, meetings, and students. My hope is you’ll recognize the strategies that I’m sharing as easy-to-implement strategies that will actually give you MORE time to teach and LESS time to spend on managing behavior – making yours a calmer, saner, and more FUN class for all! 

Have a great year. Love, Me.

Dear Parents,

Your teachers are busy, overwhelmed and excited as they prepare for your child. These simple tips may save them some time and will surely save your child some anxiety. Please share with your teacher in a diplomatic, helpful and kind way. 

Have a great year. Love, Me.

It is easiest to ride a horse in the direction it is already going. – Chinese Proverb

Yep, your son is the “horse.”

When parents and teachers create school environments that support active learning they are helping his ride to become smoother than ever before!

Remember that whatever helps boys, helps many girls, too!


1: BUSY HANDS  Allow his hands to be occupied when he has to sit still and listen.

Try these:

  • Squeeze ball or other fidget

  • Origami

  • Doodling (Studies show doodling increases auditory comprehension by 29%.)

  • Pipe cleaners

2: BUSY BODIES Allow movement around the classroom during lessons. Too much sitting compresses the vertebrae, leading to fatigue and even more wiggles.

Try these:

  • Clipboards for doing work on the floor

  • Regular stretch breaks (Google brain breaks for tons of ideas)

  • Get out of seats to get supplies (rather than having everything in the desk)

  • Ankle rotations (Motor movement in the lower limbs activates the brain more quickly than arm movement.)

  • Foam Frisbees – give 30 second frisbee break and allow them to throw

  • Beach Ball toss – give 30 seconds to keep in the air as a team

3: CHANGE THE SPACE Simple classroom adaptations can contain wiggles and allow more comfortable learning for all students:

Try these:

  • Stretchy bands around legs of chairs for feet to swing and push against

  • One-legged stools to encourage balance and focus

  • Stand-up desks – as simple as a paper ream-sized box

  • More physical space for boys (Girls are comfortable six to a table, boys do better with four.)

  • Outdoors! (It has been shown that natural light increases test scores.)

4: ADD TO YOUR LESSON Adding variations to your lessons will accommodate learning and active boys! Be sure to include competition – boys love it and its important that girls get comfortable with it, too.

Try these:

  • Stand up and read

  • Stand up when called upon

  • Rotate tasks from desk-to-desk or centers

  • “Swat the Spot” (with a flyswatter) swat the correct answer on the board; ideal for a math or spelling bee

  • Draw before writing

  • Adapt math word problems to allow high-boy-interest topics: two funny, two scary, two gross

Above all, boys love to laugh!

Make learning fun and active and you’ll soon wonder where all your “behavior issues” have gone!

What we learn with pleasure, we never forget. - anon


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