Zoo-phonics® will close your classroom’s gender gap

Young Girl and Umber

Zoo-phonics® will close your classroom’s gender gap

Research finds that boys are slipping behind girls on almost all academic milestones. The latest NAEP writing assessments (2007) show boys scoring an average 20 points lower than girls. For those in low economic areas or who are special education students, the chasm is even larger.

The results reveal how crucial the early years of school are in laying the foundation to reduce this discrepancy.

According to Michael Gurlan’s research…

  • Boys’ brains are “wired” in such a way that language is a more difficult skill for them to acquire and use effectively in learning than it is for girls.
  • Early-childhood language activities must be paired with movement and or the use of manipulatives.
  • Boys are more dependent on pictures, diagrams and graphs.
  • Girls write, read, and speak more words than males.
  • The teacher must engage boys by appealing to their “competitive energy” through physical movement and manipulation of physical objects, and games.
  • This is exactly what Zoo-phonics® does best. It uses pictorial mnemonics (animal letters), body movements (signal) and teaches through physical games and activities. It makes an abstract skill (language) concrete and playful. No longer are boys left behind in early education language arts lessons!

References:

  • Gurian, M. & Stevens, K., The Mind of Boys, Saving our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers (2005)
  • Gurian, M. & Ballew, A., The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers (2003)

Your use of picture mnemonics to teach letter-sound relations is indeed supported by findings of our 1983 study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology

Your use of picture mnemonics to teach letter-sound relations is indeed supported by findings of our 1983 study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology. In this study we found in two experiments that beginning readers learned letter-sound relations more effectively when they were taught associations between objects having shapes that resembled the shapes of the letters and having names that began with the sound to be associated with the letters. You have applied this principal to all of your letters. In addition you have included body movements that relate to the objects. The evidence suggests that this should help children learn these associations more effectively. Help in learning letter-sound associations is particularly important for children who come to school without much knowledge about letter shapes, names and sounds and for children who have a difficult time remembering associations by rote. In addition, building letter instruction around animals and body movements make learning more fun.

Professor Linnea C. Ehri Program in Educational Psychology March 10, 2016