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Empowering Girls to Take a Chance. Laurie LaMondie, Joan Plavchan Woodward Elementary. “It is very hard to be a female leader. While it is assumed that any man, no matter how tough, has a soft side . . . any female leader is assumed to be one-dimensional.” Billy Jean King.

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empowering girls to take a chance

Empowering GirlstoTake a Chance

Laurie LaMondie, Joan Plavchan

Woodward Elementary

“It is very hard to be a female leader. While it is assumed that any man, no matter how tough, has a soft side . . . any female leader is assumed to be one-dimensional.”

Billy Jean King

name pantomime
Name Pantomime
  • Participants stand in a circle, arms distance apart.  Ask each person to think of an verb and action which starts with the same letter as the person's first name e.g., "Jumping James".
  • The person does the action and yells out their action-name.  Everyone then repeats the action and the action-name.
  • This requires pretty high level of instructor energy and drama, people are pretty shy to start with. Really encourage everyone to join in and say the name and action of everyone else.
  • To really drill names home, go around again, it should be faster and really get the blood moving.
  • For participants who say "I can't think of anything", I say "Keep thinking, we'll come back to you".  If they still don't come up with anything, I ask the group to help.
  • Note I don't allow duplicate verbs either - must use a unique verb.
breaking the stereotype
Breaking the Stereotype

In 1992, Mattel Toys put the first talking Barbie doll on the market.

Barbie's first words were, "Math class is tough." Mattel thought they were simply expressing the feelings of most school-age girls. Many parents and teachers, though, thought Barbie should keep her mouth shut.

As a result, Barbie stopped talking.

the road to success
The Road to Success

Setting the Tone

  • Teachers are risk-takers
  • Provide positive female role models
  • Incorporate literature with strong female characters
challenging our girls to be risk takers
Challenging Our Girls to be Risk Takers….

Include in your classroom:

  • frequent use of cooperative learning opportunities,
  • frequent individualized learning opportunities,
  • use of practical problems in assignments,
  • frequent use of hands-on opportunities,
  • frequent use of competitive motivational strategies,
  • frequent activities oriented toward broadening views of mathematics and physical sciences.
have high expectations for girls
Have High Expectations for Girls
  • Avoid rescuing girls. Encourage girls to make an imperfect product, to get dirty, disheveled, and sweaty in pursuit of a goal; to make big, interesting mistakes.
  • Encourage risk-taking and problem-solving. Don't be too eager to solve a girl's problems for her. Learning about options and consequences is a necessary and valuable step for all youth on their road to becoming confident and mature adults.
high expectations cont
High Expectations cont…
  • Expect and advocate for homework that includes complex problem-solving and requires analytic skills beyond simple computations.
  • Stress the importance of math and science even if these are not your own strong points. Being positive about math and science and communicating that they are important enhances the chance for girls to seek math and science as attractive learning and career opportunities.
Social Lives
  • Drama
  • Talk, Talk, Talk
  • Cliques
  • Building relationships
” Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Harriett Tubman

Room setup
  • Dim lighting
  • Personal space
  • Cooperative
  • Grouped
  • Softer voice
  • Multi-tasking
  • Organization
  • Delayed response
    • Teacher pleasers
  • Personal contact
    • Hugs
    • Smiles
    • Tone is important
  • Group points
  • Character building
    • Words
    • questions
Cooperative learning

Buddy reading

Playing teacher



Solving problems in front of the class

For any further questions feel free to email:
  • Laurie LaMondie = lalamond@volusia.k12.fl.us
  • Joan Plavchan = jplavcha@volusia.k12.fl.us