Oh boy! Girls greatly outnumbered in Lincoln kindergarten class

Oh boy! Girls greatly outnumbered in Lincoln kindergarten class

The girls at Lincoln's Central Elementary School's two Kindergarten classes, seated in front, are outnumbered by boys, standing, by about two-to-one. The unusual disparity makes for different approaches to instruction for the teachers. (Valley Breeze Photos by Tom Ward)

LINCOLN - The number of kindergarten boys at Central Elementary School is almost double the number of girls this year, with only seven little ladies enrolled in each class.

It has caused some logistical challenges for administrators at the school, who chose to split the 14 girls and 34 boys - and the five boys named Mason - as evenly as possible among the two classrooms.

Teacher Michelle Carr has seven girls and 18 boys, and Roberta McLear has seven girls and 16 boys.

"It's definitely unusual," said Central Principal Patricia Gablinske, but not unheard of, to have so many of one gender over another.

In fact, Lime Rock residents have filled these classes with more boys than girls for the last few years. Last year, there were 25 boys to 15 girls, according to enrollment numbers provided by the school. The year before that was more even, with 35 boys and 32 girls.

At this point, "Having more girls than boys would throw us off," Carr said.

Teachers have to keep the class dynamics in mind throughout the day, Gablinske said.

"Instructionally, we have to keep in mind that boys and girls learn differently," she said, explaining that girls favor verbal instruction, while boys work best with manipulatives and physical activity.

The goal is to keep verbal instruction to one minute or less, Gablinske said, and activities changed often - as much as every 10 minutes, McLear said.

Throughout the year, "We start to shape the behavior," Gablinske said, and verbal instruction will increase. "You can't lose one population for the other."

But mostly, Carr explained, teaching strategies have little to do with gender, and much more to do with having a room full of 5-year-olds, who don't seem to notice the enrollment numbers.

Recess - named a favorite part of school as students reflected on their past three days in class - is for playing with everyone, they said.

"It doesn't matter who they're with as long as they're friends," McLear said, "as long as they're nice to each other."

Kindergarten teacher Michelle Carr works with boys, from left, Jacob Lizotte, Hunter Moreau, Thayer Glucksman and Joseph DiPardo during school Friday.