Thursday, June 4, 2015

Learn Like a Pirate: Chapter 1

Hello friends!! I'm so excited to be joining The Primary Gal's book study this summer!
This book is already so inspiring. It's written as if the author is sitting with me just chatting about what goes on in his classroom. So let me fill you in on the first chapter...
This book is all about creating a student-led classroom. In this chapter the author defines what it means, and begins sharing the benefits. Here's how he defines it...

"A student-led classroom is one in which students make decisions and choices
 throughout the day without consulting the teacher." ~ Learn Like a Pirate, page 8.

Now I read this and my Type A personality flares started going off. "Uhh what do you mean they don't consult me!? I'm in charge of my classroom!" 
But I read on and began to see that although we are giving up some control, which can be scary, we're gaining a whole lot more. Students will be taking ownership of their learning, they'll be engaged, inspired, AND meeting the goals necessary at their grade level. 
This is done in most cases with a mini-lesson from the teacher and then students move out into their student-led activities. That's my understanding so far. In the author's words...

"The teacher says what needs to be said and then gets out of the way." Learn Like A Pirate, page 10

This made me think about the similarity between student-led learning and my writer's workshop time. I teach a mini lesson, and then the kids try out the skills mixed with previous skills they've learned. I've seen amazing success with this type of learning. This could work in my 3rd grade classroom! 
In order to be successful with this type of learning the author stresses the importance of students feeling safe to share, feeling appreciated for their contribution to the class, and having a positive connection to their teacher. So in order for this to work you must begin to create that connection the very first day, or even at your "Meet the Teacher" night. 
I'm really excited about this book friends! I hope you'll join us for the other chapters, and maybe even read on your own. Let us know your thoughts & be sure to check out all the other fabulous bloggers' thoughts too!


  1. I love your post, Kelly! I too am Type A and look forward to seeing if this book can help me tone it down a notch or two and allow a student-led room to happen. :)

    1. I am hoping for the same result Amanda! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thanks for participating in the "Learn Like a PIRATE" book study Kelly! I look forward to reading your future posts!!! :)

    P.S. I LOVE the name of your blog!!! :)

    1. Thanks so much Paul! I'm really enjoying the book & the way in which you wrote it. Very inspiring!

  3. I definitely need to "Get out of the Way" more, I think this is such a struggle for all type A teachers out there. We all want to be in control of our classroom, isn't that what they taught us in college? But I think there definitely is a way to be in "control" while students are leading their own learning.

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

    1. That is what they taught us in college Jessica, but I agree with you. This book seems to show us how to be quietly in control of the class if that makes sense. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I'm so glad you highlighted the quote about getting out of the way! I think I must have skimmed that section too quickly! It is a concerted effort on my part to DO that! Let them come up with their own solutions, have struggle time, turn to each other rather than myself.
    Looking forward to reading more of this great book together!!