Give Me 5s: Love ‘Em, Love ‘Em Not

“Give Me 5” is traditionally used by the teacher to quickly get the class’s attention.  You can read more about it and download a free visual to display in your classroom here.  The very cool thing about a student-led classroom is that this privilege is given to the students!  The idea comes from Paul Solarz’s … Read more

Every “Owie” Deserves the Same BAND-AID, Right?

I’ve always wanted to teach the BAND-AID lesson but never got around to it until the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.  I’m pretty sure I got the idea from other teachers during an online Learn Like a Pirate book study when we were discussing the Marble Theory and other community-building ideas.  This lesson is … Read more

Count Your Marbles: They’re All There in Theory

I’ve always wanted to teach my kids about the Marble Theory, because I actually believe it to be true, but never got around to it until this school year.  The idea comes from Paul Solarz‘s book, Learn Like A Pirate in the section on Peer Collaboration pictured to the right.  In order to demonstrate, I … Read more

Hey! Hey! It’s Silent Day!

At first mention, Silent Day sounds like almost every teacher’s dream:  It’s a day of complete silence, right?  Nobody’s allowed to talk, and we can finally get some teaching done?  Well…no and no.  The day is not silent at all and we (the teachers) aren’t getting it done…our students are! The idea comes from Paul … Read more

Learning ’til the Last Bell

Sadly, the #LastBell for the 2016-2017 school year is approaching.  Here’s an overview of how we’re spending our time together:   Tuesday, May 30  #I_Matter Day  We’ll be using the extra paint chips we’ve received to make ourselves #I_Matter books … We did something similar last year and received a lot of positive feedback from … Read more

Compliance or Empowerment? You Be the Judge…

If you are interested in having a student-led classroom and/or trying to figure out what in the world that is, look no further than Paul Solarz’s Learn Like a Pirate.  Paul will be having another book study over the summer, so be sure to order your book and join the #LearnLAP crew for some amazing conversations and PLN building.

I read Learn Like a Pirate for the first time over Spring Break 2015 after hearing so much about it on Twitter.  Even though our vacation was shortened due to make up for earlier snow days, I sped through the pages and was ready to implement changes our first day back.  The morning went well but when we returned to the room after lunch, our substitute administrator was waiting to observe the lesson.  Although she was a retired principal, it was her first day at our school.  Transitions were shaky because we were trying out “Give Me Fives” for the first time ever.  Later, I decided to listen to the post-observation feedback without explaining the shift to a student-led classroom.  Making the switch felt crazy enough and trying to put those feelings into words felt even crazier…not exactly the best pitch for the book but not a conversation I was ready to have at that time either.

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