Happy Pi Day 2016 with some Play like a Pirate

FullSizeRender 2
So you’re ghost looking for inspiration?

This past weekend, after waiting what seemed like forever, my copy of Quinn Rollins, Play like a Pirate arrived. I filled a glass of lemond with the Care Bear, Funshine on it. Sat down on my new couch by the window and started reading. Like all the other Teach Like a Pirate books, it was filled with amazing ideas, lessons and a few things I never thought of, well one I had thought of. As we know, its Pi Day once again and I was planning on some fun ideas around Pi or pie, depending on what type of educator you are and after I turned to the Trading Cards chapter in PlayLap. I was taken a step back and a light bulb went off above my head.  Continue reading “Happy Pi Day 2016 with some Play like a Pirate”

Time to Play and Explore like a Pirate in 3D Printing

The last few days, I have been busy with my teachers getting our new STEAM art curriculum set up as we await our Spheros and Drones and play with our new 3D printer. During the time of working out some great designs prints and planning some amazing lessons and projects, a wonderful lesson came to me. Using both Explore like a Pirate and Play like a Pirate teaching fun.

Continue reading “Time to Play and Explore like a Pirate in 3D Printing”

Pirate Duck is on an adventure with Emojis



Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 8.54.24 AM

You are probably thinking right now: “Oh no! Ryan is at again and now he’s made a new character out of Perler Beads, what can he be doing now.” As many of you know for the last two years, I have been reading and practicing the Teach like a Pirate way by Dave Burgess. Just this last week, the newest book, Play like a Pirate by Quinn Rollins was released. Sadly, I’m still waiting on my copy (errr!) to arrive, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start using a little PlayLap, XPLAP and Tlap together to create a fun writing lesson.

Continue reading “Pirate Duck is on an adventure with Emojis”

Nothing says loving like Writing & Drawing

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 10.39.00 PM

It’s March 1st, you know what that means besides my birthday? It’s time to kick off a new month full of exciting lessons and here is a great one inspired from Play like a Pirate by Quinn Rollins. As many of you know, I have been using Perler Beads for STEAM and STREAM lessons of late. However, I have also been adding a bit of play to them. In the above image is the Pillsbury Doughboy and Pharaoh Man from Mega Man 4 along with a 3D polar print of Google Drawings. Now, you are probably wondering first of all, that I have too much time on my hands and what this has to do with writing.

Continue reading “Nothing says loving like Writing & Drawing”

Build like a Pirate: Finding your UP


“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.”

~David Allan Coe


 Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask & Analyze, Transformation, Enthusiasm. That’s what Pirates have. Education was not my first career choice. I never loved school but I never hated it either. I was the student who tried his hardest in every subject but yet never felt I could accomplish the grades and success my peers seemed to show when it came to report cards or with the honor roll. Even worst, I had teachers who felt that if I didn’t match with the traditional way they taught I would fall behind the rest of my class. I felt every time I received a low grade or didn’t ace a project I was doomed to not being anything more than the kid who needed help. Then something changed my life for the better when I reached 5th grade. We had a new teacher join the school that year, Mrs. Larson. She was around my mother’s age at the time, had two young boys that were only a couple of years younger than me. I remember on the first day of school she was going over who she was and what we would be learning during the school year. The usual speech every teacher gives but then she said something that changed the way I would learn from then on: “We are going to make this fun and different.” While every student wants to hear that from your teacher back during the late 80s most of us didn’t know what “fun and different” would mean. That changed when she said we would be doing our first book report and had to use puppets. Continue reading “Build like a Pirate: Finding your UP”

Random Digital Playing Cards

ChanceCardsHappy New Year Everyone,

A New Year brings a new set of learning and I am very happy to start Explore Like a Pirate lessons right here at Dice UP the Classroom for the entire month of January. What’s Explore Like a Pirate? It’s working Gamification into your classroom by Michael Matera. His book eXPlore Like a PIRATE: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich, and Elevate Your Learners, is currently available on Amazon. As you can tell, I have been reading up on all the awesome lessons and experiences you can bring to your classroom and here is one that is great to get your students started in Gamification.

Continue reading “Random Digital Playing Cards”

From Kickstarter to Teach like a Pirate

Greetings Everyone, We now go from my Kickstarter book promotion to a Teach like a Pirate lesson. Outside of my book promotion, I have also been painting the ceilings in my house the last few days and as a result, I came up with some great Teach like a Pirate lessons along with some Tech like a Pirate lessons you can perform in the classroom from IOS to Google Apps. 1. Have students do searches for Kickstarter projects that interest them and see where they are in funding by days and money. Have students create their own projections on if … Continue reading From Kickstarter to Teach like a Pirate

Brush like a Pirate

Its another cold day in Illinois and while I like to spend my snow days being very active to stay warm, I stumbled on a great little activity the other day and you know I had to turn it into a great Tech like a Pirate lesson. As you can see, there is a great little model of the mouth using paper and egg crates to make it look like you are visiting the dental office. The original reason for this was to teach students the importance of flossing. Now, this is all fun and easy to do and uses … Continue reading Brush like a Pirate

Top 10 Ways to Tech Like a Pirate

Starting in January, I’m kicking of “Tech Like a Pirate” where you I talk about several ways you integrate technology into your classroom while you Teach Like a Pirate. To get things kicked off, I have made a Top 10 list or in a way kind of a top 40 list to show you what Apps work the best with all the Pirate Hooks. So, let the fun begin. 1. You. Yes, you. Who knows what tech to use in their classroom the best but you the teacher. What programs do you use every day? Do you have a digital … Continue reading Top 10 Ways to Tech Like a Pirate