Learn like a Pirate is a Student Win!


Happy Monday Everyone,

Last month I saw the release of Learn like a Pirate by Paul Solarz which was the newest book in the Teach like a Pirate series by Dave Burgess. As much as I wanted to click right on Amazon and buy or download the book, my financial woes I have talked about the last few months kept things from happening. However, my wonderful niece got me an Amazon gift card and I quickly purchased the book after receiving it (Thank you Emma). Reading it this weekend I can’t tell you the amount of amazing lessons and ideas this book has given me. Especially, Silent Day (p. 117). Paul Solarz comes from 15 years experience and brings an amazing profession and easy access in Learn like a Pirate. The book hit me on page 121 when he mentioned that: “one child’s excessive enthusiasm can have a negative impact on the success of the whole class.” I have been guilty of this crime, you get so enthusiastic about what you are doing that you end up having the opposite effect on the situation and I’ve seen in with my students. Just on Thursday I had a student get so set in their Genius Hour project and wanting to have everyone do what they were doing. It caused a major problem with the entire class. I had to switch gears fast so others wouldn’t compromise their projects to be like the other student because they were throwing out their entire project to be like his.
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Learning to lead like a pirate

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Last night I was part of another great Teach like a Pirate chat over on Twitter and you can read about it on Storify. The final question of the night was doing a blog post on how to Lead like a Pirate and I had one in my mind from a few months ago at Ed Camp 302. What happened over there? While it can’t go with the fun I had where my jedi robe during my Dice UP the Classroom at The Mobile Learning 2015 a couple weeks ago, but it is one Ed Camp I’m very proud of. Something that I talked about what makes a good lead with Teach like a Pirate is that the captain of the ship has to look on top of the crow’s nest of their ship and allow the crew to choose the journey. My session during Ed Camp 302 was about Sketchnotes which many educators and teachers had heard of but had no idea where to start. I did the basics of what sketch notes were and how to form them but what I did just after my explanation is had everyone in the room come up to the white board and put in what stuck in their minds from the first ten minutes. They all came up, drew pictures, outlined and highlighted words and I had one teacher who perfectly outlined the notes like it was on a giant piece of paper for everyone to write on. After that, I went into what you could use sketchnotes with from using Explain Everything to Minecraft Edu and teaching the basics of App Smashing.
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My student’s Learn Like a Pirate about Baby Animals Stick Around Genius Hour Project

One of my first graders for their final Genius Hour wanted to know if she could make a lesson just as fun as Mrs. Andre or myself. Well, after toiling away on Pic Collage, Google Search, National Geographic free pics and about an hour on Stick Around. She came up with this great lesson on baby animals because she loves baby animals especially how they are both different and yet similar. We finished it up by putting linking the baby animal Pic Collage with Google Drive in Thinglink. Give it a try. If you have a problem the direct link … Continue reading My student’s Learn Like a Pirate about Baby Animals Stick Around Genius Hour Project

Run like a Pirate Chapters 46-Conclusion Review

The time has arrived, yes, it is the final day of my daily book review for Run Like a Pirate by Adam Welcome. It’s funny, yesterday when I was looking over the chapters trying to get my words together to really bring these reviews for Run Like a Pirate to a great conclusion. I of course looked over several of the quotes in the book trying to figure out the right one, but then I went on Instagram. Adam had posted about you have to go out and do things and he believes you can do it. So, that’s what I’m going to do. Let’s get on with this final review of the book. Continue reading “Run like a Pirate Chapters 46-Conclusion Review”

Run like a Pirate Chapters 31-38

It’s time to Celebrate Monday everyone, with reviewing Chapters 31-38 of Run like a Pirate by Adam Welcome. Yes, we are nearing the end of my chapter reviews for the book, the finish line is starting to show. However, remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. The learning is part of the journey. Let us begin. Continue reading “Run like a Pirate Chapters 31-38”

Run like a Pirate Chapters 23-30 Review

Happy Sunday Everyone,

I’m moving through today’s chapter review of Run like a Pirate from Chapter 23-30. That’s eight whole chapters, some are short, some have shown me personal reflection and others are just inspirational. Let’s put on our running shoes and head out on the Review Course. I’ll lead.

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Run like a Pirate Chapters 11-16 Review

A bright and happy Friday to everyone today. Here we are on Day 3 of chapter reviews of Run like a Pirate by Adam Welcome. Just before I get started with Chapter 11, I have to admit this has been fun reviewing like this. I usually give book reviews as a whole, marking specific chapters or points in the book. Having chapter piece reviews has really allowed me to dig deeper in the book and really discover the treasures within. Plus, I read very fast and then review the books several times making notes and applying them to my classroom or goals. With Run like a Pirate I feel I’m as Adam put it: “Go For it, No Excuses, EVER.” With that, let’s get onto Chapter 11, shall we. Continue reading “Run like a Pirate Chapters 11-16 Review”

Run like a Pirate Chapters 5-10 Review

Here we are on Day 2 of my daily Chapter reviews of Run like a Pirate focusing on Chapters 5-10. As I read these these six chapters it was amazing how much inspiration I was able to draw from the chapters. Even more amazing was I had these various conversations with myself. How you may ask? Let’s head in and find out.

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Run like a Pirate Warming Up – Chapter 4 Review

Hey everyone,

Here we are, the start of my daily review of Run like a Pirate by Adam Welcome. If  you read my previous post, I told you about how I am going to be reviewing Run like a Pirate by chapter and how I am using each chapter for my own daily and personal goals. In the past I have usually just reviewed the books, what parts stuck out to me and some ideas or plans I intend to use in the classroom. This time, I’m doing it by chapter, EACH chapter. Today I will be doing the opening Warm Up through Chapter 4. So, here we go. Continue reading “Run like a Pirate Warming Up – Chapter 4 Review”

How Teach like a Pirate changed my practice as an Educator


It was April of 2014, I was just a month and a half from completing my second year at Christian Life Schools and something happened. I felt burnt out. I had barely been in education for almost four years and I remember sitting in my office. I was fixing a few forgotten gmail passwords and was told on twitter: “You have to do something else with your App Dice, they are getting boring.” I had no other major planned classroom lessons happening until close to May 1st and I had just sent off my clean up for iPads for classrooms and final eRate quotes to be reviewed and I looked at my blog and went: “What can I do?” “What is the point, if I’m not in the classroom.” “I’m just another tech guy with no classroom and nothing better to do.” “I’m not good enough to do anything innovative or new.” Then I had Barbara Gruener point me towards a guy named, Dave Burgess and his book, Teach like a Pirate.

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