Hook and Engage Your Students: Teach Like A Pirate

 Does this picture spark your curiosity and interest? Are you wondering what the #1 top secret is? Did I hook you in to wanting to read this post and know more? Teachers can use their message board or have an enticing picture up on the screen as students walk in the door that will create a buzz and hook them into the lesson that is about to be presented. Today I went to the most amazing presentation and it was by far the best professional development teacher workshop I've attended. Dave Burgess who is the author of "Teach Like A Pirate" came in his full pirate costume and had us all hooked into to his awe inspiring presentation that had the audience of teachers throughout our district fully engaged throughout his presentation.

David was willing to sign a copy of his book after
the presentation.

David's passion and energetic style was fabulous as he presented techniques to engage all students and even these most hard to reach students. The teachers in our district were so lucky to have seen him in live person in order to get the full impact of his enthusiasm, intensity and strong passionate drive as he shared his own personal stories along with ways he made content come alive in his classroom.  David spoke about how an engaged student is rarely a behavioral problem. During his presentation he fully engaged the audience as he addressed what the acronym PIRATE stands for and explained in further detail some awesome techniques used in this system. 




                       A-Ask and Analyze   



Here are just some of a few quotes and personal notes that I took away from the presentation. I just can't wait to get started on reading the books. 

* Safe lessons are mediocrity, be willing to take risks
*Be more concerned about the learning that takes place than the actual performance of your students.
*"Preheat the grill," Add mystery, buzz, and anticipation in order to hook students in.
*Deliver the key core of your instruction during the peak moment of instruction.
* Use props, imagery and music.
* Use storytelling and dramatic buildup that is emotional, powerful and memorable.
*It is not what you do;it is how you do it.
*You can know a lot about your content, but if you do not provide the energy and richness to your lessons, students will not be hooked in. 
*Don't just teach a lesson; make and create an experience. 
*Make it memorable and come alive!
*We can't just be good teachers; we need to be remarkable! 

Here are the two books I purchased. You can find them on Amazon. I can't wait to read more and learn ways to "Take my content and turn it into pirate treasure."


                        Teach Like a Pirate                                       P is for Pirate 


If you have seen David Burgess do a live presentation or have read his books, please comment below and let me know how it has impacted you and your teaching style. I'd love to hear from you. 


Successful Week~It Feels So Good to Be Back!

Happy New Year! May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and personal growth.  After a much needed winter break, my class was eager to come back and they have shown me that they are ready to learn. It is a time to start out fresh and feel invigorated as we set personal goals for ourselves and our students.  Starting off the new year is the perfect time to re-establish classroom expectations and procedures.  Over the winter break I took a look at some of the data I have collected on each student and I made some changes to my RTI groupings in order to best suite the individual needs of my students.

Students always come back from vacation with so much to say. It is important that you take the time to let each student share something that they did over vacation. I also give them an opportunity to write and draw about their experiences in their journals. It is also very important that you go over classroom expectations in these first few days.  We also had a new student  begin in our class and he felt welcomed and I am sure he also appreciated the fact that we took the extra time to go over the routines to help ease his transition. By mid week, I felt as if the students were right on track. They were settled in and ready to learn and we were able to get so much accomplished. Prior to Christmas vacation the kiddos were just too excited and bubbling over with enthusiasm and it was difficult to get much done. It felt sooo good to finally  get the ball rolling again and strengthen the rigor of the curriculum. 

This week my students were very busy doing some fun-filled winter activities. Center time is always my favorite part of the day. It is a chance for students to show off their knowledge as they work in small groups. Here are some pictures of some of the things we did this week. 

Each week students get the opportunity to do an art project and write sentences or copy a short poem about their art work. 

Students loved finding sight words in the snow. Then they cut out snowballs and wrote letters on each snowball to build the word and then write the sight word. 

At the science center students worked on sorting pushes and pulls. You can find some great worksheets along with pictures to sort here.

We have two pocket charts in our class. At the red pocket chart the students sorted and wrote short a and short i words. At the blue pocket chart the students found pairs of rhyming words to match the mittens. They then wrote a few of their rhyming pairs on recording sheets. 

Here are examples of an "I spy" sight words worksheet and a winter themed cut and paste to make sight words worksheet.  I love the Shelby Kove website that goes perfectly with our Reading Street program. It has loads of worksheets and activities that I use for center work. You can visit this site here.  

For my early finishers, I encourage students to write the words they practiced on the front and write sentences using those words on the back. Once they have completed that they can work on a kindergarten news or choose a book to read or work on an available computer to work on literacy skills.