By Megan Rawie
I was recommended by my #OneThing lead learner to read the book, Learn Like a Pirate, by Paul Solarz. My #OneThing group’s topic is personalized learning. This book is how he has transformed his classroom into a collaborative and active learning environment through a student-led classroom. It focuses on building relationships and helping students feel empowered to make decisions. Mr. Solarz uses the acronym P.I.R.A.T.E. to discuss the qualities of a student-led classroom. P = Peer collaboration, I = Improvement focus vs. Grade focus, R = Responsibility, A = Active Learning, T= Twenty-first century skills focus, and E = Empowerment. Teachers can promote peer collaboration by giving students the ability to “Give Me Five”. This gives the students the power to interrupt the class and remind them of expectations, transition time, etc. Improvement focus rather than grade focus increases a student’s intrinsic motivation and allows the teacher and students to give each other feedback often. A student-led classroom puts the students in charge and has them take responsibility for their classroom. This can be fostered through “give me five”, classroom jobs, and rituals. When students actively learn they are more likely to take on leadership roles. Students are constantly engaged, collaborating, and practicing twenty-first century skills. I have learned so much from this book and also recommend it to anyone who is looking to give their students more power in the classroom. I am looking forward to implementing “Give Me Five” in my classroom next year and believe that will help students keep each other accountable. A student-led classroom promotes critical thinkers and problem-solvers, which are key in fostering at the middle school level.
This is a resource build by the ESSD40 staff for to aid in transforming teaching and learning.
Inspire. Empower. Challenge.
Learning Out loud