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Teach Like a Pirate

Page history last edited by eric.lowe@beaverlocal.org 10 years, 10 months ago

Teach Like a Pirate Stands for

 

  • Passion
  • Immersion
  • Rapport
  • Ask and Analyze
  • Transformation
  • Enthusiasm



His book teaches you how to make your class more engaging.  He asks two key questions in his book.
1.  If your students didn't have to be there, would you be teaching to an empty room?
2.  Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?

 

Utica Middle School In Ohio recently held a Teach Like a Pirate Day. Utica Junior High is a small rural Ohio school of about 270 students where approximately 45% are on free or reduced lunch.  Students chose which classes to go to all day long.

 

 

 

Author Dave Burgess speaking about Rapport

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darin Prince, a teacher at Utica Junior High School, prepares to knock a cup off the head of student Mallory McNamara with a vortex generator. Teachers at the school were asked to create an inventive class for the day for a program called Teach like a PIRATE.

Darin Prince, a teacher at Utica Junior High School, prepares to knock a cup off the head of student Mallory McNamara with a vortex generator. Teachers at the school were asked to create an inventive class for the day for a program called Teach like a PIRATE. / Jessica Phelps/The Advocate
Written by
Anna Jeffries
Advocate Reporter

 

 

Students in Darin Prince's class at Utica Junior High School watch a chemical reaction that simulates jet propulsion. Prince taught the class for Teach like a PIRATE Day, which allows teachers to lead an inventive class for the day.

Students in Darin Prince's class at Utica Junior High School watch a chemical reaction that simulates jet propulsion. Prince taught the class for Teach like a PIRATE Day, which allows teachers to lead an inventive class for the day. / Jessica Phelps/The Advocate

 

More

UTICA — Students at Utica Junior High School were running to get to their next class all day Wednesday.

It wasn’t because they were late. They were just excited to be there.

As an experiment, the students and teachers at the middle school mixed things up by participating in Teach like a PIRATE Day. For one day, students got to choose the classes they wanted to attend, and teachers had the opportunity to design their dream lesson.

“We wanted to break away from the normal notes and worksheets and let them see what can happen,” Principal Ryan McLane said.

McLane was inspired to plan the activity at the junior high after reading the book, “Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator.”

Written by California social studies teacher Dave Burgess, the book helps teachers brainstorm new ways to make their classes creative and engaging for their students.

PIRATE stands for Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask/Analyze, Transformation and Enthusiasm.

After communicating with Burgess on Twitter, McLane decided to organize Teach Like a PIRATE Day at his school.

“The idea came from (the philosophy), ‘If your student didn’t have to be there, would you be teaching to an empty room?’” he said. “We wanted to show the kids that school can be fun, and it’s an opportunity for the teachers to step up their game.”

There were only a few rules, McLane said. The teachers had to stick to their subject area and the students could only spend two periods with a teacher before moving on to another class.

The goal was to get teachers to think outside the box about instruction, he said.

“I think that they are going to see they can incorporate unique ways of teaching into their classrooms,” he said. “They can teach the standards they need to present it in a way the kids will remember.”

Students were given a schedule with a wide variety of classes to choose from. Some played human Battleship using giant grids made out of tape. Others attended a powwow to learn about Native American cultures, created their own Internet radio shows and built solar ovens.

Burgess praised the teachers and students for their efforts Wednesday in his blog on Daveburgess.com.

“Never has there been this much excitement on campus about a school day in mid-May, or maybe any other day for that matter,” he wrote.

Science teacher Darin Prince spent the day teaching students about physical and chemical changes as well as the different properties of matter. He did so through a variety of demonstrations, including shooting colorful foam into the air and creating dry ice bubbles.

He also used an air cannon called a vortex generator to blow paper cups off of students’ heads.

In the first four periods of the day, about 220 students showed up at his class.

“The biggest thing as a teacher is when your kids are asking you, ‘What are you going to do?’” he said. “When the kids are excited, it makes the teacher excited.”

After seeing how much students enjoyed the demonstrations, Prince plans to start doing them at least once per week next school year.

The atmosphere in the school was electric all day because the students were so excited about what was happening in their classes, he said.

The experiment was just as important for teachers as it was for the kids, he said.

“It has let teachers know what gets kids excited,” he said. “It will definitely have an impact.”

Seventh-grader Abby Lambert said she had a hard time deciding what classes to attend because there were so many interesting options.

She said she enjoyed seeing the teachers think outside the box.

“It shows the teacher what we really enjoy and maybe they will do things that will keep us more active and interested in school,” she said.

 

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