Teach Like a Pirate Chapters 8&9

*A day late in my post y'all! So sorry. Internet was working on everything BUT my computer. I don't know what I did this morning to get it working again, but it seems like all is back to normal!*

These chapters talk about presentational hooks and adding some movement to your lessons. 
I LOVED these chapters because Dave Burgess gives several questions and idea hooks to get you thinking outside the box. As I read the chapter I was picturing some different ways I could spice up my lessons for this school year. It's so much easier to be enthusiastic about a lesson when you see how your students are positively responding to it. He tells a great story about a history lesson he taught that had the students SO engaged in what they learned that I know they will never forget it. 

Don't be afraid to have fun! You have permission, Dave Burgess said so. 

I don't want to give too much away about this chapter, but so y'all know I have highlighted most of Chapter 9! 

Head over to Daina at Sticky Notes and Glitter to see her FABulous post on these chapters!

Teach Like a Pirate Chapter 7: The Third Circle

Chapter 7 is called The Third Circle. Totally sounds like a Hunger Games sequel, right? 

This chapter is all about presentation and selling your lessons to your students! Listen people, presentation is EVERYTHING! And it starts with your open house with your parents. Last year my team and I made a decision to ask our parents NOT to focus on grades but instead on growth. We know each child is different and has different strengths and we wanted parents to make effort and growth the focus at home. We also laid it all on the line. No sugar coating. We told them all about us and out personalities and what we hoped they would do at home. I added humorous items to my presentation (like how sad it is that through marriage I have to be a Raiders fan. It's sad people. You can take a moment and be sad for me....ok, moving on.) It worked! This year was amazing with my parents, but it was all in how I presented it. If it had been on a piece of paper without me showing my passion for teaching to the parents then my year would have been completely different. 

Dave Burgess does mention all the decisions you make regarding your lessons. I admit the lessons I'm excited about I can rock it. But some of those stinkin' science lessons are hard for me. I'm working on it! 

He also mentions transitions and how important they are. I completely agree! That takes a little practice, but once you find things that work for you and your students transitions are half the battle!

Kim from Joy in Sixth is our next host. Head over to her blog to see what she had to stay about this chapter!

Teach Like a Pirate: Chapter 6 Enthusiasm

I'm really a little sad that we are halfway through the book already. I've loved every word of it and find myself really reflecting on lessons I taught this year and how I can make things even more exciting in my classroom this year. 

This chapter is about enthusiasm and how you "bring it" to your classroom every day. I know we have a passion for giving our students the best experience possible when they come to us. But there are days when you're sick, or your car died at the gas station, or you spilled your entire cup of coffee on the way in to school and you just aren't at 100%. But you FAKE IT and try to be enthusiastic and plaster on a big ol smile. My car broke down this year on the way to school. I was planning on being there super early so I could set up a fun math lesson I had planned. I pulled into the gas station to buy a bottled water and then my car wouldn't start.  I wound up being late to school. Late to school and cranky. I told my class what had happened and I said, "Ok, give me ten minutes and then I'll be ready and we can get this party started!" Truthfully, I wanted to skip the lesson altogether, but I felt much better pretending my morning had gone just the way I planned.

Dave Burgess talks about his routine before class starts. I have one too! But I think mine benefits me and my students. My class is extremely structured and I have found that my first graders respond to that. We like routine! Every morning my students come in and unpack, I greet them, and they begin morning work. While they work I have music on. As the year goes on I make a playlist of songs that the class likes and that's often what they listen to. I love hearing them sing softly to songs and they get their work done. After our attendance bell rings I sharpen pencils and then our day begins. The good thing about this routine is that even a sub can do it so my students still start their day off on the right foot!

Carmen from Exploring Elementary is this host of this chapter! Head on over and check out what she has to say!

Teach Like a Pirate Chapter 5: Transformation

This chapter starts off with a GREAT quote from Dave Burgess, 
"Provide an uncommon experience for your students and they will reward you with an uncommon effort and attitude."

Isn't that wonderful? And it's so true. I think back on my experiences in middle school and I can think of two teachers that I liked. I would have done anything for their praise and I loved going to their classes. One was a drama teacher and he made everything fun! The other was a math teacher....and I wasn't really even good at math. The rest of my teachers were forgettable or awful. (I may or may not still be able to sketch comics about my horrible 7th grade science teacher.) 

Dave Burgess asks a couple of great questions in this chapter too. One of them is if your kids only had to come to an end of the year exam would they still come to your class anyway? 

Mine would! I make sure they feel important and appreciated and I try my hardest to make learning exciting. I think first grade teachers have it a little easier in this department. First graders have only been in school for maybe a year or two before we get them. Learning is still new and exciting for them and they (hopefully) haven't had a bad experience with school or a teacher yet.  I have had a student tell me to let them know if I was going to have a sub because she just wasn't going to come to school if I wasn't there! I loved that! 

My dear friend, Lisa, from Growing Firsties is hosting this chapter. Head over and see what Lisa had to say about Transformation!

Growing Firsties

Chapter 4: Ask and Analyze

We're already on Chapter 4: Ask and Analyze!

This chapter was a good one for me. I especially liked the section on asking yourself the right type of questions when you are planning a lesson or activity to make yourself think outside the box. I plan my units and lessons and things I sell on TPT around my students and what needs I see need to be met. I search for new books with my class in mind. Every year my classes are different. And sometimes it's just hard to come up with something REALLY good. The quote that stood out to me was, 

"How long should I wait for a good idea? 
As long as it takes!"

He mentions writing down your ideas because your best ideas seem to come to you when you aren't trying to force yourself to come up with something. I put notes into my iPhone whenever I have a good idea because I can never remember it later!

Kate from Purely Paperless has a great post on this chapter! Head over to check her out!

Purely Paperless

Chapter 3: Rapport

I just finished reading the third chapter of Teach Like a Pirate on my back porch and felt so connected to this chapter. It's all about Rapport that you have with your students. 

Would y'all believe at the beginning of last school year we were told by our administrator not to form personal relationships with our parents or students? "Just be professional and make sure your students and parents know your classroom expectations. They don't need to know anything about your personal life."
First, I agree that teachers should be professional. But when your students and parents really get to know you they feel connected. At open house one of my slides is about football. I tell my parents that my husband and I are Notre Dame fans....and that unfortunately because my husband is an Oakland Raiders fan, I too am forced to cheer on this sad sad team. I have pictures up of my family on my desk and when my niece does something hilarious I share the video with my students. I greet my students every morning and as a class we celebrate each others successes. If I've messed up a lesson I say, "Well, even teachers make mistakes." Because I take the time to show and tell my class about me they are willing to share about themselves. I developed an amazing rapport with my class this year and it was my best year teaching!

Dave Burgess says, "I actively encourage teachers to develop a classroom climate where students feel like doing the outrageous; where the out of the ordinary and sometimes silly are the norm." I loved this! I've been known to be a little wacky. The end of the year testing is torture for us all so my class and I came up with a plan and a goal. We wanted to be completely done in three days. They wanted to do some water color painting related to a book we had read and wanted a read-a-thon. When the last test was done I shouted "HOLLA! We did it! We're done!" Then I busted out some killer dance moves- lawnmower, shopping cart, cabbage patch. Then the rest of the class danced too because WE DID IT! Our plan worked! (I secretly wish an administrator would have seen that. It must have looked hilarious!)

Dave Burgess also mentions that he plays music as a transition. I do too. But not just any music. I'm certain there aren't a lot of teachers playing "Whip It" or the Lumineers. And I tell my students every song is my favorite song. "Shhh. Y'all this is my favorite song!" They roll their eyes and laugh. 

After reading what Dave Burgess does in his first three days of school I think I'm going to have to step up my game and come up with some really creative things to do that first week.

Jana at Thinking Out Loud is hosting this chapter! Head on over to see what she has to say about Rapport!

Thinking Out Loud

Teach Like a Pirate Chapter 2: Immersion

We're on chapter 2 where the "I" in Pirate stands for Immersion.

Dave Burgess uses an analogy of being a swimmer versus a lifeguard to further explain immersion. A lifeguard is watching the water, but a swimmer is in the water doing everything. I loved thinking of teaching that way. Your students learn so much more from you being involved and excited about a subject you are teaching.

The very last paragraph of this chapter speaks to all teachers in regards to the overemphasis of standardized state testing. Yuck. Too much testing in my opinion. I know in my district our third, fourth, and fifth graders are constantly taking benchmarks to prepare for "The Test." (Let's not get me on THAT soapbox right now) His point- just teach. Teach really well and get your students involved and don't focus on "The Test." If you're teaching what you are supposed to and teaching it well then your students will be successful....at least that's what I think!

Marie from The Hands-On Teacher in First is hosting this chapter. Head on over to see what Marie wrote. Line one is sure to grab your attention!

New Classroom Theme

About a month before school was out I was in Michaels looking for some inspiration for a birthday present and saw these glitter scrapbook papers! I about died y'all because really, 
And I totally love chevron print!

Black and white chevron and mint green
If you took a peek inside my closet you would see how far my obsession has gone. This past school year I did blue and white chevron with some nautical elements. After seeing these papers (and buying the entire stock of them) I knew this was how I wanted to decorate my classroom next year! Black and white chevron and mint green! HOLLA!

And it just so happened that Schoolgirl Style just released her chevron themed classroom set. You can choose all different colors of chevron. I've just got to start printing my and laminating my items from this set. 

This afternoon I purchased these bins from Container Store:
Large Black Bin
I use a large bin to set my purse and school bag into every morning. It sits beside my bookshelf. 

Small black and white bins
These will be going on my bookshelves in my classroom. Now y'all know the OCD teacher in me is going to need an equal amount of black and white bins. They were all out so I guess I'll have to head back there next week! {DANGEROUS!}

The mint green is so fab isn't it? Growing up the Seafoam Green crayon in the Crayola box was always my favorite. Essie has a polish called First Timer that I've put on my toes for the last five pedicures! 

If only my nail place had shellac in this color! 

I would love to know what your theme is going to be in your room next year! I know my BBFF is having a pirate themed room.....wonder where she got that idea? {wink!}

Join me tomorrow for Chapter 2 of our Teach Like a Pirate book study!

Teach Like a Pirate, Chapter 1: Passion

I'm so excited that today is the first day of our Teach Like a Pirate book study! This book has been the kind that I just can't put down! 

Each letter in PIRATE stands for something and P, of course, is passion. Dave Burgess talks about professional passion, personal passion, and content passion. The whole chapter made me reflect on my passions and how I applied them during this past school year. In this book Dave Burgess says that we need to keep our passions in mind when we aren't teaching our favorite subject so that we still come across as passionate. That made so much sense to me! (I tried really hard to be excited about rocks and soil this year. Like Academy Award winning kind of hard.) 

Mary from Guided Math is hosting this chapter so head on over to her blog to see all of her thoughts. 

Guided Math

Teach Like a Pirate Book Study!

I am beyond excited to do this book study. My bloggy Bff Gina from Third Grade Tidbits and I are cohostingthe book study on Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. 

 Have you heard of this book before? Read it? It is a really good book. Gina and I have gathered some FANTABULOUS bloggers to join us and lead discussions on each chapter. Each chapter (or set of 2 chapters for some) will have a host (or two) that will post their in depth thoughts about their chapter. Gina and I will post little blurbs about each chapter, but to get to the really good stuff and the discussion, you will want to head to the blog host for that chapter. Since there are a lot of amazing book studies going on this summer, we tried to make ours last only a month, so there will be posts on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Here are the blogs you will want to follow.

Chapter 1- (June 11)
Guided Math

Chapter 2- (June 13)

Chapter 3- (June 16)
Thinking Out Loud

Chapter 4- (June 18)
Purely Paperless

Chapter 5- (June 20)
Growing Firsties

Chapter 6- (June 23)

Chapter 7- (June 25)

Chapter 8&9- (June 27)

Chapter 10&11- (July 2)

Chapter 12- (July 4)

Chapter 13- (July 7)
Curls and a Smile

Chapter 14- (July 9)

Chapter 15- (July 11)
My Life as a 3rd Grade Teacher

Chapter 16- (July 14)
Peace, Love, & First Grade 

Chapter 17- (July 16)

Chapter 18&19-(July 18)
For the Love of Teaching Math

If you have read the book or are planning to read the book and want to join in the discussion and posts, we would LOVE to read your thoughts. We are going to have a link up where you can add a link to your posts for each chapter. If you link up, make sure you put your blog name AND which chapter the link will take readers to. This way you can link up multiple times. Make sense?

Talking, Drawing, Writing

Jennifer from Teaching with Grace asked me to participate in her summer book study on a book called 
Talking, Drawing, Writing by Martha Horn and Mary Ellen Galcobbe. I had never heard of this book but I was hooked from the introduction. (So hooked that I continued to read on while blow drying my hair!)

Like many primary teachers I have a serious obsession with books. It's physically impossible for me to enter Barnes & Noble without purchasing at least one book. I prowl the Goodwill book stores (books are $1!) and I pray my favorite authors will be making a trip to Austin soon! So for me the first chapter seemed like a winner!

Chapter 1: Storytelling

Raise your hand if you've practiced winning an Academy Award for your performance as a primary teacher! I totally have! You have to take those moments when kids are hanging on your every word and make the most of them! I love how using oral stories can show your students how to make their writing and retelling of an event exciting. I did a lot of oral storytelling when I taught writing in fourth grade, but for some reason I haven't done it as much with my first graders this year. I'm making note that oral stories need to be a big part of our writing- especially at the first of the year when students are getting used to my expectations.

Most first graders have millions of stories to tell you. About everything. EVERYthing! But
I really liked that the author mentioned this, "There are some children, of course, who don't come to school telling stories. It may be that they haven't been invited to conversations about what matters to them, haven't been read to, haven't been told stories." I try to have lots of discussion about new topics and ask what experiences students have had to get them thinking and talking. Eventually even your student who is the most shy will have exciting things to share.

I love to incorporate new vocabulary into my conversations with my class. Today, for example, I used the word headway. After we discussed what they thought I meant by making headway they nodded. An hour later "Mrs. Tice, you're right we really are making headway." The more we tell stories to each other the more practice students have with language. 

Although this book is written with a strong focus on kindergarten I'm finding it to have great reminders for ways I can reach my students and engage them in the beginning of the year!