Learn Like a Pirate: What is a Student-Led Classroom?

Last summer, I read Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. I was inspired by the book. I am passionate about creating a hands-on learning environment and Burgess' book validated so many of the things I was already doing and motivated me to try some new things too. When The Primary Gal, announced that she was doing a summer book study with Learn Like a Pirate- I was elated! 

The premise of this book is creating a student-led classroom that empowers students to collaborate, lead and succeed. In the foreword, Burgess admits that he never has a student-led classroom. Therefore, the book is written by a colleague, Paul Solarz.

What is a student-led classroom?

WHAT?!!! Students making decisions without even asking ME! CRAZY!

Yes, it does sound crazy. I almost closed the book. But then I reminded myself that some of the BEST ideas seemed crazy at first. And besides, I am not a wimpy teacher! I can do crazy! So I read on...

I was relieved when the author did make the point that the students know that the teacher always has the final word. Phew! I am not giving up full control leading to classroom anarchy!

Solarz paints a picture of a classroom where students are activity engaged in a collaborative task. The students aren't bickering over who does what. Instead, they are encouraging and listening to one another. Solar says that this is what his classroom looks like after just 2-3 weeks of school. UM! I WANT THAT! Students are going to remember so much more when we give them some control over what and how they learn! A wise collogue told me that is we are tired at the end of the school day- we did too much of the work. It is the students who should be exhausted. 

So my curiosity was peaked by chapter one. But I also have some concerns. Chapter two is all about the common concerns about student-led  classrooms. I am off to read! I will share them next week.

It is not too late to read along with me! You can download a Kindle version or order the book from Amazon.

My blog buddies put together a special book study kickoff giveaway! Make sure you enter to win a Target gift card!

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