Teaching Like A Pirate:
Some of you know I teach throughout schools in Dupage County. This helps me stay connected to students, so I can hear their voices when I am writing. Plus it’s fun.
In October, I worked mostly in 5th grade.
During that time, I was invited to attend a workshop on Dave Burgess’ book, Teach Like A Pirate. This book focuses on ways we can increase student engagement and boost creativity.
When I am teaching, I try to find ways to engage all learners. We learn new concepts in different ways—depending on our learning styles. And anyway, there is a better chance of a student soaking up something new when her senses are engaged and when she is having fun.
For example, this week when introducing a new unit of spelling words, I had the children use Play-Doh to spell the words on their desk. They were thrilled.
This activity went so well that I later used Play Doh to teach about adding details to our writing. The students realized that the more detailed their Play-Doh works of art, the more real they became. It is the same for our writing, I explained.
Details are paramount. They help us experience the moment as our character experiences it. What he smells, touches, tastes, hears, and feels all count. They are things we feel just as our characters do. They make our stories come to life.