Teach Like A Pirate

This summer at NTPRS in Dallas, I was introduced to a new book that I just had to read as soon as I heard about it! Dave Burgess is the author of Teach LIke  A Pirate and I highly recommend reading it. Amazon says that this book “offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator”, and it is all true. I can’t say I’ve dressed up in a pirate costume (or any other costume for that matter) in front of my classes yet, but maybe one day!

I also found this printable PDF of all the hooks Dave Burgess talks about in his book on the 2 Smart Wenches website. These flashcards would be a great resource to have handy when lesson planning.

The End of Molasses Classes

The End of Molasses Classes, by Ron Clark

A schoolteacher with the heart of a parent, Ron Clark has made it his mission to make a difference in the lives of all of our children. His first book, the million-plus copy bestseller, The Essential 55, offered students and teachers dozens of practical ideas to achieve classroom success, ranging from accountability to practicing good manners to demonstrating industriousness and respect. In The End of Molasses Classes, Clark provides 101 innovative and classroom-tested ways to lead our children to greatness and build schools full of passion, creativity, and energy.

These 101 solutions capture the magic, the success, the heartbreaks, the mistakes, and the triumphs of Clark’s own groundbreaking school, the Ron Clark Academy. These practical, ground-breaking, and powerful methods are specifically geared towards parents who want more for their children; teachers who need strategies for helping every student achieve success; and communities who hope to uplift every child and improve the education of our next generation.


The Essential 55

The Essential 55, by Ron Clark

When Ron Clark walked into his fifth-grade class in rural North Carolina, he was confronted with a tremendous challenge. The children had little interest in learning, and were sorely lacking in guidance. How would he transform a group of apathetic kids into disciplined, thoughtful, and curious students? He quickly realized that they needed to learn some basic rules. Clark compiled a list of 55 lessons, and soon, his fifth-grade students-who once struggled to read at the third-grade level-were reading at the sixth-grade level . . . and loving it. What’s more, they were gaining something crucial-self-respect. Those 55 lessons evolved into what Clark calls The Essential 55-guidelines for living and interacting with others The Essential 55 will prepare parents and educators to teach students the rules for life-everything from knowing how to say thank you, to acing an interview.

Babel No More

Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners, by Michael Erard

If you’ve ever tried to learn another language, you know how much time, energy, and brain power is required. Imagine a person who can pick up languages very easily. Someone who can navigate our world’s multilingual hullaballoo. Who can leap language barriers with a single bound. Who can learn without effort and remember indelibly. Such people aren’t parrots. They’re not computers. They’re language superlearners.

Michael Erard searched for these people, and when he found them — in history books and living among us — he tried to make sense of their linguistic feats and their mental powers. His book answers the age-old question, What are the upper limits of the human ability to learn, remember, and use languages?

Joining the Literacy Club

Joining the Literacy Club: Further Essays into Education, Frank Smith

“The Literacy Club,” Frank Smith’s metaphor describing the social nature of literacy learning, has become widely used in recent years. The essays in this collection reflect Smith’s belief that we learn from other people, not so much through conscious emulation as by “joining the club” of people we see ourselves as being like, and by being helped to engage in their activities. The general theme holding the essays together is that the most significant people in every learner’s life are teachers the formal teachers of the classroom, the informal (and less frequently acknowledged) teachers in the world outside school, and the teachers (scarcely ever recognized) who are the authors of the books we read.