August 3

Book Review and GIVEAWAY- Learn Like a Pirate by Paul Solarz

August 3, 2015

From Goodreads:
Collaboration. Empowerment. Student Leadership. These buzz words get a lot of press, but what do they really mean for today’s students? Can students really handle the responsibility of leading the class? Can they actually learn what they need to if they are working together so often? Won’t all this freedom cause chaos in the classroom? Not if you’re teaching them to learn like PIRATES!

Peer Collaboration builds community and supports teamwork and cooperation.
Improvement-focused learning challenges students to constantly strive to be their best.
Responsibility for daily tasks builds ownership in the classroom.
Active learning turns boring lessons into fun and memorable experiences.
Twenty-first century skills engage students now and prepare them for their futures.
Empowerment allows students to become confident risk-takers who make bold decisions.

In Learn Like a PIRATE, teachers will discover practical strategies for creating a student-led classroom in which students are inspired and empowered to take charge of their learning experience. You’ll learn strategies for:
– Crafting active, relevant, and interesting lessons
– Creating opportunities for student leadership
– Providing effective and beneficial feedback
– Instilling confidence so students can take risks
– Increasing curiosity and passion for learning
Incorporate the techniques and strategies Paul Solarz uses in his student-led classroom and watch your students transform into confident, collaborative leaders.

I took a class this summer for work based on the book Learn Like a Pirate: Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed. Even though I do not teach in a classroom (I am a speech-language pathologist so my role in educating students looks a little different), I wanted to see if there were any tidbits that could improve my therapy with students, even if it did not occur in a classroom. Here are my thoughts after finishing the book and the class:

On the Plus Side:

  • Paul has devised a revolutionary format for running his classroom and educating students. As education is radically changing each day in this era, this book is cutting edge in the strategies it presents for 21st century learning.
  • Paul writes exactly how he speaks which makes this book an easy read and not at all your typical educational tome that puts you to sleep (here is my disclaimer….I do know Paul personally, but that did not sway my opinion of this book in anyway….I promise!).
  • The book is specific in the way to organize a classroom, as well as guidelines for managing the behaviors and expectations for students. If you want an exact model to follow, you will find it here. If you are like me, you may need to modify certain strategies to meet your particular needs as an educator, but a good foundation is provided in order for you to do that.
  • I loved the inclusion of very specific strategies for modifying common classroom units.
  • Technology tidbits are useful and not provided just for the sake of using technology….they are used to empower students and enhance learning.

On the Minus Side:

  • Paul loves to use exclamation points… a lot :) ! On occasion it became a little distracting for me.
  • I love the whole pirate theme, and I wish it had been embedded throughout the entire book a bit more.

Overall, this is an excellent resource that I highly recommend for all educators. Despite your role in an educational setting, there are things that you can take away from this book and use immediately within your particular setting. Now for the good news, I have an autographed copy of the book that I’m going to give away to one lucky follower!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you had the opportunity to read Learn Like a Pirate? What did you find most helpful about the book?

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Posted August 3, 2015 by Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings in category "book review


  1. By Lisa on

    For me, this book brought validation that I am on the right pathway. Something that is lacking when surrounded by naysayers

  2. By Michael Albert on

    Wow, just reaffirms everything I believe in. I really like the part that talks about the non-grading of work, and how he approaches the parents/


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