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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Learn Like a Pirate - Chapter 3

Hello! Welcome back to The Primary Gal's Learn Like a Pirate Book Study! Today I will be talking about Chapter 3 which focuses on Peer Collaboration. I am totally in LOVE with this chapter since it brings ideas, scenarios, and examples of what peer collaboration is like in a student-led classroom. 

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Okay, ready.... "Give me FIVE!"

Who has used this strategy to refocus the classroom? I have used it, my bestie uses it, some of my teacher friends have it displayed on their wall. However, it is always used by the......teacher. In this chapter, Paul explains the importance of empowering our students to work together and also USE the phrase "Give me FIVE" and give them the power to interrupt the class. Wait, did I just say that? I'm going to allow my students to interrupt class?!? YES! Of course at the beginning I will have to model and provide feedback to remind students that interruptions can be: to remind teacher of transition times, to suggest appropriate behaviors or tasks, to ask questions, to offer a skill someone might need, etc. These interruptions are meaningful and help students become leaders and collaborators in the classroom!!

My favorite advice from Paul is to set up Responsibility Partners. These partners are very important for the success of the classroom. They can be set up however the teacher chooses, but the students need to understand that they are both responsible for each other's progress. With Responsibility Partners, students will develop empathy and realize that not everyone learns the same. They will also learn that one student may be really good at one part of the assignment, while the other student might be really good at another part. What it comes down to, is building a strong bond within the classroom.

There might be some CONFLICT....disagreements.....ugly situations when students are working with their peers. Paul offers 3 techniques that I will definitely teach my students:

1. Rock-Paper-Scissors
2. Compromise
3. Choose Kind (my favorite) :)

In order for students to feel empowered, we need to create the safe atmosphere in the classroom, where they can interrupt, re-direct, learn, and resolve their own conflicts.

Join us next week as we discuss: Improvement Focus vs. Grade Focus!

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