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I Should Not Have Read this Book...

Over Christmas break, I caught up on a little {okay, a lot} of professional reading.  I was looking to make some changes in my classroom and looked to the experts for help.  First on my list?  Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  I had purchased this book over the summer, but let my mom borrow it since I was preparing like crazy for a new grade level.  Let's just say the book didn't make it back to my house until Christmas.

After reading the book, this is what I texted her:

There were just so many ideas, that I didn't know where to start!!  As soon as I finished reading, my mind started moving at a mile a minute.   Burgess takes you through his career as a teacher, showing you ways to increase student engagement and boost creativity in your classroom.

He explains the six parts of how to teach like a pirate - Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask and Analyze, Transformation and Enthusiasm (spells out pirate...get it??).  Not only does he inspire you to incorporate all these ideals into your classroom, he gives examples of how he has done it in his room as well.

The second part of the book which is a "crash course in presentational hooks,"  was my favorite part of the book.  Burgess prompts his reader with hooks to engage your class with any lesson you develop for your classroom.    He includes over 30 hooks and 170 brainstorming questions.  They are AMAZING!  These hooks really got the wheels turning in my head.

There were so many that I knew I wouldn't be able to remember them all when it came time to create my lesson plans.  I also knew that I didn't want to carry the book with me back and forth to school everyday so that I could reference it.  

Brainstorm moment!  I created cards with all the Pirate Hooks on them and put them on a book ring so that they are small and light enough to carry and they are always right next to me when I am writing my lessons.

I made sure I printed them on card-stock and laminated them because I knew they would get a lot of use {I'm such a teacher!}.   Now I keep them in my teacher bag and pull them out quite often!  I have already started using a few, such as those under the Techno Whiz category.  I can honestly say that my classroom has definitely come alive in the past few weeks in a very positive way.

I highly recommend this book to any teacher, especially those who feel as though their classroom needs some fresh thinking.  A way to teach outside of the box.  I won't share any of the details of this book since I would not be able to do it justice.  You really need to read it and I know you will be as inspired as I was!  Now, I just need to figure out a way to see him speak in person...

You can check out Dave Burgess' website here to learn more!

P.S. ~ I was not contacted to promote this book or author.  I simply picked up Teach Like a Pirate after a recommendation from a friend and chose to share my own thoughts on it's content.


  1. I have heard this book mentioned several times now. I believe it's time for me to make another Amazon purchase! I really like your idea of putting all of the hooks on a ring. Very smart!

    Have a great weekend!

    Fit to be Fourth

  2. I saw so many reading this book last summer! I never got around to reading it either! Thanks for reminding me about it. I can't wait to read it!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  3. Thanks for the recommendation Sara! Ive added it to my must read list!
    Elyse :)
    Proud to be Primary

  4. So glad you stopped by my blog, now I'm following your adorable blog! I've great things about this book, but you hooked me when you talked about the hooks! (no pun intended!) I love that you have them on a ring-great idea!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  5. I read this book last year and had a hard time sleeping because all I could think about was new ideas for improving my teaching. I am almost ready to read it again because it seriously was one of my favorite teacher books ever.

    The Math Maniac

  6. I really love how you made cards for the hooks! Any chance you'll be sharing those on your blog? I'd love to print out a set!
    Michelle (mcdonaldmic@gmail.com)

  7. I know this is late, but I just read the book and ran across your blog when doing some research. Would you be willing to share the cards that you made? They look fantastic!

    Amber (amber.niles13@gmail.com)

  8. LOVE the book and the cards. Do you mind sharing?
    Sara (franzas@highlands.k12.fl.us

  9. Those cards look like a life saver! Do you mind sharing with me? tlem22@live.com Thanks!!!

  10. If cards are available for share or purchase, please let me know! They look fantastic! cstanley@emmanuel.qld.edu.au

  11. Yes! Those cards look great! Please share!

  12. Are you sharing the cards by chance?? 😬 Rebecca.minton06@gmail.com


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