Sunday, June 7, 2015

Book Study: Learn Like A Pirate {Chapter 1}

This summer I'm super excited to join in my first book study.  The Primary Gal chose Learn Like a Pirate as the book and I couldn't be happier.  I mean who doesn't like pirates!!!  If I was to tell my sweet firsties we were going to learn like pirates they would instantly be in character and ready to set up a plank for everyone to walk:)  That's just the kind of kids they are.

The first chapter is really short and easy to understand.  Paul tells us exactly what a student-led classroom is and what you might see. So...

What is a Student-Led Classroom?
"A student-led classroom is one in which students make decisions and choices throughout the day without consulting the teacher." Paul Solarz

I'm not going to lie, reading that line in the book made me cringe.  Really!?!  Allow my first graders to make decisions throughout the day without consulting me!  Not sure I'm up to that challenge.  Not sure I can't not be up to that challenge either.  It's scary to think of giving my first graders control.  I mean sure we complete KWL charts and I might ask them if they would like to learn about spiders or bats during October but really allow them to make the decisions and become equal partners in their learning has never even crossed my mind.

When I sit back and really think about it, why not allow them to own their education?
It's an ego thing.
And my ego is what's at steak here.
I'm the teacher!
I'm in charge!
I make the decisions!
It's my classroom!  They are only going to be in it for about 175 days before they move on to the next grade.

When I really think about all these things I realize,
I am the teacher but I'm suppose to facilitate not control.
I'm suppose to engage my students to be responsible members of our team (family).
They should have a voice and be active learners and decision makers.

How am I going to do this in my first grade classroom?  I have NO IDEA!  But I'm willing to give it a try.  My first step is to keep an open mind and to finish reading this book.  Chapter 2 is called Common Concerns About Student-Led Classrooms.  Yep I have some concerns so I think chapter 2 will be a great place to start:)

Check back on Thursday to see what I've learned and where I stand on this idea of giving up control.

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