Learn Like a Pirate {What is a Student-Led Classom?}

What does your classroom sound like during a typical lesson?  Are you leading the lesson or activity?  Do your students discuss and have conversations with one another?  Are there choices for students?  Reading the first two paragraphs of this chapter made me 100% jealous, I’ll admit.  In my classroom, we often have discussions and work together in student-led groups.  However, we also have times where we are doing teacher-directed worksheets or lectures.

I like to think of myself as the “forward-thinking educator” that Paul Solarz describes in this chapter.  I am seeking out this book to change what happens in my classroom on a daily basis.  I also like to think that I am a teacher seeks strategies that work for my students.  But where do we begin with creating a student-led classroom?

In my classroom, especially during math instruction, I to a LOT of small groups.  My students are all over my classroom completing independent work at their own pace.  Students work both in groups as well as individually depending on the tasks that they need to complete on that particular day.  I always fear that fellow teachers might view my room as chaos.  Although it isn’t silent, it is organized chaos.  That makes it ok, right?!  Paul Solarz says, “Going against the flow isn’t easy.”  I like this quote because it makes me feel like it’s ok for my classroom to look different than someone else down the hall.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Solarz says that “a student-led classroom is one in which students make decisions and choices throughout the day without consulting the teacher.”  He also stresses that creating a student-led classroom doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes a lot of training your students, practice, and patience as the students begin their student-led journey.  Classrooms that focus on a student-led approach “are only effective if students feel safe, appreciated, and connected to their teacher.”

I can’t wait to continue reading and sharing the remaining sections of this book with you!  Are you intrigued in beginning the development or honing in your current skills on managing a student-led classroom?

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  1. MyDayinK
    June 4, 2015 / 3:00 pm

    This book sounds awesome! I am ordering my copy today so that I can join in on the fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Unknown
      June 5, 2015 / 2:29 am

      You won't regret it! Seriously!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Cindy STockdalCindye
    June 4, 2015 / 4:26 pm

    This chapter already had my head spinning of ways that I can open up my classroom more! I already give them choices. However… I want the choices to be MORE meaningful. I want them to want to explore. My fourth graders should be excellent guinea pigs this fall!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Unknown
      June 5, 2015 / 2:30 am

      I thought the very same thing, Cindy! I *thought* I had a student-led-ish type of classroom but I DO NOT!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Pop into Primary with Mrs. Palmer
    June 4, 2015 / 4:30 pm

    Ordering this book today!!!

    • Unknown
      June 5, 2015 / 2:30 am

      You'll love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Paul Solarz
    June 5, 2015 / 2:22 am

    Thanks so much for running this book study Amanda! It appears that there are quite a few people participating!!! I can't wait to read next week's post from your blog and the 14 others as well!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Paul Solarz
      June 5, 2015 / 2:23 am

      …err 20 other blogs and growing!!!

    • Unknown
      June 5, 2015 / 2:31 am

      You have no idea how many emails I have sent and received with people asking to join! It is an excellent book and extremely motivating!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Unknown
    June 5, 2015 / 2:41 am

    I ordered the wrong book! SMH! I have Teach like a Pirate and LLAP is on it's way! Can't wait!

    • Unknown
      June 5, 2015 / 2:43 am

      You'll love Teach Like a Pirate too! I read it last year and it was very inspiring!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Cassandra
    June 5, 2015 / 5:10 am

    I LOVE this! My classroom is also known as the one that people walk into and think that chaos is going on! The crazy part is when you walk around and hear what the students are talking about, and then they don't think it is so crazy any more!! High five to us for giving our students the freedom to make wise choices!

    Mrs. 3rd Gradeย 

  7. Unknown
    June 5, 2015 / 2:32 pm

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

  8. 3rd Grade Pad
    June 6, 2015 / 1:21 pm

    I love that you call your classroom organized chaos! I think we all wonder/hope that people "get" what we are trying to accomplish during these parts of our day! I also appreciate being reminded that going against the flow isn't easy. And for the teacher….if can be quite scary! Pointing this out helps reminds me that it is WORTH pushing past that feeling for the good of my students.


    Looking forward to reading your perspective next week!

  9. shilgartner
    June 8, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    I'm switching over to French immersion this year and this will be the first time in my career where I have my own classroom. I've been teaching Core French for 5 years. I'm really interested in this whole concept. How do I join your book club? Is there a fee? I would love more information.

  10. Unknown
    June 10, 2015 / 7:40 am

    How does everyone add the list of bloggers from InLinkz? I am #25 SOARing Teacher. I know the code will go in the HTML, but can't find the code. Can you help? Thanks!

  11. Unknown
    September 17, 2015 / 10:33 am

    Definitely the educator which have forward thinking always healing their students on top. I have got countless tips and techniques from this article.
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