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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Explore Like a Pirate: New World, Old World

Thanks for tuning in to week 3 of Explore Like a Pirate linky! Chapter 3 is called "Old World, New World" and it's all about the new world in education. There's this great line at the start of the chapter that says, "The new world" in education requires us to look past the old ways and create more dynamic learning environments and methods of teaching." To me, that sounds like it's all about student engagement!

Now, that's not to say that the entirety of the "old world" should be discarded. We just need to adapt our teaching methods to the ways of the new world. Keep what works, and update what doesn't. 

The chapter quoted Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi saying, "It seems increasingly clear that the chief impediments to learning are not cognitive in nature. It is not that the students cannot learn' it is that they do not wish to."


If the requirement is to complete worksheet after worksheet, sit still with little to no recess, not talk with partners or groups or ask questions, etc... Well, I wouldn't want to learn either. Can you say boring?!

I think that must be part of why I'm so excited about this book study. With the class I had last year I struggled to be creative since I was so focused on the discipline problems. We still had fun, but it wasn't the year I wanted to have. Now that I'm reflecting on things during the summer, I feel super motivated to bring that sense of adventure back into my classroom! 

Matera describes a gamified lesson he did during a unit on Egypt that was inspired by the Da Vinci code. The students were told that Imhotep had gone missing, and without him the pyramids would have never been built. The students had to go on a school wide scavenger hunt in order to solve the mystery his disappearance. This wasn't something done during class time, but something the students had to engage in during their free time. Not all students participated, and some groups dropped out because it was challenging, but that made the other groups work harder. The end goal was that much sweeter! Now how can I do something like this with my class and curriculum... Hmm.. The wheels are turning!

Another point worth mentioning is the use of mantras in the classroom. Some mantras Matera has used include: 
  • Strive to do the extraordinary. 
  • Life if about choices, so choose wisely. 
  • Life is all about leaving a legacy. 
  • How will you be remembered? (Today.. not in the distant future)

I'm not quite sure how to use this with my classroom, but I would love to have something like that over the white board and/or my door. Which one to choose.. 

This chapter was thought provoking - I've got lots of wheels turning for gamified lessons this year! Thanks again to Rachael at Sweet Sweet Primary for this wonderful idea. Click the image below to return to the linky, and make sure you check back next Tuesday for Chapter 4!

P.S. - Click here to follow me on BlogLovin'! My page there is a work in progress, but it's coming along. 


  1. The quote, "It is not that the students can't learn, it is that they do not wish to," summed it up perfectly. So many students are so disengaged from learning and school. I'm looking forward to reading more about how to get them engaged and eager to learn. Not just the material we're required to teach, but about their own passions as well. Thanks for linking up!

    1. I hope that there are some great ideas that are easy to implement to get these kiddos engaged! I'm excited to read the rest of the book. Thanks for hosting the link up!

  2. I had a difficult year, too, and am looking forward to bringing the excitement back into my class!

    1. We all need the excitement in our classes! I hope you're getting lots of great ideas from the book - I know I am!

  3. I was so intrigued by the Imhotep quest too! I would LOVE to have kids that focused and engaged.

    The Designer Teacher

    1. I hope that we can figure out a way to make the quests work for us!