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Learn Like a PIRATE: Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Collaboration. Empowerment. Student Leadership. These buzz words get a lot of press, but what do they really mean for today's students? Can students really handle the responsibility of leading the class? Can they actually learn what they need to if they are working together so often? Won't all this freedom cause chaos in the classroom? Not if you're teaching them to learn ...more
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published March 20th 2015 by Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. (first published March 9th 2015)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  493 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was the best personalized PD I could have wished for -- so much so that as I read it on Kindle, I took screen shots of my highlights and did digital annotations for how I could implement the strategies within the book. I also felt much better about the efforts I am making with my students. It's great to know that there are so many other "pirate" teachers out there and that I am not a fish out of water.
Joy Kirr
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen Paul's class in action - just before this book was published. He is the real deal. He does exactly what he writes, and his students respond so very well.

Some of this book I could not apply to my 7th grade ELA class - thus the four stars instead of five. However, much (most) of it I can use right out or tweak to meet my circumstances. My favorite chapter was chapter 8 - about giving students more responsibility. I had to read most chapters slowly, so that I could act soon af
Mark Barnes
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for all education stakeholders.
Heather Harmon
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I cannot day enough about this book! It makes me want to start the school year all over again. Full of amazing resources and powerful insights that can totally transform your classroom.
Tiffany Painter
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read to help me become the kind of teacher I've dreamed of.
Amy Scheck
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book ignited me- I can’t wait to process all of the information and use it in my classroom!
Chip Jamerson
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book can be a game-changer in education. As a teacher that has desired a more student-led classroom, but still taught in a very traditional teacher-led manner, I needed a blueprint. Learn Like a Pirate is indeed that.

Paul Solarz takes you inside his classroom and describes what a student-led classroom looks like in all aspects of the school day. While it is ideal to begin incorporating his ideas on Day 1, there are strategies that can be implemented immediately. I read this book
Heather Sobek
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I found it easy to read because of Solarz' engaging voice and real-world examples. I love getting to have a peek inside another teacher's classroom, and that's what this book felt like to me. I have a very clear understanding of how Solarz runs a student-led classroom. However, there were many times that I felt he was short-sighted and only explored how certain things worked within his experience. This book might have been improved by the addition of examples outside ...more
Stefanie Pitzer
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Every educator MUST add this to their "to read" list immediately! Paul Solarz is an outstanding educator who through peer collaboration, improvement-focused learning, responsibility, active learning, twenty-first century skills, and empowerment will show you how a student led classroom will change your teaching life for the better! It is a game changer filled with amazing ideas PLUS QR codes that provide visuals, videos, explanations from students, blog posts & resources. This is a must have ...more
Mandy Casto
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource for a teacher who is slowly (yet surely) transforming their classroom into a student-led environment! Paul Solarz really hits the fundamentals of a well-run classroom straight on and provides great, vivid examples of how/why those fundamentals (and 21st Century Skills) are so necessary in today's schools. I look forward to using LLAP in conjunction with TLAP to create my best classroom YET next school year! :)
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Such a refreshing read. This book is packed with resources, ideas, and information. I find myself going back in for something new everyday. Perfect for any teacher looking to empower their students to take responsibility for their own learning.
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful book! It validated much of what my heart has been telling me about what education should be. I do many of the things mentioned in the book, but sometimes feel guilty for not doing things like everyone else. I'm excited to try some of the new things I read about.
Laura Komos
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I will revisit often! I know it will help guide me on my journey as I continue to learn how to empower my students. I'm so thankful Paul wrote this book! It's entertaining, informative and practical. Paul's enthusiasm and passion is very evident in his writing style!!
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teacher-books
Loved it!! Trying to implement more of a student led classroom myself! Inspiring read--don't we all want engaged learners???
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great inspiration for teachers!
Miina Saarna
There were certainly some great ideas I will take from the book and morph into my own. Surprisingly enough (or maybe not) the majority of these concepts are already integrated into my class/ teaching routines and rituals (the author, like me, teaches fifth grade). Having said that, I think I could do more and push my students to take even more responsibility. A good read!
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any teacher
Shelves: education
This book aligns with my thinking about the purpose of education and offers several practical steps for making a classroom that runs itself. I look forward to putting many of these ideas into practice.
Danae Mckain
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So many amazing ideas and thoughts! Books like this renew my passion for teaching and encourage me to be better for my students. I will probably come back to this book over and over again as I implement some of his ideas in my classroom.
Chris Loeffler
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education-books
Every teacher should read this, particularly those who want to empower their students. It is thoughtful and practical. You will walk away with real ideas to use in your classroom tomorrow, and a few to pack away for the future.
Mary ellen
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has some good points and tips, but it was pretty basic.
Ricardo Garcia
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good practical read.
Heather Barry
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing!! Must read for every teacher!!!
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved all of the lesson ideas to use with our students!
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the ideas in this book. You have to pick and choose what will work for you, but the overall ideas are very positive!
Lanelle D. Stumf
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Pretty good!

I choose this rating because I liked it. It wasn't as mind blowing that I thought it was going to be.
Marybet Hudson
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is so much in this book to think about. I have already incorporated a few ideas. I think I'll be going back to this book often in the coming years.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though this is more relevant to teaching elementary school, I think it has principles that can be used for all ages.
Laura Howell
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Educators
Recommended to Laura by: Twitter PLN
Every teacher, instructional coach, and administrator should read this book. It's impactful and will motivate you to transform how you structure your learning environment for students. You may choose not to have a student-led classroom, and that's okay too; however, Mr. Solarz offers a plethora of ways to engage students and provide an increased opportunity for student voice and student choice. Mr. Solarz describes how he incorporates 21st Century Skills regularly and with every teachable opport ...more
Erika Gentry
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Paul Solarz, a 5th grade teacher in Illinois, shares how he has transformed his classroom and "empowered his students to collaborate, lead, and succeed". PIRATE is an acronym for Peer collaboration, Improvement focused vs. grade focused, Responsibility, Active learning, Twenty-first century skills, Empowerment. I have probably highlighted a third of his book and tabbed over 20 sections to add to my "to do" list this year. If you are open to having a busy, talkative, student-led, productive class ...more
Cassie Cox
Jun 24, 2015 rated it liked it
I just did not feel that I walked away from this with fresh, original ideas. My favorite part of the book, however, was the part about providing studetns with more time to explore their passions. In my own classroom, I attempt to do this by making certain that the things I ask of students are NOT "my way or no way." Rather, I try to be flexible, giving them as much choice as possible in proving they have mastered a concept or skill. As a veteran teacher, I felt this book was just o.k.; however, ...more
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