Thursday, June 4, 2015

#LearnLAP Book Study- Chapter 1

I saw Primary Gal's book study for Learn Like a Pirate and I had to jump in and share my thoughts. When this book arrived last week I read it all in one day. There were so many ideas that were generated and also a lot of questions. Paul Solarz (@PaulSolarz) did an amazing job of sharing what he does in his student-led classroom.

Chapter 1 focuses on what a student-led classroom is.

"A student-led classroom is one in which students make decisions and choices throughout the day without consulting the teacher."

This is the classroom I strive for but have fallen short each year. I learn from mistakes and we make adjustments as we go. However, I'm still the one making most of the decisions. It was great to hear that student-led classrooms don't happen overnight because I've been working towards that goal for years. I guess I'm taking the "baby step" approach but I'm now ready to jump in with both feet! I've always used small groups for students to collaborate and share what they are doing, and I'd like to think that's a step in the right direction for student-led.

Solarz also mentions that students must feel "safe, appreciated, and connected to their teacher" in order for this to work. In my classroom we spend a lot of time talking about how we are a family. We share stories about how family members sometimes have disagreements but in the end we still love them because we are family. My students know I expect the same thing in our classroom. I know this is a message that gets across to my students because this year we did the Together We Soared Awards that they wrote for each other. Here's one that talks about being family.

I'm ready to go in all the way with the student-led classroom but I still have questions. I'm planning to continue to participate in this book study. Also, Paul Solarz is hosting a book study via Twitter Chat #LearnLAP on Monday night 7-8pm CST. Paul has been ready and willing to share ideas and answer questions that I've tweeted so I encourage you to join this Twitter book study as well.

Thanks to the Primary Gal for allowing me to link up for your book study!


  1. I had a very fussy 4th grade class this year. We did lots of discussing about how to get along and speaking to other nicely. I love your idea of the Together We Soared Award. This would've been a great activity to have done with my class. Definitely will keep in mind for next year. I enjoyed reading your post on the book.

    Shepherd's Shining Stars

  2. Thanks for sharing your fun activity to encourage the family atmosphere in our classrooms! Your post is great. Thanks for joining in on the book study!!! :)

  3. Thank you so much for sharing the information about the twitter chat! I love that it's not Eastern Time either so I might be able to join!! I love your awards too! What a great way to share the awesome things you did in your room!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

  4. Great idea about the awards! I do a lot of filling buckets at the beginning of the year to grab the family atmosphere. I'm still learning to let go of control... but it's so nice to see when students do start taking control and making choices in their learning. It helped me to start with the Daily 5, and the success/engagement was worth the uncomfortableness. I still want to read the LLAP book! Thanks for sharing!


Thank you for your comments. Students, make sure to answer the question of the week to earn your ticket for the good job jar. If you have trouble posting your comment just e-mail it to me and I'll post it for you.