Monday, September 19, 2011

Let Piratey Week Begin!

The coolest classroom around

So, September 19th is International Speak Like a Pirate Day! And true to tradition, the room was decorated and busy schedules adjusted to squish in some pirate fun. Our ship sails for a full week rather than one day. With all the work to get it ready, it should be savored like a good (ginger) ale.

Arrrr... ye scruvy dogs...

"Come to the Pirate-Side he will"
There, I had to let out my inner pirate.

It has been really fun so far. The kids loved walking into our room and looking around at all at decorations and changes both big and small. A big hit was the pirate make over on Darth Vader. My wife sure did a great job with the decorations! Se even gave our spinning book rack a pirate flair.

One of my favorite parts of the week is the "booty board". Inexpensive prizes are purchased and displayed for the young sprogs to covet over. During the week I hand out "dabloons" for good behavior, being on-task, homework turned in, etc. Then, at the end of the week, the students can trade in their gold for treasure. Sometimes I do an auction, sometimes I let the student with the most gold choose a 2 prizes, and then go down the list. I am not sure how it will work out this year.
'Tis the Booty Board, ye Scurvy Dogs!

I also do three pirate contests. I challenge the kids to build a mini-pirate ship, make a jolly roger (pirate flag), and come dressed like a pirate (on Friday only). The scallywags are never required to participate in the festivities, but are encouraged to participate. Usually there isn't any worries about entries. I have three judges come in and judge winners. Those deemed the most fearsome, most creative, and most daring receive a small prize which includes extra dabloons to be spendin' on booty.

Notice the bounteous reading treasure
During the course of the week, we also read a short book from about priate boats and flags. The students read an assigned short chapter (2-3 pages) in small groups, highlight important information, and then make a poster. These groups then do presentations for the rest of the class while the class takes notes, make a positive comment, and writes one question they still would like to know. I love this part of the reading workshop. The kids are almost always engaged in this unit of study.

Our Piratey Book Rack
 Thursday we will be having a Pirate Insult contest to see who can come up with the longest, coherent pirate insult (they were given a list of pirate terms to use). I love this activity as well, as it encourages my students to become fluent. They write out their "insult" in advance and then they read it in front of the class. The class votes on who they felt had the best phrase and read it the most fluently and "piratey". Winner gets a boost to their dabloon stash.

Enter if ye dare...
Another fun contest I do is I copy some pirate coloring pictures and I do a contest to see who can color the best pirate picture. Winner gets a dabloon boost as well. And, depending on the formation of my room, I may also a group coloring contest. I have purchased several of the jumbo coloring pirate books from the Dollar Tree. I give each group ONE picture to color together. That activity has a lot of value in that the group must work together to create the finished product. I give the winning a group a prize that they must also share, like a big candy bar or bag or small prizes. That way they must still cooperate and agree on who gets what. What a valuable experience for my class.

This be the back of our ship
Well, now that I have given ye' scruvy dogs all me priate secrets, I best be shovin' off and looking for other ships to plunder...



  1. Wow, your classroom looks like so much fum! I want in your class. =)

  2. Love the "enter if ye dare" sign over the bathroom door. That is the bathroom door, right?


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