Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Explore Like a Pirate Book Study Ch. 4

Today I am linking up with Sweet Sweet Primary for our book study of Michael Matera's book Explore Like a Pirate.  Join us each Tuesday as we share our takeaways from this book that is all about engaging your students.   If you missed my previous posts you can find them here:

When Michael Matera first started gamifying his class, his initial goal was engagement.  He wanted his students to be excited, and he wanted learning to be playful again.  He says that he soon learned that the result was more than engagement, his students had become inspired learners.

We could all use a few more inspired learners in our classroom couldn't we?

How did he do it?  Purpose Driven Learning.

Matera says that the change in his students didn't happen overnight, and that it took time and an intentionally  different way of talking about learning.  He was inspired by a friend, Adam Moreno, (twitter profile here) who came up with 10 words that would give students the tools to be successful not only school, but in life.  These 10 words are:


Matera says these ten words have forever changed the way he talks with students, and they continue to be at the core of his gamified classroom because they lead students to take personal responsibility for their learning.  This purpose-driven learning language is a common language that both the author and his students use in the classroom to define and discuss classroom norms and goals.

He says these words hang in his classroom as a reminder that this is their measurement for being the best version of themselves.  He uses these words daily in conversations and even in report card comments.

Instead of talking about grades, his students talk about the power of curiosity, resilience, focus, effort, etc.  Students are encouraged to think about their own growth and the students take actions to improve their results, and their learning.

His students no longer make meaningless statements such as " I should work harder" instead they use these words to make power statements.

I am in love with the idea of using these ten power words.  Not only for this idea, but for vocabulary building, social emotional learning, and so much more.  I will be making a set of these words to hang up in my classroom and will have a FREEBIE available for you soon!

I must say I was definitely surprised to receive this lesson in a book about gaming!  I am excited to dig in deeper and see what more is in store!  Be sure to follow along with us!


  1. I love the idea of using these words for social emotional learning. I can see some amazing lessons coming from this! Thanks for linking up!

  2. I felt the same way...I was not expecting this chapter at all and I LOVED it!


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