Learn Like a Pirate: Chapter 7 21st Century Skills

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Welcome back! Today, we are learning all about 21st Century Skills. If you are just joining us, we have been reading and discussing the book Learn Like a Pirate by Paul Solarz, and our weekly book study linky is hosted by the fabulous Primary Gal

In his book, Solarz identifies 11 categories of 21st century skills he focuses on in his classroom.

He teaches these skills in a variety of ways. Many of them are embedded in daily lessons. He also teaches self-reflection regularly and how to create, implement, and monitor individual SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) Solarz even gives his students 21st century skills progress reports so they can see how they are coming along in their attainment of these skills.

In kindergarten, we can certainly begin to introduce these skills to our students. His students write five SMART goals and monitor their progress toward these goals each week. With littles, I may start with one goal and gradually work up to three tops—maybe a writing goal, a reading goal, and a math goal.

Using these skills takes some coaching. Students work together in partnerships to help each other understand concepts. But students need guidelines in working in partnerships. Solarz presents his expectations for student math groups like this:

I love the way he outlines his guidelines for partnerships. So often one student does all the work while the partner copies it down. With this framework, students should understand that both partners are required to think and do the work.

Stop by next Thursday for Chapter 8 of Learn Like a Pirate, and swing by the other blogs for more insight and practical applications.


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