Explore Like a Pirate Book Study: Chapter 3

It's time for Chapter 3 of the Explore Like a Pirate book study! Remember, the book is FREE if you are a Kindle Unlimited user and want to join in.

This is the quote Michael Matera uses to start off the chapter and I love it! What a great message not just for us as educators, but our students as well. Now, if only the people who pass laws about education could embrace this idea!

Chapter 3 is all about moving away from "old world" thinking in education (which Matera helpfully points out is based on two-hundred-year-old traditions!) and sailing toward the "new world," where we work on producing risk takers who develop a sense of exploration and discovery.

How does gamification help us mold these new types of learners? Matera brings up several different ways:

Games Make Kids Want to Learn

Common core standards, district initiatives...while we use these to build our lessons, they are not the things that inspire students to become active learners. It is our job to plan lessons that "tap into the joy of discovery" and make our students go beyond what they know. In a gamified class, students becomes players on a quest, instead of students at a desk, and take charge of what they learn, using it in new and exciting ways!

Gaming Can Inspire the Extraordinary

Matera speaks of several mantras he uses with his students, which I will be trying out this school year! They are:

"Strive to do the extraordinary" - I struggle with having students, even the bright ones, only wanting to do the bare minimum on assignments. I'm hoping gamification can bring them to that next level where they want to make everything they work on extraordinary!

"Life is about choices, so choose wisely" - Through gamification I want my students to choose activities that will challenge them and help them grow as learners and people.

"Life is all about leaving a legacy" - I like how Matera clarified that this isn't necessarily about a long-term legacy, but getting students to think about how they will be remembered at this point in time. Each new day is a day to shape their legacies!

Gaming Naturally Engages Students in Learning

According to Matera, when students play, they are "motivated by the challenge, enthralled by the discovery, and proud of their accomplishments." Also, gaming requires teamwork, which helps students push each others to higher levels. Sounds good to me!

Gaming is Flexible and Fun

Matera points out that students are more that familiar with the construct of games, which often have multiple worlds or levels they need to adapt to. This attitude aligns itself perfectly with trying new things in the classroom. Instead of waiting until next year when you read about a new idea on a blog or in a tweet, you can start it right away, knowing students have the ability to embrace change and go with the flow.

Make sure to join us next week as we share our takeaways for Chapter Four! Thanks to Rachael for hosting!


  1. I loved the strive to be extraordinary mantra, too. I love the idea that all students, regardless of level, could be motivated and engaged in learning!

    The Designer Teacher

  2. I love the flexibility gaming provides. Starting any time makes it easy to get going or make adjustments when needed. Thanks for linking up!

    1. I'm loving what I'm reading so far! Looking forward to Chapter 4.

  3. I loved reading about the mantras! I think that it's a great way to inspire students. I think that it's important for students to think about leaving a legacy.. Everyone wants to be remembered for good things, or even doing extraordinary things, so act accordingly. :) I can't wait to read the rest of the book!

    1. So true! I also love how he emphasized not to think about the "far" future...but how you will be remembered later on by the actions you take today! Great stuff!


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