#DBC50Summer Book 41-50 Recap

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It is officially the first hour of Fall 2018! I published the blog about the 50th book 30 minutes before the official end of summer.

When I began the #DBC50Summer journey in June, I had no idea what it would look like at that point. I typically begin with the end in mind. In this case, I took a major risk. I had an idea and I just went for it. Not only did I go for it, but I jumped in head first by letting the owners of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc know what I was doing before I even really knew what I was doing. From that moment, Dave and Shelley Burgess have been nothing but supportive. Their team at DBC, Inc is incredible; Wendy and Tara are two of the nicest people you’ve ever interacted with in your life! I have felt encouragement, support, and enthusiasm from everyone at DBC, Inc and I cannot say thank you enough for that!

Only having less than 2 weeks to read and blog about 10 books was insane! I was at a point where I literally read and blogged about a book a night. You may have noticed (especially if you’re subscribed to the blog) that the posts were coming around 1:30-2:00 AM every night. That’s when I was publishing. You would think that I have been exhausted. You would be wrong. I have been more energized than ever before in this journey! I quietly wondered if the integrity of the quality of books would be in question as the quantity of books increased. Short answer: DBC has just gotten better with time.

Through reading the first 50 books, in order of their release date (to the best of my knowledge), I have watched the transformation of DBC, Inc. I am absolutely blown away . by the fact that every. single. book compliments the Teach Like A Pirate message. These books never contradicted themselves. They built on one another in a logical manner, pulling you deeper into the PIRATE pedagogy with every page. It is abundantly clear that Dave and Shelley take great pride in their authors and they are still very much running the business, both in name and in practice. I do not believe for a second that the continuity between books would be present if they weren’t (wait for it…) steering the ship at every turn. They are clearly invested in their business through their investment in the authors they publish. Dave set out to disrupt the publishing business, and disrupt the business he did. I stand (errr, sit…) in awe of the dynasty they have created from the ground up. Dave and Shelley have kickstarted a revolution in education through their publishing business and I am so excited to see what they have coming up for us next!

Three days ago, I saw this post was pinned on Dave’s Twitter profile.

Although Dave saw this at a fitness center, this quote applies perfectly to my experience with #DBC50Summer. I believe there were times that the Captain himself even doubted that I would meet my goal of reading the first 50 of his books by the end of summer (though he never said anything about it). Heck, there were times I doubted it. When my youngest daughter was hospitalized and diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in early August, when I was traveling throughout the western half of North Carolina doing four presentations each day then driving hours to our next destination for two weeks in July (I presented 32 one-hour sessions in 8 days), when I was spending late nights at the softball field with my oldest daughter, and when teachers came back to work in late August, I was certain that the first day of fall would come and go as I continued to work on #DBC50″SUMMER”. The unending encouragement from my professional learning network and the absolutely spectacular authors of DBC, Inc get full credit for inspiring me to keep going and push through these obstacles to achieve my goal of reading the first 50 books by the end of summer. Even those “without a dog in the fit” so to speak (the authors of books 51-57) have shown support through Direct Messages on Twitter, text messages and encouraging tweets. I am forever grateful.

On August 27, I experienced an hour unlike any other. I actually found Cloud 9 and hung out on it for a while… I was honored to host #tlap that night to share my experiences with #DBC50Summer and discuss the entire DBC, Inc line. This was a great celebration of the authors and the ideals shared in each book, and I hope that those who participated were able to walk away with new books on their Amazon wishlist!

Let’s check out the last ten books in #DBC50Summer!

41 – Be The One For Kids by Ryan Sheehy: This book lit me on fire to be an advocate for every student. It also reminded me that even though I can’t possibly be the one for every student, I never know which one I will inspire and motivate. Because I don’t know which one(s) will be touched the most, I should do everything in my power to be the one for them all.

42 – All 4s and 5s by Andrew Sharos: This book is advertised for Advanced Placement (AP) teachers. But ohhh the power of false advertisement. This book is actually for EVERY teacher! Why should AP students be the only ones held to high standards? That’s exactly what Andrew shares with us in his book! Don’t let the intended audience fool you. You need this one in your hands yesterday!

43 – Shake Up Learning by Kasey Bell: Static learning won’t work for students in 2018! (It also didn’t work for students in 2006 when I started my career, but I’m learning to forgive myself because I didn’t know any better.) Kasey inspired me to step out and apply to earn my Google Teacher Certification. Get her book to see what dynamic teaching is and why it’s what’s best for our kids.

44 – The Secret Solution by Todd Whitaker, Ryan Donlan, and Sam Miller: Unlike any book in the DBC, Inc line, this book takes us on a fictional journey inspired by real events. We experience the inner-workings of a typical school that could be found anywhere in the US. A principal (Roger Rookie) is trying to find the secret to being a great leader. He fails over and over again. What does he find the Secret Solution to be, or is there even a Secret Solution? Grab this book – and you don’t have to be a principal to put it on your wishlist!

45 – Let Them Speak by Rebecca Coda and Rick Jetter: The power of student voice cannot be understated. Meet students on their turf and get their opinion, but only if you’re ready for the honest feedback you’ll receive. Then, do something about what they say. They deserve to be heard. So let your students speak.

46 – The Path to Serendipity by Allyson Apsey: The big secret of #DBC50Summer can be found in this post. Allyson’s book is the real catalyst! The post for this book written weeks before #DBC50Summer started. This is one of those books that you’ll get something different out of it every time you open it. I actually deleted the majority of the first post to rewrite a new one because I was inspired by something altogether different the second time around! Allyson takes us on a journey of self-discovery that you don’t want to miss!

47 – Lead with Culture by Jay Billy: Jay is the real deal, y’all! His book has me excited to go on a treasure hunt this year for evidence of positive culture! Check out the post to play BINGO and use the link within it to purchase Jay’s book, the very first book in the Lead Like A Pirate guide book series! There are more to come!

48 – Sparks in the Dark by Travis Crowder and Todd Nesloney: This. Book. Though. What do you mean, you don’t have it? Go get it. Now. It will transform your reading and writing instruction (and all other content areas) for the rest of your career! You will fall in love with reading and writing, and so will your students if you use these strategies!

48.5 – Sparks in the Dark by Travis Crowder and Todd Nesloney: What happens when you’re 48 hours away from the end of #DBC50Summer and you are inspired beyond belief by a book… you write a second blog post, of course! This one had me breaking all the rules. Lucky for me, I know the lady who made the rules. We chatted… it’s okay. (HA) Check out Part 2 of Sparks in the Dark #DBC50Summer blog post!

49 – The Pepper Effect by Sean Gaillard: Why does Monday have such a bad reputation? Why can’t we celebrate a new beginning? That’s exactly what Sean did through #CelebrateMonday! Find out what inspired the movement and how Sean connects his passion for The Beatles into his own schoolhouse as principal! The author is a friend of mine… he’s as genuine as they come! You want this book, even if you’re not a fan of the music.

50 – The EduNinja Mindset by Jennifer Burdis: She competed on two seasons of American Ninja Warrior but that wasn’t the hardest thing she ever did! Find out what was the hardest thing she ever did. You’ll also discover how to set goals and get out of your own way to achieve them. This one is a book for the masses! The perfect book to end #DBC50Summer on!

My implementation plans and flipgrid links for each book are listed in a nifty spreadsheet here. I also suggest checking out each of the Recaps from earlier in the summer: Summer Recap 1, Summer Recap 2, Summer Recap 3, and Summer Recap 4.

That’s it; that’s all folks… but wait. #DBC50Summer may be over, but I’ve still got one more blog post to write! You’re going to want to see this one! I have been asked a dozen questions by coworkers, administrators, PLN members, and members of the Pirate crew (immediate and extended)! I address them all in the final #DBC50Summer post, as well as sharing a HUGE announcement!

#DBC50Summer 49/50: The Pepper Effect

Once upon a time in the far away land of #edcamprss on March 7, 2015 there was a second year media coordinator who was a huge fan of this book called Teach Like A Pirate. She had delved into the world of Twitter and was super excited to meet some epic twitter friends & #EduHeroes, like Mandy Casto and Derek McCoy. While enjoying a session on the book, I get a tweet from Dave Burgess (you may have heard of him before <insert sarcasm font here>)!

Um… no, it’s never too late, Captain! After some technical difficulties, we were able to chat with Dave live during our #tlap session!

(Yep, that’s me in the white shirt standing up)

One of the people in our packed out room was a principal. My friend and mentor, Lucas Gillispie, tweeted his question while I typed it into the chat box in Skype (Dave couldn’t hear us, but thankfully we could hear him.)

Wait a minute… that twitter handle looks awfully familiar! And the name… where have I heard that name?

This was the first time I got to chat with Dave and hear his enthusiasm! I declared then and there that I was #foreverApirate!

Who else was in the room, again?

Who is this guy?

Are you putting it all together? The day that Sean Gaillard, author of book 49 in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line “met” Dave Burgess and first committed to reading Teach Like A Pirate, I was fortunate enough to be in the room typing the questions to Dave so he could answer them. I actually typed the question to Dave from Sean about how to best support teachers who are teaching like pirates as the admin.

Isn’t that insane? Now, here we are, over 3 1/2 years later, and I’m writing a #DBC50Summer blog post on Sean’s book, published by Dave and released on June 4, 2018! I’ve got to tell you… I love that story! THAT is the power of being a connected educator!

So which book is Sean’s? Sean is a self-proclaimed walking encyclopedia of facts about The Beatles and their music. As a nod to Sgt Pepper in Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sean wrote The Pepper Effect.

This book isn’t just for fans of The Beatles! I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan. Not my style of music. I can appreciate their rise to fame, their willingness to go against the grain of pop music of the era. However, to me, music of the 60s and 70s isn’t that appealing. (Yep, and there goes the followers list back to zero… hahaha)

For the record, I’m a fan of late 90s boy bands and the teen pop and dance-pop music, as well as contemporary R&B and hip hop of the 2000s. I will sing every word to every Usher, Nelly, Destiny’s Child, and any of the teen pop songs at the top of my lungs on any given day.

Even with our vast differences in musical selection, I was still able to gain so much from Sean in the 85 pages of The Pepper Effect! I love how he weaves musical jargon throughout the book and makes these spot-on connections between the Beatles story and educational applications.  His style of writing is both detail-oriented and insanely creative, a cool mash-up of right- and left-brained traits! I especially love his use of Side 1 and Side 2 to tell the Beatles’ story and then shares how we apply it in our schoolhouses in Side 2. He has interludes between chapters and uses the concept of mixed tapes to encourage reflection and action at the end of each chapter. It’s a genius set list, for sure!

There are four main steps that bring together The Pepper Effect (both the book and the ideal). These are:

  • Believe in your vision.
  • Believe in your masterpiece.
  • Believe in your collaborators.
  • Ignore the naysayers.

These are instrumental (See what I did there?) in creating a positive culture of creativity, collaboration, and innovation in our schools. Through stories of The Beatles, Sean encourages us to do things like finding time to balance our personal and professional lives using “White Space” and to shed the status quo. He empowers us to create whimsical (I love that word) moments for our students and teachers. He reminds us that our students have masterpieces within them and it is our moral imperative to help them discover those. He share his heart in that he desires for the schoolhouse to be a place of love where “one teacher’s words can set a life-changing course for a student to take bold, giant steps toward building a dynamic future” and where teachers “encourage each other to pick up [their] instruments and play [their] songs in unrelenting passion…rooted in service and support”! Isn’t that powerful stuff?

This is an exceptional book that I highly recommend to Beatles fan, and non-Beatles fans alike! Sean certainly outdid himself! I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t bring to light one of things Sean is most well-known for creating! His own gift to the world is the #CelebrateMonday movement. (Ahhh, yes; now you’re getting a clear picture of what Sean is about and why I adore him so doggone much.)

The idea behind #CelebrateMonday is that many people dread that first day back at work. But why? His idea is to be excited Mondays because it becomes the positive catalyst for the week! Using the #CelebrateMonday hashtag, share awesome stuff happening in your school. Use that opportunity to celebrate your bandmates. What is going on that makes the day excellent? It’s about finding the positive with intentionality on a day that is normally an excuse to be negative. Find out why educators across the globe #CelebrateMonday by following the hashtag and venture into Sean’s new flipgrid space here! Share your own responses here as well!

I was so excited to attend Sean’s book release party this summer! While there, he signed my book and I got a selfie! (As a bonus, I also got to meet the amazing @mospillman!)

Sean is truly that amazing and that kind. He exudes positivity and is genuinely the nicest guy. I just can’t say enough great things about him, and his book is incredible, too! Connect with Sean on twitter at @smgaillard! Be sure to #CelebrateMonday each and every Monday; it’s not hard to find something positive if we’ll just look! That’s what I plan to do this year! I commit to finding something positive about staff members, students, or my school every Monday for the remainder of the year and tweeting it to the hashtag. As we have a growing population of parents, teachers, and students on Twitter, it is important to build culture in digital spaces as well as physical spaces. This can only help foster a trusting relationship between all stakeholders. As Sean points out, this leads to creativity, collaboration, and innovation!

You can follow Sean’s blog here. He recently appeared on DisruptED tv which you can see below.

There are several other podcasts on which he has appeared including #LeadUpTeach, Leader of Learning, and Reimagine Schools. He was interviewed at the Transformative Leadership Summit as well. He’s just started a new podcast called The Principal Liner Notes; follow it here. Keep watching for great things coming from Sean! With his kindness and servant heart for leadership, he is going to continue to do amazing things! He was currently chosen as Principal of the Year for his district and his school was selected as School of the Year! The biggest thing I can share about Sean is that every time I speak with him, I am inspired and uplifted. I appreciate Sean’s friendship and I adore his book! As per usual, the flipgrid is available for your reflections. Huge shoutout to Andrea Paulakovich who created this amazing space for global collaboration during the #DBC50Summer and beyond! She has a heart for connecting and educating, so be sure to follow her, and her own #DBC50Summer journey!

*One other random connection between Sean and I (these blow my mind) is that this girl, Jessie DeLapp, who had the first ever signed copy of The Pepper Effect (<– order your copy)… she babysat my oldest daughter before she ever started teaching. Crazy, right?!


Do you know time it is? Can you believe we’ve reached this moment? The next blog will be for Book 50 in the #DBC50Summer! I am so excited to reach this goal, but I can’t get ahead of myself – can’t “count my chickens before they hatch,” as they say. According to my initial goal of reading the first 50 books published (#DBC50) as written in #DBC50Summer Explained, the deadline was by the last day of summer. Do you know today is? The last day of summer! Officially… summer ends at 9:54 pm EST. I still get to enjoy one more book, connect and reflect, and create an implementation plan for book 50. What a celebration it was on Twitter when #DBC50 came out! I’m going to morph from a PIRATE into a ninja to read book 50 – The EduNinja Mindset by Jennifer Burdis! Join me later on today (after a bit of rest and some family time) for the blog post for book 50!

Jen’s book will not be the final blog for #DBC50Summer. In keeping with tradition, I will create a #DBC50Summer Recap for 41-50 and plan to also do one final fun post with a super important announcement – stay tuned!

#DBC50Summer 40/50: The EduProtocol Field Guide

When I taught in the classroom, we typically had three days before we jumped into the content. During those three days, we covered handbook, policies, had a whole-school assembly to discuss school expectations through Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS), labeled our folders, notebooks, wrote our names in textbooks, and we learned all of the daily procedures for the classroom. The only thing I did during those first few days that was student-led was allowing them to create their own rules for the classroom. Even then, the rules usually landed in one of four areas, so class rules ended up being the same every year. Be respectful, be responsible, be punctual, and be prepared. After 5 years, I can still rattle them off.

It wasn’t until several years had gone by like this in the classroom that we did any culture building at the beginning of the year. This is when we were introduced to Kagan Cooperative Learning and I instantly loved the Class Builders. From then on, I would do activities where students were stranded on a desert island and had to order their supplies from most important to least important, or students would have to decide which of five patients on a donor list would get the next available heart based on the information given. They would have to advocate for their patient to their peers.

In the elementary media center, I would go over care of books, expectations, and allow students to check out books for the first time and we would discuss how I wanted that done. In the middle school media center, I still do the expectations discussion and allow them to check out books, but we don’t really discuss care of books at length. Last year, I revamped the lesson to include rules & expectations shown through memes. I was super pumped about the lesson, but according to my students’ survey results at the end of the year, 25% of the students didn’t even remember the lesson while another 41% said it was just alright. I listened to the students. I knew I needed to do something new with the opening lesson in the media center so I was super excited to see that book 40 was The EduProtocol Field Guide by Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo!

This book had exactly what I was looking for!!! I had read it back in April after purchasing it from Dave Burgess at an event in a nearby county. (I blogged about how inspired I was after that event here.) So I knew that this book held the answer, but I couldn’t remember specific directions to the protocols. I just remembered being excited to implement the protocols this year, as my media time with students was already coming to a close when I discovered the book last year.

One of my very favorite things about this book, (other than the actual protocols, which are on fire) is the banter between Marlena and Jon in the margins! Their personalities totally shine through the pages! I also love that there is plenty of space to write notes in the margins of the page! This is truly a manual to keep fingertips away when creating experiences for students!

In the 100th episode of Kids Deserve It with Adam Welcome and Todd Nesloney, Adam asks Dave who is “inspiring him right now”. His answer? See the video below.

It is that very idea of immediately implementing that has me still awake after 2:30 in the morning completing book 40 and writing this post. I’m so excited about the overhaul in my media lesson for this week that I had to blog it instantly. I can’t wait to get feedback from the students to learn their reaction to the changes!

Reviewing media expectations won’t be done with a lecture this year, not even a slide deck with memes! Instead I am creating a review game in Quizizz where students will guess my response to various scenarios. (This game will be linked in the implementation blogs to follow in the coming weeks.) Students will play the game independently, then we will review missed questions and they will immediately play the game again with the same questions (although likely in a different order). This Smart Start is called “Fast and Curious”.

A Smart Start provides a warm-up of sorts for the EduProtocols to follow. It shows students the up-tempo pace (I love this concept of shortening the amount of time given to complete assignments/activities/protocols in order to create a sense of urgency rather than procrastination!) It’s also just fun, and something outside the expected “first day” routines! Jon & Marlena have their acronym game on point in this book! Several examples of well-used acronyms are available in The EduProtocol Field Guide, with one of them being the Smart START guiding principles.

The guiding principles of Smart START are Smile (keep it fun), Teach (finish on time), Activities (developing the culture and practicing tech skills that will be needed), Routines (structured, but fluid), and Target Barriers (students are already learning one another’s names and finding similarities between themselves and their classmates)!

After completing “Fast & Curious”, I will have students put the Book Fair dates in their phone calendars (or planners) as the next media class is Book Fair! Then we will have a discussion about my reading goals this summer. I am so excited to tell the students about #DBC50Summer and highlight some of the posts from authors of books and share the hashtag with them so they can see the insane amount of learning I completed this summer in order to make school better for them! From that conversation, we will transition into their own reading goals. They will complete a Google Form sharing their goal with me and their teachers along with rationale for their goal. Then they will move through three fast-paced stations! Stations will be as follows:

  1. Flipgrid & Five Words Form: Students will share their reading goal (only visible to the student, me, and their ELA teacher) and give themselves a little pep talk (think Kid President style). This video will be revisited in October when I see them to motivate them to continue pushing toward their goal. In November, they will create a video response sharing whether they met their first quarter goal or not. They will then identify a new goal for 2nd quarter and record it. This will happen throughout the year. Also in this station, students will complete a Google Form survey about what five words describes their core classes (math, ELA, social studies, science) and their encore classes (art, band/chorus, pe, computer science discoveries, project lead the way 1 and 2). These results will be compared to the responses from teachers about what they hoped students would say about their experience in their classes.
  2. Book Checkout: Students will be encouraged to check three books out of the media center and reminded that they will return to the media center in two weeks to exchange books. Soap box moment: Students can select ANY book they’d like from our shelves. I don’t care if it’s graphic novels, Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, or Shakespeare. I just want them to get something they are interested in and READ!
  3. Club Information & Sign-Ups: I sponsor multiple clubs at my school, both in the afternoons and in the mornings. I always look forward to having students engage in these clubs and getting to know them in a much more informal manner. I will unveil the 8th grade puzzle and allow 8th graders to sign up to work on it, as well as share information in our Google Classroom about Makerspace Managers, Innovation Engineers, Between the Lines Book Club, Battle of the Books, and Virtual Reality. Students will signify interest in any of the clubs they’d like by signing up on one of the whiteboard around the media center (also giving them time to move and check out any new furniture, books, etc they haven’t yet seen in their space). Those students will have permission forms sent home the following day.

After stations, we would have moved into the “Things That Rock” Smart Start, but the power of Twitter is tremendous! Check this out!

I posted the lesson outline on Twitter.

To which Marlena replied:

I pointed out that I only see them once a month, to which she replied:

Yes… yes I did just collaborate with the author of the book while planning my lessons for the week (my implementation plan). <insert squeal here> I’ve just got to reiterate how incredible the authors of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc are! They are tremendous educators, amazing authors, and most importantly, exceptional humans. So following Marlena’s advice, I am going to move Things That Rock to the end as an additional activity if needed. I will move the What People Think meme creation up as a school-wide collaborative document. Each student will be given a slide and they will reflect on the changes in the library and what they feel they can expect from their time in our media center.

Upon completion, we will complete the Smart Start of “Worst Preso Ever” in which we watch a short video about poorly designed presentations and they intentionally create a slide in a poorly designed presentation of their opinion of their first impressions of the school year.

I am so excited to implement this plan (created with input from Marlena – WOO HOO) for The EduProtocol Field Guide! Truly, I am hoping to eventually use all of the Smart Starts and EduProtocols this year, but for the purpose of #DBC50Summer, my implementation will be these first lessons with every student in the school this week! Follow the incredible conversations surrounding this book on Twitter using the hashtag #EDUProtocols! Marlena and Jon are both very active on Twitter and I highly suggest following them at @mhebern and @jcorippo, respectively. There are many podcasts featuring the authors and/or the book, so I would suggest just using “the power of the Google” to listen to them (or watch them on YouTube). You will definitely want to check out the EduProtocols website! As always, check out the flipgrid and share your favorite of the #EDUProtocols or Smart Starts! Big thank you to Andrea Paulakovich for allowing me to co-pilot this awesome global collaborative space for all DBC, Inc books!

This post wraps up another set of ten DBC, Inc books! Wow! Summer Recap 4 is coming soon, as well as book 41! I wonder if it will Be The One you’re expecting next…