If education is about the three R’s (reading, writing and ‘rithmetic), then Thursday’s activities at Lakeside ElementARRRy took that even further, adding a fourth ARRR. “We had all our normal subjects today, just with Pirattitude,” said Mattie Vacca, 9, Lakeside fourth grader. While the Jolly Roger was not flying on the flagpole outside the school, it may as well have been inside. Fourth grade students spent the day wearing head scARRRves, eye patches, even beards to school, the latest in what has become a yearly event. “I’ve always been a pirate fan,” said fourth grade teacher “Cap’n” Babs Tims. “One time I read about this celebration, and I thought that would be a neat thing for the kids to do. I already had the lifesize pirate in my class and already decorated with pirates all the time.” Tims likely read about the event in a 2002 column by nationally syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry, who first publicized what had been an annual event by a small group of friends. The fourth grade students at Lakeside Elementary had plenty of pirate-themed activities to keep them busy. Students rotated through making landform pirate island cakes, language arts of learning to talk like a pirate (Blow me down!), and even had a treasure hunt around the school. “We had to try to find the treasure, but it was always hidden somewhere in [our class],” said Katherine Kirby, 9. “We traveled all around the school for nothing. Well, there was a treasure. It was pencils, suckers, bracelets and a necklace.” In fact, each clue was a QR (Q ARR!) code that incorporated a little technology into the search, with each new clue requiring a different challenge to be completed before the next clue was given by fourth grade teacher “Cap’n” Adam Brown. The day also included a reading exercise and two particularly notable events: the pirate trade market and a pirate lunch. During the pirate trade market, students who brought an item to trade got to practice the free mARRRket system with a barter (bARRRter!) activity. Over the course of 10 minutes, students attempted to trade their items for others, with some getting what they wanted and others requiring multiple trades to improve from their stARRRting positions. The pirate lunch featured pirate sandwiches, skeleton fingers (which looked suspiciously like cheese puffs), cannonballs (grapes), ocean water and walk-the-plank cookies (wafers). Other teachers may not be as into pirates as Tims, but they got into the action, too, knowing both the importance and the fun of an event like International Talk Like a Pirate Day. “It’s fun. It’s one of the things that, yes, it’s a lot of work for the teachers. But for the kids, it’s one of the day’s they’re going to remember. We’d like to think they remember an individual lesson, but it’s really days like this they’ll remember,” Brown said. But it wasn’t just the typical teachers that got a kick out of the atmosphere. Theodore Cook was assigned to be a substitute teacher on Thursday. “I just got lucky. It got me out of an algebra test this morning,” Cook said.