First-graders at Alberta Martone Elementary School in Modesto, Calif., might say, "argh!" when dealing with math problems or completing other assignments, thanks to their teachers' year-round use of a pirate theme in their lessons. Teachers recently celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day and used games to teach math and other subjects. "They're so excited to do the work," principal Richard Radtke said, adding, "Math, reading, vocabulary -- all their studies they're supposed to do, but they do it in pirate."

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