Welcome to #RockNTheBoat! This blog is not about boating, though I’m not against boating. Boating is fun. It’s not about rockin’ either, though I am partial to the rock music genre, Christian and secular. No, this blog is about changing the status quo in our classrooms and engaging and empowering students through the use of creativity and technology. Unleash your own creativity, passion for your subject, and your love of learning to inspire your students to do the same. It’s not as scary as it sounds, and don’t worry, I’m right here to guide you and hold your hand, figuratively speaking, of course. I’m not likely to actually hold your hand, since I don’t really know you. I will, however, encourage you to hang on to your hat and maybe grab a life jacket until you are ready to rock your very own boat.
My top performing post by far debuted in January, 2018, and deals with how to use the new Google Sites for blogging while combining it with Google Classroom to provide our students with the authentic audience they need and the feedback via comments that are still safe. Since then, I’ve opened up the platforms to include Adobe Spark Page and Wakelet, giving my high school students control over which platform they prefer, but I still sitesmash (like an app smash…but with websites) with Google Classroom to give me the control over the comments that I prefer.
It’s that time of year when the winter blues hit, sunlight is not always a constant presence, and the days seem longer and drearier. Coming back from the winter break can be tough for some students, and keeping their momentum going for attending school and keeping up with their classwork can be a challenge.
As a high school English and Spanish teacher, I am always on the lookout for tools that will help my students be creative, demonstrate knowledge and learning, and then also result in products that can be shared. The latest tool like this that I have explored for students is Buncee. Like any tool I explore with students, I am always looking for versatility.
We preach growth mindset to students and colleagues, but we frequently think we know what the future holds for others. Girls should grow up to be this. Boys grow up to be that. I want us to intentionally stop. A student can graduate from high school and make a living playing the banjo. A student can create fabric patterns and sell them to the world via website marketplaces. Any of us can publish a book, retire early to backpack all over Europe, or play for the Harlem Globetrotters (my son’s first stated career goal). How do we know the full potential of those around us if we continue to plant the seeds of doubt, can’t, and impossible?