What’s your Space Jam?

“I want to put a ding in the universe” – Steve Jobbs

My first computer!

My first computer!

Our world is continuously advancing.  When I was little, I be bopped around my parents’ living room listening to Madonna on a record player.  I was also my parents’ “remote control”.  When my parents wanted to change the channel, my dad would say, “Billie, go type 2 then 4.”  It was great for my growth in number identification, and my dad didn’t have to get out of his recliner.  I remember the Christmas I received my first computer.  I had to unwrap three different large boxes to reveal my brand new Macintosh Desktop, and the machine took up my entire desk space. I didn’t know at the time that 17 years later I would be bringing innovation to my classroom using the same company’s products.  I didn’t know I was going to become a teacher that would urge students to look at the big picture and think about what they wanted to do with their life, but my mother was observant and knew what my future could hold.

My mom and me Christmas 1993

My mom and me Christmas 1993

I am not a mom yet, but I have 27 kids that I have a chance to take a glimpse into our countrys’ future with every week.  My students are amazing and they each have specific talents that they could grow and develop to create a brighter future for tomorrow.  Take a look around your classroom.  What talents are your students exuding that you could cultivate and encourage? What hidden talents are hidden under their, “I don’t care” facade?  Every student, no matter how much they “fake it” cares about something, and who knows that something they care about could one day create a new IPad!  Now is the time to inspire them to think and innovate our surroundings.

My class started a blog last week on Kidblog.  I urged each student to think about something that he or she really enjoyed and knew a lot about.  I explained whatever topic he chose to write about, he would have to be able write about for the remainder of the year twice a week.  We watched the clip below and talked about how they have the ability to choose their future and change the world.  I posed the question to the class, “What is your Space Jam?”  What do you enjoy that makes you eager to learn more about and share with others?  The students jotted down some ideas, and then I met in small groups to discuss what their blog would be about.  We now have multiple celebrity blogs (Perez Hilton had to start somewhere), a book blog, and multiple sports blogs that give commentary on past games.

One Sunday, my pastor gave a sermon on dreaming big dreams and praying big prayers.  He stated dreaming and believing your dreams will become reality usually stops when you become an adult.  Adults are jaded by the world and lose faith that their dreams will come to fruition.  He closed by urging us to pray “big” prayers.  Who are the people that are able to interact with our biggest dreamers and visionaries?  Teachers, that’s who!  Shouldn’t we be urging them to believe in their dreams and aspirations while they still can.  Now, I know that every child that wants to be the next Michael Jordon may not be able to be in the NBA, but every child is given a special gift.  Let’s cultivate that gift while we still can!

Kidblog allows students in your class to have their own blog, and allows their classmates to comment on the content they are writing about.  My classmates were really excited to find out that they could interact and comment on each other’s posts.  Their spark of excitement was turned into a flame when our amazing Vice-Principal started commenting and blogging on our class blog. When using kidblog the teacher is able to monitor the content that each student puts out to his or her classmates, and the teacher must approve all comments being given to fellow peers.  Now, not every word is spelled correctly and not every sentence is grammatically perfect, but the students are writing about things that interest them!

Vicki blogs about gymnastic moves

Vicki blogs about gymnastic moves

I also appreciate that my students are giving positive feedback and constructive criticism to each other.  They are asking appropriate and thought provoking questions, and their comments and questions allow me to see how far the students have come in their thoughts and reflections within our school year.  I urge you to take a look around your classroom this week, and not reflect only on how your students are doing in your classroom, but also what your students could be doing in our world.  What “ding” will you or your students put into our universe?  What is your Space Jam?  Whatever it may be, never stop believing in yourself or your students and never stop believing in the fact that dreams can come true.

I would appreciate it if  you would share or like this post.  Email me at billieblalock@gmail.com for suggestions or questions.

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