Learning Lab: The Rockademix Classroom
A Snapshot of the Rockademix classroom
When I began this adventure, I was confident in all of the resources that were coming together – Grammy Award-winning musicians, professors of education, history PhD’s – the list just kept growing. But, there was one area I didn’t have covered. Having left my classroom teaching job, I was in need of kids! Without them, the entire project would carry the same weight as all of the other curriculum projects out there; it would lack authenticity.
I rented a 1,750 square foot space in Carlsbad, California and converted it into a classroom that also functions as a tech lab and performing area. Next, I posted flyers in English and Spanish throughout the Vista and Carlsbad districts and recruited students for Rockademix’s first pilot group. After meeting with their parents, a class of roughly 25 students (ages 5–11) was formed.
I meet with my Rockademix class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 6-8 pm.
Unlike a traditional school classroom, these students arrive after hours of already being in another classroom, and running around for sports practices and extra-curricular activities.
If Rockademix isn’t engaging from the moment they walk in, they won’t come back. This heterogeneous group of students – diverse in their age, academic levels, backgrounds, languages, ethnicity, etc. – forces me to create materials that meet a huge variety of needs. And, by using Rockademix with these students, I have become even more inspired by the program and its ability to meet the needs of all students.
Many of my students are second language learners and most are from middle class or less affluent homes. Not affiliated with any school district, Rockademix is provided free of charge for all of our students. In return for participation, parents allow me to document their child’s class participation through photos and video clips. And I of course, am able to take Rockademix and all of its amazing features for a test drive with the best experts available – real kids..