Sunday, September 6, 2015

Classroom Website: Evolved

Like most things in my classroom, my classroom website has really evolved over the last three years (the last time I talked about my website was in this post... yikes!). I've gone from using Google Sites (which just didn't do what I wanted it to do, was clunky to maneuver through, and was ugly) to Blogger (which I am very comfortable with using, but it wasn't really what I needed for my site to be), to now creating a free website using Wix.* Over the past few years, I have discovered that there are some elements to a classroom website that are necessary for the site to be functional and to attract the attention of your students. Tonight's post is a picture-heavy virtual tour of my new classroom website, with tips for adding more functionality to your own class website.

VIRTUAL TOUR TIP: Click the pictures to see them in their full-sized glory. :)

Here's the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) Version of These Tips:

  • Clearly label your pages to guide your viewers.
  • Make sure your name is somewhere on the homepage so the students/parents know they've come to the right place.
  • At-a-glance classroom news on the homepage is useful when you don't have time to read detailed plans in the classroom agenda.
  • Embedded links help students find resources quickly and easily.
  • Have elements of fun on your page, like countdown clocks and cheesy jokes.
  • Include buttons that link up to the outside websites your classes use frequently.
  • Class agendas help keep everyone on the same page every day (even absent kids).
  • Have a page dedicated to classroom resources, such as printables and notes.
  • Bios make teachers more relatable to their students.
  • Make sure your contact information is readily available.
I'll be back soon with a post about how you can easily use Wix* to create a free, beautiful website!

Happy 3-Day Weekend!

*For the record, Wix isn't giving me anything for writing this post. I'm not necessarily even writing to convince you to use Wix, although I honestly love the look and utility of it.