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.

11 comments:

  1. So, my question to you is... HOW DO YOU KEEP UP WITH THIS? :-) I started a page last year through Weebly, but have had a hard time keeping up with it.

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  2. I just wanted to say Thank You! for sharing all of this information, the classroom management tips, classroom set up, printables and forms, etc, etc. I am a mid-career engineer who is leaving that field to be a teacher - currently enrolled in a M.Ed program, and trying to figure some of this out! Thank you!

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  3. That's very cool you have a class website. I think it is more comfortable to contact this way with students and even to give them some materials in more convenient way.

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  6. I discovered your site two summers ago, and I have been slowly incorporating many of your tips and strategies. Thank you for so many good ideas! After feeling frustrated with Google Sites and loving your new site, I went right on Wix to begin building a new classroom site. I typically like to create a weekly agenda, but I found it was taking so long to cut and paste the chart I was using, change all the dates, and type in the info for each day. Do you have any tips to streamline this process?

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    1. Unfortunately I don't have much advice for you on this one. I don't use a table to keep my agenda organized; I just list it out. Even then, though, I am doing a lot of copy/paste and changing dates. I typically do my whole agenda on Monday morning (or sometimes the Friday before the upcoming week) and I just copy the entire week before and paste it. Then I go through and make the necessary edits. I will say that I try not to get too overly detailed in my agenda just because of the time constraints. It's more of an outline of what's happening in class each day. If something changes midweek, I do try to update my website agenda ASAP. Really, the major comfort I find in doing all of this cutting and pasting is that I have to create these agendas anyway for my administration, and they do accept my agenda being posted on my website rather than in our school-mandated planning software. I hope that sort of helps! Do you like Wix?

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    2. Your website post was so helpful! Although Wix took a while to get comfortable with and navigating all the features, I finally finished my site tonight! I hope it's okay, but I used your pages as a template:) I love your blog!

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    3. It looks great, Melissa! Well done! I especially like how you've set up your filing cabinet. :)

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  7. Forgot to list the address: http://mshaffer18436.wixsite.com/english

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  8. Just a tip, if anyone's school (like mine) blocks wix, weebly.com is another option. Not quite as user friendly as wix, but still a usable option!

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