Class websites are not just for posting spelling words and homework…they have the potential to be much, much more! Quality websites not only showcase student work, show parents what students are doing in class, they give students an authentic audience for their projects, and increase communication with parents and the community. In addition, they are also an excellent marketing tool for potential families interested in attending the school. If a student doesn’t have a computer or Internet at home, I always provide paper copies of important documents as well. In addition, I offer time in the mornings and/or when work is completed to BLOG and/or use resources on class computers.
A screen shot of my first teacher website, over 8 years ago:
I implemented Teacher Websites at both schools where I worked and they are still being used today. There is nothing worse than seeing a website that was created in August by a teacher and never updated after that. Just like we have clear expectations for students, we need to have the same expectations for our teachers. Is it fair that one teacher has an amazing website and other teachers don’t even bother? How does this make the school look? Teachers have limited time and need support in order to have successful websites. That’s where I came in. I offered to do all of the training, monitoring and support in order to ensure websites were consistently updated and of equal quality across the school. I used power points, handouts, email reminders, checklists with due dates along with scheduled one-on-one meetings (after school and during my planning/lunch time) with teachers to walk them through the process, step-by-step, discuss strengths, weaknesses and areas of training and support needed in order to make this a success!
Here are some parent/grandparent testimonials:
Here are some SAMPLE TEACHER WEBSITES still being used today at my previous school, EARJ:
A handout from a workshop I taught on CREATING A TEACHER WEBSITE:
As you can see from the websites above, they all have at minimum the following:
*Homework (weekly or daily)
*About the Teacher with contact info/conference times
*Calendar (can be linked to school calendar)
*Links to helpful websites for students/parents
*Class Pic pages (updated monthly)
*Student Work (updated monthly)
*Curriculum highlights (per quarter /by subject)
*School Events- Class Pics
My Class Writing Blog (4th & 5th grade students):
I believe in giving students an opportunity to write freely about topics that interest them outside of the curriculum. This gives them a chance to practice their writing skills for an authentic audience. A blog is the perfect platform to allow students to create posts and comment on each other’s posts. Of course, all posts and comments are moderated by the teacher. This writing is not graded, but students have the option of using a blog post to later publish during writing class.