April 28, 2014

Choosing Content for a Teacher Website

New Class Website / BarbaraLN / CC BY-SA 2.0
Why should you create and maintain a teacher website?

It's helpful...
·      for students...
o   who are absent due to illness, vacation, other activities, or even snow days and who want to stay "caught up"
o   who will have an authentic audience for student products through teacher (or classroom) websites
·      for parents...
o   so they can have another avenue for communication with their children's teachers
o   so they can see what you and your class are doing
·      for grandparents and non-custodial parents..
o   so they can see what's going on in the child's classroom
·      for administrators...
o   so they can see the teaching and learning you and your class are doing
·      for the community...
o   so they can see the engaging activities you and your class are pursuing

What content should be available on a teacher website?

I recommend...
·      teacher information
o   your name
o   school email address (not personal email address)
o   teaching position
o   best times for parents to reach you by telephone (school phone, not your personal phone or cell phone) and email (school email address, not personal email address)
o   brief paragraph introducing yourself, teaching interests
·      school information    
o   school name
o   school telephone number
o   school address
GTD for kids / woodleywonderworks / CC BY 2.0

·      teaching information
o   calendar
o   reminders about upcoming school events and important dates or deadlines
o   class goals, daily schedule
o   classroom rules and/or procedures: what parents and students can expect in your classroom, basic expectations for students with, perhaps, a glimpse into what learning will be like in this classroom
o   newsletters
o   online lesson plans (current assignments, units, activities, spelling words)
o   resources provided: for students, parents, others… perhaps PortaPortal… perhaps links to learning games… recommended sites
o   web links (class-related resources, encyclopedias, dictionaries, learning games)
o   student projects (be sure you have signed permission slips!)
o   teacher Internet projects (webquests, scavenger hunts, …)

Where can I find some new suggestions for an effective teacher website?

Searching on the web for teacher (or classroom) websites brings up many well done but older articles. Many good ideas for these websites were shared around 2009. I would like to share some newer ideas with the teachers in my workshops. Accessing my usual sources wasn't as successful as I hoped it would be. Until one of my sources mentioned Pinterest. Teacher web page seems to be the best search phrase to use to find new ideas for teacher/classroom websites on Pinterest.
Pinterest Search / Jo Schiffbauer / CC BY 2.0

Here are some teacher websites I found plus some ideas for adding to your own teacher website.

How do you use your teacher website? What content and/or functions do you provide on it?

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