How easy is it for a parent or colleague to find your information on the web? Many people cannot answer that question. It is easier to find a needle in a haystack or a random picture of you from Facebook than it is for people to find a great resource page from you. We are very fortunate to have a large pool of phenomenal educators in our district, and it is time to share your knowledge. For the past few weeks I have been discussing the benefits of having your personal classroom website. Here are few more: It’s an easy way to meet the needs of many students who have IEP and 501 plans – access to notes, clear instructions, review materials, and specific assignment details. When a teacher is in the practice of uploading classroom materials, students, parents, and special educators can more easily follow the events in the class on their own and better handle extended deadlines and any trouble that a student may be having. You are creating an archive of your class – complete with the exact materials used - Not everything a teacher does fits neatly in a paper planning book anymore. With a classroom site, you can consolidate and make sense of files, links, multimedia sources, and prompts from anywhere into one place. Then, each time you teach a class, you can refer back to the last time it was taught and grow as an instructor. You are creating a teaching website that keeps you organized and on track - As you take time to post and reflect on what goes on in your classroom, you’ll understand where you’re class is coming from and develop a more clear plan for where it’s going. You’ll find that you’re more accountable to your own plan and goals when they are clearly articulated each day or week and published online. Website building is getting so easy to do that it actually save you time - With options like WordPress, Moodle, Google Sites, Edublogs, and Weebly, you can create a site for free and instantly. Teachers can go from having absolutely no online presence to a complete classroom website within a couple of hours. Granted, creating and hosting a website used to be a lot of work, but now, if you can send an email with an attachment, you can make a website without breaking a sweat. Plus, these sites look good and come with enough options to be as large or small as you’d like. With a little front-loading of work, you’ll find yourself creating content that enriches your classroom and your relationships with parents, educators, and students naturally and easily.
You have an easy answer to “What did I miss?” - With a classroom website, students who miss a day can stay in the loop and come back to class prepared to contribute and catch up. You’ll save the time of preparing packets of homework for students with extended absences or vacations, as well. Students who missed a learning target earlier in your class or who move in from another district will have a great place to refer back to help get them back on track. Helicopter parents have an offsite landing pad - With a classroom web site, you can communicate clearly with students and their parents. This informs parents of what goes on in your classroom and often gives them a chance to be more constructive with their feedback to you about their students’ successes and struggles. They also can educate themselves about your policies, goals, subject matter, and style – which allows them to help their students do better in your classes. Your contribution goes farther than you think - A well-done classroom website has global impact. One day, you may get an email from a teacher 1,000 miles away who would like to thank you for inspiration or who may want to borrow one of your lessons. You’ll find yourself helping new and experienced educators locally as well, because you’ll easily be able to share resources with them. Your whole curriculum or a single page is just a click and an email away. It’s okay to show off - You do amazing things in your classroom every day. Share what you do with the world. Include pictures of projects, announcements about major successes, and the impact of powerful learning experiences with your school, parents, grandparents, and the world. You can make your students into published artists, photographers, writers, and producers with a single click. Students get much more engaged as their audience grows. It’s a two-way street - A class website isn’t just a way for you to communicate with others, it’s a way for others to communicate with you. Your students can respond to prompts, give you instant feedback, reflect on learning, and ask questions. It’s your gateway to engagement - Having a classroom website is the best launching pad to using technology in truly engaging ways with your students. As you get in the habit of updating your site, you’ll find yourself bringing in more resources and expanding the borders of your classroom far beyond the school grounds. As the process becomes natural and easy, you’ll start thinking of teaching differently and begin searching for ways for students to create things with technology as well. Plus, you’ll get better at finding resources and connecting with other educators, which will only fuel your encouragement with technology use in your classroom.
Weebly for Education (http://education.wee bly.com/) allows teachers to create a free classroom website and let your students build sites too! You can easily create a classroom website and blog, manage your studentsâ€™ accounts, accept homework assignments online and keep your parents up-to-date!
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Assessments Role Playing Peer Reviews & Critiques Writing Projects Build Digital Citizenship Skills Foreign Language Practice Book Clubs Professional Development Workshops Cultural Exchange Projects Sub-Hub Backchannel Discussions Science Probes Mobile Learning Planning Committees Current Events Project Based Learning Differentiated Instruction Professional Learning School Clubs Alumni Groups
This year we will be using Edmodo as one of our school website platforms. Teachers are to create a group and have their students registered to their classes. Here are few links that you can post to your site to add a little ‘spice’ to your page: • http://www.spellingcity.com/ • http://www.picturetrail.com/ • http://www.khanacademy.org/
I would like to introduce our first spotlighted teacher: Jennifer Adamczyk. She is a third grade teacher at Ladyâ€™s Island Elementary. She is married with two lovely daughters. This is her seventh year teaching, but her first at Ladyâ€™s Island Elementary. She stood out as tech savvy teacher as I saw her approach to technology with her students. She integrates technology into her curriculum to a point where it is not seen as an additive, but as another tool of instruction. This comfort level of use has rubbed off on her students as well.
Each day she has two students designated as the classroom tech support team. They are given the duties of handing out equipment and troubleshooting issues with the students. Students are able to navigate to websites, check their Edmodo page, and complete projects with little interference from Mrs. Adamczyk. If you would like to learn more about Mrs. Adamczyk, visit her classroom website: http://jadamczyk.com/ja/Home.html
Espresso Education: Espresso Elementary for Pre-K to 5th grade is a cross-curricular, multimedia learning site with a wide range of interactive, video-rich classroom resources that inspire children to learn. The username and password is: username: beaufort1 password: beaufort1 http://www.espressoeducation.com/
Symbaloo Math Links: Symbaloo is an online visual bookmarker. This link is serving as a bookmarker for various math links. http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/lower-school-math-links
Monthly Teacher: This website provides teachers with free resources. Here you will find lesson plan ideas and free printables. http://www.monthlyteacher.com/ Teacher Files: This a source of free educational resources for teachers to use in their classrooms their pages are full of resources, ideas, clipart, activities and lesson plans. All the resources available here are absolutely free. http://www.teacherfiles.com/index.htm Free Rice: This is one of my favorite websites, because when your students use this site it helps someone else. Students can complete the exercises and earn rice for those less fortunate. http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1453
Educators Technology: Here is the link to 20 free tools for teachers to create awesome slideshows and presentations. http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/05/list-of-20-free-tools-forteachers-to.html Big Huge Labs: (My Favorite Site!) This site is a phenomenal photo editor. You can create motivational posters, badges, and much, much more. (See my fave web tools) http://bighugelabs.com/
Brain Genie: CK-12 provides concept-based learning in multiple-modalities and quizzes in the area of math and science, practice sets and other content being fully integrated into CK-12's content. It’s free! http://braingenie.ck12.org/
Foss Web: You'll find new FOSSweb digital resources, customizable class pages, and resources for each investigation located in one easy to access location. http://www.fossweb.com/
Mr. Donn.org – This a site where you can find free lesson plans, units, videos, links…you name it! http://www.mrdonn.org/
Create motivational posters for your students http://bighugelabs.com/
Create press badges or badges for centers!
Create movie posters for book reports.
Create magazine covers for reports and lesson reviews.
This is my all-time favorite free font download website. Just go to: http://www.dafont.com/. Browse through the links and select a font that you like. Click on download> save as (I recommend that you create a folder to save all of your fonts in for easy retrieval when your computer is reimaged> open folder > click on > install. Open up any of your Microsoft products and it is there! Works with Macs too.