by Mary Beth Scumaci
It’s back to school time! You know what that means...it’s time to set those technology resolutions for the year into action. Make time to get your teacher website designed or surf for fresh ideas to enhance your current website. Why websites, you may ask? They are a fun, engaging, and professional way to communicate with your students, their families, and colleagues. Teacher websites are a great place to compile all of your resources and ideas. Once posted, you have an archive of all of your favorite teaching resources and curriculum materials. According to Cleanapple.com, the top ten reasons for creating a teacher webpage are:
10. It’s an easy way to meet the needs of many students who have an IEP and 504 plan.
9. You’re creating an archive of your class-complete with the exact materials you've used.
8. A teaching website keeps you organized and on track.
7. It’s getting so easy to do that it can actually save you time.
6. You have an easier answer to “What did I miss?”
5. Helicopter parents have an off-site landing pad.
4. Your contributions go farther than you think-global possibilities.
3. It’s okay to show off–share your amazing lessons and activities.
2. It’s a two-way street-an efficient communication tool (e.g. teacher-student & student-teacher).
1. It’s your gateway to engagement-a great resource posting site and way to communicate with and engage your students.
Below you will find a link to a model teacher website that will help motivate you to start clicking, blogging and communicating in tech savvy, colorful, and educational way.
This month’s spotlight shines on Mrs. Amanda Madden, a second grade teacher at Bell’s Crossing Elementary School in Simpsonville, South Carolina for her attractive and informative website, Madden’s Monsterous Masterminds. Visit her
website, it is just delightful! She has designed an attractive and engaging website that provides students and their families with resources, curriculum materials, and a great social space for communicating. Mrs. Madden’s first page captures a sense of fun, community, and organization. You will find her class mission statement, a class brochure, student bios, a guest book for virtual visitors, and a map where you can add a pushpin to mark your geographical footprint.
Madden’s Monsterous Masterminds has followers across the United States. Mrs. Madden has included a range of option tabs on her website that include: Welcome, Site Map, Students’ Spot, Parents’ Place, Meet The Teacher, Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, Mathematics, Units of Study & Blog Buddies. Speaking of blogs, Mrs. Madden has a blog for teachers. She posts lots of great ideas, tips, and strategies including freebies, and interesting ideas to use in the classroom.
Mrs. Madden is a true professional who believes in teacher sharing. You will find many resources throughout her website that will inspire you. Below are a few screen shots from her website.
The Class Home Page
Meet the Teacher, Mrs. Madden
The Parent’s Place
The Students’ Spot
Units of Study Writing Workshop
So, how did Mrs. Madden accomplish her goal of setting up her own webpage? She went to http://www.teacherweb.com and signed up for an account. You can set up webpages for any grade level, group, or organization. The fee for an annual account membership is currently $39 per year and there is a risk free, 30 day trial. Before you sign up for a free trial, explore the Teacher Web Designs section. There are a variety of template options to explore. I’m sure one of them is bound to meet your personality and educational needs. The “For Teaches” tab offers links for sign-up, features, teacher site example, pricing, pre-service, and workshops. It’s as easy as a few clicks of a mouse to get started. You can blog, create a photo gallery, synch it with your grade book, upload multimedia files, post homework assignments, and more. Why not give it a try?
Sample Template Designs
Good luck and best wishes for a tech savvy school year!
Mary Beth Scumaci is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Technology Coordinator for the School of Education at Medaille College in Buffalo, New York.
This article is part of a series from the International Reading Association Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).