Positive, open communication with parents can make or break the school year for both teachers and the students they serve. Whether you teach preschool, seniors, or anywhere in between, it’s important to recognize that parents are just as invested in your students’ academic successes as you are. Once you create a solid partnership with them, you’ll see the positive net impact it has on your entire classroom.
As many of us are back in the classroom for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shook our world, we have so much to look forward to! New students, familiar faces, and the opportunity to do what we love.
As with any new school year, we will welcome parents into our room for the annual back-to-school night. Although this is a tradition, this year’s back-to-school night feels more important than ever. Surely, parents will have questions and concerns related to COVID-19 precautions, classroom protocol, and what to do in the event that we switch back to online learning.
It’s easy for educators to focus primarily on software itself but it’s also important to be mindful about helping to develop the fundamental skills of keyboarding and typing. In our ever expanding digital world, however, knowing how to type is no longer enough. To be successful in the future, young people need to be masters of keyboarding.
With all the uncertainty surrounding schools opening, educators must be prepared to digitize teaching for effective distance learning. In this first part of a 4-part series, you’ll learn which features will help you break down the distance barriers—so everyone can thrive.
In a recent study of elementary school teachers completed by Northwestern University, the most successful teachers were the ones who reached out to other teachers for advice and assistance. And their fellow teachers are happy to share their wisdom and experience!
“Ask a Teacher” is a new segment within the Typing.com blog, created to help teachers continue to share and collaborate. This monthly article will answer the questions our teacher-readers pose to us and each other. Continue reading “The Most Successful Teachers Aren’t Afraid To Ask For Help.”
The ancient Roman Philosopher Seneca once said, “While we teach, we learn.” In recent years, scientists have been exploring the body of evidence to support this claim by studying what they call the protégé effect.
And sure enough, research supports the idea that students often learn best by teaching something to someone else. The mere fact of being accountable for someone else’s learning increases motivation to master a concept, and the need to explain it in one’s own words requires a deeper level of understanding.
Starting a class website is a great way to harness the power of the protégé effect as students become experts on a subject. Through doing research, conducting interviews, compiling findings, analyzing information, and presenting their ideas in a clear manner students are bound to come out with a much more profound understanding of a topic.
Additionally, a class website gives students something to show for their work down the line. It can be a growing and evolving project that students might even use on a college application one day.
Starting a class website
There are plenty of free platforms that teachers can use to start a website. Arguably the most user-friendly is Google Sites. With a few clicks on your keyboard, you can have a professional looking website in a matter of minutes!
Sign in to Google Sites with your Google account.
Click Create and choose between new or original Google sites (we prefer new for a much more polished look).
Create a title for the website so that you’ll be able to easily find it again, and then use the “Add editors” button at the top to add students to the website. You can share one website with your whole class, a small group of students, or assign a different website to each kid. Students will receive an email inviting them to edit the website.
At this point, the interface is easy enough to use that students can teach themselves (another valuable part of the learning experience). Just double click wherever you want to add text or an image, and a dial will pop up where to choose what you want to insert. On the right-hand toolbar, students can choose themes and add additional pages, and they can customize their sites by adding photo backgrounds and even embedding videos.
When students are ready to go public they just hit Publish at the top and choose a name and privacy settings for their website.
Click here for some more useful information on how to get students started with blogging.
Tips for managing a class website project
Whether you choose to use Google Sites or another platform, the following are some tips to ease the website creating process in your classroom.
- Have students do most of their research and planning in another document before starting the website. Students often get carried away with the aesthetic aspects of the website and can neglect the content. It’s best to have students type out their ideas in a word document and make revisions first. Creating the website should be the final step.
- Use comments to have students give one another feedback on their work. Once websites are public, have students read and comment on one another’s work so that they have an opportunity to learn from each other.
- Assign roles of class experts. As students are becoming experts on areas of study, they are also becoming experts on using the website interface. As kids learn new functions of the website building process, assign roles of class experts to students who are responsible for teaching other classmates how to upload a video clip or design a new layout.
Be prepared for your students to surprise you and themselves with just how much they can learn and do when tasked with the job of becoming an expert and sharing their knowledge through a class website.
For more resources on teaching your students about blogging, check out this online, interactive CTE course on Blogging for Beginners.