I update my website, mrsthompsonteaches.com, every Sunday. Then I email a link to that week's post to all the parents I have on my email list. I have about 15 parents' emails on my list (I teach 52 students).
Here's what I include each week:
- A photo of a group of kids working
- An introductory paragraph, saying a variety of things (hope you had a good weekend, here's what we have to look forward to, etc).
- Important dates for this week and next, called "Upcoming Events"
- Special sections with paragraphs about important items (this week, the important paragraphs are about ordering Yearbooks, the upcoming state writing assessment, and forms that are due)
- "This Week in..." for all the subjects I teach, including the standards and activities we'll be working with for the week, along with anything that will be due this week in that subject
- Spelling Words
Each weekly update post gets about 25-35 hits. I want a little more exposure, so this week, my students' online work assignment was to read the current week's blog post and answer four questions about it.
1. What is going to be the most interesting thing you think we'll do this week? Why?
2. What is going to be the most difficult thing you think we'll do this week? Why?
3. What do you think your parents will find the most important? Why?
4. What is one thing you think I should add to make each week's blog post even better?
Most of the kids thought that one of our reading stories, "Peeping Poppers," was going to be the most interesting because it's about a woman who holds the world record for eyes popping out the farthest. They all think it's nasty and/or cool. The hardest thing? Some think our writing test practice will be hard (it's a lot of writing), and some say the social studies test will be hard (they'll have to study - gasp!).
As far as their parents go? Most of the kids thought the forms would be important, some said the PTA program coming up is the most important, and some said the upcoming writing test would be the most important.
The last question is my favorite. What would they add? Some want me to add the menu. I guess I could do that; that would be pretty easy. Some asked me to add words of wisdom; i.e., "Don't forget to study!"
But these two are my favorite suggestions, in the students' own words:
- I would add a mystery question and let the people answer it and reveal the answer it at the end of the school week.
- I would add a book of the week. Because people might need a good book to read and they don't know any.
I like both of those suggestions, and I really believe that if I add those sections, it would make my blog update even better, especially for the students. And to think, those ideas came from the kids themselves! That makes it even better!
What do you include on your classroom website? I'd love more suggestions!