The purpose of my classroom website “Teson’s First Grade Busy Bees” is to provide a user-friendly resource for improving communication with my classroom families. Specifically, the goals for my website include access to teacher contact, calendar of events with parent resources, background information about the teacher, daily schedule, photo album, and extended learning opportunities. Students and their families would visit my website to gain up-to-date and vital information in order to build a successful partnership between the classroom and home environment. More precisely, by visiting my website families would gain access to upcoming events specific to first grade as well as access to parent resources such as the school lunch calendar. The website will also have current resources to support student learning at home. Last but not least, parents would feel personally connected to their child’s learning through photographs. Ultimately, the purpose of my website it to compliment and connect with the websites already put into place by my elementary school and school district. A “one-stop-shop” for all and a reduction of email communication.
My target audience includes two main groups: the parents of the students within my first grade classroom and the students within my first grade classroom by proxy. The parents would be young adults ranging in age from late 20’s to early 40’s. They would be comprised of both males and females. They would live within the Parkville, MO community and more specifically within the Graden Elementary School District boundary lines. In regards to occupation, this covers a large range of both blue collar and white collar jobs. Over 95% of parents of my students have access to internet via their smartphones and/or personal home computers. Most importantly, these parents have had prior experience with classroom websites via the Kindergarten teachers at my elementary school. Each section implements a classroom website, therefore if the parent’s child attended the same elementary school the year before, he/she will have prior knowledge on how to access and use a classroom website.
The second target group audience is the students within my classroom. The students range in age from 6-7 years old, both male and female, and would all live within the Parkville, MO community. In terms of computer skills, within the classroom, I would instruct the students on how to access the classroom website and how to access the “Extended Learning” tab. Students would also practice within the classroom how to log into these educational resources.My hope is that their parents can support them if needed within the home environment.
Four parents of students at my elementary school were selected to participate in my interview. The questions were created in an effort to help me design a user-friendly, goal specific classroom website. All four parents interviewed had an understanding of the purpose of a classroom website and wanted one implemented for their student’s classroom. As a whole, the parents value feeling connected with their child and his/her academic learning and learning environment. The parents also appreciated a streamlined access point for information that they could pull up on their smartphones or electronic devices. It was also heavily emphasized the value parents placed in photographs of the learning occurring within the classroom.
What should a classroom website have on it? What specific content are you most interested in?
Answers: Pictures and videos of students learning within the school setting
Links to academic websites to promote learning at home
Current topics of study across the subject areas
Links to school lunch menu, behavior calendars, forms for school events
Upcoming Events that is updated weekly
Daily Schedule incase parent wants to visit child or schedule an appointment
How often would you check the classroom website? Would you prefer daily communication or weekly communication through the website?
Check the classroom website weekly to keep up to date with current happenings
Check the classroom website daily for current pictures of students’ learning in the class
Check the classroom website weekly on Sunday evenings-updated prior to the Sunday Consensus:
Parents would access the website once a week for weekly events and once a day for photos of students learning.
Why would a classroom website be important to you?
A streamlined access point for all information related to my child
Feel personally connected to the school and my child’s education
Shows dedication from the teacher for open communication
Fills in the blanks when my child is discussing their day at school
Update information that is easily accessible
Would a classroom website be more convenient for parents? Why? How would you remember to check the website?
A website would be more convenient if every aspect or avenue communicated via the same tool.
If the district or school uses email to communicate, then the parents would prefer email.
If the district or school communicated via the website that was then linked to the classroom website then they would find the classroom website more convenient.
Some parents felt that they would be able to train themselves to get in the habit of checking a website.
What types of media would you want on the website? What types of links would you want incorporated into the website? For example, links to specific educational resources, links to specific school resources?
Photos of kids playing and learning within the school
Videos of special events
Links to age appropriate websites that support learning within the classroom
Links to PDFs of resources used in the classroom
School Lunch Calendar
Based on my survey that inquired about the value of a classroom website, I have decided to present only pertinent classroom information in one user-friendly, updated weekly website. My “Teson’s First Grade Busy Bees” website will have the following 5 pages of navigation area: Home with Daily Schedule, Buzzin’ News, All About Mrs. Teson, Extended Learning, and Class Photo Album. More specifically, on the homepage visitors will locate my contact information, our class schedule. Contact information will be presented at the top in an easy to access location. Classroom parents will be able to stay updated on current events and see pictures of their child learning. Classroom students and parents will be able to use the website as a resource to access vital educational websites. Essentially, this classroom website will improve my communication with students’ families.
Click here to see my wireframe of my website. I used Microsoft Word to design my wireframe and saved it as a PDF. From my investigation of Reference Websites, I have decided to use a vertical navigation. I chose my content based on the information that my classroom families would need. The following are the sections within my wireframe: header, vertical navigation, content area of headings, subheadings, paragraph text, list, table, images, and footer.Home Page (Page 1): The homepage’s main purpose will serve as a quick and easy way to access my contact information as well as our class daily schedule. The other pages will connect back to the home page from the top of the page.
I decided to organize my website using vertical navigation because it creates structure and allows for better flow when navigating my webpage. I decided to create 5 tabs that target the needs of my audience. I feel that 5 tabs provides just the right amount of pertinent information and is not overwhelming for the user. The order of my tabs was decided based upon my interview survey and what my interviewees valued as most pertinent. This is why contact information, upcoming events, and class photo album are the first tabs on my navigation bar. I evaluated this order critically while rationalizing my organization. Furthermore, my navigation alignment supports my target audience by eliminating the need to scroll through past emails to locate classroom information. The website is organized in a manner that is easily accessible on any electronic device (i.e. desktop computer versus smartphone). There will be quality bordering, easy to read font size and style, and use of warm colors that is inviting to the user.
I will be utilizing my own personal images. If I am to use any pictures, I will use Creative Commons and cite information from there. The reason I am using my own pictures is because I have rights to those pictures. Furthermore, my target audience wants to see photos of their students learning within the classroom or school environment. In regards to pictures of my students, my classroom parents signed a photo release form at the beginning of the school year permitting me to take and post photos. I will credit my sources at the bottom of each webpage.
List of media used:
I have chosen to use a pale yellow background with dark violet text to maximize contrast and appeal to my large audience, both adults and children. To keep my website engaging, I will use large graphics, a hero, to grab the attention of my readers. I was inspired by our text for the class when it suggested using varientsof the same complementary colors. Therefore, I will use varients of these complementary colors (yellow and purple) for my header background. My header background will be yellow with purple header text. I will use a variant of the same color of purple for my tabs. I will use a variant of yellow and gray for a border style in my webpage. My reasoning for choosing these two complementary colors is they most closely match the color scheme within my classroom. Check out my color scheme.
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