Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Create a Classroom Website Using Google Sites


We are going into an uncertain fall this year as we get ready to start back to school. Many districts have already put their plans out and some of those are to start virtual. Whether you will be virtual or in person, a classroom website is a great way to have the things students and families need all in ONE place! A classroom website can provide a familiar and safe space, like your classroom, that can be a home base for students and families that will alleviate a lot of anxiousness. Think about designing your online classroom so that it provides a single place for daily or weekly agendas, learning materials, assignments, activities, meeting links, grades, feedback, and on and on. In your teacher brains, think of the classroom website as the bins, baskets, and cubbies in your classroom!


The tutorial at the end of the post walks you through setting up and publishing your classroom website. Google Sites is super user friendly and you are able to link things straight from your Google Drive such as Slides, Forms, Documents. The great thing about adding from your drive is that changes you make to these are automatically updated in your website. Just be sure your share settings are so that anyone with the link can view! I hope the tutorial gives you some ideas of things you could include in your website. The idea is to have everything in one place so you can direct students and families to your classroom website where they will easily find all the things that make your classroom run. 


I added some super fun extras in the tutorial {hint above} to help with design and creativity! The tutorial is long so it also gives you a brain break while you are creating. You will find time markers below the tutorial in YouTube if you want to jump to the extras. The first is how to create a color palette to use in PowerPoint. Color makes ALL the difference when you are designing resources and using those cute fonts! An easy way to get a color scheme going is to use a color palette. Much like the paint chips at the home improvement store.


You can use the hex color number or the dropper in the font or shape color dropdown to get the perfect shade of pink or orange you want. The color possibilities are endless! I like to use the dropper and hover over the color I want to select it. But you can certainly use the hex color number to be more exact.


So you have cute fonts and vibrant colors in your PowerPoint presentation AND you want to have the same extravagance in Google Slides! That brings us to the second extra found in the tutorial. Until Google stops holding us back, this workaround will be your go-to. 


Create your page in PowerPoint and screengrab or group and right click to save as image. Go over to Google Slides, choose "Background" on an empty slide. Next, choose the image you created in PowerPoint either from your drive or by uploading and click "Done." This sets the image as the background and locks it in place so you can click all over it and nothing moves. You can then layer things you need including links or text boxes. This is how the Bitmoji Virtual Classrooms are created as well. You can find that tutorial here and the blog post here if you need another fun project that would also be awesome on your classroom website!


Leveraging a classroom website as a home base is a great way to provide a student-centered community. You can ensure all students have what they need to learn and be successful no matter what environment that takes place in. 


THINGS YOU COULD PUT IN YOUR CLASSROOM WEBSITE

Link to Google Classroom, Canvas, or other LMS
Bitmoji Virtual Classrooms
Classroom Library
Newsletter
Daily/Weekly Agenda
Learning Materials and Websites
House System
Virtual Meet the Teacher
Communication such as Remind, Email, Social Media, or School Website
Resources and Videos

LINKS FOR YOU



WEBSITES USED

https://sites.google.com/new
https://coolors.co
https://www.unscreen.com
https://www.remove.bg


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14 comments

  1. I love your tutorial! This was exactly what I wanted. I love the buttons you made. Do you have a TPT where you offer teachers the ability to buy your graphics or images?

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    1. Jacqueline RichardsonJuly 30, 2020 at 11:16 AM

      Yay! I do not but I included the PowerPoints I used and you are welcome to anything there! Hope that helps!

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  2. Hi! Thank you for the tutorial!! It was just what I was looking for. What account on Instagram did you get the wall paper from?

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    1. Jacqueline RichardsonAugust 3, 2020 at 11:02 PM

      You are so welcome! Glad it was helpful! Callie Danielle puts new ones out every Wednesday. I also love A Perfect Blend and hers just came out on the first!

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  3. You are amazing and soooo helpful. I was really struggling with creating a google site but you made it much easier. Thank you for all the helpful hints. Just one question, where are the fonts you were talking about? I would love to get all those!

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    1. Jacqueline RichardsonAugust 10, 2020 at 10:13 PM

      There are great free ones at dafont.com and I purchased the Amy Groesbeck Growing Bundle from TpT. You can purchase by volume too. I use her fonts on everything!

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    2. Jacqueline RichardsonAugust 10, 2020 at 10:34 PM

      And! On dafont.com search KG, MTF, KB for some great ones!

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  4. The video was SUPER helpful. My site is almost complete. Can anyone access google classroom since the link was added to the site?

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    1. Jacqueline RichardsonAugust 10, 2020 at 10:19 PM

      Yay! I am so glad! I tried my link outside my school domain and on a couple of different devices and wasn't able to get in unless I signed in with my google account. Please let me know if you find out otherwise! We don't need stranger dangers in our classrooms!

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  5. Hi, I loved your tutorial! It was super helpful. However, what instagram account do you follow that you were able to get your free backgrounds from?
    Thank you!

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    1. Jacqueline RichardsonAugust 10, 2020 at 10:21 PM

      Yay! So glad it was helpful! My faves are Callie Danielle, goldenstateclassroom, and A Perfect Blend! They have story highlights with old ones!

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  6. Your you tube video was so helpful! Where did you get your fonts? Love it! Thanks

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    1. Jacqueline RichardsonAugust 10, 2020 at 10:23 PM

      Yay! So glad! There are great free ones at dafont.com but most everything I use is Amy Groesbeck on TpT. She has a growing bundle or you can buy single volumes. I love them all!

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    2. Jacqueline RichardsonAugust 10, 2020 at 10:36 PM

      And! On dafont.com search KG, MTF, KB for some great ones!

      Delete

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