Creating instructional websites with Google Sites puts students in the driver’s seat and moves you closer to a paperless classroom. It’s the best thing since sliced bread! You can store everything in one place for easy access and review.
Today I’m converting my point of view unit from paper-based to digital. How does this benefit me? Let me count the ways:
- No more copying.
- No more paper waste.
- Kids can switch from one differentiated version of a story to another with the click of a finger.
- No more lost or forgotten papers.
- Sharing with parents lets them see exactly what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis.
- Review and anchor activities are built right into the site.
I love it! Each day I get closer to my goal of creating a paperless classroom.
Creating Instructional Websites
First, you need to establish an organizational plan. How many pages will you need? What will go on each page?
Since my point of view unit will house three differentiated versions of each story, I organized it around story titles. Under each title, I posted the three versions: A, B, and C. As you can see, I’ve already uploaded two stories: “Alice and the Caterpillar” and “Back to the Widow’s House.” On the home page, I posted directions for constructing a response related to point of view. I’ll also add some review and enrichment activities.
Creating a Google Site
Second, we’ll review how to create a Google site:
- Open your Google account.
- Click on the app icon in the upper right-hand corner.
- Find Sites. (You may need to click on More to find it.)
- Hit the red Create button. Choose whether to create a classic site or a new site. (My site is classic.)
- Type in the title, confirm that you’re not a robot, and hit Create again.
Adding Online Reading for Your Students
Now we’ll discuss two options for adding online reading for your students: inserting a document as an image and attaching it as a pdf. Since I use the texts different ways, I like embedding and linking them in each of my websites.
Option 1: Insert the document onto a webpage as a JPG or PNG file.
- Save the document as an image (JPG or PNG).
- Click on the editing tool (pencil).
- Choose “Insert” from the menu on the upper left.
- Click “Image” and choose your file.
- Once the file is embedded, click on it. Choose 100% and centered for the best viewing experience.
- Save your page before moving on.
Option 2: Attach the document as a PDF. This will allow students to annotate using apps like Xodo. You can read more about this in next week’s post.
Linking Educational Videos, Websites, and Games
- Videos – I save all of my videos with Safeshare.tv. This removes advertisements, links, and other distractions. Kids see the video and that’s it.
- Practice – Online practice and printable worksheets provide extra opportunities for learning.
- Games – Lots of interactive games appear on the Internet. Just snag the URL and link the games to your site.
Creating instructional websites is lots of fun . . . and it improves learning. Try it. You’ll like it!