"I encourage teachers to create Web pages for their classrooms," Karen Ingram told Education World. "Once you get started, you find that it gets easier and you get faster; soon it doesn't require as much of the very little time that we have when we're not working with students."
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When she created Mrs. Ingram's Kindergarten Class, Ingram hoped to foster pride and excitement about the class's activities among both students and their parents. She wanted to encourage reading skills, recognize the accomplishments of the students and the school, and provide a resource for other teachers.
"I thought the Web site would be an effective tool for communication with parents," Ingram explained. "Information could be readily available and activities and special moments could be shared on a personal level with pictures. I also wanted to share some of my favorite activities with other teachers."
Ingram shares classroom ideas with peers through her Teacher Resources page, which features theme "books" with illustrations created by her kindergartners. Visitors can find more samples of the kindergartners' original writing and artwork at the Projects page. The Information page offers details about class procedures and about the incentive programs Ingram uses to motivate her new young learners!
"I love any pages with pictures of the children," said Ingram. "I think their personalities come through. They show that the children are learning and having fun at school. Parents and grandparents love them too!"
"I have had grandparents from all over the country thank me again and again for letting them experience their grandchildren's first year of school," Ingram noted. "Last year, grandparents from New Jersey came to our end-of-the-year party to help with activities, and they knew all the children's first names!"