Thursday, October 7, 2010

New School website!

I finally got our schools website updated!  Previously it had been a large collection of static pages, and it was very difficult to manage.  The person who had previously taken care of it was the creator, and was undoubtedly quite used to managing it.  For me, the collection of over 100 pages, as well as hundreds of links, was somewhat unwieldy.

I decided to upgrade it.  At my previous school I had been given control of a website done in Joomla, a CMS system.  It was very easy to manage, with an attractive front end, and an easy to use backend for me. For this school I wanted to continue using something similar, but a little less complex than Joomla.

With a little research I found Microsoft Web App Gallery.  There were a large variery of platforms to choose from, but the one I was most famailiar with, and thought would serve our school the best, was  Using its web platform installer I was able to get the Wordpress software, as well as all the accompanying database software, php and mySQL, installed in 15 minutes!  And it was done at a very low level of technical skill.  At no time during the install did I feel panicked.

Getting it up and running after that was pretty easy.  The only issue I ran into was turning off the old site, and pointing the domain to my new site.  That took a little help from a friend who was more familiar with Mircosoft IIS to get it done.  Although even then I broke it once, and he had to come in and help me.  Typing the incorrect domain and then saving it can get you in trouble.

The best part of this site, beyond how attractive it is, and how easy it is to add plugins to extend its functionality, is the fact that once I have it set up it will be simple for someone else to take care of it.

If you would like to take a look, head over to and let me know what you think of it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Base Ten Blocks

I found this yesterday when looking for something to help with Base Ten Blocks with addition and Subtraction for Grade 4.

Base Ten Block Addition

Base Ten Block Subtraction

They work pretty well.  I really enjoy Kidspiration for doing the same thing, however I did not have any more copies available to install on the computers I was using with the Grade 4 teachers.