We love WordPress. It’s our favorite tool to create professional looking class websites.
Last week, we were helping one of our colleagues set up her class website for kindergarten. One of the things that she wanted was to a little box at the top of her website where she could post important information for parents and little reminders of things to do.
The great thing about WordPress is that there are hundreds of attractive themes out there to choose from. (Heck, there are over 1400 themes to choose from in the official WordPress.org theme directory.)Â Chances are, you can find a theme that you like.
Our kindergarten colleague used WordPress for her class website last year. She used the 2010 Weaver theme which is a great theme that offers a lot of customization options, including a special sidebar for widgets just above the post.
(That’s how she was able to initially put an information box for her parents about classroom supplies or important paperwork that needed to be returned.)Â This year, she’s using a different theme that didn’t offer a sidebar below the main title â€“ so we needed to find another way to make her information for parents stand out.
Unfortunately, the theme which this teacher chose this year (third style) didn’t have a sidebar horizontally at the top of the webpage, so we decide to get creative and to make a generic welcome post stick to the top of her blog. We planned to put our welcome and information messages inside of this sticky post.
- How to create a message box using HTML and CSS code
- How to create a message box on your class website using a WordPress plugin
With a little bit of HTML and CSS knowledge, we were able to create a message box inside a regular WordPress post following Janko Jovanovic’s instructions here.
Jovanovic’s trick to get message boxes for different message types is very cool. So cool that after working on the kindergarten website, we thought about writing a simple plug-in that would allow other teachers on our Educircles network to create similar message boxes.
And this is why we love WordPress. Someone had already created a message text box WordPress plug-in and published it to the plug-in directory.
Special Text Boxes is a neat little WordPress plugin that lets you create pretty little colorful information boxes that you can put anywhere inside of your post. We’ve included a few examples of what you can do with this plugin inside of this post that you’re reading:
- The orange message about WordPress that you can click to expand is an example of a warning special text box
- The blue lightbulb message about sidebars is an example of an info special text box.
If your class blog is a self hosted WordPress account, then you can install the special text boxes WordPress plug-in without any problems.
If you’re a teacher who has set up an Educircles network with us for your class websites or, online literature circles, then this plug-in has already been activated for you. All you need to do now is include some short codes when you’re writing your posts:
For example, if you want a simple text box, this short-code
[stextbox id="alert"] Type your important message to parents here [/stextbox]
will look like this when visitors see your class website:
If you want a “captioned text box”,
[stextbox id="alert" caption="Important Message Title"] Type your important message to parents here [/stextbox]
will look like this:
There are other types of special text boxes.
- For example, instead of typing “alert”, you could also create other different types of text boxes: info, download, grey, black, warning, and custom.
- If you go to Settings > Special Text Boxes, you can customize how your information boxes look. You can create a custom box where you can change the colors and add your own icon image.
- You can also set it up so that your caption information box can expand or collapse and even set it up so that when the page first loads, the caption box is closed until your parents click on the message. (That’s what we did with our orange warning box on the site.)
How do you tell your parents and students about important information on your website?
|This post was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 Premium Wireless
Here are some of the word errors made by Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5:
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