500 Blog Posts!

16 November 2013 · 8 comments

in Creative STAR Blurb

This blog post is the Big 500! “I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here!” so hesitantly started in the summer of 2008 has continued through thick and thin. The Index page lists every post written.

Having just checked the Blogger and Google Analytics stats, this blog has recorded over 1.15 million page views in its entire history. Since July, when the new website became live, every page has been viewed a minimum of 8 times, which surprises me as I had assumed many would be ignored. So 500 thank you’s from me! Also 500 thank you’s to everyone who’s contributed towards creating a post in some ways, shape or form.

500 Blog Posts

The most visited blog post is an Outdoor Music Wall from October 2011. This particularly pleases me as it is based on a project undertaken by the nursery at in the school where I used to work.

The most visited page, by far, is Outdoor Maths. It accounts for more than 1 in 10 visits to the site and as a result, my maths posts get a lot of knock-on views.

 Mulleborg I Ur och Skur

62% of visitors come from the UK. This has seen the biggest growth in the past year as it used to be around 50%. I think that’s not altogether surprising since I’m based here!

London is the city which has the highest number of recorded visits at just over 9% of the total. Yet both Sydney (ranked 3) and Melbourne (ranked 9) feature in my top 10 cities. So thank you Australia, for being such a big-hearted blog-loving nation.

Rope - play

 Out of the 500 blog posts, do I have a favourite? I’m not sure that I do. But some memorable posts include:

1. Outdoor Hand Hygiene. This was the result of many months of discussion, dialogue and research with lots of  people, not least Jason Tetro, a hand hygiene researcher. This was the one that took the most amount of time to produce and get accurate.

2. The Comedy Carpet. Visiting this showpiece in Blackpool, made me realise the power and potential of public artwork, freely available and almost always outdoors, as inspiration for outdoor activities. I loved how everyone interacted with it in different ways and the enjoyment of the spoken and written word as an art form too. It also has made me a real fan of Gordon Young’s work.

Comedy Carpet

 3. The Coombes School posts. There are 10 in total which I ended up writing as a result of one open day visit!

Coombes School

4. Urban Tracking. I just marvel at the potential of any place to provide all sorts of opportunities for learning and play

5. The Stick posts. It all began with Sticks in Schools but I really started to discover their potential in May 2011 with a flurry of maths-based stick posts.

geometric

 6. Dangerous Ideas in Education. For me this post is about risk-taking being a positive necessity for any educator.

7. International inspiration. I have been lucky enough to travel and meet wonderful educators, plucky children and great outdoor spaces. In particular I am grateful for my Swedish experiences, and the Mulleborg I Ur och Skur blog post always gives me good memories.

8. The Magic of Masking Tape.  This post is about providing a provocative open-ended resource and observing the play that follows.

Masking tape

9. Wild about this Space. One of the quirkiest outdoor spaces for children to explore was in the school grounds where I used to work.

10. The 10 Ideas Series. 2013 has yielded lots of 10 ideas posts, which seem to be very popular. So this is another to add to the list.

 Wildlife Garden

I know you are all very busy people and taking the time to comment is a lot to ask. But I would love to know which post you have particularly enjoyed or found most helpful from the first 500. Thank you too, for visiting, reading and wanting to get children outside too. Long live outdoor learning and play.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Bedard November 16, 2013 at 13:38

Congratulations Juliet. That is no small accomplishment. I approach your blog differently; I use it for ideas to bring the outdoors into the classroom. I hope you don’t mind. There is one post that has especially stuck in the back of my mind. It is your post on reflections on rope: http://creativestarlearning.co.uk/play-resources/reflections-on-ropes/ I have finally figured out how to bring ropes inside. There is an upcoming post in which you will see a reference to your rope post that inspired my rope apparatus. Thank you for ALL your inspirations. Tom

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Juliet Robertson November 16, 2013 at 13:59

Tom – outside or in, a good idea is a good idea. I find that I am less hung up about whether an activity should be an “indoor” one or an “outdoor” one – it’s the quality of that experience which matters.

That rope post nearly made my top ten. I opted for the masking tape because I wanted an EY post to keep a good mix.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with ropes… I bet it’s something I haven’t thought of 🙂

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Kierna November 16, 2013 at 15:25

Well done to you & it was your blog that helped me change my outdoor space, especially that Coombes one & your Cowgate post too. And only for you I would never had the chance to see it in action for myself. I’m at 247 posts so a long way to go to 500. Congratulations & here’s to many, many more inspiring posts from you. xxxx

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Juliet Robertson November 17, 2013 at 00:13

Thanks Kierna – I debated long and hard whether to include a Cowgate post in my ten, especially Lynne’s comment about providing risk and challenge.

Then I realised I felt as strongly about the Kate Greenaway and Secret Garden posts and worried that the whole list would become very Early Years orientated rather than a balance.

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Scott November 16, 2013 at 19:26

Congratulations Juliet! 500 posts is quite an achievement. Your blog always helps me think about outdoors and outdoor items in a different way. Hope you have 500 more!

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Juliet Robertson November 17, 2013 at 00:14

Thanks Scott. It’s always good to hear that overseas visitors do not find the blog too far out in terms of suggestions and ideas 🙂

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Suzanne - Interaction Imagination November 17, 2013 at 14:50

the Cowgate posts will be the most special to me – as the Cowgate is the very first post that I read – and got me going to come back and check out more and more and more…
I also like the Swedish connection – since I am living here in Sweden but come from the UK – it kind of makes me feel I have another connection to the posts – and it is always so interesting to see how others view my home of the last 21 years.

Hope to see you some time in Sweden – or maybe the UK!!
Congratulations 500 down – lots more to come… will be waiting…

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Planetpals November 25, 2013 at 09:36

500th post! Keep it up! Great body of work. Always enjoy your blog.
🙂

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