Primary Blogs to Look Out for in 2012

I think that 2012 will see a continuation in the rise of Irish primary teachers blogging.  There are a growing number of schools who are ditching their old web sites and taking up blogs and teachers are beginning to start up their own class blogs.  The Junior Spider Awards in December saw some excellent class blogs, with Balbriggan Educate Together scooping the big award for their 5th class blog.  Almost half the teachers in my own school have their own class blog and there seems to be a new class blogging on a weekly basis.  It’s a far cry from last year when there were so few Irish primary teachers blogging that I knew every single one!  It’s great to see teachers having the confidence to share their thoughts, feelings and resources out to the public.  Below are some new blogs that I think we should keep an eye out on this year.  These are blogs that have just started in the last year.  It’s by no means exhaustive so please add your own blog in the comments if I’ve left you out.
Dan’s 5th class blog
Starting with this award-winning blog, this is an example of how one can start off with a simple idea and make it grow into something special.  This blog started in September 1st 2011 with some interactive scavenger hunts for Dan’s pupils before growing into an online account of everything that goes on in the classroom.  No doubt on the back of the Junior Spider’s success, Dan’s class are going to continue blogging this year.
Michael’s 3rd & 4th class blog
Michael is a teacher in my school and in three months has created an amazing resource for his class with his school blog.  Michael is a whizz with Adobe Fireworks and he creates great animations to help his class (and their parents) learn different concepts.  He also blogs about what’s going on in the classroom, which again gives parents the opportunity to see what their children are learning in class.  Recently, a number of his pupils have started adding their own articles and this blog is shaping up to be a wonderful resource.
Mr. Mitchell’s Class Blog
This Sligo-based teacher started his class blog back in February so is on to his second set of children in his class.  It is amazing to see the number of projects there.  The first one, in February, focused on the Maori people, and there are ideas in these articles to inspire any teacher.  Mr. Mitchell is experimenting with Web 2.0 apps like Wallwisher, Audioboo and Twitter and it looks like 2012 is going to be another award-winning year for him and his lucky class.
Miss Mernagh’s Blog
Launched on the 1st January 2011, Miss Mernagh’s Blog is a gigantic resource for early year’s teachers and parents.  Miss Mernagh shares how she makes resources and how she uses them in her classroom.  She also shares ideas for teaching early learning concepts.  Already featured in the Irish Examiner and Times newspapers, Miss Mernagh has a large following.  One can only assume that this blog is going to get bigger and better.  If you’re a teacher of infants, this is by far the best place to start getting ideas.
A Crucial Week in the Life of an NQT
Started in July 2011, this is a fantastic blog for any newly qualified teacher (NQT).  Going by the name, “Baggy_Trousers”, this NQT shares her own experiences of the classroom and shares the types of things she does to prepare for the dreaded “dip” (probationary year).  One can see this teacher growing in confidence as the months have rolled on and it will be interesting to see the direction this blog will go as this teacher’s year progresses.
Irish Teacher Blogs
To round things up, Nigel Lane, (who has been blogging for more than a year or he’d be on this list), has come up with the Irish Teacher Blogs Project, which essentially aggregates every Irish teacher’s blog into one site.  It’s been running for a few months now and rather than simply listing random blog posts from around the country, Nigel sets regular challenges for us.  Teachers have been challenged to comment on another teacher’s blog or to share their favourite blog.  Nigel also “spotlights” some of his contributors, which is a nice touch.  I see big things for this web site in 2012.
As I said, if you started a blog in 2011 and want to add it to the comments below, please do.  I think we’re going to see a number of new blogs popping up in the next couple of months.  Some will ask why should they set up a blog; why would I put my class up on the Internet?  For me, it’s all about sharing.  If you read some of the blogs above, you’ll definitely become inspired in your own classroom.  Why not inspire others yourself!

0 thoughts on “Primary Blogs to Look Out for in 2012”

  1. Thanks very much for the mention Simon! To be honest I’m surprised at the reception the blog had gotten and this is adding to that surprise.
    Cheers and all the best to you and all the blogging Irish teachers out there for 2012!

  2. Thank you so much for featuring my blog! I just love teaching and am so excited to be able to share my thoughts and games with others. I had no idea how much I would enjoy blogging when I started. I hope that 2012 is a hugely successful year for Irish education bloggers!
    Miss Mernagh 🙂

  3. Thanks for the mention, Simon! It’s great to be listed on a blog I admire. Anseo.net is an excellent resource. I particularly like the ethical curriculum resources. This is my first year teaching the Learn Together curriculum so it’s great to have some inspiration and guidance!

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The Anseo.net Newsletter features my thoughts on the Irish Primary Education System. Read the full newsletter here I was on the radio a few times

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