What will students do on nightzookeeper.com? The basics:

What will students do on nightzookeeper.com? The basics:

After creating your teacher account it’s now time to get your students started. First, hand out the invitations you downloaded when creating your account. If you don’t have easy access to a printer, you can just show your students the settings screen.                        Invitations Click settings and “Your Class” to see all student usernames. Next, get students to visit nightzookeeper.com and click the “Students” button.  They can then click register, and […]

ISTE18 Day 1 – Highlights

ISTE18 Day 1 – Highlights

We’re really excited to be attending ISTE conference in Chicago this year. I’m writing this post at the end of day 1 at the conference and we have had an awesome day and met some incredible educators and colleagues! Here are a few of our highlights from our first day… Highlights from Day 1 1. We took part in an excellent PLN session and met some wonderful people from the Digital Storytelling Network, Librarians Network, EdTech Coaches Network, amongst many […]

A Night Zookeeper Performance!

A Night Zookeeper Performance!

We were absolutely thrilled to see this fantastic end of year performance from a class at the Taipei European School in Taiwan. They explain so well all about Night Zookeeper and the importance of creativity! Congratulations to all the students involved, their teacher and school for such an imaginative endeavour. We love it! You can watch the perfomance below. 🙂

New Competition

New Competition

Invent a new location for the Night Zoo! This week, we are challenging students to invent a new location for the Night Zoo. They should use their imagination to invent a new environment to fit into the Night Zoo map as seen above. The challenge “Hello, young zookeepers! We have a new competition for you to enter. All you have to do is invent and describe a new location for the Night Zoo. You can also illustrate your location as well. […]

Top 3 Gamification ideas for the classroom

Top 3 Gamification ideas for the classroom

Gamification is becoming a more and more popular way for teachers to engage and teach students in areas where they may sometimes struggle. Although gamification of the classroom doesn’t neccesarily need tablets, computers etc, this article discusses 3 different websites/apps that use gamification as a tool to engage students and how they can be used in class. We talked to elementary school teacher Sheri Capper about her top 3 gamification ideas to improve literacy skills. (As a Night Zookeeper super […]

8 creative ideas to keep children’s minds exercised over the summer

8 creative ideas to keep children’s minds exercised over the summer

Summer is the perfect time for children to explore, go on adventures, and relax away from school. However the holidays are long and children can often forget many of the things they have learned over the course of the year. Though not advocating children to sit down and study, many education experts recommend that exercising the brain lightly over the summer will mean children are much more ready to push on when they get back to school. Children often write […]

New Dashboard – Help Videos

New Dashboard – Help Videos

We have created the following very short videos to support all users with our new dashboard layout: Publishing tab How to publish writing How to send ‘try again’ feedback How to refresh and edit a suggested comment How to publish all comments and drawings How to flag writing as inappropriate How to publish a comment How to flag a drawing as inappropriate How to flag a comment as inappropriate How to use the annotate tool How to print an individual […]

25 creative writing prompts for kids to get imaginations flowing!

25 creative writing prompts for kids to get imaginations flowing!

We love creative writing at Night Zookeeper. In fact, we love it so much we made an entire website to inspire children to produce creative writing! But sometimes a teacher just needs some exciting prompts to get their student’s imaginations flowing and writing. That’s why we have made this list of 25 creative writing prompts that will get your children inspired and writing in no time! Please check out the list below and try them with your students! You find […]

Perfect for homeschooling?

Perfect for homeschooling?

Alongside schools and districts, nightzookeeper.com is increasingly being used by homeschooling parents around the world. Shelly, a homeschooling mother of 7 and 9 year old writes: “As a home educating mom it is a time-saving resource, I can log on and there are lessons already created for the kids. As soon as I suggest the website both kids are happy.” Nightzookeeper.com has hundreds of lessons designed for each age group that children can independently work through. There is also a […]

Welcome to your new teacher Dashboard

Welcome to your new teacher Dashboard

New Teacher Dashboard Launching Week Beginning 14th May 2018 We’ve been working hard to update the website to make it easier for teachers and parents to use, and we really hope you like it! New Features to explore New publishing feed You spoke and we listened. In the old dashboard, things could get a little overwhelming to say the least so we have simplified things. We now only show you one story at a time and make it easy for you […]

Exciting new feature- Awards!

Exciting new feature- Awards!

Today we have launched our new awards for writing! Students will now not just be rewarded for how much writing they do, but for all the different types of writing they produce. Students will be able to collect awards such as “Poem” awards and “Newspaper Report” awards, as well as awards for being featured in the Night Times, or taking part in the Star Writing challenge. Each award will give them orbs to collect and use to grow their Night […]

Can gamification improve writing? Part 1

Can gamification improve writing? Part 1

Yes of course! You might expect us to say that, as the creators of nightzookeeper.com, a website that uses elements of gamification to inspire and motivate children to write. However, we realise that there needs to be a good balance as too much gamification can distort the goals of writing and take the emphasis away from the excitement of writing itself, and cause the student to become focused on the reward, rather than the content. It’s important that gamification isn’t […]

Here’s a great project to teach citizenship to kids

Here’s a great project to teach citizenship to kids

On nightzookeeper.com, we are always looking for new ways to make writing fun for kids. That’s why throughout the school year we run lots of fun competitions to get students to practise all kinds of writing as well as to help them learn about different subjects. Every May we run the “Night Zoo Mayoral Election”, which challenges students to create their own Night Zoo Mayor character, alongside their manifesto for the Night Zoo. This helps students to practise persuasive writing, […]

Night Zoo Mayoral Elections

Night Zoo Mayoral Elections

Create the next Mayor of the Night Zoo Over the next two weeks, we are challenging your students to invent a magical animal that could become the next mayor of the Night Zoo! All they have to do is write an article of over 100 words explaining why their creation would make an excellent mayor. Your students should try to make their article as persuasive as possible, as there will be a voting process live on the Night Times. Children […]

A school in Norfolk is dramatically improving writing skills. Here’s how:

A school in Norfolk is dramatically improving writing skills. Here’s how:

Langham Primary School has been using the digital writing website nightzookeeper.com, for the past three years, with some amazing results. “22% of the students made a year’s worth of progress in just one term. One child made incredible progress during that term – 6 points!” Emma Cotton, Class 3 teacher,  gives her feedback on the impact of using nightzookeeper.com in the classroom. “I had heard about Night Zookeeper at the Norfolk ICT Conference a few years ago and thought it […]

Night Zookeeper partners with children’s home and refugee NPO

Night Zookeeper partners with children’s home and refugee NPO

We are pleased to report a partnership with the Japanese NPO, YouMeWE. Thanks to this fantastic organisation, Night Zookeeper is now being used by children’s homes in Japan and by children from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in refugee camps across Europe. YouMeWe is an NPO based in Japan and focused primarily on the plight of over 30,000 children living in orphanages and children’s homes. Night Zookeeper has provided YouMeWe with free access to NightZookeeper.com for the children that they work […]

How a district in Indiana is inspiring a love of writing!

How a district in Indiana is inspiring a love of writing!

Hamilton Southeastern is a school district in the state of Indiana that has twelve elementary schools with over 5,000 students in attendance. Since 2016 the district has been using our writing website, nightzookeeper.com, as a teaching and learning tool for all of their elementary schools.   The website is designed to get students writing, reading and creating. Teachers can either let students explore themselves and complete lessons that the website provides based on a student’s age, or they can choose […]

Five E-safety Tips for Teachers

Five E-safety Tips for Teachers

Having created a digital writing platform that makes writing fun for kids, but crucially, uses the internet to connect their work with classes around the world, we understand the importance of e-safety for students at school. Using the internet can connect your class around the world, grow the audience for your student’s work, and help your students to develop into global-minded citizens but it is an area where students should also take care. Below we have listed our top five […]

Star Writing Winner – March 2018

Star Writing Winner – March 2018

Throughout March, we asked students to write about their favourite subject, topic or interest that they were incredibly passionate about. They produced some amazing entries and I had the difficult job of selecting just one winner to receive a signed copy of ‘The Giraffes of Whispering Wood’ I am delighted to say that the winning entry was all about a love of reading. Something that we are all very passionate about ourselves here at Night Zookeeper HQ! Congratulations to Night Zookeeper Tiac, […]

Getting Started on Night Zookeeper

Getting Started on Night Zookeeper

Welcome to the wonderful world of Night Zookeeper. This blog post has been written to help you get to grips with nightzookeeper.com and give you support throughout your 14-day trial. The perfect 14-day trial! Day 1: Download and print your student invitations (15 mins) These are emailed to your inbox upon registering. You can also download them from your class account page within your settings. They provide very clear instructions to help students get registered on the website, which they […]

Become a published author!

Become a published author!

Throughout April, students have the opportunity to write a report and/or story that has the chance to be published in the third Night Zookeeper book, The Penguins of Igloo City. How to take part Students simply have to visit the Star Writing page and click ‘accept this mission’ to start writing. Challenge 1 (running 1st – 15th April) “Write a report about a magical animal that lives in Igloo City (max 500 words)” Teachers must publish and nominate writing by […]

Tips for using Night Zookeeper at home

Tips for using Night Zookeeper at home

As Night Zookeeper is a browser-based website, students can seamlessly continue learning after school by logging on at home. In fact, about 50% of all writing on Night Zookeeper is done out of school. This blog post contains 5 Top Tips for parents who would like to find out how they can help their children produce their best writing and fall in love with learning on Night Zookeeper. Comment on their work Every teacher that signs up to Night Zookeeper […]

Josh visits Harvest School in Bangalore

Josh visits Harvest School in Bangalore

It was another hot day in Bangalore and I had awoken early, after flying in from a short trip to Kerala the evening before.  I was with my wife Ishani, and together we made our way across the city from my in-law’s house to Harvest International School. Thankfully we were going in the opposite direction of most of the cars and the roads became smaller and windier as we made our way to the outskirts of the city. The school that […]

Coming soon on nightzookeeper.com

Coming soon on nightzookeeper.com

We’re working on lots of exciting updates to our website at the moment. Here is a summary of what to expect during the next couple of months: New Menu Page – Launching March 2018 We’re launching a new student menu so that, students can navigate around the website easier than ever before. This page will be full of new activities that will regularly update every month! There will always be something new for your students to write about all year round! […]

Comprehension lesson: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood

Comprehension lesson: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood

We have created this comprehension lesson for the first chapter of The Giraffes of Whispering Wood, the first book in our new series of Night Zookeeper books. In chapter one, we are introduced to our hero, Will Rivers. Will is painting a mural at his local zoo with his classmates, and tries to express his creativity by painting his elephant purple. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by his ‘friend’, Isaac, who thinks that Will should stick to the rules – elephants […]

10 Tips for using Tech in the classroom

10 Tips for using Tech in the classroom

I’ve been working on nightzookeeper.com for over five years now and I have visited hundreds of primary and elementary schools during that period, to work with teachers in a variety of settings. This experience has given me an insight into lots of different approaches schools have taken when adopting technology in their schools and classrooms. These five approaches tend to be the most popular, in no particular order: A desktop computer room which is booked on an hourly basis Interactive […]

WCWM18 Passes Three Million Published Words

WCWM18 Passes Three Million Published Words

With one week left to go of our yearly World Creative Writing Month competition, we have already exceeded three million published words, produced by students around the world! Visit the latest WCWM18 league table by clicking the image below… Thanks to all students and teachers that have taken part so far! If your class is taking part, please remember that the competition deadline is the 23rd March at 9pm British time. Good luck with the final week of competition everyone!

Night Zookeeper named as one of the EdTech50!

Night Zookeeper named as one of the EdTech50!

We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the EdTech50, out of 600 overall applications. The EdTech50 awards recognise products and projects that demonstrate impactful and effective use of Edtech in the UK. The EdTech50 is also a celebration of individuals who have played a key role in developing this area of work. Night Zookeeper Paul was nominated, and went along to the reception event by Jisc and EdTeck UK at the House of Lords last week. Education […]

Keep students writing all year!

Keep students writing all year!

Each March, we inspire students from over 30 countries to collectively write millions of words for World Creative Writing Month. It is certainly our biggest competition, but it is by no means the only exciting event in our calendar! We make sure students are able to easily join in with a variety of engaging writing challenges, competitions and resources throughout the year. If you are interested in gamified learning, edtech, creative writing and inspiring confidence and a love of reading […]

New Awards Feature Coming Soon

New Awards Feature Coming Soon

We are constantly working to improve the experience on nightzookeeper.com for both teachers and students. Throughout the next couple of months, we will be updating the website with some very exciting new features. One of these will be a whole new awards system. The new system will track student achievement across the website. It will clearly show the upcoming tasks that children can complete to achieve a new badge. We will be launching the feature with over 100 awards across […]

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