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.  

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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 lessons from a library of interactive lessons to send to them. There are also writing and creative competitions designed to keep that learning motivation going all year round, which students can take part in.

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How do they use Night Zookeeper?

Teachers in Hamilton Southeastern have been using Night Zookeeper in a number of ways:

  • Sending interactive lessons for students to complete at school or at home. Nightzookeeper.com has lessons on all subjects from story composition to history.
  • Taking part in exciting weekly, monthly and yearly writing competitions with their students.
  • Publishing their students’ writing to their Night Zookeeper Class Blogs and then sharing these with their local community.
  • Joining a District Writing Community on nightzookeeper.com, which enables students to view other schools in their district, and read and comment on writing created by their peers in other schools.

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Through the use of nightzookeeper.com, Hamilton Southeastern district has seen in one year:

  • 5,521 students writing throughout the year

  • 4.25 million words published

  • 18,306 lessons completed

  • 4,573 comments sent

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What do the teachers think?

“As teachers we all know that using a standardized test to measure the growth of our students is simply not enough.  Night Zookeeper is another amazing tool to track student progress. The interactive lessons make a great pre and post assessment for writing units.  

I absolutely love Night Zookeeper and it just keeps getting better.”

Miss Schmitt, Grade 2, Geist Elementary

“We love the Night Zoo! My students have written over 85,000 words so far. It has been amazing to see boys that hated writing, write story after story!”

Carolyn Porzuczek, Teacher, Brooks Elementary, IN, US

What do the students think?

“The reason I like the Night Zoo is that its’ educational and you can draw whatever you want. You can use your imagination. You can write great stories that you feel like writing. You can battle if you want to. You can also share your animals with other people if they like what you drew.”

4th Grade Student, Brooks School Elementary

“I like Night Zookeeper because we get to write! I enjoy Night Zookeeper because we create animals and this helps guide our story.  It helps me be a better writer by teaching me new words! It shows me how creative we can be! Night Zookeeper is AWESOME! Night Zookeeper is the best writing tool ever!”

2nd Grade Student, Geist Elementary

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Should you wish to hear more about nightzookeeper.com and how it can work for your school or district, please contact me on [email protected] or @nightzookeeper.

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