How An Elementary School Teacher Got Students Excited About Writing

We’re extremely lucky to work with some of the most amazing teachers in the world, as the Night Zookeeper community continues to grow every day! It’s part and parcel of teaching to share ideas and discuss what has worked well and what hasn’t – therefore we thought why not share the stories of some of our incredible Night Zookeeper teachers.

This week, our Night Zookeeper Teacher in the spotlight is Matt Peebles. Matt is a fourth-grade teacher based in Illinois who has been using Night Zookeeper with his students for the last couple of months.

Check out Matt’s awesome class blog here!

We know that a school day is always jam-packed, how do you use Night Zookeeper with your class?

I use nightzookeeper.com three or four times a week, depending on how my timetable is looking for the week. All of my students have access to a laptop in the classroom so it has been easy to integrate.

Matt Peebles class 1

What are your favourite things to do with your students on Night Zookeeper?

I really enjoy using the Lesson Hive to create fun lessons for the students to complete. I usually use them for response to reading and creative writing during our writing workshop. One of the ways I’ve used it recently was with informational writing. My students had researched animals and collected notes, and then wrote up their research into a five paragraph report in a lesson that I had created on the website. I was able to give them a clear focus with a challenge description and word bank within the writing tool.

How has Night Zookeeper had an impact on teaching and learning in your classroom?

My students absolutely LOVE it! They are excited about writing for the first time EVER – they have written over 60,000 words in two months! I have students writing creatively at home and students reading each other’s work regularly. They are learning to comment to each other respectfully and productively online (which is an important skill as well!)

Matt Peebles 2

If you could sum Night Zookeeper up in one sentence, what would it be?

It is a game changer that opens a portal into the joy of writing for your students!

 

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