Keep students writing all year on nightzookeeper.com!

Keep students writing all year on nightzookeeper.com!

January: Story Relay Classes across the world work together to write an original Night Zookeeper story over the course of the month! March: World Creative Writing Month 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 […]

How a Primary School Teacher Made Homework Fun

How a Primary School Teacher Made Homework Fun

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! Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Colt Technology, we have been able to work with a new network of schools who perhaps would have been unable to introduce their students to the wonderful world of the Night Zoo. It can be very frustrating as a teacher with a lack of resources available, however, this week […]

New Features Coming Soon!

New Features Coming Soon!

Look out for new features soon including an improved ‘Lessons’ page for teacher, all-new writing leagues, and exciting new notifications for students. Lessons Page We’ll soon be launching a more streamlined lessons page which will make it easier to review student results, comment on student lessons and search for sent lessons. All-New Writing Leagues New writing leagues will display how many words a student has had published, how many lessons they have finished as well as how many quiz and […]

How An Elementary School Teacher Got Students Excited About Writing

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 […]

Our Top Tips for Editing and Revising Work

Our Top Tips for Editing and Revising Work

Editing and making improvements in writing is a key focus within Literacy teaching at the moment. It is one of the most important stages of the writing process, however, it is also the trickiest to do well. Children can find it very difficult to revise and edit their writing. This is often for a number of reasons: One could be that they have worked hard on their piece of writing: a story or report for example, and are very proud […]

How An Elementary School Teacher Challenged their Gifted Writers with Night Zookeeper

How An Elementary School Teacher Challenged their Gifted Writers with Night Zookeeper

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 always great to hear about what they’re loving and what they’re finding challenging, as well as how they’re using Night Zookeeper in their unique situations. We thought that it was a little selfish to keep these stories all to ourselves, so we want to start sharing them with you on a weekly basis. This […]

International Writing Cup 2018

International Writing Cup 2018

The International Writing Cup is back for another year, with a brand new format! We’re launching a special Writing Triathlon on 1st November 2018. Students will be challenged to write three different pieces of writing that are all linked by the theme of writing an amazing adventure story. Stage 1: Instructions This will challenge students to write a set of instructions to explain how to write an excellent adventure story. Stage 2: Report At the next stage, students will need […]

Sky Kids confirms 10 episodes of Night Zookeeper for 2019

Sky Kids confirms 10 episodes of Night Zookeeper for 2019

Sky Kids commissions ‘Night Zookeeper’ to nurture the next generation of story tellers and support classroom creativity Sky Kids has commissioned 10 episodes of animated series Night Zookeeper for 2019. Night Zookeeper, created by social enterprise Wonky Star, is a UK-based children’s brand, which has grown organically over the last six years from a primary teaching resource. Their website, nightzookeeper.com, is used in thousands of schools across the world to inspire children to invent their own magical animals, and then […]

How to Use the Night Zookeeper Books with Your Class

How to Use the Night Zookeeper Books with Your Class

We are always looking to find out how Night Zookeeper is used in classrooms and how it is impacting on children’s learning. One of our incredible Night Zookeeper teachers has written about her experience with using the Night Zookeeper book: ‘The Giraffes of Whispering Wood’ in their class and the impact that it has. You can read Sheri’s testimonial below and take a look at her lesson collection here. “As an elementary school teacher, I fell in love with the magical […]

The Great Big Animal Poem

The Great Big Animal Poem

National Poetry Day is celebrated on Thursday 4th October 2018. It is a chance for people to share and read poems and become inspired to write their own. Poetry is an amazing medium for expressing creativity: you can play around with words, rhythm and structure to create something fantastic! To celebrate, we want to create ‘The Great Big Animal Poem’ including work from our poets all over the world. We have started off the poem with our own rhyming couplet: […]

5 Reasons Why Blogging is Important in your Classroom.

5 Reasons Why Blogging is Important in your Classroom.

How many times have you visited another school and felt completely inspired and excited to try new things out in your own classroom? Would you believe us if we said that you could have that feeling of rejuvenation without even leaving your desk? This is the power of blogging. Creating a blog is a chance to widen your teaching space and push your reach beyond the classroom door. It is a great way of sharing students’ work and develop skills […]

Follow our Night Zookeeper Ambassadors

Follow our Night Zookeeper Ambassadors

Our community of Night Zookeeper teachers are some of the most awesome people around! Follow some of our official Night Zookeeper Teacher Ambassadors below to see how they are using Night Zookeeper and developing a love of writing in their class. Feel free to ask them questions about how to make the most of the website with your students! Melisa Hayes, 2nd Grade Teacher @hayes_melisa Amy Murch, 4th Grade Teacher @TeamMurch4 Melissa Henderson, 2nd Grade Teacher @giftedgem Alex Ennis, 6th Grade Teacher @Mrs_Ennis_OMS  Sara, […]

1000 Word Story Challenge!

1000 Word Story Challenge!

Calling all aspiring writers – the latest Star Writing Challenge is up today! We would like your students to write a 1000 word story about their own adventure in the Night Zoo. Once they step through the magical gates, where will they go and who will they meet? The authors of every 1000 word story will receive a pack of exclusive Night Zookeeper cards! We want to encourage children of all ages to write, so every child who reaches 500 […]

Writing Assessment: We’re Here to Help

Writing Assessment: We’re Here to Help

Assessing students’ writing isn’t always the most enjoyable of tasks for teachers; hours spent scouring writing  searching for adjectives and commas used in the right places. That’s where ‘Reports’ comes in; one of the new features on Night Zookeeper that we are really excited about. This tool is readily available from your Classroom Dashboard and provides you with data on what your students are including in their writing. Our report system analyses all the writing your students produce on nightzookeeper.com, […]

Read a Book Day

Read a Book Day

Today is Read a Book Day. We believe that every day should be Read a Book Day but any excuse to grab a book and read is good enough for us! Whether it’s an old favourite that is as comforting as a soft blanket or a new one ready for you to explore and fall in love with, make some time for it today. Don’t keep it to yourself though, make sure that you share the experience of reading. Read […]

Live Writing Lessons with Night Zookeeper

Live Writing Lessons with Night Zookeeper

We’ve launched an exciting new initiative, which enables teachers to book live writing lessons with the Night Zookeeper via video chat. An experienced Night Zookeeper educator is ready and waiting to connect with your class via Google Hangouts, Skype, or any other live video software that you use in school. How does it work? Once you’ve booked an appropriate date and time, you will then be connected to the member of the Night Zookeeper team that will deliver your session. […]

Night Zookeeper Series – Be the Creator!

Night Zookeeper Series – Be the Creator!

Do your students love Night Zookeeper? Are you looking for new opportunities to stretch their creativity? Would your students love to be part of a hit SKY animated TV show? If so, then we’ve got an amazing opportunity for you this term! We’re in the process of creating a new animated Night Zookeeper series alongside Sky Kids and we want your students to be a part of it! This term, we are offering students in the UK the opportunity to […]

Back to School Activities

Back to School Activities

We hope you’ve enjoyed a wonderful summer break and you’re excited to begin a brand new year at school. Back to School Writing! As well as new website features, we have created activities and resources to bring Night Zookeeper to life in your classroom: ‘Back to School’ downloadable resources to use in your class – download them here Lesson Hive collection of Back to School ideas – check them out here   The Night Zookeepers have been very busy during […]

How to use Reading Light

How to use Reading Light

We’ve created these short walkthrough videos to help show you some of the cool features inside our new Reading Light Resource. TEACHERS: You can recommend books to your students. Follow the directions in this video 2. STUDENTS: How to add a book to your Reading Light bookshelf 3. STUDENTS: How to add reading time to your current book 4. STUDENTS: How to mark a book as finished and write a review 5. TEACHERS: How to publish student reading records Try […]

Colt Technology Sponsors Night Zookeeper Class Subscriptions

Colt Technology Sponsors Night Zookeeper Class Subscriptions

We’re very excited to announce that we are going to be able to offer 140 schools the chance to use Night Zookeeper for the academic year 2018/19 free of charge. This fantastic opportunity has been made possible by sponsorship from COLT Technology Services, who provide network and voice services to Europe, North America and Asia. We hope that this will enable more children to develop a love for learning and develop their literacy skills, especially those for whom it may […]

Sam’s September of Skills

Sam’s September of Skills

The summer holidays are a time for recharging batteries, having fun and making memories; it is also a time for drawing a line under the previous year and forgetting all of the wonderful learning that happened. Here at Night Zookeeper, we want to help your students settle into their new school year with confidence and the opportunity to revisit some of the fantastic skills that they acquired previously. We are launching ‘Sam’s September of Skills’ This is an in-depth resource […]

How we gamifed reading records! ‘Reading Light’ on nightzookeeper.com

How we gamifed reading records! ‘Reading Light’ on nightzookeeper.com

We’ve created a feature this summer to gamify the process of keeping a reading record. We think this will have a huge impact on student motivation levels as they are rewarded in their Night Zoo account for the amount of reading they are doing ‘offline’. Here are just a few reasons why we’re so excited about the impact of Reading Light: Increased motivation We have seen through early testing of Reading Light that it can inspire students to read more […]

Short Writing Challenges!

Short Writing Challenges!

With the launch of nightzookeeper.com 2.0 we added our newest feature, short writing challenges, which are perfect for independent learning. These new writing challenges are all focused on helping to improve the spelling, grammar and vocabulary of students. They are all automatically assessed by our smart algorithm, so you don’t have to moderate any of the writing that students produce. You can simply check in on their performance on your dashboard results table. As students grow their Night Zoo they […]

10 awesome ways nightzookeeper.com develops writing skills!

10 awesome ways nightzookeeper.com develops writing skills!

Nightzookeeper.com was designed to inspire a love of writing in children, while at the same time helping to develop their creative thinking skills, as well as genuinely improving the quality of their writing. Here are ten awesome ways nightzookeeper.com could do this for your students! 1. Creating A Magical Animal As a Night Zookeeper, one of your students’ most important tasks is create their own animals to live in the Night Zoo! This is the perfect chance for them to […]

Nightzookeeper.com 2.0: 10 Exciting New Features

Nightzookeeper.com 2.0: 10 Exciting New Features

With the launch of nightzookeeper.com 2.0, we are excited to announce a list of awesome new features for you to try out this school year! 1. Reading Light This brand new feature enables students to track all of the books they are reading, throughout the school year. It is your replacement for the reading diary that students take home in their book bags. They can record how much time they have read throughout the week and write reviews of the […]

The Lioness of Fire Desert

The Lioness of Fire Desert

Book 2 in the Night Zookeeper series, ‘The Lioness of Fire Desert’ is out now! Here’s the synopsis: Joined by his friends, Sam and Riya, Will journeys to Fire Desert, where rumours of a creature called ‘the Grip’ have struck fear into the hearts of the animals. Even Captain Claw, a fierce lioness, seems to be acting strangely on hearing the news. The animals look to Will to save them, but does he have the strength to overcome his fears, […]

A Unique Educational Project: Global Readers Theater!

A Unique Educational Project: Global Readers Theater!

We are very excited about a new project that will be starting September 3rd, organised by Sean Forde, a Technology Teacher at Chadwick International School in Korea. Utilising Flipgrid, classes from around the world will take part in the creation of a specially produced Night Zookeeper theater performance! The finished product will be a Night Zookeeper play, where the actors and scenes are recorded from all over the world. We have prepared some special Night Zookeeper masks for students to wear […]

What will students do on nightzookeeper.com? Basic Teacher Guide:

What will students do on nightzookeeper.com? Basic Teacher Guide:

How to get started? 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 […]

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, charity schools in the Philippines, and by children from Syria, in refugees camps. 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 […]

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

If you are experiencing any issues with access to the website, or students not being able to save work, first please ask your IT team to unblock the following domains. List of domains to unblock: *.nightzookeeper.com (our core domain) *.cloudinary.com (image storage) *.googleapis.com (server hosting) *.stripe.com (payment system) *.unpkg.com (menu support) *.raven.com (bug reporting) *.polyfill.io (cross browser support) *.sentry.io (bug reporting)   Best devices: Laptops, iPads, Google Chromebooks Best Browser: Google Chrome, Safari We have created the following very short videos to support all users with our new […]

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?

Can gamification improve writing?

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 […]

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 […]

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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