Teaching Resources

How teachers are using Pobble

by Henry Smith
on September 2, 2017


The Pobble team is proud. Really proud. Why? Well, put simply, thousands of teachers in thousands of schools all over the world regularly use our website.

However, once we started to dig a little deeper, it became increasingly apparent that many creative teachers are not just using Pobble to improve writing as we first thought…

So what do they use it for? Why is the site so useful to so many busy teachers? You might be surprised by what we found…

Help with planning

Have you ever written your own WAGOLL or been short of inspirational ideas when planning a topic? Pobble contains a bank of nearly 100,000 pieces of children’s writing. That’s nearly 100,000 texts that can be used for teaching ideas, guided reading, ‘up-levelling’, topic research, ‘WAGOLLs’ or just being downright nosy about what other schools are doing. The best bit, however, is the fact these texts are all categorized into age group, genre and topic, effectively making it a search engine of children’s writing. Looking for Year 6 non-chronological reports, Year 3 Viking fact-files or texts about polar bears? In just seconds you – or your pupils – can embark on an exciting search for information.

Have you heard of Pobble 365? We have a daily picture to stimulate your pupils, all prepared for you. Each picture includes a writing prompt, grammar/SPaG activity, a ‘sick’ sentence to up-level, some speaking and listening/philosophy questions, as well as an art challenge. Again: this is EVERY DAY and is a wonderful time-saver as it’s all created for you. Perfect to begin each morning, for straight after lunch or to use as inspiration for extended writing activities!

Improving reading across school

So, how do teachers use Pobble to improve reading? Engaging texts are not always easy to find: Pobble contains thousands of them for your class. But what makes these texts so engaging? They’re real to the children, with real child authors writing about themes and topics that are familiar and relevant to them. Children are often competitive, inquisitive and eager to see what other children can do in other schools (they enjoy finding mistakes, too!).

The best bit? Pupil logins!

Pupil logins mean that children can independently discover texts – even at home – and research individual genres and topics. Pobble is being used superbly in day to day teaching to make teachers’ lives easier: children are taking more responsibility for their learning and discovering their own model texts, genre examples and information about topics. The Pobble team beams with pride each time we hear teachers challenge their class with:

“I want you to log on to Pobble and find an example of…”, or “three facts about…”. or “two ways that you could improve…”

However, all of this scrutiny of other children’s writing and the new level of importance placed upon it reinforces to your young readers the need for careful editing and neat presentation in their own writing. Remember, Pobble makes children’s writing matter.

Supporting assessment and moderation

Our new moderation tool allows teachers to highlight and annotate children’s writing in line with specific, age-related criteria. To aid consistency of judgments, teachers can quickly and simply send and receive children’s writing, connecting with peers in their own and other schools. Not only does this much more efficient ‘remote moderating’ aid the consistency and confidence of teachers’ judgments, this also provides an excellent trail of evidence of writing assessment and moderation.

Enhancing Peer Assessment

Pupils logins have – quite literally – opened up a whole world of possibilities for our schools. Being part of the Pobble global community makes it very easy for teachers to connect their class of young writers with other classes of children locally, nationally or even internationally. This suddenly makes writing much more important to children. They have an audience! Not only that, but they receive feedback from this audience. Peer assessment is becoming such an important part of outstanding schools’ toolkits that we have even created a function to help guide each pupil through making a great comment. Pupils are encouraged to refer to specific features of the text that they liked most, as well to ask a question or suggest a way in which it can be improved, whilst keeping each comment positive and kind. Of course, all comments left have to be approved by our team before going live, which keeps things really safe for you and your pupils.

Aiding E-safety and Internet use

Teachers regularly remind us that using Pobble is a hugely valuable ‘dress rehearsal’ to help prepare pupils for the ever-expanding world of The Internet. Pupil logins mean that children can quickly and easily jump on to Pobble to find out about topics, themes or specific text genres in the same way that we, as adults, would nip on to Google to find out about the nearest plumber, tomorrow’s weather or latest rugby results. Like adults, the pupils may have to adjust their search and sift through the results to find the most useful and relevant text.

Commenting on Pobble helps pupils to learn what is and isn’t appropriate and safe. All comments left on Pobble are checked and verified by our team before being approved. All comments made by each of their pupils can be tracked by teachers and celebrated. Indeed, many schools celebrate commenters of the week and use our free downloadable certificate to do this!

Want to see how Pobble could work in your school? Join for free and give it a try!