Greasing the Skids


A performance by the theatre or music group is often a highlight in the school calendar. But for those responsible for organising and co-ordinating such an event it is a huge undertaking. Cancelled rehearsals due to no-shows, finding rehearsal rooms and informing the cast of changing dates, times and locations for practices are the bane of many teachers’ lives. Getting students to where they need to be at the right time can be like herding cats! This activity shares some ideas on how teachers can use on line tools to combat these issues.


Using social networks or the learning platform (e.g. Moodle) at your school to communicate with your pupils gives them responsibility for keeping abreast of developments. It ensures that pupils always know when and where you meet – or at least, it makes it their responsibility to find out! It also shows other teachers where the pupils are at any given time. Teachers are used to posting information on physical notice boards but, as we know, this has limited reach and often means teachers are told “Someone’s removed the notice” or “I wasn’t in school yesterday so I couldn’t check the board”!

Use a web survey (e.g. SurveyMonkey) to get feedback on your work and to involve the pupils in the selection of plays, the progress made in rehearsals etc. An anonymous survey makes it easier especially for self-conscious pupils to take part in a debate. A Doodle poll can help find out when pupils are free to meet. Many students have several extra-curricular commitments, so finding a time and date where they don’t have to be ‘somewhere else’ can be a pain. Doodle poll means you can see at a glance when all (or a majority) of the cast is available to meet.

Time needed Varies but the setting up can be done in minutes! Getting students to respond promptly to a Doodle poll can take a bit of “training”!

Hints and tips

  • You don’t have to do it all on your own. Ask a group of pupils to be responsible for keeping the tools you use up-to-date and to evaluate the surveys. There are always pupils at a school who love organising and being in charge of something! It can also be a big boost to their self-confidence.


  • Computers with internet access.
  • Free internet tools e.g. SurveyMonkey, Doodle.
  • A website or similar platform.


This post is also available in: Dutch


  1. IT’S SHOWTIME! | TACCLE 2 - October 2, 2014

    […] Station 1: Greasing the Skids Students investigate how various Web 2.0 tools (Survey Monkey, Doodle Poll) can help them organise the preparatory stages of putting on a show or concert. […]

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