Hope everyone had an exceptional week!
How many teachers struggle with classroom management? Personally, it was one of the bigger challenges my first year in the classroom and can even still pose as a challenge. One way I combated the struggle was with ClassDojo. This website (and app!) is a great resource to help students keep themselves in check and give you a great reward system with minimal extra work for you!
The way it works is you import your class, then you can set up skills you want students to earn points for doing. One skill I wanted my students to improve on was persevering through a problem, so I made that worth 1 point. Other skills i wanted improvement on were being an outstanding citizen, completing all their classwork, demonstrating excellent teamwork, and using math talk. Again, you can choose the skills you want your students to work on and give each skill a point value. The teachers on my grade are rewarding students with the most Dojo points with a pizza party, so it’s an incentive for students to earn.
This is what the skills looks like: (My school is departmentalized, so my skills are labeled “Math – skill” so the other teachers can create their own skills)
The second half of the management is taking away points for negative behavior. I don’t like taking away points they already earned for positive behavior, but some behaviors warrant the negative points. Students in my classroom can lost points for calling out, not handing in HW, being off task, and using unkind words. Again, taking away points they’ve already earned isn’t my favorite thing to do, but there are times where students can be very distracting to the students around them and there has to be consequences. To take points away, you click, “Needs Work,” on the top and the skills will look like this:
Another feature I’ve been using more often is the Portfolio feature of ClassDojo. While students are working I go around with my iPad and take pictures of the students work. There are two ways to upload the work to ClassDojo – to the Portfolio of the child or the Class Story. I use this as a motivator for students to keep their work neat and organized because my kids love when I share their work to the ClassStory or their Portfolio for their parents to see.
Finally, the best part about ClassDojo is the parent engagement piece. You can either print out a slip of paper for parents to register and get the app, or you can send them a text invite through the app! Personally, phone calls can take quite a bit of time, but with ClassDojo you can message parents and even send out mass messages to keep them aware of whats going on in the classroom. Most parents prefer this as well and are able to message the teacher with concerns or questions. Don’t worry – as a teacher you can choose “Do Not Disturb” times when you aren’t teaching or the weekends to still have a life outside of school!
How else could ClassDojo be used in the classroom? Drop a comment below with suggestions!