“Have a seat!” “Stop talking, please!” “Keep your hands to yourself!” Does this sound like your typical elementary classroom? Well, this was my classroom during the first few weeks of teaching ninth grade. I quickly learned how to manage my class by setting expectations and giving positive reinforcement, but I’m quite certain that it would have been a lot easier using a resource like ClassDojo. ClassDojo is a free classroom management tool that helps encourage positive behaviors through the use of a point system (Dojo points). Here are 10 facts about ClassDojo that can help you use it in your classroom.
1. FREE and Available on Multiple Devices
This free program is available on a variety of platforms including iOS, Android and any computer. It translates beautifully on interactive whiteboards and projectors. Therefore, you can have it displayed during class so that students are instantly notified when they are awarded points.
2. User Friendly
ClassDojo’s interface is inviting and easy to use. The class demo walks you through the process of how to set up classes, attribute points and invite parents. Completing the demo only takes seconds and then you are ready to create your first class.
3. Fun for Students and Great for Self Reflection
Each student is assigned their very own monster avatar they can customize. Creating their own avatar helps them feel more active in the process as opposed to a passive participant. Students can also view an individualized report on their behavior at the end of the day. You can even set up mini-conferences with each student, have them look at their reports and set goals on how they will improve their behavior over the next month. Mini-conferences are a great way to help students engage in self-reflection.
4. Saves Time
Using ClassDojo helps save a lot of transitional time as well as time spent documenting behaviors and notifying parents. As a result, you have more time for instruction and planning. The class timer also notifies students on how much time they have left to complete an assignment and continuously moves things along.
5. Parent Communication
Remember that your TKES evaluation includes communicating with students and parents. ClassDojo makes communication extremely easy. Once you give parents access to their children’s information, you can send them instant messages, photos and announcements about their behavior in your classroom. You can also confirm that parents received the information by using the read receipt feature.
6. A Wealth of Teacher Resources
From tips to getting started, to videos for Parent Night and class decorations, ClassDojo provides a variety of teacher resources on their site. In addition, teachers have also created Pinterest boards, YouTube videos and blogs about how they use it in their classrooms.
7. Customize Behaviors
Once you have set up your class, ClassDojo provides a default set of positive and negative behaviors and skills that you can assign to your students. You can also customize behaviors and change the amount of points allocated to each category. This capability allows you to tailor the program to the specific behaviors you need your students to display in order to be successful in your classroom.
8. Helps Monitor and Track Behavior
ClassDojo helps you monitor and track student behavior with ease. The program keeps track of the students’ behaviors as you give negative and positive points. It then generates reports complete with graphs to provide information to students and parents about areas of progress and where they need improvement. This feature can help tremendously with behavior documentation.
9. Use Points in Creative Ways
One thing that increased participation in my classroom was awarding stickers to students if they were on task and participating. Students could then cash these stickers in before a test or quiz for extra points. They loved receiving stickers, but the problem with giving them was that students tended to lose them. This program eliminates the hassle of keeping up with tangible items that students can trade in for rewards. Simply allow them to trade in their points for extra credit. Once they have used them, you can then reset their points in the program.
10. New Features! Class Groups and Class Story
You can now place students into groups and allocate points to the group as well as to individual students. Students are able to see their individual and group points simultaneously. Megan Caesar beta tested this new feature and provides a thorough review of its capability. Check her blog out here. Another new and exciting feature is Class Story. Described as “a private Instagram for the classroom,” by ClassDojo Ambassador Julie Tessier, Class Story makes it easy for teachers to share what is happening in their classrooms in a safe environment. Click here for more information on Class Story by Julie Tessier.
If you would like even more information about ClassDojo, check out Thomas Grodek’s excellent overview and tutorial.
How do you use this great tool to help manage your classroom? Let us know by leaving a comment below!