Don’t worry, if you’re still Old School and use a behavior chart or still write a student’s name on the board, this post is still for you! Please read to the end to see the link for the ClassDojo Back to School FREEBIE!
I’ve written previously about my experience using ClassDojo with my third graders. You can read about that HERE. I list 5 things you need to know before using ClassDojo.
|I wrote these last year, but they are good tips to use this year as well!|
If you’re not familiar with ClassDojo, think of it as an online behavior management system. Students earn Dojo points for behaviors you’ve defined as noteworthy, such as, staying on task or returning homework or whatever you decide. At the same time you can also award negative Dojo points for students who make bad choices. Not clear yet and need more info? Go HERE.
Using ClassDojo is easy. Set up your class, set up your positive and negative behaviors. Then ClassDojo generates sign up codes for the students and parents. Students can go online and monitor their points and customize their avatar. Parents also sign up to monitor their child’s behavior in your class. It is real time notifications.
That means, anytime you award positive or negative points the parent will see it live on their phone, tablet or computer! Awesome! Score one for the teacher! No, really. It is a great feature. I speak as not only a teacher who has used ClassDojo, but as a parent of a child whose teacher used it last year.
|Parent support for ClassDojo is critical. Get them to sign up!|
As a parent, I could see what kind of a day my child was having. If the teacher needed to speak with me for whatever reason, ClassDojo has a messaging system built in. In fact, the teacher can send whole class broadcasts to make announcements or send single messages to certain parents. The teacher can also attach images, just like texting. As a parent, ClassDojo helped me stay on top of behaviors that needed to be changed, made me aware of missing or incomplete assignments, and warned me of upcoming tests.
This year I am “marrying” my Classroom Behavior Chart WITH ClassDojo. In my previous post I gave a tip that it was important for the students to see how many points they had during the day. That was hard to do since I couldn’t keep my projector on all day and burn out the bulb. So by having a Classroom Behavior Chart, the student has a visual reminder of how they are doing in class. If they clip up, I award them a POSITIVE dojo point. If they clip down, of course they will get a NEGATIVE dojo point.
|Why didn’t I think of this last year! Combine your Behavior Chart with ClassDojo!|
This year I plan on emphasizing the following POSITIVE behaviors that I will award points for:
- Being Responsible
- Being Respectful
- Being Safe
- Being On Task and Focused
- Completing and Bringing Daily Homework
The first three focus on our school wide rules which are also my classroom rules. Granted, that they are very general but they are a good way to start the year so students can see the variety of behaviors that fall under each one. The last two behaviors are specific behaviors I want students to have immediately with the start of the new school year. No dilly-dallying. Stay focused and make sure your homework is done. I bet you can guess what my NEGATIVE behaviors are!
- Being irresponsible
- Being disrespectful
- Being unsafe
- Being off task and distracted
- Not bringing or incomplete homework
(There’s a good prefix lesson in those behaviors — ir, dis, un, in!) During the year, those behaviors will change and I will add or take away behaviors depending on the needs of the class. If I see that excessive talking is an issue with my class, that would be a behavior to add for both positive and negative (working quietly vs excessive talking or socializing). That’s the great thing about ClassDojo. It is flexible and you determine what is acceptable behavior and what is not.
The secret to getting ClassDojo to work to improve student behavior is to get the parents to sign up so they can monitor their child. Usually 75% of parents will sign up within the first week of being notified. But you know it’s that 25% that doesn’t, that really NEEDS to sign up. So why not hold a raffle! Any parent who signs up gets a ticket for a raffle. You can get together with your team and hold a grade level raffle to win something simple but worthwhile: an iTunes or store gift card for maybe $10-$20.
|Parents and Teachers can access ClassDojo on a mobile phone, tablet or computer. Even if you’re walking down a hallway, take your phone with you to award Dojo points!|
What if the parent doesn’t have an internet connection or a mobile phone? Not a problem. For those particular students, just print out their weekly progress, send it home for review and signature and that way that parent can stay informed. I would also recommend sending home the reports on a monthly basis so that parents can see how the month went. You don’t actually need to send printed out copies. Save the reports as a PDF file and email (with receipt) the report to the parent. Remind the parents that if they have any questions, to use the ClassDojo messaging system.
Are you ready to get started? I’ve produced this ClassDojo Back to School Resource to get your started. We want the students to make the connection that earning positive or negative points is all within their control. Follow the rules, you’ll get positive points. Break the rules, you’ll get negative points. The ClassDojo Resource sheet can be completed in a 30 minute block. First the students should write their sign up code on the paper. Then, once you’ve introduced your rules, have the students copy them down onto the sheet. Then give them a copy (or project) of the ClassDojo Monster avatars. They select one and freehand draw it in the My Monster frame. They can customize it anyway they want. Remind them that when they get home they should sign up and that will let them pick their avatar and customize it anyway they want!
|Download this ClassDojo Back to School Resource and get started now!|
Since we want to make students responsible for their own behaviors, it’s time for students to be honest and brainstorm a behavior that needs to change. Perhaps last year the student was constantly out of his/her seat. Then the student’s goal for this year is to: stay in my seat during classwork. Each student should write down their goal that will improve behavior. This is great for the teacher because you can see which behaviors you’ll need to work on during the year. It also gives you an opportunity to reward students with points if you see them improving on those behaviors. There’s also a section for a Study Skill goal as well. Here’s a good time to talk about what makes a successful student!
You can download the ClassDojo Back to School FREEBIE here from my blog. It’s also located in the FREEBIEs section.
Drum roll please. So now presenting the ClassDojo 5 Tips for the First Month of School!
|Here are some handy tips for using ClassDojo in your first month.|
Of course, there’s lots of other great ideas from teachers already using ClassDojo. ClassDojo.com provides lots of resources for teachers HERE.
Here’s a great activity from flapjackeducation.com that I will be using this school year: The 100 Points Club. It’s so important to keep the students motivated during the school year with additional achievements they can accomplish to earn extra rewards. You don’t want kids losing interest in ClassDojo!