So, for those of you who have already used Class Dojo, this isn't going to come as a surprise. But, for all of you teachers who are having classroom management issues this is going to be the best piece of tech advice I could ever give you. In short, Class Dojo is the best piece of tech aimed at managing your students' behaviors in line that you could ever ask for. Here's a little about WHAT it is, WHY you should use it, and most importantly HOW to use it.
So what is Class Dojo? Class Dojo is a FREE piece of software aimed at helping teachers keep their students behaviors in check. Teachers can visit the website, upload their class roster and start rewarding and constructively criticizing their behavior in minutes. The best part is that kids love the graphics, and the feedback is instant. Students can download the students version of the app on their smartphones/computers/tablets and customize their personalized monsters if they would like as well.
So, why should you start using Class Dojo? Well, as a teacher I can say that I've used it to start immediately keeping track of what students are participating, and what students have been playing the sideline. As teachers, we already have a pretty good idea of who is doing what, but keepin a digital list (that the students enjoy) will free up our desks from paper versions of these lists. Also, parents can download the app and see what their children are excelling at or what they might be missing out on in real time. Furthermore, a little tool that doesn't get too much attention is their "random" feature. I use this to decide who is going to read their work aloud, or who is going to lead the class in a reading, etc. It takes the pressure off of me to pick students for those tasks. Another neat feature is that when you hit "random" once you have started your class, it will pick a student and prompt you (the teacher) to give the student instant feedback.
Here are some specific ways I'm using this software every day.
- The random feature makes picking students fun, and engaging. It also prompts me to give the students instant feedback.
- I don't give "behavior" grades because I don't think they have any bearing on student growth, but I do reward students who are one or two points away from a higher grade those points if they have high scores on Class Dojo.
- Based on the monsters, I create groups. i.e. Everyone with a green monster will be in group one, everyone with a monster with more than 2 eyes in group 2, etc.
- If one student doesn't know the answer, they can call on another student and their teammate will get a "helping others" award on Class Dojo
So try out Class Dojo right now! I truly think that it is an amazing piece of software. It's straightforward, simple, free, and most importantly it will make your teaching life a little easier. As teachers we're obligated to give our students feedback related to cognitive and non-cognitive growth. This software definitely addresses the latter.
However, there are some features I don't use/believe could use some tweaking:
- Since we use Powerschool at my school, there is no need for me to take attendance using ClassDojo. It's a great future but I don't want to do it twice.
- Teachers can't customize their monsters, and the teacher avatar doesn't show on the class page. I think that might personalize the class a little more.
- What you see is what you get. There aren't any other features other than randomly picking a single student. It would be nice if the software created groups for you based on the feedback you've given students.
So click on any of the images if you want to learn more about Class Dojo or if you would like to get started. Create a demo class before you implement this thing during class. Good Luck and lets turn this franchise around! (Education in the United States!)
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