Sunday, June 9, 2013
What You need to Know about Class Dojo
By Erin Wolfhope
Have you heard of Class Dojo? Do you have colleagues that love it? Would you like to know more about it?
Class Dojo is a handy service that can easily be added to your digital toolbox, and be used daily in your classroom. www.classdojo.com offers both desktop and mobile applications (iOS and Android) for ease of use and convenience. Class Dojo is designed to be used as a classroom management system to track both positive and negative behaviors using points. Once you create your free account you create your classes and enter your students' names. Each student has a customizable avatar you can choose one of the many avatars provided, or import your own. Next you create a list of positive and negative behaviors. Each behavior corresponds to an icon, and you can customize behaviors to meet the needs of your classroom. Be specific with the behaviors you choose to include, as this will make your reports the most accurate. Your class roster, behaviors, avatars, and point displays are all easy to edit after your initial class set-up. Parent codes are available for parents to create an account to view their child’s progress. So... that’s the gist of the program.
Here’s how it worked for me this year:
I work on a team with 2 other teachers in a 70’s style open classroom/pod set-up. Back in August we decided that we didn’t like our management system that we had been using, and we agreed that we’d try Class Dojo out. We liked the paperless aspect, the ease of parent connections, and the fact that Class Dojo went with us everywhere via our iPads and iPhones.
We each have our own classroom, but we have no doors to separate our classrooms from one another. We rotate classes within the pod. For example, I teach kindergarten Language Arts and first grade math. So I see different kiddos at different points during the day. In order to keep all info on all of our students we all share one Class Dojo account with 3 classes; kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. So far, the app and desktop version have been handling all three of us logged on simultaneously pretty nicely.
Initially, it was difficult to remember to use Class Dojo while teaching, and working with students. However, it didn’t take long for the students to catch on and look for Class Dojo being projected on the board. Their enjoyment in seeing their name on the screen with a +1 beside it was incredible. As a team, we learned the incredible power of an encouraging point, and how it inspired not just the recipient of the point, but most of the class. Our students responded quite well to Class Dojo, and while accruing more and more points was enough of a goal for most we decided to incorporate some additional awards based on points; sticker, lunch buddy, extra playground equipment. We reset our students' points at the end of the month, but you can reset them whenever you choose. You can even choose to reset points by individual students.
The data and reports gathered by Class Dojo is quite possibly the most incredible aspect of the whole program. The reports are generated by Class Dojo, and show points received and lost, sorts behaviors, and shows trends by time and day. This data is perfect for RTI (Response to Intervention).
The people behind Class Dojo are always listening, changing, and upgrading. They want to hear any and all suggestions and they have made numerous changes throughout this school year. Class Dojo has been a great addition to my classroom, and I’m excited to use it again year after year.
About the author: Erin is a K-2 teacher in a Multi-Age classroom set up. She primarily teaches kindergarten language arts and first grade math. Erin completed her masters degree in Instructional Media last year with Wilkes University and Discovery Education. She strives to use tech in her classroom to help students share, create, and collaborate. Erin live in Hickory, North Carolina with my husband, Jeff and son, Lucas.