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April 9, 2013

Tried It Tuesday - Class Dojo



I've been teaching 20 years. Sometimes I feel like I've been there and done that. When I find something new and it works, I get really excited.

Last spring, I was introduced to Class Dojo. I had two of "those" classes, the kind that make you want to retire or quit teaching. I was game to try anything. I had already used ALL of my tricks by February. If I didn't find something new, I was never going to make it to May.

I signed up for an account, set up my classes, and introduced it to my students. To get them to buy into the program, I let them choose their avatar. Since, I teach two classes. I made one class choose monsters and the other are critters.  *Note: My principal requested that we not use students names, so when I set up classes I use their # and initials. For example, #2 - KB or #19 - TS


                                     


It worked great. Behavior improved immediately. All we had to do was hold up our phones and say Dojo. Some days I left it up on the projector, so they could see who was getting or losing points. Most of the time, I just left the sound on, but turned off the screen. Every time they heard the positive ding, they turned to see if I was looking at them. When the heard the negative tone, they stopped doing whatever they were doing and sat up straight.

This year, we decided to do away with our behavior spreadsheet clipboards and just use Class Dojo. Every Friday, we pull up the reports and use those to report behavior to parents on a separate conduct card that they sign and return. I don't use it often enough, but there is a comment section. I try to record specific behavior for documentation.

The best part of Class Dojo...positive behavior is noted. Last year, when I had "those" classes, I had a bad attitude and was pretty negative. This program helped me look for the positive. What I discovered was there were only 7-9 students that were misbehaved. The other 13-15 kids were good and were being overlooked, because I was focused on the negative. Now, I know exactly how positive or negative I've been each week.
As with any program, eventually the newness wears off and its impact. Since, we have been using it all year, it has lost its appeal. To renew interest, I asked my classes Monday to brainstorm a list of rewards. I used their ideas to create a rewards chart. Now, they are working towards earning points again. Friday, if they have 10 points, they are going to choose one of the 3 rewards listed. If they don't make 10 by Friday, then they will work on getting there by next Friday. I am not going to reset their points. At each 10 point increment, they are going to choose another pass from the list. This way EVERY student will eventually get to choose a reward, not just the top students. Sorry, I meant to take a picture of the chart before I left today, but I was in a hurry to get to a doctor's appointment.

Have you tried Class Dojo? How do you use it?

Head over to Holly's Fourth Grade Flipper and tell her what you've tried!
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8 comments:

  1. Great post! Our district behavior specialist tells us that one of the most difficult things a teacher can do is have a 2:1 positive to negative interaction ratio with kids. So it is something that many of us are aware of when we teach/work with our kids.

    I love that Class Dojo actually includes postive behaviors. That is such a crucial point for kids.

    thanks
    matt
    Digital: Divide & Conquer

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  2. I have "that" class this year. I tried Class Dojo earlier this school year, but the class as a whole did not buy into it. I love the program and I will definitely try it again in the future. Thanks for sharing.

    Katrina

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  3. I just tried Class Dojo for the first time yesterday!!! So far, the students are really pumped. I, like you, am already trying to force myself to focus on the positive behaviors. We brainstormed a list of rewards that the class can earn using the student's input. At the end of the next 3 months of school, we are going to have a dojo trade in points day. I added "trade in points" to a negative behavior to take away some points (but not all) because I couldn't find another way to take away a set amount of points.

    I am also having trouble with the app on my iPad. It seems like it won't update any information unless I logout and then log back in. When I am logging in, I can't see what I am typing (the keyboard covers that part of the screen) and it is super annoying! Do you have any of these problems? I like that I am actually just starting it now because we don't have much time left in the school year for it to lose its novelty. Thank you so much for linking up!
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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    Replies
    1. When it first came out, I accessed through the internet on my phone. Some days it worked. I have android phone. I tried to download the new app. My phone says it isn't compatible.

      My partner uses it on his iPhone. He has had less glitches this year.

      Kristin

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    2. Thanks, Kristin! I am just using it on my laptop (projected on the SMART board for now) until I have time to play around with the app more. The students are loving it:)

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  4. I will have to look into this! I think this will be great for the end of the year when they go completely wackado and are ready to be dcne with school. Thank you for sharing more about this!

    (I wonder if it's something I need to check with my principal on before I use it?)
    Amanda
    Collaboration Cuties

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    Replies
    1. My principal's only concern was student anonymity. We don't put work out in the hallway with last names, only first. However, most of my students know each others #'s and/or their initials by now.

      It might not be a bad idea to check. Sell the positive aspect though!

      Kristin

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  5. Wow! I love this! It is on my wish list for next year, but first, I need to update to a Smartphone. Thanks for sharing!

    Kelly

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