After reading about the positive impact ClassDojo has had on classroom in so many other teaching blogs, I decided to give it a go this year. In terms of behavior management, it is one of the best things I could have done and the great thing is that it is free! It is really simple to set up, just sign up at http://www.classdojo.com/ and enter your students’ names and they will each be assigned a monster avatar. The students’ avatars will be displayed on screen and you can award ‘positive’ points such as for ‘helping others’ or for being ‘on task’ which add one point to a student’s score, or you can click on ‘needs work’ which deduct a point from a student’s total. You can also customize the ‘positive’ and ‘needs work’ categories to suit your own requirements. I do really only tend to use the positive points though as I find them a great motivator. There are also options for reporting student behaviors to parents, but so far I have just used the system within my own classroom. I have turned ClassDojo into a competition and I give the student who has the most points at the end of the week a small prize such as pencil.
Here are some of the ways in which I use ClassDojo:
I have tried all sorts of ways in which to get the students’ attention; chimes, counting down from five, clapping a rhythm etc. These days, when I want the students’ attention, I display ClassDojo on the board and award points to a couple of students who are looking my way and listening. As soon as the other students hear the ‘ping’ they soon follow suit, hoping to earn a point themselves!
You can imagine the scene – you’ve just finished a craft activity and bits of paper are all over desks and under chairs, glue stick lids have rolled onto the floor, equipment needs tidying away… You get the picture! I have found ClassDojo to be a great motivator to encourage the students to tidy up. I give students who are tidying up a point, particularly those students who are helping others. I have found that it really has encouraged team work and has turned what was a ten minute job into a quick two minute task.
My students love this feature! Click on the ‘random’ button and one student’s name will be selected at random. It is a great alternative to hands up during whole class teaching. I also use it when students are completing independent work. Now and again I will click the ‘random’ feature and I will look to see whether the child selected is on task. If they are, then I will award them a point – another great way to keep students motivated as they never know when their name might be selected!