Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - Class Dojo

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I am in love with Class Dojo!  I've heard about it for awhile now, but didn't have time to check it out.  I spent some time over my snow days last week playing around with it and was ready to introduce it to my students as soon as we went back to school.

Can I just say it was the best thing ever!!  I have some boys that need reminders about behaviors and this free online classroom management system has done the trick over the last week and a half!  I don't feel as tired at the end of the day because I can focus on teaching instead of managing behaviors.  I find myself giving directions one time only instead of repeating myself 50 times a day.

I haven't taken advantage of all the features because of lack of time.  I haven't connected Class Dojo with any tangible rewards.  Just points on the screen.  And that's all it's taken to drastically improve the behavior of my class.  I am so proud of my students for behaving the way I know they are capable of every single day.  Sure, I still have moments where I have to verbally remind them to follow directions.  But the frequency of those reminders has dropped tremendously.

I have the program up on the screen for most of class so they can see their points.  They love looking at the percentage at the end of class to see how we did as a whole class.  They also like to see when they've had 100% days - which means they've only received positive points.  I can't always have the program displayed because I need my computer for other things and I don't have a Smartboard or extra computer.  When we're out of the classroom, I can track points on the app on my phone.  They love walking back into the classroom to see that they've earned points for walking quietly in the hallway.

Here are some pictures of the site.

After you log in and create your class, you will see all the classes here.  I have different students for math than I do for homeroom, so I created a new class for them.  Even though I have my homeroom students for social studies, I wanted to create a separate social studies class because this is in the afternoon and it is easy to compare their behavior in social studies if I have it as a separate class.

When I'm ready to start, I'll click on start for the class I want.  This will take me to the students' avatars.  The avatars can be customized for students if you give them a login code.  I haven't used this feature or the one for parents yet.  I might wait until next year when I get a new class and can use the site for the whole year.  I'm using this year as just a trial year to test what I like and what I don't like.

After I click start, I will see the avatars.  These were randomly assigned when I set up my class.  The point values are from the last time we had class.  The points don't automatically reset each day.  I wish they did, but I haven't figured out if that is possible yet.  Before class, I click on the reset bubbles button and the points start over.

I entered my reading group names as the last name for each student.  This makes it easy to sort by reading group later on.  There is a way to award multiple students points at the same time, so I like to have my reading groups near each other.  It takes less thinking and time on my part.

When you click on End Class, it takes you to the report.  You can customize the report for today, this week, this month, etc.
During this week, my students were 91% positive.  You can also see on the left the individual percentage for each student.  Most of my students that receive negative points are repeats, so I usually only have a handful that have less than 100%.

I have much more to share with you about Class Dojo, but I will save that for another time.  Please let me know if you have any questions on how to use it and I can answer those questions the next time I post about it.

What is your favorite classroom management system?

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