Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Behavior App?? ClassDojo

With the beginning of the school year edging closer day by day, classroom management is definitely on a lot of teachers' minds... well, are you familiar with Class Dojo? It is a free resource that helps teachers record and report on student behaviors in their class(es). Each student has their own adorable avatar which makes it fun and engaging- they kind of look like Monsters Inc. characters! You can then easily share this information with students and parents.

I decided to sign up to check it all out and here's my take so far....

1. It's very easy to use.
You easily register with an email address and the app walks you through setting everything up. There are also demos that show you all the different features, and it all only take a few minutes. Basically, you decide how many classes you want to create, and what positive and/or negative behaviors you want to record/report.
There are drop down menus for your selections and you can create multiple classes.

2. It's convenient.
You can use ClassDojo on a laptop, smartphone or tablet and document behaviors with just one click! How much easier can it get?

3. You can customize it to meet your needs.
This by far is the best thing about ClassDojo to me. I love that you can create your own behaviors that are specific to your class or school.
Here's a look at the tab on which you select/create behaviors.
At my school, we teach students about attributes called the "learner profile". They are basically positive traits that successful learners demonstrate, one of which is "caring". 
I clicked on the button and added the following...
As I observe students showing these traits, I can easily document it with one click! There are 10 learner profile attributes, so I can easily add all of them- so cool!

I plan to use ClassDojo this coming school year to report positive behaviors to parents- I've always wanted to consistently call or send positive messages to parents throughout the school year, but I've never had a system to help me get and stay organized! We all know how powerful it is well to reach out to parents and let them know about something great their child has done in school! Not only does it make their day, but it also fosters trust and strengthens the lines of communication.

Last year I sent home those certificate cards (most of us all know from the teacher supply stores), and while that was good, I wasn't really systematic about keeping my parents informed. With the easy reporting system from ClassDojo, I can send out weekly or monthly emails. We all know that this is especially important for some of the students that struggle behaviorally or academically- we need to recognize and share the positive things that they do with their parents, and keep feedback balanced, not just contact home when there's a problem. (Personally, if there was a problem, I would contact parents by phone, not with a ClassDojo email.)

I'd also like to use ClassDojo to help my students reflect on their own behavior. One of the features of the program is that it allows you to display students' behavior progress on screen in class, however, I have mixed feelings about this- to me that's like posting grades from a test for all to see. I know it provides students with immediate feedback, but I don't think it's private enough, especially for students with special needs or behavioral challenges. I also wonder if displaying everyone's "points" (if you can all them that) will turn it into a bit of a competition, and I definitely don't want that. 

Soooo, I will try it out! If it helps my students to reflect on their behavior in a positive way that promotes self-regulation, and helps me to strengthen positive lines of communication with parents, then it will be a keeper! I will definitely blog about it once I've actually used it in class to share the results :) I hope you'll be following.

Have you used ClassDojo before? How did it work for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! If you haven't, I encourage you to check it out for yourself :)

Signature photo ScreenShot2013-04-26at54143PM.png

4 comments:

  1. I have been thinking of trying this out. Thanks for the great info. :)
    ~Brandee
    Creating Lifelong Learners
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the blog design--so bright, simple and clean! You will love the Dojo, and, most importantly, so will your kids.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds interesting! I know some other bloggers who use it and like it.


    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lovely site! You have so much useful information, your pictures are a welcome addition, thanks for all of your great ideas.

    ReplyDelete

I love to connect through comments....
Thanks for being thoughtful!