Thursday, May 8, 2014

Class Dojo

We have been using a new behavior management program since the beginning of April and it has been a WONDERFUL change for our classroom!  We started using Class Dojo after I read about it on Pinterest.  Class Dojo can be used on the computer, iPad, or mobile device, and it's free!  After you set up your class, you can pick positive and negative behaviors that you will be watching for.  Class Dojo comes with some behaviors already set, but you can add or change the behaviors to customize it for your needs.

When you see a student doing a positive or negative behavior, you just click on their name and then click on the behavior.  A chiming sound is made for a positive behavior, and a buzzer sound is made for a negative.  Since starting Class Dojo, I have noticed that I am giving out more positives, and it has had a great effect on my classroom.  The students don't usually know who is getting the positive or negative, so as soon as they hear the sound, they change their behavior.  I am able to use Class Dojo on several devices, so my students know that I am watching their behaviors at all times.  I've used it on field trips, in the classroom, in computer lab, at recess, and even in the hallway.  It has been fantastic!

At the end of each day I project the Class Dojo website so students can see how many points they have earned throughout the day.  Several of my students have been challenging themselves to improve each day, and they are even cheering on their classmates.  It has been great for the classroom community.

I created a calendar where students can keep track of their points, so at the end of each day they fill this out.  Students can save up their points to earn rewards.  On Fridays I have students total up their points and can exchange their points for prizes like lunch in the classroom, a piece of candy, etc.  We also have class rewards for when the whole class has reached a certain number of points.  In order to participate in the class reward, my students need to have at least 80% positive behaviors.

I have a background in special education, so I know the importance of documentation.  Class Dojo is perfect for documenting students' behavior, because it keeps all the information in the reports section.  Whenever students earn a positive or negative point, the time and behavior is recorded.  At the end of the day I just reset their bubbles so that they start each day with 0 points, but all the information is still saved.  I can look back at certain days and see exactly what happened on that day.  I can even add a comment if there is something specific that I want to remember.

In addition to helping in my classroom, it has also increased parent involvement.  Class Dojo is set up to include parents and students.  You can send home a code to parents that they use to create an account on Class Dojo.  Once they have signed up, they can view their child's behaviors at any time.  Class Dojo will also send them an email each Friday with a report for their child.  When we started using Class Dojo, I sent home a letter to all the parents explaining Class Dojo and how to set up an account.

Class Dojo recently came out with a new messaging feature.  I can send out individual messages to parents, or I can send out a whole class broadcast.  I have not used this feature yet, but I can see how it would be extremely beneficial.

My students and I love using Class Dojo.  Hopefully you will enjoy it, too!

If you would like a copy of the parent letter, click here.
If you would like a copy of the calendar, click here.
If you would like a copy of the rewards, click here.
If you would like a copy of the rewards poster, click here.