ClassDojo and Beyond!
While over half the schools in America are using the behavior management tool, Class Dojo, many teachers haven’t tried or realized the full potential of this fun, powerful teaching app. Earlier Blog Posts have described the fun way that “Dojo” can be used to monitor students behavior, allow for more transparent citizenship standings for students and parents, and a record for parent contact. In this post, I will describe a few powerful features that are worth trying out — students, parents, and you will be thankful…
First, get both students and parents connected! I would recommend that when you print out log-in codes for students, that you have them log-in with you at school and take parent log-in codes home for parents as a required homework assignment – establishing a great communication channel. Involving parents in Dojo is an essential tool for efficient monitoring of student progress and establishing an easy dialog though a built-in messaging service.
Second, Use the randomizer to award Dojo points for ‘volunteers’ to read out loud, to answer questions, to help with anything you can imagine. Turn up the volume for added impact. Students love to see Dojo at work mirrored on the big screen, but you may want to save it as a “closer” to summarize how the class did.
Third, try Dojo Groups. This works especially well at motivating collaborative group work. You can award points to whole groups or individuals within. I have groups compete with each other for points at each grading period and celebrate by awarding members of the team a prize.
Forth, and my new favorite, is Class Story, a digital bulletin board where you are able to post descriptions, photos, and even video clips of students and their work. This has been a fun, easy way for me to keep parents up-to-date on students getting engaged.
One final component of Class Dojo worth exploring is a recent series of lessons on Growth Mindset, presented in a very student-friendly animated fashion. In 1978, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck made a profound discovery: children who believed their intelligence could grow did better in school, and better in life. She called this basic belief about intelligence “mindset.”
In 2016, Carol Dweck’s lab at Stanford, PERTS, partnered with ClassDojo to bring this important lesson to classrooms everywhere through a five episode video series. Included are great links to discussion questions and teacher resources about Intelligence mindset. It’s one thing, being an educator and knowing about mindset, yet a much more profound thing to have students examine their own mindset and look for ways to grow intelligence – by fully engaging oneself in learning and not fearing mistakes.
In conclusion, I highly recommend exploring ClassDojo to add a new dimension to your teaching and more engagement and on-task behavior from your students. In addition to being free and very user-friendly, it helps students and their parents monitor class behavior and activities, while allowing you to reward individual and group effort. If that weren’t enough, the animated lessons on Growth Mindset are powerful and appropriate for any age. Class Dojo is an easy way to build positive relationships in your classroom. It’s a free and easy way to couple positive rewards for behavior with growth mindset.
If you want more information, see Graphite.org’s review: ClassDojo Educator Review