Tuesday, July 7, 2015

ClassDojo in the Upper Elementary Grades

http://www.classdojo.com
Let me start off by letting ya'll know that ClassDojo has not endorsed this post at all. I absolutely LOVE ClassDojo, and I'm excited to tell you all about how I use it in my upper elementary classroom!

There are so many ways for teachers to track behaviors, and most seem to be geared towards the primary grades. When I first entered teaching in 2011, I was placed in a 2nd grade position. I used the infamous clip chart. {I know, I know...2011 was not that long ago. But man, have we all come a long way in how digital files/projects/etc. look since Pinterest and TPT became big. Ha!} Clip chart effective for primary grades? Absolutely. Moving that clip or flipping that card...woo! Major effect on those young ones.



Well, primary grades are just not for me...so I moved up to 4th grade my second year teaching. I tried the clip chart for about two months and then found myself frustrated one day after school and literally tore it down. (Don't worry...the kids were gone.) I tried whole class rewards... individual rewards... classroom economy incentives... rewards cards... I was going out of my mind.

In the middle of the 2013-2014 school year, I discovered ClassDojo. {I'm sure I heard about it on Facebook or a teacher blog...I don't remember, specifically.} I tried using it a little throughout the year, but didn't keep up with it. Students really liked it, and parents liked the immediate feedback they could receive just by logging into the app or website.

My biggest issue? I had no idea how to make it all meaningful for students. Those who had parents that didn't sign up to check their behavior report didn't care about the whole thing. What did it matter to them? That summer I racked my brain to figure out how to make it all mean more for every single student. (I go into detail about that below...)

Flash forward to this past school year. I decided from day one that I would do my best to completely implement ClassDojo into my classroom. I sent home parent/student sign up codes for online use on the first day of school. I committed, because they had just introduced their built-in messenger, and parents were using that as their main source of communication with me -- especially those with children who were known as needing some work on their behaviors in the classroom. ;)

First of all -- you can use ClassDojo on your phone, tablet, or computer. {Apps and website.} I can use ClassDojo on my iPad. I can use it on my phone while out at recess to give/deduct points. I can login online when my iPad dies or we're using it for an audiobook. There's no excuse to not be able to access it. Despite what one of my new teammates would say. ;)

If you can get everyone on your team to commit to ClassDojo, you can share classes, which is perfect for period/subject rotations. Last year in 4th grade we shared our classes with each other so that we could give/deduct points. It's so nice because then you know exactly who was on-task (and who wasn't) when your class is elsewhere.

Everything is instant. Someone misbehaved in class? Parents know as soon as they check the app. Someone earned 5 points for being nominated as student of the month? Boom - parents know. Speaking of 5 points...you can weight certain behaviors as more points (up to 5). And of course, being student of the month is deserving of some hefty bonus points!

The built-in messenger feature is pretty convenient, too! Parents can check their child's report and quickly send you a message to ask questions about deductions or let you know how proud they are for points earned. You can also comment on points if you want to be specific and let parents know what happened. Perfect parent communication log, all right there within ClassDojo. {You can download messages or the whole communication log if you need to, as well!}

Students can login at home with their student code and customize their monster avatar. This is obviously the coolest part about it...for them.


So what to give/deduct points for? That's completely up to you. It's all customizable to your needs. Here's what I used last year...


Yes, I have a Dojo monster...because my students think it's hilarious to give/take points from me.

One of my classroom jobs is Dojo Officer. This person cannot take points away {unless they're taking away from me...}, but will do participation points for me while I teach and will walk around and give points during projects, assignments, etc. This is a highly coveted position in my classroom.

Making ClassDojo matter - regardless of whether or not a parent was tracking it at home - was tricky, but I decided to make their points "redeemable" at the end of each month. They caught on quickly and were all itching to get into that treasure box. {The image below shows my reward poster.} I tracked their points at the end of each month on a checklist in my planner so that I could reset their points immediately {in the rare case that I forgot / couldn't get to redemption time}. Plus, students thought it was pretty cool when they "beat" their points from the month prior. They would always ask what their "previous score" was...like it's a video game.


I read about the 100 Points Club on FlapJack Educational Resources' blog and decided my high rollers needed a place to show off. I downloaded the {FREE} clip art from ClassDojo's website and setup the images in the Silhouette software, printed them on cardstock, then had my Cameo cut them out. I laminated them, too. {Tedious work...but I didn't let the kids keep them at the end of the year since it was such a debacle doing it.} They're so flippin' cute!


So once they earned 100 points {total}, they got to choose a monster and I wrote their name on it in wet erase marker. They just thought they were so cool when they got to choose their monster for the 100 Points Club. 




I created a FREE ClassDojo Rewards Pack and uploaded it to Teachers Pay Teachers yesterday. I've included some of the resources I talked about in this post within the pack.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ClassDojo-Rewards-Pack-FREE-1942864

1 comment:

  1. how or where can i find the monsters so i can edit sizes without wasting paper

    ReplyDelete

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