Thursday, July 28, 2016

How Class Dojo Takes the Guesswork Out of Student Behavior Tracking

I have been teaching for about 17 years and I have used a variety of behavior systems.

One thing I've learned is that I need a system that will allow me to be consistent, without using up a lot of time.
I need something that is user friendly and creates less work for me.
I need something that the students buy into and can get excited about.

I found all of those things with Class Dojo. I have been using Class Dojo for years.  I started using it pretty soon after it came out and I've never looked back.  

In this post, I'm going to show you some great features of Class Dojo and how I use it to reward students, communicate with parents, and guide students to make better choices.

One great thing about Class Dojo is that it's free!  When you go to the site, click the sign up button and will you take you to this screen. 
Once you choose the option that best fits you, you can begin setting up your class and adding your students.  

After you create your class, Dojo will assign your students a monster avatar. Once they login from home they can change and personalize their avatars.  
One of the features that I love about Dojo, is you can personalize your behaviors to fit your classroom or school.  You can also adjust each behavior's point value based.  Below is my classroom's behaviors and their point values.

Now that you have chosen your behaviors, you can begin given out points.  Teacher's can adjust their settings to show the positive points only or both the positive and negative points.  My students like being able to see the positive and negative because they like to see where they are at all times. In a follow up post will show how I use Dojo with our classroom economy.
Depending on your school's behavior system, you also have the option of inviting teachers from your school (Librarian, Gym teacher, Art teacher, etc.) to have access to your class's Dojo. This allows them to give your students points while they are not with you.  

After  you add your students they will get a personal code for them to use when they log in from home. Parents will also be given a code to sign it on an app for their phone or through the Class Dojo website.  You have the option on emailing these to parents or printing off a sheet with each child's information to send home. I always print off the sheet. It's just easier than typing in all of the emails.

You will be able to see what parents have signed up to ensure you are able to communicate with them via Class Dojo.  

I have the benefit of using experiencing Class Dojo as a teacher and as a parent.  I have the app on my phone and it takes me about 30 seconds to look and see how my child behaved that day at school. 

When teachers use behavior calendars or agendas they may only have time to communicate with parents when their child misbehaved, but with Class Dojo teachers can also share the positive things your child did each day. This is priceless!

Another great feature for parents is you can share pictures with then via Class Dojo and send private messages. Parents can send me messages and I can send them messages. I can also send out a whole group message to all parents. I don't use this feature as much as other teachers. I usually communicate more with email.

If you've been curious about this amazing site, I hope this helped you understand how it works.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.  

If you want to check out Class Dojo for yourself click Class Dojo.  

Keep on eye out for my follow up post on how I use Dojo with my classroom Economy.

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