Hi, I’m Stacy from over at Funky Fresh Firsties, and I am so thrilled to have the chance to be a guest blogger while Rachel is away! I wanted to do my post on a behavior management tool that I’ve used for two years now. I have used Class Dojo in my 4th grade classroom, as well as this year in 1st grade. The results in both settings have been AMAZING to watch.
Class Dojo is a web-based classroom behavior management tool. Teachers can sign up for a free account (who doesn’t love free, right?) and get started the very same day. Once you have signed up for your account, you will load the students’ names online. Each child will be assigned an avatar (monster-themed) OR you now have the option to upload a picture or other icons for each child. My kids really like the monster avatars, so I left them, but I have a co-worker who uploaded pictures of the kids, and that has really worked well for her!
The basic premise is that you can reward students’ good behavior by giving them points. You can give them points for very specific behaviors that you add (see the pic below). Their points accumulate for as long as you like. I let my points accumulate for the week, and then the children with the most points on Friday get first pick for fun Friday centers. They go all kinds of CRAZY to try to earn those points to get first pick. Who knew?! If you choose, you can also dock students for negative behaviors. Some teachers do positive and negative; some only want to record the positive.
I believe that Class Dojo works so well in my classroom because I have a SMART Board that all of the children can see, and the impact is immediate. I turn the sound on high. When I reward a student with a point, their name/avatar pops up on the screen showing why they earned the point: “WELL DONE, Ashauna! +1 for teamwork!”
When I dock a student for a negative behavior, their name pops up on the screen, and the speakers do a low sounding bong! These sounds are a huge motivator in my classroom! A cool feature of this program is the app that I can run on my iPhone. I usually have my phone with me, and I can give/take points using the app.
I really like to pick out one or two students who are doing a great job during small groups and give them points. The loud ding gets everyone’s attention. Everyone gets a little more focused knowing that I am awarding points.
With accountability being such a huge issue in the classroom, this program helps communication with parents (you can email them a student report OR print a report and send it home). It also helps when tracking student behaviors for discipline referrals, etc.
Overall, using Class Dojo is a huge benefit in my classroom. The kids really like getting rewarded publicly, and I like the ease of the program. I hope that you will give it a try; I know you will love it, too! Please stop by sometime and visit me. You can find me at Funky Fresh Firsties.