Sunday, June 5, 2016

Tech Tools: Classroom Dojo

I'm a HUGE fan of Classroom Dojo!
If you haven't set up an account please do! It is an awesome way to not only keep track of student behavior in the classroom but also bring parent involvement into the classroom.

Prior to his year I heard about Classroom Dojo, but never used it. I had my classroom clip chart that seemed to be working well and I didn't think I needed anything else.
This was my old clip chart, students were suppose to keep their name on superstar all week to pick from the prize box.

Every year I take on some new and different changes to my lessons in my classroom, so why not try Classroom Dojo?

This past year was my first year using it and to be honest I LOVED it! It was a great program to use and there are so many ways to use it. The program is free and they give you a demo class to play with before you start which is great. I started my class and used it like my clip chart. I would take points for no homework, not following the rules, bullying etc. I also gave points when students were being helpful, participating, and following the rules. They allow you to control the points so they can range from 1-5. The goal is that students earn points throughout the day which in my classroom we spend every quarter based on a classroom dojo menu I created. With that being said there are many other ways to use the points. I have seen some teachers set class goals, benchmark point prizes, even focus more on weekly or monthly student or classroom points. It really is whatever works best for you.

I believe I got this from TPT and edited it to my own needs

Student have their own monster avatar and a login that allows them and their parents to monitor their points. I tend to update points during down times throughout the day or when I need to bring attention to the classroom. For example, if the students are suppose to be working independently on something I might give points to students I see focused and working hard and take points from students who are talking. The Dojo app makes specific noises for positive and negative points, so more often than not when the students hear the negative point sound they get on task.

But one of my favorite pieces is the parent connection piece. Parents can create an online account or download the free app on their electronic devices. This allows them to see their students points throughout the day. It also allows quick text like communication between the parents and the teacher, which comes in handy for setting up meetings or keeping each other in the loop about sick students. I love his so much! It has made life so much simpler throughout the year and parents have told me they check it as often as they check Facebook. Another great piece is that Dojo just recently added a classroom story page that is similar to a Facebook feed. Teachers can post pictures, videos, and announcements to show parents exactly what is going on in the classroom. This is great for 5th grade because if you ask them what they did at school they often give just a one word answer, but now they are dying for me to take photos and post them on Dojo for their parents to see. Needless to say, I am using Dojo this coming year and tweaking a few things on my part to make it work for me. I highly suggest anyone who works with children to consider using it this coming year. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

If you want help getting started or want to know about some more advanced options with Dojo please contact me. I am a Dojo Mentor at my school and I try to stay up to date with all things Dojo. This app is constantly updating and adding more possible ways to use it to fit your classroom needs. I'm in love with their Growth Mindset videos and discussions! So take a look and let me know what you think!

*I am not in anyway sponsored by Dojo....I just love it and I wanted to share!

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