After a year of using Class Dojo, I must say that I am really loving it, and I wanted to share several of the benefits of using Class Dojo.
Substitutes, Aides, and Other Staff
One of the greatest benefits of using Class Dojo is the ability to add other teachers and staff members to your class. I have been able to add my Cadet Teachers, my classroom assistant, and our RTI assistant to my class. They are able to give and take points, just like I would. Parents can even see who gave or took the Dojo point.
I also have a generic account for substitutes. I have one sub who was in my room several times this year. He was able to log in and document behavior as if I were there.
Earn Class Rewards
I didn’t begin using whole class rewards with Class Dojo until this spring. You know….when ya’ll are checked out and d.o.n.e, but you still have six weeks of school left? This year, our school had rented skates to use during P.E. class. Our principal told us we were free to take the kids from time to time to ensure that we were really getting our money’s worth. So, I challenged my kids to earn a group total of 200 points. They worked hard to follow directions and stay quiet so that we could earn enough points to go skating. After we had to return the skates, we began working toward a treat from Mrs. Wilp (They love my brownies!) and a movie party!
When using a clip chart, I felt that I called on the same kids over and over again. Even when I would consciously TRY to choose someone else, it was hard. Plus, the kids who weren’t being chosen didn’t really know that I had considered them. I really love the random generator, because I would tell the kids, “I’ll be randomly generating students while we work on centers today. If your name pops up, and you are working, I’ll be giving you a Dojo point.” This really motivated my kids, because they had no idea when their name would pop up. They were also encouraged to continue working hard even after they had been selected because the generator might choose the same person multiple times during a short twenty-minute activity. I also used this for randomly choosing people to run to the office, help out another teacher, or choose new books. It was a very convenient tool to have at my fingertips.
Behavior is often a very challenging thing to track. Class Dojo is perfect for tracking data. In the skills section, you can add or change the positive and negative skills at any time. You can also adjust the point value of each behavior. Meaning, if you are looking to document a particular behavior, you create a skill and choose the point value. My husband used it this year to document how many times a student sucked his thumb during the day. The child didn’t lose any Dojo points, but he had the data, and most importantly, the parent had access to the data instantly.
This year, I was able to use Class Dojo data to help a parent decide which medication was working best for their child.
My conduct grades were the lowest that they have ever been during my time in general education. I’m not sure if I’m proud of that or not… 😐
Here’s what I mean. I previous years, I would assign points based off of my clip chart at the end of the day. So, let’s say that a student had a yucky morning and moved their name down twice. Later, they were able to get it together and move their name up three times. That sounds great, right? At the end of the day, I would record where each student was on the behavior chart. If they were on green or above, I didn’t dock their score. When I would print out progress reports or report cards, I would often be annoyed that those kids who disrupt or get in trouble during recess or special have a 98%. #notcool
With Class Dojo, I found myself in love with the percentages that they assign each day/week/month, depending on which selection you make. At the end of the week, I would pull up their weekly percentage and enter it into my grade book. Their percentage works like this:
5 Negative Points + 5 Positive Points = 50%
Meaning, if someone had a rough morning, which we all do, their grade still reflects that rough spell. It also really made my kids conscious of the number of points that they had lost, and how they were going to work to make that percentage higher. We talked about this formula a lot:
1 Negative Point + 3 Positive Points = 75%
Earn more than three positives? Great! In the end, I felt like my conduct scores were a better reflection of the kids’ actual behavior both in and outside of the classroom.
Is Class Dojo Right for Upper Elementary?
I did a (very grainy….sorry!) FB Live about using Class Dojo in upper elementary classrooms. I utilize an economy system to motivate my students. If you are interested in the FREE Dojo Dollars or Dojo Passes, you can download them <<<HERE>>>.