I am way too nice. Not that it’s a bad thing, but when it comes to rewarding good behavior and handing out classroom currency, I always tend to go a little crazy! Creating classroom currency can be time consuming, plus it always seemed like when I really needed it, my plan time priorities left out a quick visit to the copy machine to make more “Tepley Tokens.” I didn’t always have my classroom money ready for my well deserving students. Classroom currency was challenging until I started using ClassDojo.com!
“ClassDojo is the easiest way for teachers to encourage students, and share their best moments with parents.” ClassDojo is a web site and app that keeps track of attendance, positive behavior noticings, and negative behavior wonderings. You can quickly give rewards and also keep track of negative behavior choices to discuss with parents, as needed. Students will want their parents to see how they are doing in class.
There is a cool way to encourage parents to connect and track their child’s behavior. In order for a child to change their “DojoMonster” (which they love), a parent email needs to be associated with the free account. Once a parent is connected then they will see the positive and negative activity and if they want more feedback, it is only a quick message away. This way there are not any surprises when report cards come home discussing any behavior scores. Account setup is easy! I added 80 student accounts quickly. Students can access their accounts to see their progress, but cannot change their avatar until that email is connected. As always, be sure to send a note home, to obtain parent approval.
Using your teacher account you can decide what positive and negative behaviors you want to track. I suggest to keep it to a minimum, at first. I might add these as positives: Respectful, Helpful, and On Task. With these broad noticings, you can attach many positive behavior choices to your three options. For the negative, keep it simple. I might add these as negatives: Off Task and Disrespectful. Go easy on the negatives. I try to avoid giving an entire class a negative noticing with one-click. Focusing on the one-click full class positives worked better for me.
ClassDojo has many options of displaying the positive and negative behaviors. I used the iPhone app primarily, but also had students scout good behavior and reward students up at the Interactive Whiteboard. You can reward an entire class, quickly select a group of students, or reward individual students. It really is a cool way to eliminate the management of classroom currency.
At the end of each year I host a classroom auction. With ClassDojo, I was able to download a spreadsheet with year-long positive and negative behavior points for each student. I took all the positive points and subtracted the negative points for a student’s dollar total. It worked out as a much more manageable way for me to distribute classroom currency.
Here is why I love ClassDojo:
- Students can see weekly progress.
- Customize your behaviors choices.
- Students love changing their ClassDojo Monster.
- Parents can connect and request feedback on their child’s behavior choices.
- The app allows you to send and receive messages directly from parents.
- If your phone is in your pocket, taking ClassDojo attendance makes Fire Drills less stressful because you can use your phone to see who is at school that day.
- You can give an entire class a reward with one-click.
- You can customize how the rewards are displayed, including sounds.
- You can remotely access your ClassDojo display from your mobile device. I chose to have a chime sound and screen display show when a reward was earned. But chose to not have a sound or display show when a negative behavior was assigned.
- With your mobile device you can reward students quietly, anywhere (classroom, lunch, library, recess, assemblies, etc.), using the free iPhone/Android app!
- You can use weekly tallies to help order students for reward activities.
- You can share classes with other teachers (PE and Music teachers can reward your students!).
- The same student can be enrolled in several classes.
- A parent information letter is ready for distribution!
- A back to school night presentation is ready to go!
- ClassDojo.com has a great Teacher Resources to help teachers get started!
There really is so much more! Your creativity will find many more uses and I highly encourage you to check this out and give it a try!