Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Classroom Management? There's an APP for that!

Hey ya'll! It's Kristen from Primary Pals! For Techy Tuesday, I thought it would be fun to incorporate tech tips with classroom management!

As we all know, classroom management can make or break a classroom. Many teachers find it extremely challenging. Management systems can be time consuming, whether it's modifying what you have or figuring out what incentives work best. Parent communication can also be time consuming whether you are writing e-mails, sending notes home, or even using sticker charts! What if I told you that there's an easier way to do all of this at once, just by a click of a button?

Meet, Class Dojothe behavior management system that has changed my life (as well as many other teacher's)!

Class Dojo is an online, interactive classroom management system where you can assign positive or negative points to a student. This can be used on your laptop, desktop, phone, or even tablet! It works especially well when transitioning because you can take your phone/tablet with you! 

I started using Class Dojo in January of this year. I had a class where the clip system didn't work for everyone, so I tried different management techniques to cater to the different types of kids in my classroom. Some things worked, some things didn't. So, I decided to try Class Dojo and it has worked with EVERYONE! 

Improved Behavior: I have seen a drastic improvement in behavior from my students. They LOVE earning points. I find that they are able to self motivate themselves, just by hearing the sound of a positive point being given to another student. The students off task are immediately focused. The points eventually turn into "Dojo Dollars". I created "Dojo Dollars" where each point is worth one dollar and they can later turn those dollars in during our Dojo Dollar Day. This is explained more later in the post :).

The program comes with a list of behaviors but the cool thing is that you can edit them and even add your own! We have added many in the classroom that relate to our day but the one that my students have come to love is the "star". The star is "working above and beyond" and although it counts as one point (just like the rest), I make it special and only give it to those who are working above and beyond. You should see how excited these kiddos get when they receive a star! It's amazing :).

**As you can see, there are many that I have added to work for our class

Focusing on the Positive: I RARELY give out red "negative" points. My kiddos know that if they hear the "negative" sound it must be something bad. They also know that these negative points aren't consequences, they are more of a "reminder" about behavior and what is expected. I focus on giving positive more because I believe that students react better to positive feedback, rather than criticism. 

Parent Communication: Parents are able to see their child's points daily. This is beneficial because then they are able to discuss with their children the points during the day. You can also message and communicate with your parents through Class Dojo. It's super easy to use and parents love it! 

Student Interest: Let's face it, they love it! They love the sound a positive point makes, they love the avatars, and they love seeing their points increase throughout the day or even the week!  Each time they receive a positive point, there's a high-pitched "ding" and whenever a negative point is given there is a lower-pitched "unfavorable" noise. 

I think it's also fun to allow the students to take ownership and really feel as if they are a part of the process. We vote on classroom behaviors, and with a Dojo purchase, kids can even change their avatars!

Student Responsibility: Class Dojo really does a great job of giving students the opportunity to "self check", by knowing if they're receiving points or not. They are able to check themselves, rather than me having to do it for them. Just hearing the noise of one student who is on task really brings it to their attention that they should be doing that as well. 

Goal Setting/Reflection: I have seen a huge improvement in my kid's awareness of their behavior since we started Class Dojo. They want to earn points and they really pay attention to the increase. 
I love seeing my kids wanting to set higher goals the next week.

*You can reset the points anytime you'd like. We do them on a weekly basis but I also keep track of the total points. 

*You can also set up your Dojo to show negative points or to not show them (even though you can access them). I created a "fake" class and used letters instead of names but here's an example:

Easy to Use: I love the Class Dojo App! It's so easy to just pull out my phone and give a point or even message a parent. Here's a sample screenshot from my iPhone. Notice that it tells you the percentage of positive, you can comment, or even message a parent! 

You can even make multiple classes for those of you who get different students throughout the day. 


The great thing about Class Dojo is that you can use it any way you'd like and incorporate it into your own system! I'm going to share with you about how we use Class Dojo in our classroom! 

Prior to using Class Dojo, we had a clip chart where students earned tickets and class passes. They loved this! But it wasn't working AS well as I wanted it to. Something was missing. It was a lot to write down my students daily "colors" and I had students who needed a "note" home every day on where they ended their day and what happened during the day. This was TIME consuming and difficult when you have a million other things going on! 

So, once I switched over to Class Dojo I was able to use the incentives that we LOVE.

Goal Setting: On Monday morning, the students take out their "Dojo Record Sheets" and write down their points from the week before (I pull it up on our Brightlink Projector). They then set a goal for the week. If they passed their goal the prior week, they get to pick a class pass. They LOVE the class passes. 

Dojo Dollars: At the end of the week, we do "Dojo Dollar Day" where I pay them in "Dojo Dollars" that I created. Each point is worth $1. They are able to purchase something from our Dojo Reward Chart (below) or they can save up. I make some REALLY fun and exciting incentives that are worth a lot of points to teach them how to save. The kiddos even helped come up with some of the ideas to put on the reward chart. They all want to save up for lunch with me! All I need to do is just save up to buy them all lunch! ;) 

Club Dojo: Of course, the goals continue with the TOTAL points they receive. When they move up to a different point level (100, 200, 300, 400....) they can pull from the treasure box drawer that goes with that label. This helps keep them motivated to reach goals and they don't forget to remind me that they've made it to the next "club level" so I can move their name over. 

Thanks for checking out Techy Tuesday! As a special thank you, I decided to put my tracker charts up for free! If you are interested in these charts, you can grab it here

Make sure to follow me at Primary Pals or through Bloglovin! I plan on putting many of these products into a pack that you can purchase along with some freebies!
Thanks again and please comment if you have any questions! I will be happy to help you to the best of my ability! Also, if you Dojo, I would love to hear from you as well! 

Thanks for checking out iTeachFirst, don't forgot to follow us to see other amazing posts from some amazing first grade teachers! 


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