CLASSDOJO-Think Positive!

by Justine Lavoie

DOjo

ClassDojo is a tool that works with any classroom, any device, and is free for teachers.

What is ClassDojo?
ClassDojo is an online positive reinforcement classroom management system that:

  • encourages students by giving positive feedback on the skills that matter most to the classroom;
  • engages parents easily by a simple communication with ClassDojo Reports and instant messaging;
  • saves valuable class time for teachers.

How does it work?
First, the teacher simply has to create an online classroom and enter the students’ names which will be associated to funny avatars that can later be personalized. Then, the teacher has to create goals or tasks and identify the group strengths that will later be rewarded with a pointing system. The teacher has to give or take away points. However, as my Practicum mentor explained, the best way to use ClassDojo is through positive reinforcement; by giving attention to students with good behaviors; by pushing negative leaders of the classroom to behave properly. Finally, students register in the online classroom in order to see their progress. The same applies to the parents wishing to see their children’s progress as well as to communicate with the teacher.

For an ESL teacher,
ClassDojo is amazing. Mostly because of the link with the parents and students, but also because it allows you to recognize the class’s strengths and weaknesses to later improve classroom activities. If you become really great and familiar with ClassDojo, you can become a DojoMaster, just like my Practicum mentor. Being a master gives you the opportunity of representing a region, province or country, of giving classes, of participating into new applications test drives, and even the opportunity of being invited all around the world for extra formation.

As an ESL teacher in the becoming,
ClassDojo is simple yet so useful. In my Practicum I, it helped me remember the students’ names and reward them for being on task and responsive. Although my Practicum only lasted ten days, I have had enough time to discover this great digital classroom management tool. My Practicum mentor used it in her classroom routine throughout the day, but mostly in the morning, when the students arrived. It is interesting because the students act as working bees. This online platform is used as a positive reinforcement tool that gives away points to students who hand in their homework on time, who are thorough in the different tasks they are assigned, or to students who simply show great progress and motivation.

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The main perks of ClassDojo, according to Susan P., are definitely the students’ noticeable behavior improvement and the strong connection that gets establised between the teacher, the parents and the students. And why? Simply because ClassDojo allows parents to create an account which will follow their kids’ online classroom. It also allows teachers to send direct communications to parents (thereby making sure that the message comes across).

For students,
ClassDojo is great because of the pride it gives them when they get a point for something they have done great. It also gives them the desire to be recognized for their good actions. They can find on the online platform the assignments the teacher gave them, they can hand stuff in, and they can see their progress.

For parents,
it is also great because they get to be involved in their kids’ learning. It creates great moments between parents-children because of the time they can take together to go back on the students’ week according to what the teacher wrote and sent. It is also great because it gives them an extra connection with the teacher.

There is an mobile application available to you that gives you the chance, as a teacher, to have your class with you, everywhere. For students, it gives the chance to consult and do assignments on their electronic devices.

Pros & Cons:
As illustrated on the ClassDojo Website, ClassDojo presents a series of perks such as:

  • let students track their own progress;
  • send reports to parents with one click;
  • track points with any Android or iOS device;
  • behavior management finally made positive;
  • see full classroom engagement in minutes;
  • get beautiful, hassle-free behavior reports;
  • it is free;
  • it is possible to take attendances;
  • the teacher-students-parents communication is just great.

However, ClassDojo also presents areas in need of improvement such as:

  • is not ideal for highschool grades;
  • is currently mostly only available in English;
  • the pointing system may appear unfaire to some students.

Reviews:
From a tech tester’s point of view, ClassDojo can easily be rated a 8 out of 10 because of all its advantages.
From a teacher’s point of view, ClassDojo is simple to use and students and their parents respond well to it.
From a parent’s point of view, ClassDojo is valued because it encourages the social and emotional learning.
Although no actual reviews from students have been published, I can say, from my Practicum observations, that while some students find the point attribution inconsistent, others love ClassDojo.

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Why don’t you just give it a try?

Although I am not a Mojo Master YET, I think that this positive reinforcement in teaching/learning is modern and currently really effective. I believe that ClassDojo has great potential and future because of the way it reflects the students’ progress.

Justine Lavoie.

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