I heard about Class Dojo partway through the year last year and tried it out, and it became a HUGE tool in my class. My class needed some sort of cue when their behavior was less than stellar and THRIVED on positive reinforcement. I am not a fan of public displays for behavior management and so this was difficult for me at first, but my kids needed recognition. They needed that extrinsic reminder and reinforcement. I was also excited that I was able to incorporate my individual behavior plans right within this system so I was no longer managing four different plans. I know a lot of people are familiar with Class Dojo already, but I thought I’d share specifically how I used it in my class.
First, I modified the behaviors in the system to more accurately reflect what I wanted to recognize my students for. There are presets available, but part of the power of the program is the ability to customize it to exactly the items you want to focus on. I used Dojo ALL.THE.TIME. to praise my students so there were a ton of positive behaviors in there. These are the positive behaviors I used with my students.
I also did use Class Dojo, at times, for consequences. I know positive reinforcement is the best way to manage behavior, however, as I described my students needed to have something tangible attached to their behaviors, so at times, after multiple reminders, a point would be taken away. Because parents could also log in to see how their student’s day went, I didn’t want them to only see positives if a child had a rough day. The ins and outs of positive and negative reinforcement is worthy of its own post so I’ll just leave it at that for now. Here are the negative behaviors I used in my classroom.
My students earned many points each day. At the end of the day, the students recorded their points on a chart they kept in their binders. I walked around and monitored their recordings and honestly never had any issues with students being dishonest.
It was a simple four column chart (the left is cut off in this picture). Students recorded the date, they wrote daily, their points, and then their new points total. Students kept their chart in their binders that we used each day. At the end of the day, I reset all the bubbles in the system so that each day was a fresh start for each child. A few days a week I would allow students to use their points for rewards. I didn’t do it all within Class Dojo because I didn’t want it to inaccurately reflect as a problem behavior if I deducted points so we did it all on paper. This also allowed me to then use the percentages within Class Dojo as a behavior grade since we have to give a letter grade for behavior.
The students and I brainstormed rewards together as a class. I wanted the students to get involved and to have buy in with the system, and this helped me give them rewards they actually wanted. We combined some tangible rewards with more classroom-based no money rewards because I think those can be just as desirable as something tangible. I determined the points value for each reward, however, and explained that part was not negotiable.
The point systems seem high, but that’s because I was constantly awarding points to my students. I really wanted to focus on the positive and reinforce them for the great things they were doing so many students were earning 10-15 points a day. The PAWS card was our whole school recognition program.
I hope this gives you a couple ideas on using ClassDojo in your class (maybe a bit differently than you have been). I’ve continued to use Class Dojo over the last several years in different ways, and I love that you can modify it each year to what works best for you and your students. I hope you liked this Bright Idea and will check out the other Bright Ideas posts for this month!
I also blogged about how I’ve used student self-portraits and other images instead of Class Dojo monsters. You can read through my step-by-step tutorial by clicking the link below.