I have been using Class Dojo for six years now in my first through third grade classes. I’ve used it in a variety of ways, and have changed the way I use the points as rewards to best meet my students’ needs. I love that I’m able to build student behavior plans right within Class Dojo and can individualize plans for students all within the same system. It has saved me so much time and energy with parent communication and behavior documentation over the years and that’s why I’ve continued to use it each year. While I have used custom avatars on Class Dojo as an incentive for several years now using clip art I’ve purchased, this year I changed things up a bit more and created student self-portraits as our avatars. In this post, I’ll walk you through how to upload your own custom avatars, including student self-portraits.
To upload custom Class Dojo images:
1. Go to ‘edit class’ under settings.
2. Click on any student to go to the student settings.
3. Click on the student’s current avatar (Dojo monster)
This brings you to all of the currently uploaded avatars that are preset on Dojo. I have uploaded several sets previously, including other Dojo monsters I’ve found in thematic themes, and just regular clip art. The sets you’ve uploaded previously are displayed here for you to choose from. On the very bottom is the blue link to create a new set.
4. After clicking create new set, name your album and upload your images.
When you click on upload monsters, it allows you to upload anything you have saved onto your computer, or you can provide links to images you have saved online. Everything gets saved to that folder.
5. Go back to the student settings screen, toggle to your new folder, and select the image you want for that student.
Click done and then save to save it for that student.
6. Repeat for each student in your class.
You can do this as often as you’d like. I often did it seasonally, and I’d give students options to change their avatars as a reward. It was chosen frequently. Students are able to change theirs on their own at home after getting set up that way, but most of my students never did. I also would change students’ avatars as a fun thematic surprise. For example, they all changed into elves one day in December. It’s a quick and easy way to change things up a bit and bring in a little fun and excitement. I have often used clip art I’ve bought on TpT (including the elves) but it was clip art I was buying for other purposes.
To create student self-portraits
This year, I wanted my students to create their own avatars by creating self-portraits. My school is an arts-integration magnet, and I’m always looking for meaningful ways that I can incorporate the arts into my days. I could have had students just create portraits of their faces with backgrounds, but I decided to use these body outline templates (like what you find to identify bathrooms in public). You can download them to use here. I just printed several of each and allowed students to choose which one they wanted to use. Students illustrated them however they wanted to reflect themselves.
Some suggestions and ideas to improve them later- A couple students chose to add a background and those came out more clearly than the ones without. I think it may have been worth it to have students cut out their body so extra space was not left behind- thus, making them a bit larger. I also may have had students use crayons or markers as the richer colors show better on the screen than just the colored pencils.
I used my building’s color printer/scanner. I went into the settings to allow full color, then scanned each individual one as an image that then got sent to me by email. I downloaded it, and then uploaded them into Class Dojo from my computer. Most scanners have settings to allow you to scan as an image, and those steps will be scanner dependent.
These are a few of my students’ self-portraits that they created this year.
I also blogged before about how I have my students track their own Class Dojo points and use them to buy rewards. While this system wasn’t the one I followed with my first graders, it’s the one I continue to use in third grade. You can check out that post by clicking the image below.