Class Dojo. I know, I know. Everyone that uses Class Dojo has blogged about it, and if you're not using it, you're completely over hearing about how wonderful Class Dojo is.
I wanted to tell you how Class Dojo has made me a better teacher.
The thing about Class Dojo is that for it to work, kids have to be excited about earning points. Which they can't be if you're only taking away points. Class Dojo has pushed me to focus much more on positive behaviors much more than negative behaviors. If I really want to punish my class, I can say something super mean like this:
"Oh, Sarah and Colin, I love how you came in and got started right away. Go give yourself two points on Class Dojo!"
It tortures the kiddos who weren't working. And I'm focusing on positive behavior. Exactly what we need to be doing. (And, bonus? No work for me. The kids are all trained on how to use it, and I do nothing. )
Super messy table? Give the clean table next to them a point.
Kids off task? Give the table that's working a point.
Talkative student? Give the quiet student sitting next to him or her a point.
Somebody not paying attention? Give a student a point for modeling good listening skills.
Everybody turned in their homework? Point.
Another teacher mentions the class was great in the hallway? Point.
My teaching partner and I had just had our classes switch. We were standing between our classrooms having a quick conference on a student's behavior.
My partner with Moxie: (Insert puzzled look) "Why are your kids all running to get to their desks?"
Me: "Because they think they might get a point."
Focusing on negative behaviors is never going to get you that.
p.s. How cute are those little monster avatars from Class Dojo? They're so fun!
I've gotten several comments and e-mails asking about what I do with the points and how I manage it. Every other Friday (probably most of you would be able to manage every Friday, but I found every two weeks works well for me) I pay out our Dojo points. I was initially using those little carnival type tickets, but we were going through tons of them. So now I give them "tens" tickets and they use the regular little carnival tickets for the ones. (23 points-two tens tickets and 3 little ones tickets).
What do they use them for?
I have list of coupons they can purchase for privileges in our classroom: shoes off, furry friend, hat in class, cushy seat (cheap chair cushion from Walmart), sit with a friend at lunch, etc. They can also purchase a "fancy" pencil (just pencils I get from Dollar Tree). The boys love the fancy pencils. Didn't see that one coming. Except for the pencils, all of this stuff is free for me and doesn't create a "will work for toys" mentality.