If you stand outside my classroom, you will often hear a ‘Ping!’ noise coming through the door. In fact, I often hear this noise coming through the wall from my colleague’s classroom next door! What is this ping? It’s the sound made by ClassDojo when awarding children points.
ClassDojo is a tool that I have begun to use that helps me to reward children in the classroom. It works by awarding the children Dojo points for displaying a set of behaviours. Each child has a monster on the screen, who keeps their total visible. Monsters like these:
When I introduced ClassDojo to my Year 2 class, we decided together what the positive behaviours would be. These are the behaviours they chose, for which they can be rewarded:
Each week, the children aim to accumulate as many points as they can. I then link these points to our whole-school reward system, which is based upon collecting stamps in a passport. For every five Dojo points they get, they earn one passport stamp.
You may be able to see in the screenshot above that there is also the option of adding ‘Needs Work’ behaviours. I have chosen to not use these, as the children lose points when they display negative behaviours. In my opinion, if a child has earned a point, no amount of negativity should detract from the positive points that they have earned.
One aspect of ClassDojo that I really love is the option to allow parents to see how their child is getting on in school. Parents can sign up with a code assigned to their child and can see how many points they have earned and what they have been for. So far in my class, I have connected 28 parents from 24 of my 30 children – a fantastic level of parental engagement. Many of the parents have commented on how they love being able to see how their child is getting on throughout the day.
There is also the option of allowing children to log in. When they sign up and log in, they can see their total points and what they’re for, but they can also change their monster’s appearance. For some, this is the real highlight and they change their monster every day!
Another beauty of ClassDojo is the ability to use it anywhere using an iPad or iPhone. If I award points using these, they show up instantly on the SMARTboard for instant feedback. The children always stop to see who has been rewarded and it has been great for getting children to congratulate each other on their achievements.
I’ve been using ClassDojo for a few weeks now, and ahead of using it with a new class in September, these are some of the things I’ve learned:
– It has changed the dynamics in my classroom instantly. Low-level disruption and children being off-task have practically been eradicated. Some may say that outstanding teaching alone can eradicate these, but I disagree (that’s another blog post, perhaps!).
– I will have to consider how to roll-out the option for children to log in at home. As the children are under 13, they have to have parental permission to use ClassDojo, which means that parents have to be sent an email when the child first logs in. This has used up a lot of class time, but I may run before and after school sessions for children to log in with their parents alongside them to speed the process up.
– My children are more motivated by accumulating points over the course of a week, rather than on a daily basis. This could be linked to the tie-in with my whole-school reward system, which requires points to be in multiples of 5 for a stamp to be awarded.
– The support from ClassDojo on Twitter is fantastic. They get back to you straight away if you have any questions. Amazing!
I’ve already evangelised about ClassDojo to two colleagues and I’m looking forward to presenting on it at the launch of the Apple Regional Training Centre in North Tyneside in July 2015.