ClassDojo has quickly risen to become a favorite among teachers and it is not difficult to see why. The digital software offers a wide array of resources that help teachers do their job more efficiently and foster a positive classroom by bringing teachers, parents, and students closer together.
The website is feature-packed, of that, there is no doubt, but this also has a downside; it can seem overwhelming to many teachers, leaving them unsure of where to begin and what to do. By learning how ClassDojo works, teachers can learn to seamlessly implement the programme into their daily routines and use it as effectively as possible.
Benefits of ClassDojo
Teachers can use the website to mark the daily attendance, pick pupils for assignments, motivate them, time each task, and easily communicate with parents.
I feel that the website’s biggest benefit is that it fosters a positive learning culture where students can receive positive feedback and can be rewarded for skills like “Being Respectful” or “Working Hard”.
Moreover, it gives students a voice of their own thanks to the ability to create portfolios where students can add photos and videos of their own. Involving parents into your classroom activities is a great feature too because it pushes parents into paying more attention and contributing to their child’s education. Teachers can share photos and videos of moments in the classroom that will draw increased engagement from both students and parents.
Additionally, ClassDojo has an immediate (and positive) effect on students. The website has a points system and many teachers have noted that they have seen better engagement from students as they try to obtain more points.
For instance, you can set a task and offer a dojo as a reward for completing the task, something that is sure to kindle the competitive spirit of even the most disinterested students. In addition to that, since parents can be kept in the loop about their kids’ progress, it will be easier to break the ice during a parents meeting!
When the time comes for report writing, you can take a look at the levels you awarded and identify patterns or areas where a student has been struggling. Clicking on the reports tab will give you a pie chart that shows each aspect points have been awarded for – this pie chart can show the performance of the entire class or can be narrowed down to each student.
Other Uses of ClassDojo
Points can also be awarded for aspects other than learning such as for leadership and life. If a student did the right stuff during a lesson, wore the correct uniform, or displayed leadership skills, you can then award them a life point. On the same vein, you can award negative points for bad behavior. This can be turned into a source of discussion where you and the students discuss what happened, how to avoid it and what they can do to gain a positive life point.
Signing up on ClassDojo
Creating an account on ClassDojo is a breeze and the sign up process takes no more than a few seconds. Create your account here. The website is free and does not cost anything.
Setting up ClassDojo
ClassDojo is incredibly easy to set up, albeit a bit time consuming.
Protip Many find it easier to set up the system on a laptop rather than an iPad.
You will have to spend time adding all the group levels and entering the names of your students and then giving each an avatar of their own.
To get your parents and students onboard the programme, print out the details and give it straight to them.
Play classroom songs that helps students focus, or make free time a little more fun. You’ll go ga-ga over this tool that gets your class groovin’. With 2 stations, “Focus” and “Active”, and instant casting to your classroom speakers, the Music tool is kind of magic.
Tired of constantly repeating yourself? Now you can easily display classroom directions, so students always know what they should be working on.
The Random feature is great for when you have to pick a student, no popsicle sticks required! It could be something as simple as an errand to the headmaster’s or to answer a question; this keeps the process of choosing unbiased and simple. Oh, and it is pretty fun to watch the children squirming around hoping it is not them!
A random group generator that helps you arrange students into pairs, threes, fours, or more.
The timer is a good visual tool during occasions where the pupils are working in teams. You can set a timer and let it count down to zero – this shows students how much time they have remaining and teaches them time management.
You can show students the classroom noise visualized and encourage them to self-manage. The Noise Meter helps remind students what the appropriate volume should be in the classroom at specific times.
Think Pair Share
With one tap of the the Think Pair Share tool you can display a question. Student pairs can collaborate together to solve harder problems, have 1-1 discussions, and work on their teamwork.
This feature can be used to award students for things like arriving at school on time or during sessions where the whole class has been performing well.
ClassDojo’s commenting feature lets you note down any issues that the parents or school management need to know. Other than that, it lets the parents get involved and inquire about the issues and their children. It is perfect for parent conferences because you have all the information noted down and there are no surprises for anyone.
The messaging feature is effective for situations where you need to drop parents a quick text. You can even snap a quick photo of the student and send it to their parents or use it to inform them about anything of concern or moments of celebration! Handy, isn’t it? After all, what parent does not like occasional reminders (or pictures!) of their student.
This allows you to reset the points. It is recommended that you do this every week because it allows students to reflect on the points and what they can do to increase it.
This lets you decide on the key feedback types you want to follow in class. You can even let the kids choose which feedback types to weigh; not only does this make learning more fun but also gives them extra motivation to earn it!