Students can sometimes be unfocused and they can often go off task when they are either distracted by friends or by themselves. They can also get excited and misbehave during class. As a teacher, it is not easy to keep every student on task at the same time and it is not desirable to be spending every minute trying to discipline the class. There are time-outs, extra pieces of homework and multiple punishments, but why not use a positive system of rewards to encourage students to behave and focus.
Discipline can take up a lot of precious class time. The teacher sometimes has to sacrifice his or her teaching to take care of discipline problems. There are many ways to reward students for good behavior: gold start, stickers in their agenda, etc… ClassDojo is a new way to make the students aware of what the are doing right or wrong.
ClassDojo is an application for IOS and that also has a online website. Each students has a little avatar with their name on it and next to their name is indicated the points they got for good behavior and the points they lost for bad behavior. The teacher can display this on the SMARTBoard so students can track their progress live. Teachers can even give points directly from their iPad or iPhone and a pop-up message appears on the website (or SMARTBoard if it’s used). This is great because the teacher can go around the room and still monitor children’s behavior, I think it give the teacher more time to teach.
There are many different types of points that a teacher can give: +1 for participation, for teamwork, for hard work, for persistence… The same thing goes for points deducted, for not paying attention, for talking out of turn, etc… Here is a great guide to ClassDojo with images.
Another nice feature on ClassDojo is the “random” button, it picks a student’s name randomly and displays it on the board. This can be nice to use to call on students for answers. There is also a feature that lets the teacher check off absent students so they don’t pop up when using the “random” tool.
Some find that giving these types of public rewards is humiliating. Having behavior displayed like that might give some students self-esteem issues or even make them angry. Most reviews I have found are positive, but it is something to think about because it is true that not every child will like having their faults displayed so publicly.
Often students are proud to display their rewards and parents like to know how their child is doing in school. With ClassDojo, parents can login with their own username and check on their child or teachers can send the results by e-mail. ClassDojo also compiles the day’s points into a handy visual that gives the student a grade for the day’s behavior.
I think ClassDojo is a great tool for any classroom. In an ESL class, I think it is even more important because often students are even more distracted because it’s an “easy” subject. ClassDojo is not only useful I think it is fun for students to be able to track their progress. It is motivating for them and gives a little bit of healthy competition. Also, the fact that their parents can see what goes on in class with their behavior is motivating to the students. I would use ClassDojo with younger students because it might seem condescending to older students to have little monsters with their names and counting points. All in all I think that with elementary grade students, ClassDojo is a really good tool to use and it might really improve students’ behavior in class.