I’ve been using Class Dojo for the last few years and really think its brilliant for classroom management. I use it for rewarding children for working hard, being persistent, showing kindness, group work, being ‘on task’ etc.
How I used it previous years;
- I rewarded children 1/2 points for a variety of different reasons (see above).
- When the children reached 10 points they chose a ‘prize’ – which included sitting with a friend, choosing a seat, a prize from the prize box, picking a job, being the first in line, sitting on the teachers chair at break/lunch time, homework pass etc.
- Children could save up their points and then use them at different times.
While it worked well, it meant a lot of organisation and time and trying to remember which points had been used and which were left to use. I also tried the ‘Class Dojo Shop’ where rewards had different values – again a nice idea but too much time and organisation is needed.
How I would use it – some ideas;
- Star of the week; The child/two children with the most points at the end of the week get to chose a reward
- Group of the week; Children can be put into groups and the group with the most points at the end of the week can all chose a reward.
This is something I’m always reluctant to do. If the child has earned points for good behaviour then taking away the points lessens the reward/ the good behaviour.
(It can be particularly problematic if you decide to connect with parents – I know of other teachers who deducted points and had parents messaging them minutes later wanting to know the reason – we don’t ring parents every time we need to speak to their child).
Connecting with parents;
I was reluctant to connect with parents last year as I was worried about how it would work and what issues/problems might crop up. However in the end I set it up and didn’t regret it. It was a great way to share what we were doing in class, to remind parents of special events or little changes. All the parents I spoke to at parent teacher meetings really loved it.
At the beginning I would recommend outlining how class dojo works and how the ‘messages’ section should be used – for example is it appropriate for parents to use the message feature to explain why the child was absent (many schools require written notes – which need to be filed), or to complain about something (arranging a meeting is probably more appropriate).
Overall, Class Dojo is a great program to use for classroom management and the children in my class have always loved it!