What is Class Dojo?
Class Dojo is a behaviour management tool that assists in the promotion of a positive classroom environment. The app based programme which is available on a variety of platforms provides each student with a profile – complete with their own avatar – to which I can assign positive and negative points (or ‘dojos’) as per the expectations of the classroom.
Operated from my phone, iPad or laptop, I am able to award a point to the student’s avatar when they are displaying the school values or any of the other student created expectations for the classroom. As the students accumulate dojo points they are able to redeem them for tangible rewards as per the student negotiated Dojo Rewards Menu.
This information is then recorded on students’ profiles so that it can be reviewed throughout the year. As an option, parents can also have logins so that they can view their child’s achievements from home. I currently have this option closed off at as I want it to be a solely class based programme. I will however take advantage of the data that Class Dojo generates to review behavioural strengths and or concerns that may need to be addressed throughout the year.
The pros of Class Dojo?
- Having previously been keen to try the programme but not having the class to do this with, the greatest thing about Class Dojo is the immediate impact it has on students. My students bought into the idea in from the start and were immediately involved in the creation of the behavioural expectations for our classroom and how these would link to the rewards scheme.
- Selecting how the points are displayed is a small but very useful setting. I personally show the combined points total for each student rather than positive and negative points they have earnt separately. This way if they are deducted a point, as per the agreed expectations, it isn’t displayed for all other class members to see or for the student to dwell on.
- Having the ability to change the number of dojo points that are assigned to certain expectations has also been beneficial. This flexibility means that I am able to reinforce expectations of greater, or emerging, need with a higher value which ultimately leads to a change in expectation. A perfect example of this was the expectation that we would begin our work independently after break time. This expectation was rewarded with 2 dojo points for all learners displaying this skill. Within three weeks the expectation was the norm so the weighting was removed and a new expectation became the focus.
- The sounds that are played when I award dojos during the session are a great reminder to other class members that although we may be working independently I am still monitoring the environment and it’s encouraging to see an increased amount of effort from them as they try to secure the points.
At this point in time I am enjoying using the app within my classroom. Its ease of use combined with the current impact within my classroom make it a worthwhile addition to our learning environment. I would definitely recommend other teachers of primary and intermediate aged students to give it a try and see if it leads to a positive impact on their own classroom.