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Encouraging students the right way: building the intrinsic motivations for lifelong success

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A guest post by Helena Li, a high school college counselor in Los Angeles, California

Matilda was one of my favorite books as a child, and I’ll always remember my amazement at the duplicity of Matilda’s dad, Mr. Wormwood, in using an electric drill to reverse the odometers to sell his used cars for more than they were actually worth.

Whether or not you’ve read Matilda, we can probably all agree that we disagree with these tactics because they’re dishonest and unscrupulous. Yet, now as an educator, I wonder more and more if we are creating a world in which the youth are forced to adopt these strategies for survival. In fact, are we shaping our kids the same way Mr. Wormwood is fixing his cars, imprudently emphasizing external factors instead of cultivating internal strength?

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It’s never been easier engaging parents, but why aren’t we doing it?

This is a guest post from our friend, Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1)

When I first started teaching, I would only reach out to parents when their children were not doing what was expected of them — whether that was academically or behaviorally. I realized much later that I was overly concentrating on “troubled” or struggling students, and unintentionally paid less attention to students performing adequately or exceedingly well.

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Thanks for hanging out with us at #CUE14

Our team really enjoys attending and participating in education technology conferences. The presentations on new tools/technologies and the platform to share ideas are wonderful. But, our favorite part is spending time with all the wonderful faces behind those ‘edufamous’ Twitter handles (thanks, Bill Selak!), Wordpress blogs, and classroom desks from around the country :)  And #CUE14 was no exception!  More pictures after the break…

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One billion and growing!

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Just last week, we announced that teachers have given over 1 billion pieces of feedback to students on ClassDojo.  Even more exciting, over 80% of that feedback was positive: millions of teachers are using ClassDojo to encourage great behaviors like curiosity, grit, and helping others.  

Our mission has always been to help students learn and grow by developing these types of “soft skills.” We’re excited that so many teachers are using ClassDojo for this purpose, and that we’re lucky enough to be part of their classrooms in such an impactful way.

Read more about this milestone!

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