The Power of Online Communities for Teachers

This may be surprising to some, but teaching can be a lonely profession many days. While teachers are surrounded by people, there’s often little time for collaboration or discussion with peers. My days are filled with exciting moments of discovery with students, of course, but also the challenge of sneaking in a lunch or prep period. It’s easy to get to the end of the day or week and realize I’ve had little interaction with the adults in my building.

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How One Teacher is Teaching Her Students to be Kind

Interview between Janice Walton (Getting Smart) and Stacy Weber (fifth-grade dual language Teacher at Westwood Elementary in Woodstock, Illinois).

Kindness is a relatively easy word to define–according to Google it means “the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.” Easy enough, right? Then why is “kindness” often so hard to put into practice? How do we go about teaching and learning kindness? I recently spoke with Stacy Weber, a fifth-grade teacher in a dual language program in Woodstock, Illinois, to shed some light on this and understand how she’s teaching kindness.

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Four Mindful Back-to-School Questions to Build Emotional Intelligence

Picture a middle school student who we’ll call Ethan. He entered third period today with a scowl on his face. He squirms and fidgets in his chair, unable to focus. When his teacher asks him about last night’s homework, he bristles with annoyance and says he didn’t do the assignment. It’s not clear why Ethan appears angry, and chances are Ethan may be a little unsure himself.

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“Raise Your Voice! It Can Change The World!”

This month, students are making their voices heard, including those in our Dojo community. We all believe our students’ voices will shape our future world – and there’s no better time to support them than right now!

That’s why we asked ClassDojo teachers to share words of encouragement, and to tell us how they help their students find their voices every day.

Here’s what they shared 😀

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Give Homework an F! (or three)

Whether you follow educators on Twitter, parents on Facebook, or just talk to any student, you could get an earful about how they feel regarding homework. As a teacher and parent myself, I absolutely HATE homework. I hate it for the same reasons any working parent hates it, but I probably hate it even more because I am a teacher. It is a time suck!

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Using Technology to Build Partnerships with Parents

Building a positive classroom environment isn’t just about what happens inside a classroom, it’s about building a classroom community without walls, one that includes and engages parents and caregivers. Research has shown that students with involved parents and caregivers, regardless of background, are more likely to be successful in academics and develop better social skills.

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Help! There Are Monsters in My Classroom!

Did you know Halloween is the most shared day on ClassDojo? It’s true!

It’s also one of our favorite days here at Dojo HQ because of the hundreds of monster pics we get from teachers all over the world. Take a look at some of our favorites from this past Halloween. And check out #MonstersInMyClassroom for more! 🙂

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How To Create a Strong Teacher-Parent Team This School Year

As a teacher, I’ve been blessed to have positive relationships with parents since the first day of my career. The friendships I’ve formed with parents last far longer than a 10-month school calendar, and they are among the aspects of teaching that I cherish most.

Recently, during a camping trip, a colleague asked how I knew so many of our students’ parents by name. Developing relationships with her students’ parents was difficult for her, she admitted. She’s a good teacher and a wonderful person, but parents have not warmed up to her easily.  In speaking to other teachers, I learned she is not alone. Thankfully, there are several proactive steps teachers can take to ensure the relationships they have with their students’ parents are helpful and rewarding.

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Student Story’s newest addition: Drawing!

Creating student portfolios isn’t simply about recording classwork for teachers. Student Stories gives parents a window into the classroom. Erika Gessler, a 2nd grade teacher, knows that the drawing update coming soon to ClassDojo’s student portfolios means parents will get to see a whole lot more. “When my students and I heard about adding drawings to Student Stories, we were so excited! They keep updating the app in anticipation.”

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