I am in love with ClassDojo. Everyone knows it. According to my students, I am the “best ClassDojo teacher in the world.” I shriek out loud when a new video is released, when there is a new update, and I love that this is a tool that I can use with all of my grade one to eight students. In my twenty years of teaching nothing has enhanced and improved my teaching like ClassDojo!
For years I looked for ways that would allow me to communicate regularly with the families of the 150+ students that I teach on rotary every day. Agendas and phone calls home were just not good enough. Then, in 2012, I was introduced to the STAR of the show, ClassDojo, which gives families instant access to what is going on in their child’s lives at school. “It’s like instant messaging!” one parent commented.
ClassDojo is a wonderful creation, and their latest addition (and my newest obsession) “Student Stories,” is especially helpful in my French class, as students are sometimes reluctant to speak French at home. These digital portfolios are a HUGE hit as they allow students to send their French work, photos, and personal videos, directly to their families who are thrilled to see and hear what they are learning in class from their child’s perspective!
ClassDojo’s Growth Mindset videos, and the new Empathy videos, tie right into my philosophy of teaching and enrich the atmosphere that I have worked so hard to create in my classroom over the years. I believe that children cannot learn effectively unless they feel safe and cared for. My students understand that we are all learners, working together and supporting each other, and the ClassDojo videos reinforce these ideas.
In my classroom, the “im” in the word “impossible” doesn’t exist, and neither do “I can’t” or “I don’t know.” Any try, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, is appreciated and acknowledged. The students know that we don’t laugh at anyone else, or make a negative comment about ourselves or others. Even in my grade 7/8 class, we celebrate the “good tries,” and the students and I reward “Didn’t give up,” “Tried your best,” “ Being a good friend,” “Participated,” “Kind,” “Thought about others,” “Nice manners” and “Great answer” with ClassDojo points. Together, we all work on these important skills, while making our classroom supportive, positive, and motivating.
Today’s digital world, while amazingly helpful on one hand, is making it even harder for children to understand the importance of empathy. As their online world grows, they are relating less and less to each other in person outside of the classroom. By starring the ClassDojo monsters whom they already know and love, the Big Ideas videos are making such a difference in my student’s lives every day. I have seen an increase in their confidence levels, in their engagement in their learning, and in the kindness that they display towards each other.
Thank you ClassDojo for listening to the needs of teachers, for constantly improving this amazing resource, and for making my days in my classroom even better. I love you!