ClassDojo seems great… but how do I begin?!

ClassDojo seems great… but how do I begin?!

There is no “right” way to implement ClassDojo in your classroom. The ways to utilize ClassDojo are as varied as the number of teachers using It all over the world. So how does one begin?

Start by familiarizing yourself with ClassDojo. Take the tour, and explore the website to discover uncharted territory. Enter your students’ names. Peruse the behaviors listed and decide whether or not you will add to what already exists to personalize your behavior plan for your classroom. Create and customize new behaviors as needed.

Introduce ClassDojo to your class by first building interest and ownership in the program. You might ask questions like, “Who likes monsters? What would you think if we used a behavior plan in which YOU were represented by a MONSTER? How would you like to be able to design your OWN monster?” Student buy-in will be astronomical — guaranteed!

Show students the student video. This will get them fired up and excited about using ClassDojo. Be ready with copies of the parent letter immediately following the video, encouraging students to share it with their families. Offer an incentive for students to bring it back signed, saying their parents will participate. Take a look at ClassDojo Messaging, too! This will open up a whole new medium with which you can communicate effectively with parents. Parents with wireless mobile devices love ClassDojo because they have access to instant feedback about their child’s behavior progress.

At the beginning of each day you can “check reports” and view graphs to analyze student behavior data as a class. This aligns with the Common Core graphing and data analysis standards and it helps students take ownership and control of their own behavior and learning. Commend students for the positive behaviors shown on the graph, and discuss ways to improve the negative behaviors. Set a goal for the percentage of positive points to be reached at the end of the day. Offer students a reward for reaching that goal.

Download the ClassDojo app on your mobile device and use it as you are teaching, circulating, and monitoring the classroom. Be sure that the sound is turned up enough for students to hear when you give a positive or negative point. This is highly effective! If you have ClassDojo projected on your ActivBoard or SMART Board, students love to see who received a positive (or negative) point when it pops up on the screen. Be consistent with your expectations for behavior and the assigning of points. This will ensure that your classroom management is uniform, and that student behavior remains as stable as possible.

From experience, hearing the positive or negative point sounds are even more effective if students cannot see who is being awarded points. Hearing sound immediately causes students to self-check and monitor their own behavior. This is called the “Dojo Effect”. They will literally sit up straighter and focus on the task at hand when they hear the sound. Students think, “Was that me? Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing?” You might even create a bogus student in your class to award positive and negative points to just for strategic implementation of the “Dojo Effect.”

End each day just as you began, by reviewing and analyzing the behavior graph available in ClassDojo reports. Discuss what you are doing well and what behaviors you need to focus on improving in the future. Cement the effectiveness of ClassDojo by rewarding students for reaching their positive point percentage goal. Small individual candies like Skittles or M&M’s work well.

There is no “yellow brick road” leading to the one, true way to use ClassDojo effectively in the classroom. Explore, experiment, and discover the possibilities with your students and ClassDojo. Never will students be so excited about and take such ownership in a behavior plan as they will with ClassDojo!