Engage students with ClassDojo: thoughts from an administrator

Engage students with ClassDojo: thoughts from an administrator

One of the easiest ways to gauge a teacher’s effectiveness is by watching their students’ behavior. What tips and tricks do they use to keep students in line and attentive throughout the day? ClassDojo is a free online tool that allows teachers to organize classes and keep track of positive and negative behaviors of students. There is also an app available that allows teachers to follow behaviors throughout the day, regardless of where they are.

As an administrator I have seen ClassDojo used in a variety of ways. Rather than focus on the typical use as a behavioral management tool, I particularly enjoy classrooms that take ClassDojo to the next level. There are a variety of ways that ClassDojo can be used to help teachers manage their classrooms that doesn’t involve separating the “good” students from the “bad”.

One creative way to use ClassDojo is to edit the award titles to reflect concepts and skills taught in that particular classroom. This draws attention to different student learning objectives. “I mastered fractions” means more to a student than a teacher checking off a homework packet once a week. Obviously it would be time consuming to differentiate awards based on assignment, but concepts would be easy. Providing students with a visual where they can track their progress increases students’ awareness in a transparent way.

As a fourth grade teacher I would create a checklist for every assignment or project. Students would highlight or check off their name when they completed their work. ClassDojo can be thought of as an engaging, high tech version of the checklist. Teachers can create award titles through ClassDojo that teach students responsibility such as, “name on paper,” “correct heading,” “double checked work,” etc.

Lower grade teachers who have students rotate through stations could change their award titles to reflect each area and keep track of who has completed what. High school teachers could use ClassDojo to track novels, reports, or genius-hour projects.

Another amazing feature of ClassDojo is that parents can create accounts, giving them the ability to see how their student is doing in real time. In the world of IEPs and behavioral plans this is an easy way to keep parents involved with what is going on in the classroom. Parents will appreciate the ease of staying in the loop through reports as well as ClassDojo Messaging! The simplicity of this tool is a win-win!

Regardless of how you choose to use ClassDojo, get creative and make it work for your students!