You may be one of those teachers who’s thinking about how ClassDojo and Responsive Classroom can go together. I know I was! If you’re not familiar with the term, Responsive Classroom is founded on the belief that students and teachers work as a team and create the rules and expectations of the classroom together. This gives them a sense of ownership and decision making in the classroom. It can be done during a morning meeting – which is the approach I take. Only the way I do it is to incorporate ClassDojo!
The reason is that both Responsive Classroom and ClassDojo share the belief that students need a set of social skills to be successful. They need to be able to cooperate, be responsible, be empathetic, and show self control. The combination of these two programs ensures I can be even more effective in helping my students learn these skills, because ClassDojo reminds them of those skills we identified as important, just like the teacher language does in Responsive Classroom.
Besides the social emotional skill component, both ClassDojo and Responsive Classroom share the belief that it is important to know students’ families and to form a relationship with them. ClassDojo is amazing at this! By using it, families are able to see how their child is performing socially in the classroom. What was nice was when my students received comments from their parents. I had a lot of parents respond, “Way to go” or “Keep up the good work!” And it meant a lot to my students! It’s the most effective way I’ve found for families and educators to communicate with one each other throughout the day. It also creates a sense of team that helps carry what we’re learning in class back home, and vice versa.
So how does this work in terms of specifics?
At the beginning of the year, my students and I work together to identify the skills we want to develop and create the rules and expectations right in ClassDojo. ClassDojo’s neutral points are Responsive Classroom friendly because students are not being penalized for not following the rules, they are simply being reminded. This gives them the opportunity to correct their social forgetfulness. After all, reminding language is just that: a reminder of what should be done. An example would be “What did we learn about teamwork today.” I use my teacher language and ClassDojo together for this and I’ve found it to be very effective.
And for those who haven’t seen them, ClassDojo’s Growth Mindset, Empathy, and Mindfulness activities this year were absolutely amazing! If you haven’t watched them with your class – you should! They encouraged my students to look within themselves and to improve their self control, assertiveness, cooperation, and empathy. All of which is a focus of Responsive Classroom.
When it comes to parental involvement, Class Story and Student Stories allow me and my students to share their academic successes with their families throughout the day. This increases communication with home and also teaches my students responsibility. My students love to post their work for people to see – sharing writing pieces, drawings, and texts with their families. And they love receiving the positive feedback from their family.
I could go on and on about how ClassDojo and Responsive Classroom can be used together. Combined, they create an environment in which students are successful both academically and socially. ClassDojo has definitely changed the way that my students feel about school. They enjoy it more because of the open communication we now have with their families. It’s partnerships like these that make our students grow!!!