When and if you decide to use ClassDojo with your students, it’s a good idea to think about how you will use it first. Do you have a projector that you can display ClassDojo on? If so, how often will you display it? Some teachers have it up all day, while others choose to display it at specific times, like first thing in the morning. Whatever you decide, I recommend following these steps:
1. Create buy-in
Let students design their own avatar. They’ll be much more enthusiastic if they can personalize their character. Get them involved in the process of creating a classroom culture, let them help choose which behaviors will go on ClassDojo, and what they need to do to earn points. Let the students have a voice in when they think people should lose points as well. Ultimately, you will make the call when it comes to awarding points, but giving kids ownership of the development process will increase buy-in. You can also check in with your group ever so often to discuss what is working and what is not.
2. Be consistent
Whatever you decide to do, stick with it. If you say you are going to give a prize to students when they reach a certain goal, follow through! On the other hand, if you say you are going to take away points when something happens, do it. Make sure your plan is feasible. If you promise to give points for certain behaviors, set up your space so that you can easily give points at any given time. If you have to find a computer and log in every time you want to give a point, you are unlikely to follow through. I recommend using the mobile app for this reason.
3. Make it a part of the culture
ClassDojo is a tool that works best when used in tandem with other classroom management programs. I used ClassDojo with my classroom economy last year. My fifth graders loved it. When they earned a certain amount of ClassDojo points they were able to “cash out” and get a cash bonus in their class bank account. We had an auction every month, giving students had a tangible reward for their behavior that was reinforced with ClassDojo. There are endless ways you can adapt this tool to fit your classroom management needs.