I’ve used Class Dojo in the last two schools I’ve worked in. I think it is a great tool which can be used to impact the learning environment in a positive way. Students really respond to the ‘dink’ sound it makes, especially if you have it running on the class projector while you are working with a focus group!
When I started at my new school, we were looking for an innovative way to encourage the students to demonstrate the PYP attitudes, which are what we as educators want our learners to feel, value and demonstrate. Class Dojo was perfect!
These attitudes are an essential element of the Primary Years Programme, and build upon the concepts, knowledge and skills acquired throughout their schooling.
Using the customisation tools available in Class Dojo we set to work. As if fate intended it, there is space for 12 positive behaviours within the app. We sent out a letter to parents and set about using it in class.
Teachers went about using it in different ways. Some, set daily/weekly/monthly goals of points to be accumulated by the class. Others spent 5 minutes reflecting at the end of each day, allowing students to award their peers with points for demonstrating on of the attitudes in the school day. Another fantastic feature is the ‘Randomizer’. Teachers use their existing Class Dojo setup as an Assessment for Learning tool, choosing students to provide explanation or share their thinking at random. Teacher assistants downloaded the app on their smartphones, joined the classes as additional teachers and soon got involved.
In addition to the behaviour management tools, the team behind Class Dojo have put together a series of short videos known as Big Ideas. The first series is all about developing a growth mindset. These are really well made and pitched at the right level for grade 1 – 5 (Year 2 – 6), we’re looking forward to the next series to come out!
We’ve been using it in my new school since November now and it has been a huge success. It has provided a meaningful platform for students to talk about and explore the attitudes. Discussing the importance of them and what affect they have on their learning (and their learning environment).
As a school we made a decision to focus on the positive, and didn’t use the negative point deduction tool, we simply didn’t think it was necessary. We also didn’t involve parents in the point reporting, just used these to inform teachers who informed parents accordingly. There is also an interesting ‘Class Story’ feature which allows a very simple timeline of events in class. Again, as we already have a designated home school communication system, we didn’t make use of this. It will be very interesting to see how this develops in the future!