Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tech Thursday:!

Technology Thursday is a weekly linky dedicated to all things technology related. Share reviews of websites or apps you've tried, tech tips that make your {teaching or personal} life easier, and helpful tutorials. Our hope is that this linky provides a place for teachers to share and learn new ways to use technology and engage students!

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Rule #1: You must include the image above and a link to our linky somewhere in your blog post.
Rule #2: Follow the Rule of Three...visit the two blogs who link up before you and the one immediately after you and leave some love on their pages!
Rule #3: This linky is not intended for product promotion. You may include products you've created in your posts, but they should not be the sole focus of the post. {Exception...freebies...because everybody loves a good freebie!}

Today I get to talk to you about one of my favorite websites: ClassDojo!  I started using ClassDojo a couple of years ago and am now a mentor for my school. I use it every day and absolutely love it. The best part of the website is that they keep improving it based on teacher suggestions!

Brief Introduction

ClassDojo is a FREE classroom management and parent communication system that is web based and has mobile capabilities. Dojo aims to greatly reduce the time that teachers spend managing behaviors so that they can spend more time teaching.

How I Use ClassDojo

I have ClassDojo on before the students enter the classroom.  Student then "tap in" on my SMARTboard with the attendance part of the website.  I leave ClassDojo running all day on my front computer.  Throughout the day I try to stay consistent in giving points to my students.  When students achieve a certain number of points, they can go to the treasure box.  At that point, I reset their points back to 0 and they start earning points again.

Special Features

Timer- The time is automatically set to 5 minutes but you can change it to anytime that you need.  Here's the biggest tip: Don't forget to press START when you have selected your time.  I can't tell you how many times I did that this last year. Ha!

Attendance- Teachers can set the attendance to "mark all absent" which turns all avatars red.  Students then check in by tapping or clicking on their avatar when they arrive.  The teacher then saves the attendance.

Random Selector- The teacher can click on the random selector and it will, you guessed it, "randomly" select a student.  I use this for a number of things in the classroom. You can use this for when you need a volunteer or when you just what to do a spot check on a behavior.

Reports- This is a great communication tool with parents and a wonderful documentation tool. You can run reports for the whole class or a particular student.  You can also choose the time frame for the reports; that day, yesterday, a week, a month, or all time. These reports tell every specific behavior that has been recorded for that student.  It also shows a cool circle graph so students and parents can easily understand what they are seeing.  Parents can log in and see this information whenever they want!  Of course it can be printed as well.

Customizing Positive and Needs Work Behaviors- Teachers can click on Display Settings.  Then click on "edit students and behaviors".  Click on "customize behaviors" and edit the behaviors to fit the needs of your classroom and your students.

Display Settings- In this area of ClassDojo you can edit students and behaviors, change the avatar size, change the student order, change how the point bubbles are displayed, edit sound preferences, and select new avatars for the students.

New ClassDojo Features

Sharing students across the school-  Each teacher in your school receives a class code.  If you share that code with another teacher, you can connect and share students.  For example, if students switch teachers for math, the math teacher can continue to use those students' particular ClassDojo accounts. The students can continue to build on the progress that they have made and parents can receive a more complete picture of their student's behavior. Student behavior reports can also be shared across the school such as with administrators or counselors.

 ClassDojo Messenger- Messenger helps teachers connect with parents by the ability to send messages via their phone or other mobile device.  Say I go home and have forgotten to send a reminder about an important assignment.  I get out my phone, pull up my Dojo app, type in my message, and send to either all or some of my students.  The message goes to the parents' email addresses.  The fabulous part is that Dojo lets me know which parents have viewed my message!

Allowing teachers to assign multiple points values to behaviors- I love this feature. There are just times when 1 point is not enough!  I love that I can give +2 for "helping others".  How motivating is that!  I also like that "hurting others" can be a -2

Ability to change display bubbles- Before teachers could only show cumulative point totals- positive points minus negative points.  Now teachers can show positive and negative point totals separately or show no point totals at all.

Top 10 Tips for Using ClassDojo

  1. Teach the students your behavior management plan.  Explain it to them.  Demonstrate how it will work.  Students need to know what will happen if they behave a certain way and what to expect.
  2. Be positive more than negative. Students respond better to positive rewards.
  3. Be consistent.  If you don't use the site in a consistent way, it definitely won't work for you!
  4. Keep the sound effects on.  Sometimes it just takes a positive "note" for the other students to sit up and take notice.
  5. Change the behaviors, positive and negative, to match your age group and classroom.  I even change them as the year goes along.  
  6. Take advantage of the parent communication parts of ClassDojo!  Messenger, parents having the ClassDojo app on their phone to check up on their student, and student reports are fabulous! 
  7. Allow tech savvy students to help enter student points and reset points.  They love doing this!  Eventually students can be responsible for giving themselves their own points or taking them away.
  8. Some kiddos will always need tangible rewards!  Keep in mind that one system will never work for every student.  You can still use Dojo for those students but in a different way.  Use if for homework, reading test, word work, or completed work.
  9. Play with Dojo for a while before you give up.  It make take awhile for you to figure out how to fit it into your classroom and how it will work best for you.
  10. Connect with others that are using ClassDojo.  See how they are using it and what they are doing. Your teacher next door is usually your best resource!

Hope you check out ClassDojo!  Let me know if you have any questions!


  1. This looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing with so many detailed notes!

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  2. Thank you for posting this. I have heard so many wonderful things about Class Dojo. My team is thinking about trying it this year. I definitely pinned this post as a reference. Thank you!

    Fit to be Fourth

  3. Love all of the Dojo Details :) Thanks for sharing! I just linked up!
    The Techie Teacher

  4. Thanks for all your tips! We have decided to use it as a school and connect it to our positive behavior system. It's a great tool!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing all of those features about Class Dojo!! It has CHANGED SO MUCH since I first checked it out a few years ago. I have so many hesitations toward using it in my classroom - I've had some negative experiences with parents and my classroom management system in the past and I'm afraid the problems I've had in the past might be amplified by using Class Dojo. Does Class Dojo notify parents every time a point is added or taken away from a kiddo or just at the very "end" of the day? I'm so nervous about using something more digital rather than my clip chart for behaviors, but I REALLY want to! I know it might seem counter productive - could you share some of the negatives in a positive way?? That'd be so helpful! Thank you so much!


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