This past year, I noticed a steady increase in students acting negatively and disrespectfully to their classmates. It may have something to do with the fact that I taught 7th graders, but many of these students were good kids just following the crowd. I decided to introduce Class Dojo, a behavior management software, to my classroom.
Here is a great introduction video that I showed my students, courtesy of Class Dojo:
After that video and a little explanation, I was very surprised to find that many of my students were really excited about it and desperately wanted their “secret code” so they could customize their avatar. We then established what behaviors we felt were important and created a reward system for positive behaviors. I saw an overall trend of improvement over the next few weeks and really enjoyed tracking behaviors while students were working in small groups or partners. I could also use it to randomly select students for answering questions or for choosing volunteers. It also gave me a better foot to stand on when parents came to conferences, as academic grades don’t show the whole picture of a student’s performance in the classroom. By the end of the semester, I realized this would be far more effective if used throughout a school year.
Here is a Prezi I made that I am presenting to my grad school class next week regarding classroom management strategies, which explains how I will use Class Dojo next year.
P.S. In case you are wondering, this works in 7th grade classrooms but it really would be perfect for an elementary setting where you get to see a student for more than 50 minutes a day.