I wish I could take credit for this fantastic download, but it was Mrs Frinzilas who blogged about the Class Dojo first. This little gem was perfect for several students who presented with disruptive behaviour during practicum experience. I think many teachers have exhausted the distribution of stickers for good behaviour or outstanding work. Funny how the kids with the worst behaviour end up with the most stickers at the end of the day, not because they have done anything outstanding but simply because they have been pacified with yet another sticker on their shirt, so they don’t disrupt the class. Where do these stickers go at the end of the day? Through the washing or in the bin, maybe a sticker book at home? The sticker has now become an expectation, not for outstanding work but for not being bad, which I know is difficult for some, but to be honest I think its loosing its appeal. This observation brings me to the benefits and behavioural outcomes of Class Dojo. This free down load allows the teacher to create her class, and each student is represented by a cute little monster type avatar. There is generic positive and negative behaviours which are installed as part of the program, but the teacher can also add positive behaviours, which are specifically focused on in the class. For example, students in full uniform received a point as did students who read their home readers. It was interesting to observe how the focus on good behaviour and gaining points became a bit competitive, but as a teacher it was fantastic! The number of home readers being read doubled by the end of the second week.
The teacher can also deduct points for off task or inappropriate behaviour, which I liked because it reinforced the notion of students taking responsibility for their own behaviour. This option worked particularly well for those behaviour students who did not want to fall below the yellow line so to speak. Like Mrs Frintzilas, I displayed the 1P class Dojo every afternoon, so that we could tally points and remind students to read their home readers. The boy and girl with the most points at the end of the week would be permitted to pick their classroom job of choice for the following week and the partner they would like to do it with, plus 20 mins free play on the computer. It was also important to highlight the positive behaviours being demonstrated when awarding points, as this had a domino effect. I downloaded the app and all I had to do was pick up my mobile phone, and students who were off task were suddenly on task.
I liked this application for its simplicity and visual component. Students didn’t just know how they were performing but how they were performing in relation to everyone else in the class. This is something that the sticker reward system failed to convey, but I’m sure that like the stickers it may loose its appeal in the future. Hopefully like technology itself, the Class Dojo will continue to evolve and support the behaviour management issues of the classroom