At the suggestion of a friend, I decided to look into an application named ‘Class Dojo’. My friend gave me a brief run down and quite obviously I was captivated enough to investigate it prior to going onto prac. Over the course of my prac, I have implemented the Class Dojo as a way to manage and record behaviour. My mentor already had a behaviour management system in place, one based on a points system. In this point system, each week an auction takes place where the teacher auctions off items and students can bid according to their behaviour points. These points are recorded in a green folder, where each child’s name is listed. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this system but when I went into prac, I was actually unaware of the ‘green folder’ and thought to myself, how can I record behaviour and make it my ‘own’? So working with my mentors system, I set up a ‘Class Dojo’. For those unaware of this application, Class Dojo in a nutshell is a behaviour managements system that you can set up to record student behaviour by awarding or deducting points. These are the steps I followed to set-up my behaviour system:
- Created 3 separate classes: Year 6 class, Year 7 class and a separate class for two students who are segregated and visit the SEP regularly
- Added each student to the Dojo, from here it allocates them an avatar
- Added the behaviours I was looking to monitor (on task behaviour, working collaboratively etc.).
- Printed out the student codes
- Sent an email to each student with a link to the Dojo and provided them with a student code so they could go in and monitor their points and change their avatars (a student function)
I must mention that my prac class is a 6/7 composite and I had heard that Dojo was highly suitable for the early years as opposed to the upper primary years. It seems that this isn’t just an application suited to the younger years, my students absolutely love the Class Dojo.
I have managed to get into the routine, of starting each lesson with the Dojo up on the IWB. As soon as students sit down and look at the IWB, they are on their best behaviour and I have noticed an improvement in the self-management of behaviour. It really is a great tool, when awarding students it lets out a ‘beep’ and students can see and hear the point that was just awarded.
When I originally spoke to my mentor about the possibility of implementing this system she mentioned that she had signed up for an account but was yet to implement it because the green book was quite practical. This made me think, she definitely had a point. Would I always have access to an IWB to enable me to award points? No, not always. What could I do to get around this curveball? I decided to search for a Dojo app and was lucky enough to find a free Dojo app. Now, I find myself awarding points via my iPhone when I am not situated at the IWB. The other day I conducted a lesson in the staff room as my year 7 group were doing NAPLAN and I found myself using my iPhone to award points. In comparison to carting a folder around, the iPhone app seemed like a more convenient and portable option.
It must also be said that my students from day 1 of being given their individual codes, have leaped in and created their own student accounts. They love being able to view their points from home or before school and of course have loved being able to change their avatars. When you think about it, you can’t take the ‘green folder’ home, however you can login to the Dojo, so this is definitely an advantage.
I see myself continuing to use the Class Dojo with my students for years to come. The response has been fantastic and it is so simple to use. I would highly recommend it.