Become a Classroom Management Ninja with ClassDojo

ClassDojo has the potential to revolutionize your classroom. I’ve said before that when we come across things we know will make your job easier we want to shout it from the rooftops, and ClassDojo is no exception.
 

What is ClassDojo?

 
ClassDojo is an innovative Classroom Management tool that you can use to track behavior and engagement in your art room. ClassDojo puts a positive spin on behavior management and even lets you communicate directly with parents. You can learn more about ClassDojo by clicking the PDF from the ClassDojo website below.
 

Click to Download
Click to Download

 
When you sign up as a teacher, you have the ability to add all of your classes and assign each student an avatar. You can then customize which positive and negative behaviors you want to track. Keeping the ClassDojo program or app open during class, you simply tap to give positive or negative points according to the behaviors you see. You can choose to keep the results private or project the results in your classroom using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Parents and students can also create their own accounts to keep track of behavior at home. In fact, ClassDojo has a video you can show students to introduce them to the program.
 

ClassDojo in the Art Room

 
Now, sometimes these programs look great on paper, but when you try to implement them with 500+ students, they start to show their flaws. Not so with ClassDojo. Theresa Gillespie is an elementary art teacher that also teaches online courses for AOE. As a teacher mentor for ClassDojo, she’s the one that let us in on the secret. Theresa was blown away when she started using it in her classroom and thought it would be a perfect program to feature in our Managing the Art Room Class.

According to Theresa, although ClassDojo takes a bit of time to set up for a large amount of students, once it’s done, using it is a breeze. Tracking behavior is easy and meaningful when you can choose exactly the positive and negative behaviors on which you’d like to focus. In Theresa’s elementary art room she chooses to track, “great clean-up,” “creative work,” and “great teamwork.” ClassDojo also allows you to track negative behaviors relating to safety, clean-up, or whatever else you choose! The best part is that you can generate reports to see how individual students are doing. You can also look at how a class is doing overall. Below are a few screenshots from a sample class showing a classroom view as well as an individual and whole class report.
 

whole class
Sample ClassDojo Class

 

individual student
Sample Individual Report

 

class report
Sample Whole Class Report

 

Using ClassDojo to Communicate with Families

 
I asked Theresa how she initially let families know about ClassDojo. I wondered how responsive parents were to this type of feedback. Here’s what Theresa had to say:

“At the beginning of the school year, I print out the student and parent code sheets for students to take home. I make a big deal about it with students so that they will show their parents. Putting a note in the school newsletter and on my website also helps get the word out. Many parents are very responsive right away, but others take time. The longer you use it, the more parents hop on board with it. If you share a lot of the positives that students are doing in your classrooms, then they are more receptive to any issues that may arise.”

Theresa told us that ClassDojo also just added a feature where you can message parents from directly in the app. You can even include a photo. That’s powerful feedback! Here’s a real example from Theresa’s classroom.
 

An example of an instant message sent to a parent
An example of an instant message sent to a parent

 
When I asked Theresa how ClassDojo has changed her teaching and her students’ behavior, she had this to say:

“It makes managing the behaviors in the classroom much easier. Students want to end the class with a great score, so they help each other keep on track.”

That sounds like a win in my book! To learn more about ClassDojo, be sure to check out the ClassDojo website and Teacher Resource Page. Thanks so much to Theresa for sharing her expertise with us!
 
 

Do you use ClassDojo in your classroom? What do you like about it? Do you wish anything were different?
Are there other classroom management programs you use with your students?

 
 
 

Amanda Heyn

Amanda is the Senior Editor at AOE. She has a background in teaching elementary art and enjoys working to bring the best ideas from the world of art ed to the magazine each day. 

Related

  • Cfralick

    I used to use Class Dojo. I used it for two years in my TAB artroom. I like how CD gamified behavior and that it made it fun. My problem is that it is a public form of humiliation for those kids who are always losing points or are not the star students. I never felt comfortable with it. Also, with almost 800 kids and only 40 min classes, it became one more thing to do during a class when I have so many other important things to do.

    • That’s true. You’d really have to read your student population. I can see where it wouldn’t be for everyone. Another option is to keep things private and not project the results for everyone to see. You could use it more of a tracking tool for your own knowledge.

    • I only project it for everyone to see at the beginning of the school year or if a class is having a particular hard time with something and we are working on that. I also make sure that only the positive rewards will pop up on the screen (in the settings). I do have both the sounds on though. If the class hears the sounds, they tend to all check their behavior. Once the students know the program, I switch to my iPad for most of the time. I carry it around with me. I have three schools and 700 students, so I do understand the struggles. I like it because it does things I would have had to stop and do on paper before to keep track of student absences, warnings for behavior or off task issues. Even better – I’m tracking more positives now than the negatives. That is what we celebrate and share with parents.

  • Alex Hamilton Green

    We use Class Dojo throughout our school. It works great in the regular classroom but it’s hard to use in art (art on a cart). My classes meet for 40 minutes once a week and I have to use the technology setup in each individual classroom. Class Dojo is just one more thing that could go wrong depending on how the regular classroom teacher has his or her room set up. Because I use another teacher’s Dojo, I have to work with the points already in place. Kids don’t get a fresh start in art and it’s a bummer for everone when you have to heap down Dojo points on a kid who is already having a bad day. Those kids quickly get immune to more down points and it stops working for everyone. So to sum up, it’s great for regular classroom teachers, but it doesn’t work for art on a cart.

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective, Alex. That sounds tricky. Could you use an app on an iPad for your classes instead?

      • Alex Hamilton Green

        Thanks for the thoughts Amanda… I’ve tried it on ipad, iphone and it’s just not worth the hassle except in extreme cases. but the app is great if you see the kids more regularly!

  • Ms. Gram

    I wrote a post in September about how I use Class Dojo with my 1,000+ students. Best classroom management strategy I’ve ever used!
    http://www.artwithmsgram.com/2014/09/mgae-conference-2014-classroom.html

    • Thanks so much for sharing! What a cool idea to create “students” and use your table groups instead!

  • Monique Brisson

    Interesting writing . I am thankful for the analysis . Does someone know where I would be able to get access to a template a form version to work with ?

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