How I Use It
My students with special needs really struggle to focus, engage, and participate, which collectively inhibit them from being able to learn science. Classroom Dojo has helped me to quantify focus, engagement, and participation in the form of a game. Students transcend into fun monster-like characters (avatars), and earn points for positive behaviors, and lose points for negative behaviors. I find using Classroom Dojo heavily at the beginning of a class period, such as during the "Do Now", motivates students to focus, engage, and participate. I also find that it sets a positive tone for the rest of the class period. However, negative points (and the corresponding sound effect) did not seem to improve student participation. Therefore, I now only use the positive points.
I really like using Classroom Dojo as a way to motivate and engage my lowest third. The gamification and quantification of behaviors, which can be reset daily, create a level playing field for students of all levels. The monster avatars are fun and also create a uniquely level virtual world for my diverse learners. The positive sound effects (which go off every time a positive behavior is noted) keep students more focused throughout the class period. Overall, Classroom Dojo has helped me to create a positive culture in the classroom where positive behaviors are rewarded quantitatively, and through the pride of winning what feels to be a game. However, the negative points for negative behaviors have done little to improve my students' focus, engagement, and participation. Furthermore, Classroom Dojo is not a learning tool in it of itself, but a tool for creating a culture and environment to be able to learn.