How I Use It
To use ClassDojo is very simple. You join/sign up for free. Once you are all logged in you can create a class. I teach kindergarten, so I just created one class. ClassDojo does allow you to create multiple classes, so if you teach a number of classes/periods you can name and add the different students. Each student within the class is given a little monster and once you have your class set up you can start awarding points. The app gives you a set of positive and negative points. You can add new feedback also. For example, I had a student who struggled to come in from the playground. Together he and I created a "point" for coming in from the playground with no problems. Now each day he comes in without any issues I can give him a point. He was able to pick out the tiny image that went with it. I also added a few feedback points for my whole class, including "sitting correctly" and "quiet". Each time a point is awarded there is a sound. I would sometimes show the students who I was giving points to, but I also would just let them hear the sound and then they knew that someone was getting a point, but wouldn't know who. This helped to get the students who were off task to get them back on task in hopes they would get a point. ClassDojo also has negative feedback. You can give the feedback, so that it takes away points or it is zero. I did not use this feature. I only focused on the positive feedback points. Another nice feature of ClassDojo is that you can award points to the whole class or small groups that you create. I was able to award my entire class a point for doing a nice job during a fire drill. One of the things I like most about ClassDojo is how you can connect the parents to what is happening and they can see what feedback their child is given. I printed out the access codes all simple to find on the website. I sent them home and by the next day over half of my class had their parents connected to ClassDojo. The parents only see their child not any other students. There are many different settings to play with on ClassDojo. You can reset the bubbles, display all points, just the positive points or the combined positive and negative. There is an app or you can access via the internet.
I thought I would like ClassDojo, but I love it. It was so simple and easy to use and the parent connection piece was huge for me. Being able to have the parents see how their child is doing and specifically what they are getting points for is really nice. Each day I reset the points so the children start over "fresh" each day. The behavior in my class changed in a positive way. I really like how versatile what you as the teacher can do with the points. At the end of each day I give a certificate to the student with the most points to take home. I am also in the process of creating a reward system to go along with the points. Depending on the number of points the child gets they can get a sticker, prize box, etc. I felt that the negative points were not best for my kindergarten students. I wanted to focus on the positive behaviors I was seeing. I think the negative points may work better for older students. The website and app both offer a toolkit. The toolkit includes a timer, noise meter, music and a way to send announcements. The timer works well in my classroom because we rotate though centers and workshops, so it's convenient to be able to do all of that from one website. Overall, I think ClassDojo is user friendly and a great positive reinforcement tool to use in the classroom.