Managing classroom behaviour and devising fresh new ways to motivate students is a big part of the teaching skill set. ClassDojo is an excellent free tool that (with the help of some very cute and friendly monsters) can help teachers handle this often challenging aspect of classroom management. Using a simple points system, students (via their self-made avatars) are rewarded and penalized for certain behaviours taken in class. Whether it be answering a question correctly, helping another student, or simply participating, this simple, fun and customizable tool has changed the classroom atmosphere for many thankful teachers.
Compatibility: Desktop / Mobile
Access: Teacher email signup required
A Quick Look
1. Set and customize behaviours
When setting up a new class on ClassDojo a set of generic positive and negative behavioural badges are created. These are for behaviours such as being ‘On Task’, ‘Persistence’, ‘Bullying’, etc. While the set of pre-made behaviours will fit most classrooms, do make sure to customize these badges for your own class. A good idea is to sit down with your students and have them decide (with you) on what behaviours are important and expected. Don’t go overboard, start with just a few. You can always add more over time.
2. Player of the day
This is a great idea from educator Maranda Hanson where ClassDojo points are used to award a ‘Player of the day’. Throughout the day students are awarded points for their positive behaviour in the classroom and whoever has the most combined points gets a small certificate that says “I was one of the players of the day”. An excellent way to motivate and reward!
3. Randomize and track class time
While the core functionality of ClassDojo focuses on awarding behaviour points, there are a few neat and useful bonus features baked into the tool. Try using the ‘Randomize’ feature to select a random class member for a task or to answer a question. This takes any favouritism or inequality out of selecting students and can add a level of excitement and mystery to the process. There is also a handy timer tool that can be used to limit time spent on class tasks and track effort.
4. Engage with parents
Involving and communicating with parents is one of the most crucial elements of implementing ClassDojo and should certainly not be overlooked. From day one, make sure to include parents in the ClassDojo process, so they can see how their students are performing, as well as creating a powerful online community for communication and sharing.
5. Encourage students to take ownership
Finally, it’s essential when embarking on a reward system such as ClassDojo that students feel they are part of the implementation process. Your students will be much more engaged and their behaviour will be for the right reasons if they feel involved and have real buy-in to the system.
Links and Next Steps
- ClassDojo Teacher Resources – Collection of resources for educators
- Student Introduction to ClassDojo – Video to show students (2 min)
- Tips to get started as a teacher – Advice post from teacher Meghan B.
- Great ways to use ClassDojo – Tool feature list
- Encouraging the right behaviors using ClassDojo – Video (2 min)
- Engaging parents with ClassDojo – Video (1 min)
- ClassDojo YouTube Channel – Plenty of great video tutorials
- Decorate your classroom – Images, posters, certificates and more
Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, Waag Society.