School is going to try out Class Dojo... help

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by BioAngel, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    A tech colleague tipped me off today that another teacher went to our P and told her we MUST try out Class Dojo this year (after going to a workshop on classroom management). I tried out - well tested out at home/not in a classroom setting - the tool about a year or so ago and hated it. It seemed like all the kids could see the points and I wasn't crazy about the parents seeing every little (good/bad) thing their kid did. (We all have off days that our parents shouldn't know about ... and then there are those helicopter parents)

    Besides our school dropping a ton of money on iPad minis for teachers to use for this ONE FREE APP, I just don't think this is for my type of classroom setting... plus it's ANOTHER tech tool: on top of managing 8 classrooms in a learning management system, 8 classes in Google Classroom, and keeping up with emails/messages through Outlook and our LMS. I left my meeting with the tech person in a huff about having to do this without any discussion as a group on if we WANTED to do this. (So I'm being forced... I'm a team player, but I don't like being FORCED to use/do something. Plus tbh the teacher who is leading this decision is pretty bossy... I do scheduling for events at school and she is always the first person stomping down to my classroom to yell at me about how much she hates how I've scheduled things and God help me if I don't change it... maybe that's playing into this decision a bit too.)

    Okay so I threw a fit to my husband and he told me to just let it go and accept what I can't change - I'm trying to make the best of it, I started playing around with the tool again today to see what changes were made and I kinda like it. I like the new Facebook-like features of having each child have a personal wall where they can post updates on their school day and I can add stuff too. I also like that the positive and negative "actions" can be personalized per class. And THAT feature is what I want to play up in my classroom: the kids get to decide what they should earn positive points for and what they should earn negative points for.

    If that intro was too long to read, skip down to this part.... (sorry)


    I don't want to walk into this blindly - I did read some blogs about Class Dojo but I wanted to see what teachers are using for positive actions (and how many points) and for negative actions (and how many points). Can you please share what you're using? I still want to have the kids agree on it (8 different classes though... sigh) but want some expert guidance on this to help us.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    My only advice, do away with negative points and only give positive ones. Cuts the time in half of you using it to give out points and it will appease the parents not to see negative things.
     
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  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I've used it in the past with success. This year I decided not to. Have they told you how you need to use it, specifically? You might choose to use it only at certain times, like class discussions, to keep track of participation points, or something like that.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Off topic, but, do all students always walk silently in the halls? Do they have opportunities to talk much in class, or are they expected to be mostly quiet for most of the day?

    In our school, we're about 50/50 with teachers who have quiet lines and teachers who let their kids talk. I let my kids talk, but I sometimes think I shouldn't. I feel like they work so hard in class that, when we're walking to specials for 2 minutes, it's okay if they have a quiet, calm conversation with a friend while we walk. I wouldn't appreciate someone telling me I needed to be silent all day, either.
     
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  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    One, we don't have hallways, and our campus is very spread out, so there's not an issue with needing to stay quiet so we don't disturb other classes, even though they walk very quietly and wouldn't bother others anyway. But also, they're in class for more than three hours before they go to recess. If I was at a PD or something and wasn't given any type of break for three plus hours, I'd go crazy. So I try to take that into consideration. If they get rowdy or loud at all then we do try again and walk silently, but that doesn't normally happen. Finally, in middle school (6th grade), they get to roam the hallways freely and talk all they want, so walking in a not totally silent line is like a middle ground as they get ready for that transition.
     
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  7. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    I really like class dojo. It's worked for me and my students BUT I totally agree that you should not have to be forced to use it. Not all programs with work well with all teachers or classrooms. Last year our 5th grade team preferred REMIND instead of dojo. It's too bad you're not given a choice.
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Not looking to argue, as I respect either choice. It comes down to this: my kids act responsibly when they're walking, so I don't micromanage. If they start acting inappropriately, then I will. And because they know that, they are more likely to make the right choice on their own.
     
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  9. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I found class dojo to wear off in effectiveness rather quickly even when used only as a positive behavioral support.
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I think it's more effective if parents log in and actually care about it. I used positive and negative. Yes, you get emails saying, how come my child has so many negative points for being out of their seat? But it matters to the kid that the parent knows what's going on.
     
  11. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    I couldn't keep up with it. I tried to give the whole class points. I really didn't have time to take attendance on paper and then take attendance on Class Dojo. I have six classes and just felt like it was too much. Also, this is probably terrible, but it made it too easy for parents to contact me. I have 120 students, so I really can't answer every, "My child is absent. What did they miss?" five times a day. Of course, they can always email me, but usually they won't. (Students at our school are not good about making up work anyway, so it is almost a waste of time to explain the work to them. They don't do it.)

    I also felt like my students wanted to argue about every point. One thing was nice is that several coworkers and I used it at the same time, but we all ended up tapering off due to time. I think it would be a lot easier with one class.
     
  12. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Most schools are following the research and moving toward Responsive Classroom, PBSIS, etc. At least that's true here in NJ it seems. I should preface that last sentence with those schools that do actual trainings.
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    The only experience I have with Class Dojo is when my daughter's preschool teacher was using it. I looked at a couple of photos.

    My philosophy is the less fuss with classroom management, the better. Now, I get that for some people these fancier management systems pay off super well for them in the end, getting to that less fuss place. But for the way my mind works, I'd rather just teach up the expectations and leave it at that. Seems to work just as well as anything else for me, and I don't have to record stuff.

    Now, as for talking in the halls, the nature of my school has silence in the halls as a very good thing. We're fairly formal, and I have no problem expecting and teaching my students to have voices off in the hall. Different school, different campus, I'd probably be just as happy with a relaxed line.

    So, I'm all for expectations and rules and enforcing them. I just don't like all the fancy treats and prizes some use.
     
  14. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    If kids talk in the hallway, we ALL turn around and go back. Then we repeat as many times as we have to. I'm fine with missing a few minutes of prep to teach kids how to not disturb others.
     
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    But are your specials teachers fine with missing their limited instructional time with your students?
     
  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    They would much rather have me deliver children who aren't freaking out on their way there because those kids take longer to settle.

    You can read the tea leaves. If you think it will be necessary, you leave class a minute or two early. Also, you can always speak to the teacher ahead of time.

    In my experience, the issue soecials teachers have the most trouble with is the same teachers who drop off early and pick up late.
     
  17. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Usually, I prefer to only do this if it's a good portion of the class that's struggling. If it's just a few, I'll go stand next to them along the walk, and then discuss it afterwards.
     
  18. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    The whole point of this system is to suffer together. That sounds harsh but the positive aspects of peer pressure work to correct the behavior. I'm not singling out any child, the group is failing to meet my expectations. Eventually, it becomes a class wide expectation. If you aren't meeting your classmates expectations, they will become the ones who become exasperated and demand change.
     
  19. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    And when it's a large enough set of students where it's happening, or there are truly key opportunities for others to help prevent the misbehavior from happening, I could see that. Other than that though, it's not really a natural consequence, and it's where the kids who try to take leadership - but then have kids still not do the right thing - get unnecessarily frustrated.

    For example, if one or a few teachers at the school is making an unwise choice, do you ask all teachers to redo what they're doing? No. If there's a ton of chatter throughout all the tables, then yes, you might go back and start at the beginning again making sure everyone's on task.

    Just like we differentiate academic instruction, we need to differentiate our work with their life skills. Yes, in some cases I have the whole class do it again - but only in the moment that I see that those doing well could learn from that opportunity, in terms of taking leadership. If I have a few kids that are always making an unwise choice though, even with the leadership of others, not a chance I have the whole class redo it.
     
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  20. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    My lines are quiet in the hallway no matter where we walk. I never raise my voice. I don't get into arguments with children.

    Sometimes the simplest solutions are most effective.
     
  21. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    [​IMG]
    [phrase, not word]
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  22. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I honestly have no idea what you mean but I'm sure you're enjoying it so don't let me spoil your fun.
     
  23. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    At my school, teachers are often scolded (yes, scolded) for the behavior of a few teachers.
    • EVERYONE needs to be arriving on time! It's part of your professional responsibilities. -when only one teacher is sometimes late
    • EVERYONE needs to stop sending home mountains of homework! It's part of your professional responsibilities. - when only one teacher has received complaints from parents about excessive hw
    It sucks. One, adults shouldn't be talked to in this way. And two, it would be far more effective to just talk to the one teacher that's doing what they're talking about. Especially because we usually know who it is anyway.
     
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  24. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Okay... jumping in: can we try to respond to the question that I posted?

    I wanted to see what teachers are using for positive actions (and how many points) and for negative actions (and how many points). Can you please share what you're using? I still want to have the kids agree on it (8 different classes though... sigh) but want some expert guidance on this to help us.
     
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Sorry...
    To go back to your original question...
    I used my classroom rules to name points. Everything was one point.
    One positive point per rule, such as raise your hand for permission to speak.
    One negative point for not following the rule, such as not raising your hand for permission to speak.

    I didn't always use it, but I might have used the above points for students who were participating in a class discussion.
     
  26. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    The only thing I'll point out about assigning negative points is it could lead to a verbal argument between an adult and a child (im taking a point away, why I didn't do anything?, i saw you, no it was bob), or a child daring you to inflict point damage to them showing everyone else that even with 5 points lost, nothing really happens anyway.

    Establishing a culture where students understand and meet your expectations is what's important. If you need to use class dojo, keep it as positive as humanly possible. If you need to take away more than one point, you've already lost.
     
  27. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I am trying only giving positive points. My only concern is there is no consequences when I need them. Still working out the kinks of only giving positives.
     
  28. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Your consequences don't need to happen within class dojo. That won't necessarily correct the behavior anyway.
     
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  29. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Teachers did their presentation today about this.. I'm more on the fence than against it. (Still... one more thing to do...) I also found out I'm the ONLY academic subject in my grades doing this - academic = LAR, Math, SS, and Science. I feel like just saying no, not interested, too much going on... but can't. They're buying me a tablet just so I can use this (free) tool.

    Apparently the first trimester we are going with only positive points - no negatives. The team who proposed that we use this tool is going to come up with some kind of reward system too - I don't have to worry about that at all at least.

    They suggested that we use a school motto to come up with what we are going to give points for - so I'm set for that idea. Parents are going to be told on back to school night about this.

    Sadly none of those who went to the workshop are good with technology and they're trying to dump the tech side (getting parents signed up mainly) on our tech teacher (who does not want to use this tool at all) ... I'm worried that they may try to dump it on me too (I help out with tech frequently). I'll play along with using this tool, but I honestly won't have time to get parents signed up and troubleshooting. (I was just asked to be on the Middle States accreditation steering committee (per my P and headmaster's recommendation), I teach 8 classes, and I'm an event coordinator for my building.)
     
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  30. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    You know, I kind of like the idea of it being a school wide thing, although I also understand it sucks being told you have to do it. I have liked giving out tickets for good behavior in the past. It sounds like your school will use Class Dojo as a digital version of that.
     
  31. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    We are rolling it out for K-4 for now... but the teachers said that middle school and high school teachers have used ClassDojo before.

    I do LIKE that I can post comments to students about their behavior after class... like Hey you did this really well. And kids and parents can see that. I do LIKE that I can have kids post about their day, approve their comment, and it will be shared with their parent (like do a "What did I learn today?" or "What's one question I can research about at home tonight?").

    One 5th grade teacher gives out tickets in her class - I feel bad when kids lose their pencil cases (where they keep them).
     
  32. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I am a millennial teacher and totally disagree with you about millennials and your comment about children absolutely needing to walk silently in the halls.

    It is actually the reverse. The older veteran teachers are the ones resistant to change and think the world is owed to them because they have "been on this Earth longer," plus insert other cliches about being older and wiser. It is the older teachers that have a chip on their shoulder because they have tenure. For example, "This is how I've always done it so I'm not changing." Sound familiar?

    You need to put yourself in the children's shoes. They have to sit quietly for most of the day in pretty tight quarters. They need social interaction and need outlets to help them keep their sanity. Case in point, I observed several teachers when I did teacher observations and I hated having to sit quietly and watch for several hours a day. Sure, it was a great learning experience, but I was bored to death at times because everyone was expected to be absolutely quiet.
     
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  33. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I would disagree with you in one way. Students shouldn't need an outlet for random discussion in the hallway which can be disruptive to others. They should be talking with their classmates as they work cooperatively throughout the day. The hallway should be quiet, the classroom shouldn't be. Except during a silent reading time or test.
     
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  34. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I think the problem with both your arguments is the generalizations.
     
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  35. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    You are absolutely correct. That, and his/her medieval methods.
     
  36. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Just because methods are old, doesn't mean they're not good. Barbed wire, fly swatters, and legos still work well as originally designed. Sure there have been new things that have come along with added technology and uses, but those tride and true methods still work and meet a need at a limited cost of time and resources.
     
  37. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I agree. I should have been more specific. I am taking about teachers who refuse to adapt or change their teaching style in any way or think that students have to fit into a certain mold. My students are well mannered and score highly on their formal assessments, state exams, AP tests, and on the SAT/ACT, but they are still allowed to express themselves freely and openly. The only requirement I have is that the students be courteous, polite, and non-disruptive, meaning they may talk, just not when I am instructing or addressing the class or someone else is presenting.
     
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  38. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    The irony of your post is astounding.
     
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  39. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aren't you 37? Nearly a millennial yourself?
     
  40. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Personally, I don't have a problem with quiet talking in the hallway when not right outside a classroom where learning is taking place. I only try to make my students be silent because I don't want to look bad in front of my own peers. If we're going to out to dismissal or on the way to lunch (and nowhere near classrooms where learning is happening)... really, what does it matter if they have a quiet conversation? We adults sure talk a lot - and sometimes very loudly - when walking through the hallways.
     
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  41. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I agree. In my mind, teaching students to understand the environment and situation and react appropriately is important. We go to specialist at a complete voice level zero, because classrooms are working around us, and the specialist we may be going to may be finishing with a class. However, sometimes when we leave specialist, recess has started. If that's the case, I have no issue with them chatting.
     
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  42. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    This isn't specific to you so don't take it personally. I hate when teachers say we're "in the trenches". This isn't a world war and the kids aren't tossing grenades in our direction.
     
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  43. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I have never met an entire class capable of that kind of self regulation. If you have them that on point, kudos to you.
     
  44. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Oh, I wasn't claiming that I do... but I don't have them to the point of being silent either. I find it easier to choose my battles and show them that I'm reasonable. I know they aren't going to be quiet during certain occasions no matter how many times I say it, so, if it doesn't really matter at that particular time, I'm not going to bother trying.
     
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