For the past few years, I have used ClassDojo in my classroom. It was a great way to connect with parents and students through messages to keep them posted about what was happening in the classroom. The students loved having an avatar and receiving positive points for doing task such as being prepared, participating, working hard, etc. On the other hand, they can receive negative points for the needs work category that includes tardy to class, unprepared, talking out of turn, etc. In addition to keeping track of points, teachers can connect with parents through instant message, which is great for keeping parents informed about homework, upcoming events, and tests and quizzes. After all this, ClassDojo keeps getting better, and it is always free for teachers! In addition to the points system and instant message, they have toolkit! It includes the following features: timer, selecting random names, group maker, noise meter, directions, think-pair-share, today, and music!
Timers are a great way to keep your class on task. It keeps the students on task. With this feature, you can set the timer from anywhere in the classroom using your phone, tablet, or another computer. The timer is large enough for everyone in the class to see how much time they have left. Don’t like the large timer? You can use the smaller stopwatch and countdown on the class display page.
At the beginning of each school year, I would purchase 100 Popsicle sticks from the Dollar Tree. Then I would write all my students names on them. It took some time to complete, but ClassDojo has made this process so much easier for me! I can now type my students’ names into ClassDojo and not worry about writing in names.
Also, the random name selection tool gets rid of all the crickets you used to hear when asking a question. At the touch of button, it selects students randomly to answer a question. I love using the random name selection because it prevents the students from thinking that you are calling on them all the time. When you are ready to select another person, you can select the pick again button.
Oh…my…goodness! I cannot get enough of this group maker! Not only does it create groups for you based off of pre-selected number sizes, but it will allow you to click on the students that you don’t want grouped together! I always create groups through ClassDojo because it is easy, and I can project the list on the screen for all my students to see what group they are in that day.
“You guys are way too loud!” Have you heard yourself saying this over and over again? Well, the noise meter will go off if your class goes beyond a certain level. You can save on your voice and let ClassDojo be the judge. Your electronic device must have a working microphone in order for the noise meter to work.
I love, love, love the directions section! It allows you to create step-by-step instructions for your students to project for them to see. You can make the direction in advance or you save it for later. Don’t forget to click save for later if you want to keep it. I always place the title of the assignment on the board with the directions for what to do after they finish. My students actually take the time to read the directions and move on to the next task of the day. I don’t have to say much with this feature.
The Think-Pair-Share tool lets you create a question and project it for your students to participate in a discussion. The students think about the question. Then they discuss with a partner. When they are with a partner, one of them listens while the other speaks and the reverse happens. Afterwards, they share out with the class. I love this feature, and I can type it up in advance, save it for later, and take out my phone to project it to the class when I am ready.
Do you have some news to tell your class? You can project this information on the board with the current date. It is a great way to make announcements about tests, quizzes, extracurricular activities, the weather, report cards, and more.
Do you like to dance? ClassDojo has the beats to get your kiddos moving. With this tool, you have two options to select from, focus or active. The focused music is more like a classical or chill station. It is great for writing and staying on task. On the other hand, the active station will get your kids feet tapping. As a middle school teacher, I love to use the active station for switching stations during gallery walks. I also use it to signal the end of an assignment. As for the focused station, I use it when my students are writing and to help them focus. It’s such a great feature because you don’t have to worry about any bad language popping up.
Class Dojo is an excellent tool for classroom management! Get started today by going to www.classdojo.com. It’s free! 🙂
Written by The Humble Bird Teacher