Older kids like recognition, too! ClassDojo is an easy and fun way to track your students’ positive and negative behaviors. You can even invite their parents to view their child’s progress. Learn all about how I used ClassDojo in my 4th grade classroom and how it was a huge success!
Let me start by letting you know that ClassDojo has not endorsed this post. I absolutely LOVE ClassDojo, and I’m excited to tell you all about how I use it in my upper elementary classroom!
There are many ways for teachers to track behaviors, and most seem to be geared toward the primary grades. When I first entered teaching in 2011, I was placed in a 2nd grade position. I used the infamous clip chart. Was a clip chart effective for primary grades? Absolutely. Moving that clip or flipping that card…woo – it had a major effect on those young ones.
Well, primary grades are just not for me, so I moved up to 4th grade in my second year of teaching. I tried the clip chart for about two months and then found myself frustrated and literally tore it down. I tried whole class rewards, individual rewards, classroom economy incentives, and rewards cards – I was going out of my mind.
In the middle of the 2013-2014 school year, I discovered ClassDojo. I tried using it a little throughout the year but didn’t keep up with it. Students really liked it, and parents liked the immediate feedback they could receive by logging into the app or website.
My biggest issue? I had no idea how to make it meaningful for students. Those who had parents that didn’t sign up to check their behavior report didn’t care about the whole thing. That summer, I racked my brain to figure out how to make it all mean more for each student.
Flash forward to this past school year – I decided that I would do my best to completely implement ClassDojo into my classroom from day one. I sent home parent/student sign-up codes for online use on the first day of school. I was excited to commit to this because they had just introduced their built-in messenger, and parents were using that as their main source of communication with me – especially those with children who were known to need some work on their behavior in the classroom.
Features Worth Telling Y’all About
First of all, you can use ClassDojo on your phone, tablet, or computer through an app or their website. I can use ClassDojo on my iPad while teaching a lesson, on my phone while out at recess, or on a computer when my iPad dies, or we’re using it for an audiobook. There’s no excuse not to be able to access it.
If you can get everyone on your grade level team to commit to ClassDojo, you can share classes, which is perfect for period/subject rotations. Last year in 4th grade, we shared our classes to give/deduct points. It’s so nice because then you know exactly who was on-task (and who wasn’t) when your class is elsewhere.
Everything is instant. Did someone misbehave in class? Parents know as soon as they check the app. Did someone earn 5 points for being nominated as student of the month? Boom – parents know. Speaking of 5 points – you can weigh certain behaviors as more points (up to 5). And of course, being student of the month is deserving of some hefty bonus points!
The built-in messenger feature is pretty convenient, too! Parents can check their child’s report and quickly send you a message to ask questions about deductions or let you know how proud they are of points earned. You can also comment on the points if you want to be specific and let parents know what happened. Perfect parent communication log, all right there within ClassDojo. (You can download messages or the whole communication log if you need to, as well!)
Students can log in at home with their student code and customize their monster avatar. This is obviously the coolest part about it for them.
Giving & Deducting Points
So what to give and deduct points for? That’s completely up to you. It’s all customizable to your needs. Here’s what I used last year…
Ideas for Implementing ClassDojo in Your Classroom
One of my classroom jobs is Dojo Officer. This person cannot take points away but will give participation points for me while I teach and walk around and give points during projects, assignments, etc. This is a highly coveted position in my classroom.
Making ClassDojo matter – regardless of whether or not a parent was tracking it at home – was tricky, but I decided to make points “redeemable” at the end of each month. Students caught on quickly and were all itching to get into that treasure box.
I tracked points at the end of each month on a checklist in my planner so that I could reset points immediately. Plus, students thought it was pretty cool when they “beat” their points from the month prior. They would always ask what their “previous score” was, like it’s a video game.
The ClassDojo 100 Points Club
After reading about the 100 Points Club on FlapJack Educational Resources’ blog, I decided my high rollers needed a place to show off. I downloaded the free clipart from ClassDojo’s website. (It’s in the Decoration Pack.) Then I printed the monsters on cardstock, set up the images in the Silhouette software, and had my Cameo cut them out. I laminated them, too. (Tedious work…but I didn’t let the kids keep them at the end of the year since it was such a debacle doing it.) They’re so cute!
Once students earned 100 points (total), they got to choose a monster, and I wrote their name on it with a wet-erase marker. They thought they were so cool when they got to choose their monster for the 100 Points Club.
ClassDojo Rewards Freebie
I created a FREE ClassDojo Rewards resource to share with you. I’ve included some of the items I talked about in this post in the file. You can get this freebie from the Free Resource Library!