Class Dojo is my newest fine find!
It’s a behaviour management tool that in the space of one week has captured the imaginations of several of my High School classes. From Year 9 all the way up to Year 13!
What’s the system?
From the website:
ClassDojo is a classroom tool that helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It also captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators.
Why am I testing it out?
1. Our school (as with many others) is putting an extra focus this year on positive behaviour management strategies, and on engagement. The two (I feel) are as closely linked as clasped hands.
I’m a personal believer in the championing of positive behaviour models over the constant focus on negative ones. I’ve worked under regimes where positive behaviour was ignored and a constant stream of tactics for chastising poor behaviour was the order of service…it didn’t work.
2. As a department we have wrestled with the issue of ‘home communication’ for a long time. I want us to be able to communicate with parents frequently (and preferably positively) about students. But it comes with draw backs, time available to the teacher and a reliable, easy to use mechanism for communicating information to home.
Impacts of an initial trial…
As a test I have used the system with every class for a week, some clases experiencing the system two and three times in the week.
The outcomes, observations?
Well it’s certainly showing potential in just the classroom alone, highlights include;
Great impact on participation, students were jostling each other to answer questions and receive ‘points’ for their involvement, use of subject language and creativity!
Students (including some of the harder to reach ones) enjoyed logging in to their accounts at the end of the lesson to see what they had received points for (the coloured wheel of behaviour being a great visual tool for students).
Some students were keen to discuss how they could increase their positive behaviour points in future lessons, leading to interesting discussions around individua target setting.
The impact was impressive, and actually with some groups surprisingly so! LEading us as a departmet to ‘buy in’ to the free system fully across all our classes this week.
One AS (year 1 of A-level) group getting very animated about Q&A sessions in a desire to increase their point scores for participation & vocabulary use. – An opportunity to be further developed!
WIth a year 11 class a silence fell upon the room once they realised that ‘being focused on work’ was an available point!
Year 9 students were genuinely intrigued by the ‘send weekly summary to parents’ feature that we will be activating soon. At first some were worried, but after a whole lesson where they had clocked up only positive comments they were able to sensibly observe the merits of the system and even admit that any ‘bad’ points would be balanced and should be visible to their parents in order to help them improve.
The biggest opportunities for us presented by the system are:
- Increasing communications with parents on a regular basis to bridge the gap between school and home.
- Help to develop positive behaviours of whole classes
- Aide the support of students who benefit from personalised behaviour target setting in order to improve themselves and their achievements.
After the coming half term and our first round of home communications I’ll post again with an update on the impact of the system…I have great expectations!