Student behavior has always been an issue for teachers. Age, culture, type of school… nothing changes the fact that when you put kids together in a room they begin to react different than usual. You can give many names to this fact but I will focus on how you can improve student behavior using a Web2.0 tool.
ClassDojo is one of the examples. While I was surfing app in the Apple Apps store I just bumped into that and I don’t know why but I liked those cute monstrous creatures. Of course I’m not using ClassDojo just for those creatures
ClassDojo is logged on to by the teacher from either an App or just through your web browser at www.classdojo.com It is a web tool that can help you to track the progress of your student’s behaviour There are many softwares doing that. Also you can create an Excel sheet for this but it has always been a boring and tiresome process for me (actually not just for me but also for students). ClassDojo is way different than other tools that I used in the past. It is creative, fun and very very easy to use.
As you see the interface is very basic. You have a list of students in your class. You click on a name and choose the behavior (positive or negative) and click on that. That’s it. You can add more Positive or Negative behaviors to your list using the settings menu. For example I’ve added Homework, Extra Work, No homework, Not bringing material, Being late to class etc. You cannot think about all the items but they will come to you in time.
When you mark your students they begin to gain or lose points. In the main menu you can see their points in multiple ways. When you end your session you will be able to see each students progress individually and when you click on an avatar ClassDojo creates a report for that student for a given range. You can add comments on each point and send the report to parents. Actually I’m not going that deep with comments and haven’t thought about sending a report to parents yet.
You can learn how to use ClassDojo through the website in 30 minutes (at most) so I’ll pass this topic and come to the real question. How do the students react when I use ClassDojo in class? Obviously if you are a primary school teacher they will love it but I am a secondary school teacher. My students are between 11-19 years old but when I use ClassDojo they turn into 10 year old kids and start to race with each other to gain more points – Yes even sixth formers! I can say that student behavior has changed so much that I could never have expected. Nowadays giving points is going in a disordered way but I will begin to use a more systematic way like setting daily or weekly targets for specific purposes.
Another important thing is I give or take out points during the class and I project it on the board so all the kids see who is getting what. Maybe you won’t prefer to do this but it is working so fine in my classes.