Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sites I Use: Class Dojo (@Classdojo)

I'll apologize right now for the number of images in this post. There's 16 screen caps - excessive maybe, but this site can be a little intimidating at first. It is so EASY to navigate and understand once you SEE it though. call themselves "Realtime Behavior Management Software." I simply call it AWESOME. We are a PBIS school and track a LOT of behavior data.  Typically we've tracked the negatives - this allows the tracking of POSITIVES too! Which really makes sense.  In the past, I've had to tally behaviors by hand then compile them into a grade level report to be turned in monthly.  Thanks to Class Dojo, my September report was super easy... a few clicks and done. As a CRAZY busy teacher, there is nothing I appreciate more than something that my students enjoy that is also extremely useful to me as a time saver.

Here is the site as you see it upon arrival (image on the left.)  You'll click the yellow button to register.  You could also click the  Tour or FAQ links in the upper right hand corner. (image on the right, below.)

 Give some simple information and you are ready to go.  After registration (or login) you see this screen:
 Clicking the blue "Click here" box walks you through setting up classes, behaviors, and awarding points.
 I've set up a "class" for my daughters to use at home. (We've got issues *roll eyes*)
 I added their names.  It looks like I can select to add in their picture, but I've found that the students really enjoy the random monster/critter that is assigned to them.
 Now I'm setting up behaviors - both positive and negative.  For my daughters I'm keeping it simple. In my "real" classes, there are 8 positives (my choices) and 8 negatives (school-wide tracked behaviors.)  There are suggestions that you can take or leave and the icons are changeable too.  I've used all green thumbs up or red thumbs down.
 Here are all the classes I've got set up - 3 "block" classes, 2 homeroom classes, a demo, and my Daughters.
 Here are the girls, with the positive choices and the negative choices.

 I've awarded both of them points. You can do this by click the child's avatar or by selecting their name along the left side. You can choose which notifications show - a pop-up window at the bottom and sounds, and can turn them on/off for positives and negatives individually.
 After being awarded points students have little green circles with their totals.  After loosing points, their total drops.  If they have no positives to balance it, their circle turns red and shows a negative total. (Excellent opportunity to talk about negative numbers!)
 To leave you click "End Class." This shows you a nifty summary of the "class's" activity for the day.
 I like to review the reports - Simply click "Report Cards" on the left side and select your class.
 I changed the date to show all of September and part of October (the entire time I've used it.) You can see this class has an overall percentage of 92! The diagram is color coded and labeled to show which behaviors were observed.  The black bar is individual students for the same time period. (I'd love to show you their individual data, but I'm not sure about the confidentiality of it all. Sorry!)  You click a name and a similar diagram and breakdown will appear for the student. I'm going to be tying this into quarterly conduct grades.  I'm working on a written plan for the implementation of Class Dojo.  When it is finalized I'll link it here and on the Documents tab.
I will close by saying that I'm LOVING this site. I'm telling everyone I know about it - I think it is especially helpful for upper grades who switch classes.  Those kids (many of them anyway) still need a visual reminder of how they are doing behavior wise - but they often don't have it because they are migratory during the school day. My 6th graders have completely bought-in to this and are anxiously awaiting the final word on the "rewards" for points.  We are going to start with rewarding weekly then move to monthly.  Ultimately, we'd like to reward quarterly.

What are your thoughts?  Do you track behavior data? Have you got other resources? Please share in the comments below!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

21st Century Teacher?

I was at a workshop today (and again tomorrow) when I got a text message that my first class was "out of their minds." Gotta love that! So after talking to a colleague on the way home, I decided to make a video to be shown to the students tomorrow.  And I had so much fun making that one, I decided to make one praising my other 2 classes for behaving appropriately.  If this isn't an example of being a 21st Century teacher, I don't know what is!  Enjoy the videos - and please pardon my:
  • crazy facial expressions (bug eyes anyone? and why does it look like I talk out of the corner of my mouth???)
  • slightly crooked appearance (stinky old tripod!)
  • accent
  • wild curly hair
Let's hope tomorrow is a better day for the one class and another fantastic one for the other 2!

(I talk about Class Dojo in the videos, I'll be blogging about it later this week!)