We have all been there – the parent conference for the formerly straight-A student. “I don’t understand. [Insert name here] has always done well in [insert subject here]. Why does he/she have a [insert non-A grade here]?”
There it is – the need for specific instances of student behavior that have led to their failure to learn. As teachers, we are aware of what behaviors lead to student success and which can stand in a student’s way, but how we respond to these difficult situations can be tricky. Sometimes, all it takes is your word. Other times, it takes data. Collecting behavior data can be problematic. It is inherently easier to note the bad behavior and to focus on only a couple of students.
That is where Class Dojo comes in.
According to their website, Class Dojo is designed to “improve behavior, share data, and save time”. I have found it to be have a simple user friendly interface with great customization potential. When you first join Class Dojo, the tutorial and example class will teach you the basics. From importing rosters to inviting parents and students to view their progress, Class Dojo has made set up a breeze.
Deciding which positive and negative behaviors to monitor can be more difficult. Some questions to consider when choosing are:
- How does this behavior impact student learning?
- How will this behavior help students regulate their own actions?
- How will tracking this behavior help parents support their student?
- Which behaviors are valued by the school administrators?
Once your class is up and running, this tool is only as useful as you make it. Teacher accountability is necessary to keep useful and consistent data. Integration of Class Dojo into your daily class routine is essential. One easy way to integrate Class Dojo is by using the “Random” feature. You can easily call on students or check student participation by clicking “Random”. Class Dojo picks a student for you and then prompts you to assign either a positive or negative award.
My plan for implementation of Class Dojo includes parent and student involvement. At the beginning of the year, I am using the parent and student invitations generated by Class Dojo to share login information. I will be encouraging students and parents to frequently check their accounts to monitor patterns in their classroom actions.
However, the most significant point of including parents and students in Class Dojo is to meet the need described at the beginning of the post – responding to parent concern. When something goes wrong, we can collaboratively identify points of concern related to behavior and isolate the results of behavior from academic concerns.
Although this responsive use of Class Dojo is the main purpose of promoting parent involvement, my biggest reason for implementing Class Dojo in my instruction is to be PROACTIVE rather than RESPONSIVE. By monitoring class data, I intend to identify patterns and changes in student behaviors and INTERVENE IMMEDIATELY. Student interventions become more meaningful as I can separate behavior from academic issues and respond appropriately.
Good implementation of any tool requires a mode of evaluation in order to assess effectiveness. The points of evaluation to be used for Class Dojo include:
- Teacher Data Collection
- Successful teacher data collection is demonstrated by consistent tracking of student behaviors at a frequency of 3 times per class session.
- Parent Involvement
- Successful parent involvement is demonstrated by a participation percentage of 50% or higher.
- Participation is defined as parent account set up and some use of portal
- Student Involvement
- Successful student involvement is demonstrated by a participation percentage of 75% or higher.
- Participation is defined as student account set up and some use of portal
- Successful Interventions
- Successful interventions are demonstrated by useful application of Class Dojo generated data to inform next steps to improve student performance behaviorally and/or academically.
As the semester progresses, I will post about how implementation of Class Dojo measures up to the evaluation criteria listed above.
Class Dojo has tremendous potential to empower teachers, parents, and students. The usefulness of the data generated and the ease of collection makes Class Dojo an easy addition to classroom instruction.
Technology implementation for student success!