I first came across Classdojo about 4 or 5 years ago and I’ve loved it ever since. It is a brilliant website and app that really engages students into learning and dealing with classroom behaviour.
Essentially Classdojo is a reward and sanction programme. It allows you to give a student reward marks when they do something good like participate, answer a question or work hard. It also allows you to give a negative mark for when a student misbehaves such as getting out of their seat, talking out of turn or being rude. The site comes with a list of suggested reasons for the rewards and sanctions, but it allows you to alter them wherever you need to.
At the end of the lesson, the programme counts up the number of points the student has got in that lesson and also keep a running tally of how many that student have achieved over the term or even year.
Each student is also assigned a monster, which they can change if they want to and if you, as the teacher, give them access to by inviting them to join Classdojo. You can also invite parents to join as well so that they can monitor their child’s behaviour in your lessons with them. The programme also gives you a breakdown of the students behaviour so you can see how they behave and under what category they have achieved the most points in. This is very useful when reviewing poor behaviour as you can challenge and make targets for the child to work on and improve specific areas of their behaviour.
- It has a randomiser function which means you can operate a no-hands-up classroom with any additional resources.
- Good behaviour gets rewarded properly. A student who is quiet, works hard and succeeds is rewarded. Not only that, everyone sees that behaviour getting rewarded, everyone knows what type of behaviour gets rewards and it really does become a model for others who need to change or moderate their behaviour for the classroom.
- Likewise, bad behaviour doesn’t spell the end to everything. As teachers we are often far quicker to react to bad behaviour than good. In addition we are also more likely to overreact to the bad behaviour. However, Classdojo puts all behaviours into perspective – good and bad. So if a child starts off well in your lesson, achieves 2 points for working hard and answering a question, then they suddenly turn off, gets 2 points for talking out of turn and walking around the class but then, towards the end of the lesson, completes the work to a satisfactory standard and thereby earns themselves a point, they don’t finish on a negative. Their misbehaviour has been put into perspective, you have a greater understanding of when and why they misbehaved and the system has given them the motivation to improve their behaviour and finish the work. I have seen that final point work so many times with boys in Years 7 and 8 especially!
- Over time, you can run a league. This can be great, although at the end you have to make sure that everyone is a winner just that the higher you are in the league the better the prize. A healthy bit of competition and the thought of sweets has always motivated students.
- You can also monitor students behaviour better and with realtime evidence. It allows you to both analyse and understand why students misbehave or when in the lesson that misbehaviour occurs. It also allows you to make sure you correctly give House Points or SIMs points, or whatever school points system you use, with the evidence to support you.
So I urge you to go onto Classdojo too.