This month’s website feature is ClassDojo. ClassDojo is a fairly common website that many teachers are already using. In fact, the homepage on the ClassDojo website boasts that “95% of US schools” are using classDojo to “engage kids and connect with families”.
Even though this website is being used by 95% of schools, I only heard about this website a few months ago. So maybe you’ve been using ClassDojo forever. Or maybe you’re new to the website, like me.
Please note that ClassDojo is a website that also has an app. The website is user friendly, which is a huge bonus! The app is also equally as wonderful. However, for the purpose of this blogpost, I’ll be focusing on the website.
So what exactly is ClassDojo? ClassDojo is a way for parents, students and teachers to communicate with each other. Teachers are able to post pictures, videos and messages throughout the day. This becomes a digital portfolio of each student’s learning. Each portfolio is private and will only be seen by the child’s family. This helps to create a classroom community that parents can be part of. The captions and messages can even be translated into over 35 languages, so even parents who are not fluent in English can understand!
After signing up for your free account (You heard that right! FREE), you will have to add in your class list. After adding in your class list, you will find several options along the top of the screen. Under the “Portfolios” tab, you can post pictures, messages and videos about student learning. Under “Class Story” you can post about things that involved the whole class. Under “Messages” you can send messages to families.
Along the bottom of the screen, there are options like “Attendance”, “Timer” and “Toolkit”. Toolkit, is great because it amalgamates a lot of the tools you use throughout your day. For example you can post questions, play music, create groups, set a timer and much more.
In addition to being a digital portfolio of learning, there is a place to give students points. You have the option of letting parents see the points given or keeping this private. Each student has a little avatar which represents them. Throughout the day, the teacher can award points or take points away depending on student behavior.
I have a teacher friend who uses ClassDojo only for this function. She does not use the portfolio portion because her school has chosen to use a different website provider for the digital portfolio. That being said, she LOVES using ClassDojo as a point system. She awards students points throughout the day for their behavior. Then, at the end of the week, the students can cash in their points for different prizes. Some of the prizes include no homework, getting to spend a day in the teacher-chair, and picking various trinkets from the prize box.
The teacher keeps the points displayed on an iPad all day, so she doesn’t get bogged down with the “how many points do I have?” question. The students can go look anytime they want. Her students love seeing their points. She explains to her students that everyone will have a different amount of points because some students will save their points for a long time and some will spend them as soon as they have enough for a prize. This helps to minimize point comparisons. Her students know that someone might have 56 points because they have saved them the whole year, and someone else might have 1 point because they spent their points recently.
Since ClassDojo is such a popular website and app, there are many resource videos on YouTube. You can find YouTube videos that give detailed explanations of how to do something on ClassDojo.
Have you ever used ClassDojo before? If you have, what is your favorite feature of the website?
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