I have been meaning to write about Class Dojo, the online behaviour management software, for a while, but really wanted to make sure that I had the substance that makes (at least) mildly interesting reading. When I was last prepared to write @dominic_mcg had pipped me to the post, so if you are simply curious about how it works, here is his blog post on Class Dojo. For now, I’m just going to explain the effect it has had one one of my worse behaved classes and how it could be put to other ‘behavioural’ uses in the classroom.
This particular Y7 class of mine have been like a bunch of jack in the boxes, out of their seats, verbally abusing each other, shouting out, not staying on task or paying attention whatsoever. I have to add here that I don’t have one other class like them and i teach most of KS3 in my school.
I used Class Dojo with them for the third time with them this week, for some reason it wasn’t loading on to my iPad (could have been a network error as I hadn’t used it at school for almost three weeks) so I used it on the board. I think it may be worth noting here that the ICT technicians at my school had to create a Firefox style web application for me to be able to run Class Dojo as it would not fully work through Windows, or possibly the version we had, which I didn’t check (apologies).
I had used the iPad in the two previous lessons and the students were responsive, there was definitely a marked behaviour improvement, however, when it was displayed on the board – I did not have the same class in front of me. I was able to complete some of the best questioning that I had with any class, all but one hand every time was racing in the air, all students were hooked and desperate to see their positive points increase. I was amazed at how long I was able to hold their attention given they are a low ability group with low confidence. The students were putting their hands up to tell me things that I had not asked for, but were relevant (in most cases, some were just desperate for points) such as language patterns and so on. It really worked a treat, and i was so proud of the students as well for behaving so well.
At the end of the lesson we had our ‘huddle’ around the board and examined the results in the pie chart format and the students were able to see for themselves which behaviours had let them down, it was mainly disruption/shouting out of which the majority of the points were associated to one student who was completely incapable of putting her hand up even though she had the right answers and wanted to participate. The students knew they had done well instantly as they had scored 71% positiveness for the lesson which was their highest to date.
One thing that the person in charge of adding the points needs to ensure is that they keep as many students in the green as possible and be as positive as possible, as I mentioned in a previous blog about setting the behavioural standards in the classroom if you are going to set the bar low for poor behaviour, then set it equally as low for rewarding good behaviour. If the majority of students begin to see the red negative points on Class Dojo, they could easily just think. “Well I don’t care”. This has not happened to me yet, but is something I am keeping a watchful eye on.
Class Dojo in the Future
As of September, when I receive my new class lists, I will be uploading all of my classes with the intention of using Class Dojo with all of my students. The previous part of this blog looks at using the software for behaviour management, but focuses on poor behaviour and tackling that. I plan to use Class Dojo as a way of rewarding other behaviour such as when a student speaks in the target language spontaneously they can be rewarded thus providing formative feedback on students participation. By highlighting students who do not participate in this way allows for something to be put in place to further encourage those shyer students.
Otherwise Class Dojo is fantastic as a questioning tool to encourage all learners to participate.
I would love to hear how you are using Class Dojo. Please post below!