Today’s segment will discuss GETTING YOUR PARENTS SIGNED UP AND INVOLVED. Class DoJo’s best feature is the fact that it brings parents right into your classroom in real time! Class DoJo makes it easy to get your parents set up, especially using parent emails. I click on “Get Parent Invites.” This allows you to print out parent invitations, and send them home with your students. Each parent and student gets a code to use in the app to get signed up.
Students are also allowed/encouraged to build their avatar [they LOVE this] and parents will be connected to your class. Once the parents are signed in, Class DoJo connects with them at home through their phones or devices in real time. When you use the app, the parent can see entries right when they happen, so as you give points, the student’s parent is notified just like a text is delivered.
The first year I used Dojo I was having issues with a student who was having a bad day. By the third demerit entry [and message home] the mom was on the phone requesting to talk to her student. Wow! I thought, this tool brings parents right into the classroom. Over the years I have found that is exactly what it does. This year I have a student who refused to make eye contact or speak in class. With the random picker and mom watching at home, he has been answering questions to get the points and is growing in confidence every day. Class DoJo builds bridges!
Now that you have your parents connected, you can take advantage of DoJo Messaging - another excellent tool. It provides a safe, secure place to send and receive texts from your parents. Getting parents connected may take some effort, but it is worth it. I have had 100% parent participation the last two years. I use Class Messenger for important news, quick questions, clarifications of what I am being told, and even to send pictures, significantly improving communication issues through our school year. Because Class DoJo connects you to your parents, it also helps you get to know the families and their feelings and how issues are handled at home. Busy parents can easily become distracted from their kids. This app allows them to stay both busy and connected. Many times a quick text to a parent has solved an issue on the spot, and I have found that I send more positive texts home, just because it is so simple to do so. [I love sending these positive texts with a picture of their smiling student. The power of positive has never been easier to harness, and cut loose on your kiddos!]
One last thing I overlooked in Part 1 is what to do with the Points students earn. There are many different ways to use the points. I have seen teachers create homework tickets, special perks, and class dollars to give for each point. I reward my students by making every 5 points worth a class ticket. Tickets can then be used for pencils, bathroom breaks, drinks of water, highlighters, sticky notes etc. Students also have the option of putting their tickets in the class lottery where we will draw 5 tickets every Friday for school supplies, stickers, and fabulous prizes. Whatever you decide make it fun and worthwhile. You will get a tremendous buy-in from your students and parents.
The more you make Dojo exciting for students, the more they talk about it with their parents. Getting your parents connected and involved using Class Messenger, and a meaningful Reward System will solve and prevent many of the small issues before they become major problems.
Next week I will use Part 3 to talk about Class Story, which is essentially a private Facebook for your class, and it takes Messenger to the next level. We will also look at the Mind Growth Videos and the awesome support staff on the Class DoJo Team.
See you all next week!