Sunday, October 23, 2016
Why ClassDojo is a Must!
It all started with a search of the App store for educational apps. I saw the Class Dojo, read the description and promptly downloaded. This is now my fourth year using the app, and it has become a vital part of my classroom and pedagogy. I will publish a series of weekly blogs explaining why I love DoJo, the features, the many ways it helps in my classroom and the awesome team of developers. This week we will look at random picker and class management.
The first feature I fell in love with was the random picker, for many reasons. No more numbered sticks! I’ll never forget the time I realized one student was never getting picked from the sticks. It turned out the student had stolen the stick! With the Dojo random picker there are no more arguments about who is being picked for what. The students are able to accept the pick and move on. The Dojo often nabs students who are not paying attention, and we have a mantra “Dojo always knows!” The system also tends to steer the teacher from those “go to” students who you know will give a quick, correct answer. It cycles through the kids as long as you keep the app running. Alternatively, it will re-randomize the students every time you start the app.
Another excellent feature which can be used right away is positive and negative points. No more color cards, magnets on the whiteboard, or clothes pins for management systems. How many times have you said to yourself that the only time those systems are used is for negative situations? Plus, taking the time to have a kid get up and move the token is just not a good use of valuable class time. I have seen students distract and disrupt as they slowly walk across the room. With DoJo, a simple tap on my phone generates a rewarding sound or a recognizable negative sound. There is a neutral sound option if you want to give a warning or do not want to hand out negative points. You can have as many rewards and negatives as you want, all customizable by you. I have positive points set up for class answer, shaky point, one for each of our school rules and special ones with added point value, like Crushed It +3, Super-Duper +4, Wild Reader +5, and “It was a great day to be a Lion” +5.
Next week we will look at getting parents on board and the messenger feature.
If you have any questions please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear your comments, answer questions, or just to collaborate with you. Until next week happy DoJoing!
Posted by Robbert Perrine