Kindergarten Teacher

By

Using Class Dojo for Work Management

thumbnail

Many teachers have been using Class Dojo as a behavior management system. If you are familiar with me you know that I avoid using these systems or any kind of reward in my classroom (read here.) However, I have been trying to find a system to allow my students to keep track of their completed work each week that would also give parents access to this information. Teaching management skills as well as time management are very important to me, even in Kindergarten. Until this week my class used a paper printout of all the jobs and colored in a box each time they filed away a job (yes, we use files)  This system has worked really well except we are wasting paper each week and there is no easy way for parents to see how much work they are completing. Enter Class Dojo. What I did was take all the behaviors they have built into the system and changed them to the names of all of our literacy centers. As the kids finished work they would pick the correct center and give themselves a point for that job. Since this was our first week I kept the iPad at my teacher table and assisted as they added their points each time. My hope is that after two weeks of working with them I can set up a computer or an iPad in the room specifically for Class Dojo and let the kids do this independently. I will update this post if that does not work out for some reason but I think it will after watching the kids use the system this week. I have pictures below to show some of the process of using the app this way.

One surprise benefit I realized is this app will give me important data about my centers. I can easily see what stations are being visited most frequently or first in the week (meaning favorite.) I can also look at each student and see what centers they are doing most often, or the ones they are avoiding each week. Since I give my class complete control over what centers they want to work on this data could really benefit me in planning stations.

Positives: Free!, easy to use as teacher, easy for kids to use, parent sign up is simple, web and app based, data for centers

Negatives: Cant add kids pictures instead of avatars (update below), can’t customize behavior icons (job icons), kids can see how many stations other kids have finished (wish there was an option to not display total) *please note these are negatives mainly because I am using the app for a different way than it was intended.

*Update: They have added a new feature this week  to allow you to customize the avatars with your own images (explained here)

This is what is displayed on the iPad for the kids to enter their points. When they tap on their avatar a menu pops up with all the center choices for my room. As noted above I don’t like that they can see the points for their friends.

photo

The image below is a sample image of an individual child’s progress during the week. This is what parents can see. The app shows what jobs they finish each day as well as the time those jobs are entered. The time stamp isn’t crucial to me at this point but I can see where it could be helpful given individual kids. Are they working better in the morning vs afternoon, etc. I should also note there is a pie chart above this info that shows how many of their points are positive/negative. I told the parents to ignore that part of the app and focus only on the completed centers.

image

The image below is from the Dojo account on the web. I am able to see what parents have connected their account and even enter a parents email to encourage them to join. My understanding is the app will send parents a weekly update which is nice in case they forget to check. Parents can login online or use the free app to keep up with the progress in real-time.

Screen_Shot_2014-04-17_at_5_17_52_PM

So how do parents sign up? Once you enter the students names into Class Dojo you can then download a pdf with the access codes for the parents. For my kindergarten class I did not worry about the student account. I just asked parents to join.

Screen_Shot_2014-04-17_at_5_28_04_PM

Overall I was very impressed with the simplicity of getting my class setup and the design of the app and website. Hopefully they will consider others that might want to use the app this way and give more options that would make it more successful for that use.

11 Responses to Using Class Dojo for Work Management

  1. gerancherc says:

    Hey Matt, I completely agree with you about the use of the tool. I prefer to stay away from displaying “behavior points”. It promotes/extends the need for extrinsic reward. I have been working on trying to use Class Dojo as a badge system kind of like what you are doing. When students demonstrate proficiency at a skill they earn that badge. BTW, I teach in a computer lab. I have also emailed the creators about the possibility of adding student pictures instead of the “monsters” they have available for avatars. Having that would be a big help to me in learning 600+ student names more quickly each year.

    • Matt Gomez says:

      Class Dojo reached out to me and let me know they just added the ability to customize the avatars with your own images http://youtu.be/6wzZZOUS-Hc

      • gerancherc says:

        That is fantastic! Cant’ wait to check it out. Looking forward to seeing your post about how your experiment works out. I’m wondering about the ability of your students to independently record their activity completion. Although, as a reader of your posts, it is clear that you consciously make an effort to teach independence. Great thing to teach!

  2. Hey Matt, so glad to know that you are using Class Dojo for a work management system. I have been using it that way this year for our iPad Daily 5 stations and our Math Stations and it has worked beautifully in my 1:1 classroom. The students go to my one of my extra laptops that I have open to Class Dojo all day to give themselves a point for each of the stations completed. I print out the reports for my parents and send home for them to see their progress since most of my parents don’t have internet access at home. Very few are subscribed but it also lets me know whether the students are being efficient producers when working on special projects we have that are ongoing and also gives me an insight to those students who can’t seem to finish classwork in a timely manner. This has also been great RTI documentation for me when I go to SATS to show that some are struggling to complete independent work in class. The iPad does not get into their hands until they have completed their classwork. So some students show as not having any points for this reason. Last year I used it for behavior but quickly changed my topics to this type of management system. I have never looked back. As the academics get harder, I change my expectations as they are able to handle just a little more responsibilities. Adding a customized image has also been a great addition. I have reached out to them about the points being seen by everyone as well just recently but have not gotten a response. I will send you screenshot of what my stations look like.

    • Matt Gomez says:

      Thanks for sharing Martha! They have been very receptive to my thoughts on the app and I know they are always looking to improve the app for teachers and students. Hopefully some of the suggestions will be added eventually.

  3. Becca Morris says:

    I love the work management side of this. Thank you so much for sharing! I love that you can message parents through the app, too! I will. Be adding icons for work completed.

  4. I just started using Dojo last week. I started using it for behavior as our 5th grade uses it. I added Accelerated Reader 100% scores and the kids were crazy for it. I think you are on the right track using this for assignment management and plan to bring up your article at our grade level meeting this week!

  5. Jordan, Mobile AL says:

    I am Jordan and am in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I could honestly see myself using this app or program. I am all about organization, and I really like the fact that both the student and the students parents are able to access this. An app like this seems so much more ideal for teachers than having everything on paper and in binders. The best part is that it is free! I really appreciate you sharing this!

  6. Abby Hallstrom says:

    HI Matt,
    I have used Class DoJo in my kindergarten class for the past two years as a way to track behaviors and observations of my students during all aspects of the day. The school I teach uses DoJo in almost all of the classrooms and we even have the linked school account so special’s teachers and admin can utilize the points as well.
    It never crossed my mind to implement DoJo as a center tool for keeping track of what centers they utilize and which ones do not generate as much interest. My students know how to check themselves in when they arrive in the morning for attendance purposes and I feel they would do a great job giving themselves a point for the center they participate in. I will have to implement this form of Dojo during center rotations for the next school year and I am interested in seeing the outcome from your classes center time.
    DoJo is a great tool that can be implemented in so many ways and I like the data that is provided for teachers and parents to see the progress of the child. Many aspects of education these days are data driven or data needs to be provided and this is a fun and interactive way to collect data on students.
    Thank You,
    Abby

  7. Kristin says:

    Matt,
    You can hide the point totals. Just go into display settings and under point bubbles choose
    Don’t show points. :) Thanks for the great idea of using Dojo to track centers. Here is a link to another idea for using Dojo to track data. http://blog.classdojo.com/post/92857678070/using-classdojo-for-more-than-just-behavior

  8. I use dojo in my class (I’m teaching an ESL class internationally) and I teach kindergarten. You can hide the point totals. I love how you use it to track centers! That’s such a great idea. I use it the way it was intended–just to keep track of behaviour and communicate with parents. It’s such a flexible system though. I encourage all my fellow teachers at this school to get on and use it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: