Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hiiiiiyaaahhh!! Enter the Dojo!

One of my passions in teaching is utilizing technology in the learning process and even to make managing my classroom easier. With this in mind, I want to talk about my newest find - Class Dojo!

To quote the creators of Class Dojo, it is a "real-time behavior management system that allows teachers to recognize positive behaviors as it happens". All teachers need to do is register for their FREE account and they'll be given the Class Dojo tools. You set up your class (or classes), establish the behaviors you want to track, and you're ready to go! I could go on and on about this awesome tool, but I thought I'd hit on a few of my favorite features.

1. Avatars - Students are represented by avatars on Class Dojo. My students were immediately engaged when I introduced this tool, because they wanted to pick their own avatar. I allowed them to do this, and I got immediate buy in! You can also "unlock" a feature that allows you upload student photos to Class Dojo instead of avatars. Fun stuff!!

2. Customized Behaviors - As the teacher, you can set the positive and negative behaviors you want to track. I tried to make sure there were more positive behaviors to reward than negative, but it's totally up to you. This is especially helpful if there is a problem in the classroom community and you want to resolve it quickly. For my class, we had a hard time with following directions. We set a goal to achieve "X" amount of points for following behaviors, and was pretty quick about taking points away from students who were not listening & following directions. 

3. Reports - As teachers and school become more data driven, the reports you can pull from Class Dojo become INVALUABLE! You can e-mail student reports to parents or you can print them individually to send home. You can even track class progress as reports give you the percent of positive behavior rewarded compared to the percent of negative behaviors. I show these reports to students and it's amazing how they take control, set goals, and improve their own behaviors.
My class behavior report - 80% positive! Yay!!

4. Points - Points rewarded or taken away are displayed next to each student's avatar. This is a self-checking tool as students get the immediate feedback. My students hate to see themselves "in the red," so they really go out of their way to get noticed for positive behaviors. This way students who are having a bad morning can turn things around and have an exceptional afternoon. 

If my students are in the negative, I take away 5 minutes of recess for every negative point they have. If they get more than 5 negative points, then I refer them to the office. BUT... students can work their way out of the proverbial hole they've dug for themselves. They don't owe recess minutes unless they're in the negative at recess. 

While there are a lot of great things about Dojo, I need to tell you that this is still in beta testing. All accounts are free to teachers, but I'd be naive to state that it is always going to be free. Second, some of the features in Dojo are still a little buggy. However, they have a great area where teachers and other users can make suggestions and vote on upcoming features. The creators of this great program really take the time to listen and try our ideas.

With all of this in mind, put on your karate gi (uniform) and headband, and then head for the Class Dojo. It's a great tool that you and your students will enjoy! 

Do you already use Class Dojo? If so, post a comment and give your feedback about it. I'd love to hear your ideas & criticisms! 


  1. Hi Josh!

    Another 4th grade teacher I know recently told me about Class Dojo! I signed up for my free account, but haven't set up my class or used it in the classroom yet. The teacher who told me about it has an interactive whiteboard that is on all day. I don't have one, so I have to use my projector anytime I want to display something from my computer, and they aren't meant to be on all day. Plus, mine is on a stand (not hanging from the ceiling), so it has the bright light coming from it and distracts kids if they have to walk past it! It sounds really neat, I just am still trying out how I can use it in my class. Do you have an interactive white board? Or if now, how do you display it for the class? Thanks for sharing!

    Lessons with Laughter

    1. Hey, Molly!

      Yeah, I have an interactive whiteboard in my room, and it is nice to leave Class Dojo up all day. My kids are trained to give/take points as I direct them. Hmm... do you have a smart phone? You can use the mobile version of Class Dojo to keep track of points, and then do a debriefing at the beginning & end of the day? This way you don't have to leave your projector up and have it be a distraction. I'll think more on this and get back to you!


  2. Oh my goodness this is so so SO COOL!

    1. Ms. D - We (the Beach Brains) love it! Although I can't say they loved it today. My kids were waaay off (I blame the weather) today and some ended up in the negative. :ox

      Try it out and let me know how it goes! :)

  3. I started using this tool a few weeks ago in my fourth grade class and I LOVE IT! I have a collab. sped class so we have some behavior issues that can be difficult to break. My kids are really into it. I also love how all I have to do is give one kid a positive point, the others hear that "BING!" sound, immediately look at the board to see who got what and they copy whatever that person did! I originally had the sounds off because I thought they would be distracting, but soon realized how quickly they cue in when they hear it and get on track to earn points too. I give a prize at the end of each day for the student who earns the most points and a "Grand Prize" at the end of the week for the most cumulative points earned. I reset points to zero each Monday and we look at our class report card first thing Monday morning to see what we need to work on. The kids have really responded well to it and I love it! I will say, it would be much more difficult if I didn't have the interactive whiteboard. I can leave it minimized or full screen all day so my aide can give and take away points too!

    1. Kelly - thanks for your feedback! My kids have reacted positively to the sounds. Like your students, they copy desired behaviors when they hear the "bing," and they cautiously look around them when they hear the negative sound.

      I like the idea of giving a "grand prize". I was wondering what students could earn with their points. As of right now, I'm doing it based on percentage. If they have 90% or more positive behavior, they can eat lunch with me in the classroom. I'm still throwing around some other ideas.

      Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Never heard of it but I like the sound of it. I am in a classroom with limited (and frustrating) technology limits at the moment. Sigh...

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  5. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this -I want to look into it!
    I'm a new follower! :)
    Buzzing with Ms. B

  6. Hi Josh - Kalen from ClassDojo here. Thanks so much for the great post!! If you have time shoot me an email - I'd love to chat with you.

    Just wanted to clarify one thing - since we are former teachers, we are quite passionate about ensuring there will always be a fully-functional free version of ClassDojo for teachers. As for small bugs, please let us know if you find any and we'll get this fixed asap!

    If anyone who comes across this post has any questions or needs help getting setup, please don't hesitate to reach out at :)

  7. Mr. Bridges? Paul. F