To Dojo Or not to Dojo…

Class Dojo, as many of us already know, is the cute little internet application that allows you to assign your students monsters, track grades, communicate with parents and reinforce positive behaviours in a fun, colourful way.

It. Is. Exhausting.

I think that if I were a primary school teacher, and I the same 30 kids for 6 hours a day it would be super effective. I could designate particular times to award points and as a result consistently reward students for their positive choices.

However, as a secondary school teacher, I interact with a minimum of 90 students every day. I see each group of 30 kids for 70minutes and in that 70 minutes I have to get them into the classroom (which is sometimes harder than it seems), get them settled, do a warm up, introduce a learning intention, manage behaviour (a constant battle in some cases – #ilovepublicschools), check homework, hand out stationary (because there is always at least 6 or 7 kids without a pencil / paper / book / bag) , remember to mark the roll and then finally TEACH. By the time the 65 minute mark rolls around I’m battling with students to write their homework down and glue in their lose sheets, the entire concept of awarding points to my handful of beautifully behaved students (AMEN for these kids) gets pushed aside as I try to keep my cool while little Johnny scrunches up his homework and tells me to F*** off.

Its not all bad!

There are some features of the Class Dojo application that I absolutely adore – starting with the random student selection tool.

I begin all of my lessons with a warm up quiz, and in my lower level mathematics classes this quiz is always always always an assortment of 20 random times tables. The random selection tool is a great way of checking these times tables because it keeps the kids on their toes and it means that I can teach uninterrupted because they have no idea whose name is going to pop up next.

Secondly, the avatars are super cute! We are required to use learning walls at my school (please save your comments on this for another time – some teachers love them, some teachers hate them – I have worked in classrooms with both and I don’t really think they make any difference at all – but my faculty insists that I use them so that’s what I do). The class dojo avatars are the perfect little students aliases to use on the learning walls – not only do they de-identify my students – but they add to the rainbow culture of my classroom and help create a more happy, comfortable learning environment.

Overall…

I think the idea of class dojo is awesome – but as a high school teacher I don’t think it’s practical.

If you have successfully managed to integrate class dojo into classroom I would love to know how!

Alrighty then – I’m off to plan some lessons – catch you on the flip flop teacher friends ❀ xx