I have been using Class Dojo in my classroom for 2 years. I started using Class Dojo as my primary behavior management system because I liked that the program because it did not only focused on consequences but it also had a reward system as well. When I first began to use the program I’m sure that I was using it as most teacher do to manage the overall classroom behavior. Well, this year I have a few students who are not responding to program as well the other students. I realized that I was going to have to target specific behaviors with these students in order to get their behavior under control. The concern that I had was that the students were a having a difficult time understanding when they did not make good choices there were consequences that came along with not making good choices. For example, the rule during small group is students must complete all of their work or they have to complete it during ancillary or recess. Most of my students understood this after they had to stay with me for ancillary and complete their work; however 2 of my students would throw a fit when I took their ancillary time away from them. This then caused a domino effect and escalated to calling their parents or referring them to the office.
I am not one to write a whole bunch of referrals because I like to solve my own problems unless it is absolutely necessary to involve other people. These 2 students were really challenging me with my consequences, so I decided that I had to come up with a plan that was tailored for them. Both of the students were being difficult, however one of students was going to require a behavior contract and parental involvement and the other student needed to be redirected. I already had things for my positive behaviors such as, following directions, good ancillary behavior, and quietly in line but these were not working for these 2 students. The week before all of this madness began to unfold, I had a conference with my principal to set my professional goals for the year and one of my goals was to create a positive environment by implementing character education lessons. I had already begun the character education lessons with my class on kindness, honest, and responsibility. So after the lesson on responsibility I added making good choices to my positive behaviors. The students were excited about this because they could earn 2 points if they made a good choice. On the flip side the 2 students that I was targeting hated this new behavior when I used it with them, because they now had to be accountable for their actions in front of the entire class. I must admit the first couple of weeks after implementing this
new behavior my most challenging of the 2 students became very defiant and just shut completely down. His parents had to be called and the administration had to step in and send him home. After the shut down he came back to school and I started back with using the rewards and consequences of making good choices with him, but this time his response was totally different. He accepted loosing 2 points when he did not make a good choice and went on to earn 11 positive behavior points. At the end of the day he came up to me and said, ” I have the most points out of the whole class.” I smiled and said, ” Yes you do! I have something for you.”
I work at a Title 1 school and behavior management is a constant barrier that I have to overcome each year because every year each class is different. This year Class Dojo has really helped not just with management but with staying in contact with parents because I tell all of my parents to download load the app so they can see what kinds of behaviors the students are exhibiting at school. If you are looking for a classroom management tool for next school give Class Dojo a try!