I am really fortunate that most of the kids on my caseload are easy-going with no real behavior issues. However, I do have a few students who are Autistic or have trouble handling frustrations and require a special behavior management tool. That is where the great on-line program “Class Dojo” comes in.
At a beginning of the year staff meeting, our fabulous fifth grade team shared they were piloting this program as a grade-level, so if we saw them in the hall on their cell phones, they were not texting, but instead using this program. This, of course, piqued my curiosity and led me to check out Class Dojo.
All I can say is WOW! This is perfect for me because I only need a specific behavior program for two of my groups, and because each of those groups has such different issues, this tool works well as it allows me to give reward points and take points away for the behaviors particular to each group.
The program is very user-friendly. Simply name a group, add each students name and let them choose an adorable monster avatar to represent them, and then load in the behaviors you want to reward or take points away for each individual in that group.
I open up my Class Dojo each time the students come for the group. I like to have it on my SmartBoard and let them go to the board and give themselves a point (or take one away). They can also do this on your iPad or phone using the Class Dojo app that can be installed for free.
I really like that the kids give themselves the point, or remove a point. I also like that each child can have completely different goals in their section that earn points and remove points. One of my students complains every time he does not know the answer to a question, or if he is losing in a game, and knowing he can lose a point for complaining always motivates him to let these little disappointments go because he likes to give himself a point for good sportsmanship (which I can type in as a goal). There is a good selection of behaviors already preloaded, but you can also type in specific ones to meet your needs.
So what do the kids do with their points? One of my groups is older and they know that their parents can check how many points they earned in speech (earning five points in a session means they had a good session). If they get fifteen points as a group, I let them choose the game we play on game day.
For my other group, second graders, I reward them at the end of each group by letting them trade in their “speech points” for a variety of treats. The autistic student I checked this program out for in the first place loves Starbursts so that is the first treat on the speech points sheet I have hanging on the board when they come. Now he is really working hard to sit in my red rolling teacher chair. It has made our speech sessions so much more manageable and pleasant!
Check out the site at: http://www.classdojo.com. There are parent letters you can send, info on how to give passwords for parents to see how their children are doing, and even free clipart to make cute charts.