Monday, August 26

Are you frustrated with assertive discipline?

Being the "fresh apple" I have come across things that will and will not work in my classroom. My suggestion today works well for me and for countless other teachers, however, every child/teacher/classroom is different and what works for me may not work for you. Being a new teacher, I was advised by my principal to have an assertive discipline plan. You can read all about my WONDERFUL assertive discipline plan here. However, hind sight is 20/20 and I can see that it was more work for me and more trouble than it was worth. If you have been in the teaching field for more than 30 minutes, you know how short we all run on time. I need things in my daily schedule to make my life easier, not harder. After my assertive discipline fail (the guitar one), I decided to change it up a bit and make it more user friendly. Instead of having 9 (THAT'S RIGHT N.I.N.E.) categories, or levels of success, I decided to down grade and have 3. The students started off "Ready to Learn" and either ended their day on "Bad Behavior" or on "Outstanding Behavior"....Let's be real for a minute, that was time consuming too, so often the kids ended their day on "Ready to Learn". About 2 months in to that assertive discipline plan I decided to ditch it and just "wing" it. That worked well for the time being, but I know my students need to know how/where they stand on a daily basis. I knew that this year I HAD to find something that actually worked. I knew I had to find something interactive, I knew I had to find something to get the students' buy in, I knew I had to find SoMeThInG!!! Surfing Pinterest one day, I stumbled across Class Dojo. This is my topic of discussion today! So, without further ado...
Let me ask you to watch the quick "student video" about class dojo. I showed this video to my students and they quickly got excited about it! Simply click on the group dojo picture to be taken to youtube.com for the video...don't forget to come back here and finish reading this blog!!!

I have been using class dojo for 2 weeks now (I know, not a LONG time, but still), and I love using it and the students love that I use it!!! If you skipped the video, let me take a moment to tell you what class dojo is...
Class dojo is an ABSOLUTELY FREE tool for teachers that helps improve classroom behavior quickly and efficiently! It allows the teacher to record REAL TIME behaviors both positive and negative. Class dojo is 100% customizable, so it can easily be tweaked to work in ANY classroom. Also, class dojo will send your students' parents an e-mail on a weekly basis. Class dojo has an app that you can use on your cell phone, tablet, or via computer.
I struggled with parents catching me after school and asking how their son "Bradley Pitt" did in class today, since I had 24 students last year, I would say (for the best of my memory) how they did. Sometimes I gave GLOWING reports to the parents, when that was actually not the case. Class dojo helps take that pain away. I show the kids on a daily basis how they have done. I simply click "end class" and a circle graph or a bar graph pops up and shows the students how they have done. I find students asking me in the middle of the day, "Mr. Schulz, how many points do I have?" The students are in a constant competition to see who can end the day with the most points.
I use class dojo in every subject I teach. I am lucky and have an iPad in my classroom for me to utilize, so I can carry it around with me even during bathroom breaks! Class dojo also has a great tool to "randomly" pick a student. I use this when asking questions during instruction. I hit random and simply say "Dojo Says...Tina Fey" and continue with whatever question I was asking. It helps get everyone involved and alert because they never know who "Dojo" will pick. I know I'm sounding like a class dojo representative so I will try to hurry along with my points.
The POSITIVE aspects that I look for on a daily basis (again, these are 100% customizable for what you would like to look for) are as follows:
Teamwork, Helping Others, Persistence, Participating, On Task, Working Hard, & Answered Question Correctly---Most of these are self explanatory, but let me explain the "Answered Question Correctly" point. Since I use class dojo to randomly call on students, if I ask them a question and they answer it correctly, I give them a point for answering it correctly...however, sometimes they try to answer it but it is not exactly correct...then I give them a point for participating.
The NEGATIVE aspects that I take into account are as follows:
Cheating, Refused to Answer Question, No Homework, Unprepared, Off Task, Disruptive, Disrespectful to Students, & Disrespectful to Teacher.
To continue the students' buy in, I give them rewards for weekly points. That chart is as follows below.
10 points: Sit with a friend
20 points: FREE homework pass
30 points: 15 extra minutes of iPad use
40 points: Customize your own avatar
50+ points: Lunch with Mr. Schulz
I hope you have gotten excited about classroom management. If you have ANY questions about class dojo feel free to use the "Contact Me" section at the top right of the blog or simply check out www.classdojo.com
Parents are already going crazy over it as well...here is one post from a parent that took the time to comment on my personal Facebook page.

OH YEAH! Don't forget to leave me a comment to let me know you've stopped by, feel free to share this blog with your friends or fellow educators. It's readers like you that keep me blogging! 


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3 comments:

  1. Thinking about trying Class Dojo as well. Thanks for the good info!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'd love for you to come back and let me know how you like it! There is a "contact me" section at the top of the page! Happy Teaching!!!

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  3. Thanks Jared! I will give it a try! I will open the link right now. Jennifer Sexton

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