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Diggin' the Dojo! (part 1)

Many years ago, a good friend of mine came to work at my school mid-year to take over for another teacher who was leaving.(Hi Gina!). Gina is my friend, not the crazy interesting teacher I'm going to tell you about, we'll call her Miss RewardsALot. Gina is by all accounts a master teacher. One whom I credit with many of my good teacher habits, but that's a whole 'nother post. Gina and I are very similar in our teaching and management styles, both very down to earth, very real with the kids and sometimes just the teensy-tiniest bit of sarcasm sneaks out (not the mean kind, I promise. The kind like when a kid comes to you with a nearly invisible paper cut and you ask if they want you to call 911. That kind.)

Around lunch time, I saw Gina looking less than laid-back. I just figured Miss RewardsALot's class was giving her a run for her money, which surprised me because she can handle just about anything. When she started telling me what was going on, it was like someone was setting her up to be on Punk'd- Sneaky School Edition.

Apparently, up until this point, in Miss RewardsALot's class the kids earned a cotton ball in a jar every time someone moved their stick in their pocket which allowed them all to get a marble in the compliment box as long as they walked quietly in the hall so they could also get a link on the hallway chain which also earned a point toward the pizza party reward if they reached the top of the behavior chart by getting 100 points in class bingo. Following? Yeah, neither did Gina, or the kids. This has become a running joke between the two of us. This teacher seriously had about 8 different behavior management strategies and none of them were working. It didn't take Gina long to empty the cotton balls, sticks and marbles and put one good system in place.

Now, why do I tell you this rambling story? Because lately I was starting to worry that I'm turing into a Miss RewardsALot. True Confession. I implemented the Clip Chart system two years ago and LOVED it. Still do. Then I found Behavior Bingo and it was a nice little addition. Then even with that, I felt like I needed a little something to motivate the class as a whole group, so the Fun Friday Bus drove into town. Now I recently stumbled upon Class Dojo and I'm hooked! I've been introducing my students to Dojo this week and it's really working. I actually have figured out how to seamlessly  make all of my plans work together, but I really am starting to feel a little like Miss R. eek!

ClassDojo is an online, interactive classroom management system that has really got my wheels spnning. Go ahead and check out Dojo and I'll be back again tomorrow to give you my review so far, complete with some changes I'd like to see and some that are already in the works.


I'm off to take down my Christmas decorations. Don't judge.

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22 comments:

  1. I LOVE Class Dojo too!! It has worked great for my students!! I also LOVE the app too, so I can be at my guided reading table during Daily 5 and award or deduct points :)

    Ali

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  2. My class needs a little extra something to kick their behavior back in gear. I can't want to see your review of Class Dojo, as I'm thinking this is just what my friends need!
    Lisa
    Stories From Second

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  3. Hey, from your newest follower! :) Just wanted to stop by to say hello and I love your blog!

    Amanda
    Learn, Laugh, Grow

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  4. I've been using Dojo since October and I love it! I really wanted just ONE reward system that motivated the kids and this is it! I do behavior beads in my classroom. So, when a kid gets ten points they get a behavior bead, 20 points- 2 beads, and so on. And the sounds really get their attention! I love it!

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  5. Congratulations! I've given you the Versatile Blog award! Come on by to check it out.
    Dianne
    Hopelessly Devoted to Teaching

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  6. lol Denise--at all of this this! No worries, I still have candles and some garland on the stairway that needs to come down, no judgements here!
    Kristen

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  7. I have been using Dojo since Thanksgiving and it is AWESOME!

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  8. Good morning, sunshine! I've downloaded Dojo (isn't that actually a place where people who are studying martial arts go to live and learn discipline . . . or something like that?) but I don't actually have my own class to try it on so I'm WAY eager for your tutorial so I can help the next teacher who needs my help implement this!

    Oh, and I gave you a small shout-out in my Tuesday blog if you want to stop by the Corner and check it out.

    Barbara
    The Corner On Character

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  9. I was cracking up at this!!! The RewardsALot thing is too funny!!!! (plus, I have often asked kids if I need to call 911)
    I am all signed up for DoJo but I haven't implemented it yet because I do not have any kind of technology in my room. I "think" I could have it on the TV in my room but shouldn't it be where all kids can see it?
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

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  11. I think I've proven how a "little" bit of sarcasm can leak out of me...I've got Dojo ready to go when we start back Tuesday. I am not to sure I'm in love with the positives I picked. For some reason the negatives were easier to come up with. ;)

    -Emily
    Sedcond Grade Silliness 

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  12. Hi everyone, Kalen from ClassDojo here. Thank you all so much for the kind words! Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions on how we can improve :) hello@classdojo.com!

    @Barbara - As for the "Dojo" name - yep, you nailed it :)
    @Kristen, Ebuck, and Denise - Have to love the friendly sarcasm. It was a main tool of mine when I was teaching as well!

    Cheers!
    Kalen

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  13. I have heard great things about Dojo! I can't wait to hear how it is going in your classroom!

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  14. hehehe All of my Christmas decorations have been put up since New Years Day. But, only because I only had a tree that never got any ornaments because everyone got sick at my house!!! I'm so lame!

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  15. Pretty cool! I love that I can use my iPhone as a remote...I never sit behind the computer!

    Oh, and just so you know...I figured I would take my Christmas stuff down tomorrow...LOL!

    Hilary
    Rockin' Teacher Materials

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  16. OOOhhhhh...did you know if you send an invite to a friend's email address, you can load your own pics...I'm using some of my cute clip art!

    Hilary
    Rockin' Teacher Materials

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  17. I wrote an open love letter to ClassDojo. The team over there are the BEST. They actually replied to my tweet and we skyped about their program. Not sure if I'm overselling it, but ClassDojo has a great grip on how to get kids to see their behavior has consequences. http://www.jwhit.com/2011/12/an-open-letter-to-classdojo.html

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  18. What an awesome suggestion!!! Thank you so much sharing! I have already set up my class and am going to try this out on Monday! Thanks again!

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  19. I am all set up and ready to "Dojo" my kids on Monday! I think my class will love it! I love that I can do it from my iPad! Awesome!

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  20. I too tried Class Dojo, but for it to work while I was in groups, I needed to be able to remote the behavior action with my phone. I did that for a few days and this was the ONLY time I ever had my phone out when the kids were present. A few days after I was testing it out, we got a ANOTHER reminder from our principal that cell phones should never be out when students are present. So, for this one thing I was trying out, I was again disappointed that I could not use this new technology to it's fullest. I am hardly ever at my desk, but in order to use this, I will have to keep up with the behaviors at my table and then go back and record them later. Probably won't be as effective, but it's all I can do at this time. I really see the value in the kids being able to see the points go up and down "LIVE" :)

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  21. ClassDojo sounds like a cool idea, and something that will motivate kids who love technology! I hope to try it sometime!

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