Diggin the Dojo (part 2)

I forgot to mention in yesterdays post, that I had my first observation with our new evaluation system on Friday. Yes, Friday. I had an inkling it was coming as the administration had been around to most other classrooms during the week. I would have been happy for them to stop in at any time during the week. I had such cool New Year's things going on and my reading groups were humming along, plus I had ClassDojo up and running and it was really working well. By Friday afternoon at 1:35, I figured I was off the hook for this week. We started Fun Friday and I was working on a special art project for a fun event I'll blab about soon. With all that going on and about 20 minutes left in the week -guess who pops in. Uh huh. For real. My face must have been a mix of oh crap-are you kidding me-now?! because my principal's face immediately softened and she actually apologized for coming in at such an odd time, but apparently I was the only teacher left in the school no one had visited. Grrrrreat! I explained that it was Fun Friday and she said she was just going to sit and watch my management style. OhhhKay...I wasn't really managing much at the moment. But my kids were pretty calm for a Fun Friday and I was working with a couple of girls at the back table. I interacted with the kids who were enjoying their free time and there was a neat little buzz in the room without it being too crazy. There was plenty of evidence of my management style up and around the room between my clip-chart, my Fun Friday Bus, my Behavior Bingo chart and my Dojo (Oh man, I AM Miss. RewardsALot!).  I think it went ok even though I wasn't actually teaching anything, but I'll let you know.

The standard they were looking for is:
 What will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence or lack of adherence to rules and procedures?
* Demonstrating “withitness”
* Applying consequences for lack of adherence to rules and procedures
* Acknowledging adherence to rules and procedures

Now, for those of you using ClassDojo already, you can see how EXACTLY perfect Dojo is for this one! I was a bit hesitant to use a system that made the negative points obvious to the whole class, but I do believe that certain children seeing that they "lost" a point has a lot more impact than getting a thousand points. I do still definitely believe in focusing on the positive and for almost all children that is the way to keep them moving forward, but as we all know, not all kids respond the same way to the same things.

If you are new to Dojo, you'll see when you set up your class that you can choose which behaviors you want to show on the positive or negative side. You can also customize and add your own.

When you first sign in, you'll be walked through exactly what you need to do to get started - they make it very easy. One thing I noticed is that even though I had done the steps to start, it kept asking me to repeat the steps. That actually went away after a few times.

I was going to add some photo tutorials, but I realize that I'm already writing long past what I had planned and I'm sure you probably have better things to do this Sunday than read about me and Dojo.
Instead, I'll tell you a few things I've found so far. I've only been a Dojo teacher for about a week, but honestly it is so easy to set up, manage and use that I kind of feel like a Dojo Sensei already! Ok, I may be reaching there, but really it is easy to use.

Things I love:
-Ease of use
-Customization of behaviors, avatars, and sound alerts
-The audible alerts really motivate the students even if they can't see the screen
-Printable reports for each student or the whole class. The reports are incredible! I can do a whole post on the reports (they are perfect for RtI)
-Using my iphone as a remote
-Its FREE! (but it's so good, I'm wondering how it can be free or for how long)
-My admin loooooooooved the idea
-Dojo really can replace all of my supplemental behavior plans and just work nicely with my clip chart
-Someone from ClassDojo actually read and commented on this post yesterday! (Hi Kalen!)

Things I'd like to see:
-The visual alert disappears too quickly from the screen. Sometimes by the time they look at the board, the alert is gone
-I'd love to be able to award points to a group of kids that would then also be applied to their individual avatar
-It would be great if the alert would come up over other programs running on the Smartboard (although I think this one is in the works)

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help the best I can. Don't miss the help/feedback sections. I learned a lot sifting through there.

Well friends, I'm off to whip up some breakfast and finish up the de-Christmas-ization of my house. I swear the older I get, the more I understand my grandmothers little ceramic tree, but before I go, I have to say something about your comments. I can't even tell you how thrilling it is when I get an email alert that someone has left a comment on a post. Even though I might not respond to them individually, I do read each one! I have a comment thing though. I even read comments on other blogs before I post my comment. It's a good thing I'm a fast reader when I visit Kristin or Kristen.  Jennifer is so incredible about commenting that I feel like we're real friends - the same with Jen. Thank you to everyone who takes a second to comment. It really means the world to me!

P.S. I just uploaded my newest product to tpt that I'm pretty stoked about. It's a whole pack of classroom resources for the Super Bowl! Check it out {HERE}



  1. Oh my, I would have flipped out at an evaluation that late in the day!! Sounds like it went great though! I can't wait to check out your Superbowl unit--that's a huge day in our household!!!
    Kristen :)

  2. I'm glad you mentioned that the reminder on Class Dojo eventually went away. It was really annoying me. I've signed up for it and set up my class, but I never remember to use it while I'm teaching. I really need to work on that.

    I like it when people comment on my blog as well. I wonder if my posts are ever worth their efforts to read or if they are even reading them at all! However, I do have my comments set so that only people with a Google account can comment, which does limit my comments. I just HATE anonymous commenters who think that it is okay to be snarky or flat-out mean online. I quit TBA because I just don't have the courage to brush it off. Sure I can delete the comment but it doesn't delete from my brain! I guess I'm too much of a wuss!

    Is your school using the Marzano system for teacher evaluation? Our district is considering it, but our union is putting up a strong fight. I hope it doesn't pass. It seems impossible to be innovative and keep that status without helping other teachers.
    Anyway, I'm glad your eval. went well.
    Happy Sunday,

  3. Hey Andi!
    We are using Marzano. I'd like to say that the union put up a fuss, but they caved pretty quickly. It's kind of hard to work under an eval system that pretty much promises that you won't ever be ranked at the highest level unless you invent some new never before seen method of teaching something and an evaluator just happens to be in your room the moment you're using that particular crazy good strategy.<--at least that's how it seems. I hope your union does a better job than ours. lol!

  4. I think you CAN add to a group of students and it goes to each of them, but not from the remote (only on the actual site). On the list of names on the left you highlight all of the students and then "Give Award". I was planning on one choosing one of my groups during each center rotation and award points while I'm up during the transition anyway. Or use it instead of my table points chart. I am on the cusp of being Miss RewardsALot (I'm one of the few who has a Lunch Bunch) but I think my Title 1 kids need it. We, too, use Marzano and I'd like to teacher Marzano a few things...I did get an 'Innovating' in one area with the help of a pinterest idea, but who needs to know that?! =)

    Sedcond Grade Silliness 

  5. You can give awards to several students at once if you click on all the students you want to reward on the left side panel then click give awards - it awards a point to all of them at once! :) I am trying this in my class tomorrow, thanks for the review!

  6. Emily and Kristen - I think I'm imagining something different. I'd like to put the kids into groups and have the group have one avatar. Then if they do something point-worthy at their center I can give a point to that whole group without having to pick out each kid and add them to the "give award" list. Then have those group points also add to their individual account. Does that make sense? Can you do something like that? And I do wish you could give a point to the whole class from my phone - forgot that one!

  7. Aww, I feel like we're friends, too!!
    (and I feel ya for the observation- it throws me off EVERY time...but it sounds like you were a rock star!!) Hugs,

  8. OH MY WORD - I'm in your post. I clicked twice to be sure. THANK YOU!
    I love comments, too, so I feel that I need to leave comments everywhere I go so that people feel the way I do when I get them. I read all the comments, too, before commenting. Sometimes, even if I want to say the exact same thing that someone already said, I feel like I need to change my words a little so it will sound different. But the same. If that makes sense.
    I can't believe your principal walked in during Fun Friday. That's just not fair. But it really seems like it went great so keep us posted!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  9. I am going to try the Dojo behavior tomorrow with my kiddos. I think it might help with a few of them if they actually got to see it. I would love to have an iPhone to be able to award points on the go. Thanks for sharing how it's working!

  10. Thanks for the reminder about class dojo. I signed up for an account a while back, but was worried about using *another* management system in our class. I'd love to hear how dojo works in conjunction with your other systems, or if it is actually replacing something.
    Glad the admin was understanding about the observation. :)


  11. Thanks for the post about Dojo! I signed up yesterday and plan on trying it this week! :) Super excited to try something new with my class (the clip chart isn't really working!)
    :) Cheryl
    Crayons and Curls

  12. You are a rockstar! It sounds like you handled the observation very well for that late in the day :) I tried Dojo right before break and we head back tomorrow, so I'm excited to re-implement it with my kiddos! I also have to tell you I am a big fan of your blog and TPT store, I purchased several sets of your Task Cards and created my own version of your Brain Builder's Club called The Lightbulb Lab :) My students LOVE IT! Thank you :) If you have time, I would really appreciate if you would check out my new 2nd grade blog since you have been a major inspiration to my classroom :) Thank you so much and have a happy Sunday! :)

    Lisa :)
    Made in the Shade in Second Grade

  13. I know what you mean about comments! Sometimes if I have no comments on a blog, it's like "Did anyone see this? Is it bad?" lol :)

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  14. I've given your blog The Versatile Blogger award... if you don't already have it, stop by to pick it up :) Plus I'm having a little 300 follower giveaway!

    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  15. Loving the Dojo too! I can use my Kindle Fire to give/take away points as well. It's so freeing to not have to get up from my reading group table--just tap, tap..DING. If you have trouble/comments, email the admins. They are super awesome about replying--even the co-founders!

  16. Hi and thanks for the post! I signed up for Class Dojo but haven't implemented it as I have so many questions. I don't have a Smartboard or wireless internet in my classroom, and only have one computer for the kids. I'm wondering if it is even feasible to do? What do the points transfer to? How does it work in conjunction with your clip chart, as I have a clip chart as well.

    One more question-during Fun Friday what activities are the students doing?


  17. Why don't you just add another avatar with a team name to your class list? I have avatars named Blue Group, Red Group, etc. I award points to those avatars instead of the old table points system. At the end of the day/week, the avatar (Blue Group, Red Group, etc) with the most points gets the prize. Hope that makes sense. =)

    Sedcond Grade Silliness 

  18. Thanks for being a super blogger! I've nominated you for a Versatile Blogger. Stop by! Little Priorities

  19. Hey there! I've been using ClassDojo since November and I l-o-v-e it. I especially like how you can view a class report at the end of the day, as well as individual behavior reports, too. To top it off, you can email a report to parents - what a great resource! I haven't actually emailed any behavior reports out yet, but it sure is nice to know that option is there. :)

  20. I tried this today and I went amazingly well! The kids LOVED it and I really appreciate the idea! I agree with all of things you would like to see- the visual pops away so quickly and it would be great if the visual could pop up over other SMART board programs. :) Also, one time I had the administration (superintendent included) come in the LAST 20 MINUTES of class on Friday...!!!! Disaster! I wasn't even wearing SHOES!!! What did they think we were going to be doing in there...!?!?! Thanks again! :)

  21. We've been using Class Dojo for a while in my 2nd Grade classroom. The kiddos absolutely love it. It's amazing how well it works. I introduced it to my entire faculty and we are using it K-6 now. Great to see that it's being used in other schools!

    Jamie at 2nd Grade Stuff

  22. I am loving dojo too. My only complaint would be that I have no wireless internet in my room so it is costing me a bit to have the phone on 3G all day

  23. Hi everyone - Kalen from ClassDojo here...just read through the post and wanted to respond to a few comments!

    @Denise - thank you so much for another great post! Also thanks for the shout out :) We're working on a way to group students and give them awards like you envision. In the meantime, you could always create a second class called "Period 1 - Groups" and switch back and forth. I know that's not a perfect solution, but maybe will work while we build the other solution!

    As for popups...you'll really like our new desktop program that will allow for popups over other programs. We should have that out for you very soon!

    Lastly, we are former educators and know first-hand that teachers are over-worked and under-paid, so our goal is to keep ClassDojo free for teachers forever.

    @Andi - Sorry to hear that the tour is stuck on - shoot me a email at hello@classdojo.com and I'll disable it for you!

    @Megan - Let us know how it goes!

    @Jen Sykes - Let us know if you have any questions - hello@classdojo.com! You can also see a few more examples of how ClassDojo works in class on our new blog! - http://blog.classdojo.com/

    @Crayons and Curls - Let us know if you have any questions!!

    @AthenaPhoenix - Thanks for the kind words!!

    @Jessica - Do you have wired internet? We've actually talked to a lot of teachers who use ClassDojo without a IWB, but you're going to need internet! If you have questions, shoot me an email at hello@classdojo.com!

    @Miss G, Jaime, Sandy, Kathy, anyone else using ClassDojo - We'd love to chat with you sometime and hear the effect ClassDojo has had over time. If you're free to jump on Skype or the phone sometime let me know - kalen@classdojo.com!

    Thanks so much everyone! We all read over this comment string and are humbled by all the responses. Please let us know if there's ever anything any of us can do for you!


  24. Seriously? 20 minutes before dismissal on a FRIDAY??? That is so not cool. I don't know about this Marzano appraisal business, but it doesn't sound very bueno. Best of luck!

    Hi, Kalen! Your comment and this post have reminded me I need to respond to your comment on MY blog, LOL!

    Class Dojo is my SAVIOR this year. My kids are so darn motivated every day, and it really has helped my "special friends"--you know who I mean--gain some positive reinforcement and attention.

    Seriously. I can't even begin to say how awesome it is. SO. AWESOME.

    My post shows photos of the Dojo in action if anyone's interested:


  25. I just found this classroom management tool!! I can't wait to use it in the future.

    Miss J

    Smiles, Crayons, and Endless Stories

  26. Thanks for sharing about Class Dojo! I have been looking for resources about how to use it. I posted about it here and was hoping to have people link up so it'll be easier for people to find information about it in the blog world. So, please consider linking up and sharing your post some more :)

  27. how do you use class dojo with your clip chart?

  28. Do you still use Class Dojo? They've made a lot of updates in the past few years and I'm just wondering if you still use it. I want to use it in my 2nd grade class and am interested to hear from someone who has used it successfully with a clip chart! Thanks!


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