This is my first year using Class Dojo as a way to manage my classroom. It’s is a free on-line behavior tracking system for teachers in any grade level. This tool works on any smartphone, iPad, or computer. It allows us to give immediate and long-term feedback to our students for both positive and negative behavior. The students are given a username and password, which both students and parents can view to track their behaviors. We can choose which positive behaviors to reward students on, for example: persistence, being on-time, turning in homework, on-task, participation, completing the task… and we can choose to record and track the less desirable behaviors like talking out of turn, being disrespectful, off-task, not raising your hand, or running in the hall (usually things we want our students to work on). Class Dojo addresses a widespread of behaviors that provides the students opportunities to reflect on their behaviors, choose to make the right choices and make improvements. These improvements can be anything from a decrease in interruptions, an increase in work turned in, or walking quietly in the hallway. Class Dojo allows us to work closely with the parents to establish clear goals and expectations for their child. We can message them any time of the day to let them know how their child is doing; we can upload classroom pictures or use it as a newsletter for upcoming school events.
Marzano said that the key to student achievement is classroom management and students will not learn in a poorly managed classroom (Marzano & Marzano, 2003). B.F. Skinner (1987), theorized that student behavior can be understood through the motivations, reinforcers and punishments given by the teacher. Student motivations can be influenced by the teachers system of reinforcements and punishments to increase student engagement and learning.
Chance (1993), also believed that a reward system based on Skinner’s theories of reinforcement (external reward system) is an effective, learning classroom management strategy. He advised that the rewards given to the students be used with care.
On the other hand, other researchers believe having a behaviorist reward system may have its disadvantageous. Mader (2009), indicated that students may become demotivated by external rewards because they start to focus on short-term goals, fail to make long-term goals, and lose their internal motivation to learn. Kohn (1993), claimed that students lose their independence, determination, and eagerness to learn, when they’re familiar with a system of rewards. Freiberg & Lamb (2009), argued that the behaviorist approach has failed to expedite student self-direction and discipline.
Self-Brown and Matthews (2003), compared student goal-setting in three classrooms with three different classroom management systems. What the authors concluded was that students in the contingency-contract controlled classroom, had set more learning goals, while students in the token economy classroom (without a specific classroom management system) set more performance goals. Students in the contingency contract model were also more likely to set goals and be more independent and express individuality.
In a person-centered classroom management system, both the teacher and students are responsible for establishing a climate in the classroom and developing student-teacher connections and relationships (Doyle, 2009; Freiberg & Lamb, 2009). Each student is responsible to participate in engagement, curriculum, relationships, development and discipline, while the teacher is responsible for providing opportunities in all five parts. As students focus more on participating, behavioral issues decrease (Hickey & Schafer, 2006), because participating students are less likely to be bored.
Why incorporate a web-based management system? Researchers continue to emphasis the importance and relevance of technology in the lives of current students (Bolick & Cooper, 2006; Kimmel & Deek, 1996). The different kinds of technologies used in the classroom as learning resources requires a shift from teacher-centered classrooms to constructivist instruction because of the nature and intended use of technologies. Bolick et al. (2006), identified technology as a tool for student learning and teacher organization. Using technology as a tool for learning is an important lesson for students, because as Bolick says, “The successful adults of the future will need knowledge of and the ability to use a wide variety of technology.”
- What motivates students to earn points throughout the school day/week?
- What demotivates students to earn points?
- What classroom behaviors encourage students to stay engaged?
- What classroom behaviors discourage students to stay engaged?
Bolick, C.M., & Cooper, J.M. (2006). Classroom management and technology. In C.M. Evertson & C.S. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues (pp. 541-558). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Breaux, A.L. (2003). 101 Answers for new teachers and their mentors. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education, Inc.
BYRNE R. Classroom Management Made Fun. School Library Journal [serial online]. November 2012;58(11):15. Available from: MasterFILE Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 24, 2015.
Chance, P. (1993). Sticking up for rewards. The Phi Delta Kappan, 74 (10), 787-790.
ClassDojo. ClassDojo Opens Classrooms to Parents, Adding Instant and Meaningful Communications Between Teachers, Parents, and Students. Business Wire (English) [serial online]. 1:Available from: Regional Business News, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 24, 2015.
ClassDojo Helps Teachers Easily Manage Classroom Behavior. Curriculum Review [serial online]. October 2012;52(2):5. Available from: Professional Development Collection, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 24, 2015.
Lacher, Angela and Zich, Mary, “High Student Achievement Through Classroom Management” (2014). Masters of Arts in Education Action Research Papers. Paper 61.
Doyle, W. (2009). Situated practice: A reflection on person-centered classroom management. Theory into Practice, 48 (2), 156-159.
Freiberg, H. J., & Lamb, S. M. (2009). Dimensions of person-centered classroom management. Theory into Practice, 48 (2), 99-105.
Henerson, A.T.; & Mapp, K.L. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory Annual Synthesis 2002. Retrieved from http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/evidence.pdf
Hickey, D. T., & Schafer, N. J. (2006). Design-based, participation-centered approaches to classroom management. In C. M. Evertson & C. S. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues (pp. 281-308). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Kohn, A. (1993). Rewards verses learning: A response to Paul Chance. The Phi Delta Kappan, 74 (10), 783-787.
MacLean-Blevins, A. (n.d.). Class DoJo: Supporting the art of student self-regulation. Retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://aprendercom.org/escola21/file/download/3513
Mader, C. E. (2009). “I will never teach the old way again”: Classroom management and external incentives. Theory into Practice,48 (2), 147-155.
Marzano, R.J., & Marzano, J.S. (2003, Septemeber). The key to classroom management. Educational Leadership, 61(1), 6-13. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educationalleadership/sept03/vol61/num01/The-Key-to-Clasroom-Management.aspx
Marketwired. ClassDojo Mobilizes More Teachers to Build Students’ Character Anywhere With Version 2.0 of Its Popular iOS and Android Apps. Marketwire (English) [serial online]. August 15, 2013:Available from: Newspaper Source Plus, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 24, 2015.
Self-Brown, S. R., & Matthews, S. II. (2003). Effects of classroom structure on student achievement goal orientation. The Journal of Educational Research, 97 (2), 106-111.
Skinner, B. F. (1987). Upon further reflection. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.