Week 4 EDET 636

Literature Review

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.”

Research Questions

  1. What motivates students to earn points throughout the school day/week?
  2. What demotivates students to earn points?
  3. What classroom behaviors encourage students to stay engaged?
  4. 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.


8 thoughts on “Week 4 EDET 636

  1. Genevieve- This sounds like a awesome program! I really like that parents can see it as well. So do they log on or is like a email sent to them? I need to try something like this sometime. Parents are very supportive when I send home an email about their child and often says if I have any trouble make sure to let them know. I think something like this would be great! Students often straighten up if I say I am going to email home. If I had a program like this then who knows? I have to look in sometime. Does it have a list of thing in it or do you add them? Wow even pictures? That is nice!


    1. I use Class Dojo everyday. I love it, but more importantly, my students and parents love it too. I like that it is very versatile. I add and take away points from my students, but I could use it to only give positive points. My parents send me messages all the time about questions and concerns using the app and I like that I can send out a class broadcast to all parents, like reminding them to have their child wear their snow gear. The pictures for points are preloaded and you can choose which ones you want to use. I wish they had more choices, it is rather limited. They also have a feature called class story that allows you to post pictures of things your class is doing. My parents love to see what we are up to!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sara Lucas

    I have seen class dojo and really like what it has to offer. I tried it with my middle schoolers a few years ago, but I never found a good way to keep track of the points. I think I had just so much going on as it was my first year teaching. I was still trying to figure out curriculum and got bogged down. How do you keep track of the points? Do you keep a sheet of paper or do you add the points right away? Also do you take away points or just add them? I’ve always wondered how other teachers use class dojo, and make it an effective part of their classroom.


  3. I did like the lead in to your literature review, but I wonder if it was a bit too long. I found myself wanting to get to the literature a little sooner. I was very interested in the contingency-contract controlled classroom versus the token economy classroom. I actually would like to have a bit more of an explanation here. Is this related to Achievement Goal Theory at all? And finally, is Class Dojo a contingency-contract controlled classroom or a token economy classroom?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tristan Leiter

    I tried this with my freshmen five years ago and it didn’t work for them. I’m sure it works much better with the younger students though. I had forgot about the program until you mentioned it in class, but am thinking it would be good to use with my younger students who have a hard time behaving in class. I didn’t realize there was a way for parents to get on the program and see how their child is doing, this would be very nice for working parents who might not get to talk to the teacher on a regular basis, because their student takes the bus home or someone else picks up their child from school. What kind of external rewards are you thinking about using with your students? Would you start with a lower amount of points and up it as the year went on or is it wiser to just stay at the same points? I’m just wondering if increasing difficulty is important in this type of thing or not in case I use it at some point, I wouldn’t want to hinder the process for my students by upping the points and them thinking it wasn’t worth it anymore, I guess some may like the challenge though.


    1. Tristan Leiter

      I should mention after the first sentence, it didn’t work for my freshmen because they thought it was too babyish for them and they just laughed and didn’t care, not because it doesn’t work for any students.


  5. Sometimes I wish I taught younger students to be able to use something like ClassDojo. I don’t think high school students would respond well, just like Tristan said her freshmen didn’t. I look forward to following your project. Good luck!


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