Saturday, June 13, 2015

Class Dojo

Giving Class Dojo Points for Teams:

There are two ways you can go about setting up teams for points in Class Dojo. You can add a team to your class as a student, or you can create another class and just have teams only in that class. I am choosing the latter because the members of the teams in my room change so frequently. This way it is separate from my class and when teams change I can just reset the points and begin again. 

We do a lot of project-based learning and move seats based on team work. Kids never get upset with their position on the seating chart because it really is just a "home base". I use the term "seats" pretty loosely, because my students are often standing, leaning over someone and sharing a desk, or a Chromebook, etc. I like having my students interacting with each other. I think it's important for them to learn to move around, be flexible, and be able to collaborate with different groups of people for different purposes. In the beginning it can be a little crazy, but once movement, talking, and independent decision making become the norm, the initial chaos gives way to collaborative creativity and scholarly discussion. I should add that if the project that teams are working on isn't interesting and doesn't involve student choice there is a likelihood of unproductive chaos. I think adding a Dojo class for teamwork will also help to manage and measure productivity. I'm going to begin with a class discussion of what teamwork looks like and I will add their descriptors as the positive and negative behaviors in Class Dojo.

This team based point system is a new idea, so I am not entirely sure what it is going to look like. I am trying it out with my summer school class. I chose the avatar for each team to match the color of the team name. My team names are colors because everything in my classroom is color coded, so it just seemed logical.

While I was doing my end of the year clean up of my classroom, I came across this little cage. A student had given me a chocolate Easter bunny inside of it and the cage was so cute, I didn't want to throw it away. I had recently purchased a bag of small stuffed monsters to give out to students when reaching point goals in Class Dojo and I thought It would be cute to keep them in a cage as a "class pet". Then I decided that it might be nice to give out points for table groups and let the table that is getting the most points care for these "pets". I wondered if it might be too babyish for 6th graders, so I posted this picture on my class Instagram and asked them. Their response was: "I wish we would've had those!"

Mini Monsters
The links to the monsters and the rabbits are below the photos.

I read somewhere that another teacher changes the student avatars to minions when they get to a certain point goal.  I emphasize scholarly behavior in my class and I was thinking of combining the minion idea with this monster idea.  I am now on the lookout for some "Monsters University" characters that would be the right fit for the "class pet" cage. Teams that reach a point goal can care for the "pets", but individuals could also get a monster upgrade for their avatar.

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