Thursday, July 21, 2016

Top 10 Countdown~ Why I Love Class Dojo! + Bonus Reason!

#10 Parent Communication Without Compromising my Privacy

This year I had almost all of my parents sign up with Class Dojo.  I loved that I could shoot parents a quick message without my phone number showing.  I communicated individually with 20 different parents this year.  The conversations were sometimes questions parents had about homework, letting parents know when after school tutoring was canceled, parents letting me know that their child was sick that day, communicating with parents about behavior issues & more! It works just like you are texting the parent, but it goes through the app, so the parent never sees your phone number.
#9 I Can Use my Cell Phone to Record Behavior

With other management systems I have used I would need to get up to my desk to record behavior or be in the classroom.  I keep my cell phone with me, {I frequently wear a cute apron with pockets} I bring up the app & I can record positive or negative behavior with a notification sound that all the student can hear. {it can be turned off if it is too distracting} Easy peasy~Lemon squeezy!

Some teachers choose to use it on their doc cams & let the class see as points are given, it is not my choice to use it this way.
#8 Students can Modify their Avatars 

Once the students have logged in from home they can modify their Avatars to look they way that they like, the personalization provides ownership for the students.
These are a sample of the Avatars...demo class screenshot
#7 Customizable Points/Works Great with PBIS & Leader in Me 
Class Dojo comes with several built-in behaviors, but you can customize them to meet your district/school/classroom goals/rules/expectations.  For example, you can have '4 S Line' which is part of our PBIS expectations of how we walk in the hallway {4 S is Silent, Still, Straight, & Smiling} or you can have 'Was Proactive' {Seven Habits~Habit #1}  Each behavior can be worth a different amount of points if you choose.  I currently have all of mine +1 or -1.  Here is a look at my behaviors from this last year:

I will probably modify them some more this school year. {The 'student' is my principal so he could see what was happening with Class Dojo~hopefully there will be a way to add an administrator to our class as an administrator, not a phantom student}
#6 Radom Name Generator
I use the random name generator constantly!  Sometimes I use it for awarding points without playing favorites & the students know that I am using it...I tell them as we are walking to the cafeteria that I am using Dojo & they know if their name comes up and they are in a 4S Line they are getting a point & if they are turned around talking they are getting Needs Work on a 4S Line -1.  This also works great when I am working with a group...I just hit the name generator & glance up to see if that person is on task.
I don't just use it for points, but also for calling on students to answer or share so that I don't call on the same students over & over.

#5 Add a Note to Behavior

Class Dojo now allows you to add a personal note when you to assign points; you only have a few seconds before that top part saying "Add Note" disappears, so you have to be quick!  I don't use it every time, but I have used it for situations where I felt the parents needed some more information about what happened. {I love that the sample student is Bradley Pitt!}
#4 Class Dojo Staff is VERY Responsive! 
Each school that uses Class Dojo has a Class Dojo Mentor & the Mentor is invited to be a part of a Closed Facebook Group...they can ask questions, share ideas, and make suggestions...
 I asked this question 2 hours ago & you can see the response was 2 hours ago...really it was MINUTES later...every time I have seen someone bring up a concern or question there as been a response almost many organizations do you have that with?!?!
#3 Class Dojo Mentor Resources! 
As I told you in #4, there is a Class Dojo Mentor group on Facebook...if you are not your school's Mentor, find out who is & and ask about the Mentor Drive folder...

 This Drive is LOADED with GREAT STUFF!!!  Certificates, Banners, Graphics, Bookmarks...and more & more & more!!! 
#2 Class Story & School Story
This last year Class Dojo introduced Class Story & School is a place where you can share pictures from class, messages/reminders about class pictures, report cards, book orders, having a substitute the next day, dress up days & more!  These can be shared through Class Story with all parents who have logged on with the code provided by the teacher or through School Story for all parents connected! {Check Mentor Drive for graphics/pdfs to use!}
#1 Student Story!
This is soooo exciting!! It was just released yesterday, July 20th! Now students can keep a digital portfolio of their class work!!  I am looking forward to using it this coming year!   Here are some pictures & the video I asked permission to use to tell you more:

#Bonus Reason~ ClassDojo Video Series!
Last night I hit the 'Publish' button, walked out the do to go to the Drive-In movies {we saw The Secret Life of Pets} and on the way there it suddenly hit me...I had left out something that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE about ClassDojo...their Big Ideas Video Series!!!  So far the have done 2, the first was on The Growth Mindset:

The second series was on Katie discovering The Dip...ClassDojo created these in conjunction with Carol Dweck's {Carol Dweck is the psychologist who made the discoveries about Growth Mindset & coined that term!}  lab at Stanford, PERTS!
They have a NEW series in the works I can't wait!!
The first 2 had a big impact on my students & they would refer to the videos when we encountered challenges or new learning!


I wanted to add one more footnote to this post, in this digital age there are many concerns regarding privacy & safety, ClassDojo was ranked one of the best performers in Privacy Practices, click here for a link to the article about it!

Thanks for stopping by!Nancy

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Words Have Power ~ Words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I have been preparing to write this post for DAYS.  I am finally ready to write the post that has been on my heart for the last week or so.

Our country has been going through some troubling days.  I had been visiting family in Northern California and there was no news on, what I learned at the time was through social media & it broke my heart...death, anger, hatred, violence, loss, pain, frustration...I thought I would post the words of Dr. King as my response, but I came across these words of John F. Kennedy:
I created this on my phone & posted it 5 days ago, but I kept thinking about Dr. King and his words.

I feel blessed to live in a country that chose to make a national holiday to celebrate, reflect on, & remember a man who stood for peace, love, & strength.  We lift up this man, but who did he get his values from?  Whom did he emulate?  Who helped him to choose to love instead of hate those who threatened not only his safety but that of his wife & children?

I have found that many children, maybe even many adults don't know what his profession was...he was a minister.  His strength, wisdom, calm, courage, and determination came from his relationship with Christ and faith in God.  We as a country look up to him, but we frequently jump over why he was who he was & what he deeply believed.

I have spent every spare moment since I got back home looking up his words & then designing 28 of his quotes in what I hope you will find is an aesthetically pleasing manner.  

Words have such power & the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ring just as clearly & beautifully today as when he spoke or wrote them if we will choose to listen & reflect.  This set will be going up in my TpT store, but for those who stop by my blog, and hopefully read it, the set is my gift to you.  You are even getting a bonus.  I am providing you with PNG versions of the landscape view.  This means you can print them out as 4 x 6 prints or 5 x 7. Just be sure to uncheck the box that says "Fit picture to frame". You may print out the quotes in the PDF & you may use the square JPEGs on social media {please to not remove my watermark} and you can even set them up as a slide show on your computer screen.  

Take some time to read & reflect.
Here are the quotes in the square format:
{listed in alphabetical order}

Praying that LOVE will prevail in this country!  Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I too have a relationship with Christ and He is the reason for my peace and joy.  If this is new to you, seek out someone that you know to speak with or find a Bible believing church, just like the one Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lead and learn more about the man, Jesus, who was Dr. King's strength.

Click here for the link to the quotes! PLEASE let me know if you have any problems accessing the quotes!

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