It seems hardly possible that we're in the middle of October already - my new job is starting to feel a little less new and I've finally stopped feeling as though I'm in a whirlwind and feel a little bit more steady on my feet.
There's so much to catch up on here, from lessons and books read to recaping how my first real foray into library centers has gone, but for now, I want to talk about ClassDojo.
I stumbled across ClassDojo last weekend when catching up on my school library blogs and was immediately intrigued. You see, while I haven't (touch wood) had to deal with any major discipline issues, the usual routine of hushing and asking kids to be quiet and stay on task gets wearying. So, this past week, I experimented with it during my lessons, and I'm quite pleased with the results.
Billed as a "free for early adopters like you" web-based service, ClassDojo allows you to track individual student behavior and award or subtract points for customized behaviors. Instead of using it for students, I'm using it for the whole class, so at the moment, I've got "entering the library," "making smart choices," "listening and paying attention," "respecting others" and "participation" as my "students." I then customized the positive and negative behaviors to match. Each time a positive point is awarded, the computer makes a satisfying "ding!" and when a point is taken away, it makes a sad noise. The kids responded really well to the instant feedback, and it even kicked the power of positive peer pressure into effect ("John, be quiet! We're going to lose a point!")
If you're a classroom teacher, you can also share the detailed breakdowns of student behavior with students and parents alike, which I can see being really useful. I have yet to test out the Android app and how well it works with the web version, but I am hoping that this will help reign in the distractingly disruptive behaviors that have been slowly creeping into library.
Yes, it was novel this past week, but I'm optimistic it'll help with overall behavior, especially with my younger students, because it allows me to accurately report to their teachers how they did and whether they deserve sticks/marbles/blocks/whatever incentive the homeroom teacher is using. Plus, the monsters are adorable!
My name is Ms. Bery. I am a PK-8 library media specialist in the Boston area. In addition to being a certified school librarian, I am also certified in instructional technology, and have a strong interest in exploring and integrating technology in new and exciting ways in the classroom.
I am also a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Local Digital Innovator, and a 2015 recipient of the Massachusetts School Library Association's President's Award.
Check out the Sandbox for apps and websites I've found useful in supporting student learning and creativity. I also (very occasionally) review children's and young adult literature on my book reviews page.
Other Library Blogs
The Centered School Librarian
Mrs. Lodge's Library
Trust Me, I'm a Librarian
The Librarian in the Middle
Thinking Outside the Library Box
Ask a Tech Teacher