Saturday, September 8, 2012
Our school does PBIS, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. We have done this for a number of years now. You can read more about PBIS on the Iowa Department of Education Website if you are interested. As one of our positive reinforcements we give out Tiger Paws for good behavior. We are the Tigers, thus Tiger Paws. When students have 20 they turn them into the office. Their name is announced for their good work, and they are entered into a lottery for a special breakfast that is served in the conference room each Friday. Most kids are enthused about them, even though we have done this for several years. The problem is, I forget to give them out, especially when things are going well.
This week I began experimenting with a website called Class Dojo. You can find it at www.classdojo.com. Class Dojo is a tool for behavior management. I learned about it from other educators on Plurk. It is a quick way to recognize good behavior choices in the classroom, and provides a non-intrusive way to correct negative behaviors. I saw a marked improvement in classroom behavior just in the four days I have used it. It's easy to use and it's free.
The first thing I did was create a class list. The website then assigns an avatar to each child. I used a laptop and my digital presenter to project the screen onto my whiteboard.
Next I loaded the positive behaviors I want to see, and the negatives behaviors I sometimes see. I am continuing to edit this each day as I see what works and what doesn't.
From there it's easy. As I am teaching, whether it is whole group or small group, I click on a student's avatar as I see either positive or negative behaviors. A box will pop up where I can click on the specific behavior. Immediately afterwards a sign pops up recognizing the good behavior or reminding the student about the behavior that needs to change. You can decide if you want a sound to go with this.
At the end of the day I give out Tiger Paws based on the positive points.
One of the things I like best is the data that is recorded on the website. I like the way the website collects the data into circle graphs. At the end of the day, I can let the class know how many positive points we earned that day. These same graphs are available for each child, and show not only what percentage of their points were positive and negative, but also what behaviors they are using during the day.
It's a great way to share information with the student, parents, or other staff members. You even have the capability to e-mail reports to parents.
I liked the fact that I was able to use an iPad as a remote, so I could work with a group at my reading table, and as I observed behaviors, give points. Students saw the reinforcement on the whiteboard. You can also use a smart phone as a remote.
I don't know if I will use this for the entire year, but I'm definitely going to use it during this first term. It will be great data to share with parents at conferences. It was also an eye opener for me as to where my problem areas were in the classroom. It was a great tool that reminds me to give lots of positive reinforcement, and it was fun for both me and the class. If not for my PLN and social networking, I never would have heard of it. Thanks Plurk buddies!