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Simon Kershaw, Lecturer in the ESOL, EFL and Essential Skills department at The Sheffield College, has been making use of Class Dojo at the start of term to engage his students with positive behaviours. Many other staff in this department have also cited the success of this app in supporting a ‘positive engagement’ approach to behaviour (WaiYee Wheeldon, Dawn Griffiths and Sallyann Turner and I’m sure many others I’m yet to meet!)

What is Class Dojo?

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As behaviours are identified (desired ones or otherwise…) the session facilitator or LSA can give students points (positive or negative). Positive points make a ‘bing’ sound and negative points make a ‘bong’ sound. Simon recommends using the app in the background of whatever else is being displayed to students, with the sound on. This way, they are aware that one of their class has received a point (positive or negative) but they don’t know who. They all start becoming more aware of the behaviours they might be displaying and the impact these are having on others.

Points can be given to the whole class or to selected individuals. Where points of one student depend on the behaviour of another, this is where peers begin to encourage one another to behave in positive ways. Simon finds it useful at the start of term to reward whole class points for arriving back from a break on time as this provides the kind of peer encouragement that means everyone gets back in time to be ready for learning.

What can Class Dojo be used for?

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Once your class(es) is set-up on Class Dojo then you can decide what to give points for- these behaviours should align closely, at The Sheffield College, with ‘be ready, be respectful, be safe’. 

Some examples:

ReadyArriving 10 minutes prior to the session start time.

RespectfulListening and valuing the contributions of your peers.

Safe Following all Health & Safety guidelines during workshop activities.

When giving points in class, Simon recommends making use of the Class Dojo app on your mobile device during a lesson so whilst students are collaborating and working on tasks, you as the facilitator or LSA, can be giving out points easily without having to return to a desktop repeatedly.

How can you get started on Class Dojo?

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All users of Class Dojo that I’ve spoken to recently, have cited the use of rewards at the end of a week or half-term to students with the highest number of points.
What rewards does Simon give out? ‘I used to give out confectionery but more recently I’ve given out stationery – folders, pack of pencils or pens etc. Students seem to like that best.’

Questions for Simon

Q. How do you decide what the evidence of success is?
A. ‘That’s for each member of staff to consider. I guess that depends on the reward categories determined – eg. punctuality – the register is the evidence or completion of homework then the homework is the evidence. Admittedly some things may be rewarded or penalised on a more subjective basis.’
Q. What age groups were used?
A.  ’16-18 ESOL full time students from Entry 1 up to Level 2.’
Q. Do you still use ProMonitor as well?
A. ‘Class Dojo is really just for the classroom so Pro-Mo is still used for more detailed comments. Class Dojo can be shared with other teachers so an ongoing class competition could take place or a TM could check on a student to see their ‘score’ but Pro-Mo is the best way for ‘tracking’ a student.’
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