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Tips to get started as a teacher

Here's some really helpful advice written by Meghan B., a teacher in Philadelphia:

ClassDojo has been a part of my classroom over the last few years, and I will continue using it because it's SO easy, and families love it. I'd highly recommend you watch ClassDojo's Getting Started video, but I've also shared my top 5 tips and how to introduce ClassDojo to your students!

My top 5 tips for getting started:

  1. Make ClassDojo a regular part of the school day: Record attendance, give homework points, points for being on time, etc. Consistency is key.
  2. Allow students to take ownership: Let students vote on rewards, encourage them to customize their avatars, check their reports, and make time on the class computer for kids that don't have computers at home.
  3. Focus on positive reinforcement: Communicate that ClassDojo is in your classroom to help the team. Negative Feedback Types should be phrased as "helpful reminders", never punishments.
  4. Invite parents to be part of ClassDojo: Parents are your partners! Communicate your expectations at Back-to-School Night, and ask them to sign up to receive Reports and Messages from you. Show parents how you'll use the data to improve their child's learning experience.
  5. Show your enthusiasm: Energy is infectious! Show the kids why you love your system, and they'll feel your energy.

The first day of school: An introduction to ClassDojo

I like to have that little green ninja, Mojo, from ClassDojo located in a few places in the classroom on the first day of school. ClassDojo has a decoration pack you can download and use in your classroom.

On the first day of school, when going over rules and procedures, I introduce the students to ClassDojo. I say something like:

"Now, you know how much I'm looking forward to having a successful, but very fun, school year. I am so excited that I get to share something really special with all of you today. Today, and for our school year, we are going to use a tool that will make learning more fun. It will also keep us on track so that we can all achieve our highest potential. Do you have any guesses on what that tool could be? Share your ideas with a partner/tablemates."

At this point, you've gotten their attention, and they're curious for what you're about to show them. I let them brainstorm some ideas, and that's a good opportunity to guide the conversation to where you're ready to show the student video using a projector. Here's the video on Youtube.

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