This post was written by Jenna K., a teacher in San Francisco:
Getting parents on ClassDojo was HUGE for me. The parent component is one of Dojo's best features! It's a great way to quickly communicate with parents, and for parents to see how their child is doing during the day.
After about a week, I had students approaching me, and telling me how proud their parents were of them. I could tell that a level of accountability existed at home, and it made a huge impact in the classroom. I also use the Messaging with parents feature on the ClassDojo app. It's really great because I don't have to wait to write a note or make a phone call to chat with a parent, I can keep in touch with them really simply, and build a better relationship with parents. I found that I was finally able to send positive messages home, rather than only speaking with parents when something went wrong. I can also send photos over Messaging which is SUPER cool! Keeping parents in the loop helps me out a ton. I feel like I have teammates at home!
Signing parents up!
As an incentive, I give students points if their parents sign up. I also let them customize their avatars with the student portion of the ClassDojo app.
You can invite parents two ways:
Invite them by email:
From either the mobile app or the website, you can invite parents by email. I prefer this approach because parents seemed to sign up faster, and I already had their email addresses or phone numbers.
Print parent codes to send home:
In cases where I did not have a parent's contact information, I would print out their unique Parent Codes and give them to their child to bring home. One year, I actually handed ALL of the Parent Codes out at Back To School Night, which was wildly successful :)
I've used ClassDojo extensively with my elementary school students, and the parents' support (which is always very good in my school) has improved even more. I was initially concerned I'd have a few helicopter parents, but parents really just care that their child improves their education, and demonstrated the learned skills. This has truly been more important than grades for K-8 students!
Plus, parents love being involved this way. I can't tell you how many times my parents thanked me for using ClassDojo. They said it was so easy to follow and they helped me by offering encouragement regularly, and also by addressing minor Feedback Type problems at home.They liked having a "picture" of what's happening in class, and I loved how easy it was to make that happen!