Here are three free software applications that teachers can use to track student behaviors.
Two of the programs are in beta, but the third, Class Dojo, is a free app being used by teachers across all grade levels to track attendance and behaviors. Teachers using the app can assign access codes to parents so they can look in on their child’s progress.
When I decided to become a teacher, the first course I took was on classroom management. It involved all sorts of rubrics and checklists for documenting student behavior—certainly not the most fun aspect of the job, but a necessary one. The records that I learned to keep have come in handy over the years, especially for sharing with students’ parents when we meet to discuss their children’s work. Thankfully, taking attendance and other record keeping no longer require paper, nor do parents and students have to wait until conference time to review this information.
Web tools are a boon to classroom management and make this work more transparent and even fun.
ClassDojo is always a big hit whenever I introduce it to new teachers. The free app can be used for recording attendance and student behavior. Both kids and their parents receive access codes to sign into ClassDojo, which they can do at any time to view their records. Once added to your ClassDojo roster, each student receives an appealing cartoon avatar, which appears each time he or she signs into the tool.
To record behavior in ClassDojo, simply sign into your account and select the appropriate class roster. By default, ClassDojo gives you six positive and six negative behaviors to record. On the positive side are teamwork, helping others, participation, hard work, on task, and persistence. The negative behaviors include disruption, disrespect, no homework, off task, unprepared, and talking out of turn. You can also add custom behaviors for each class. To recognize a student for a particular behavior, select his or her name from the roster and then choose and assign an award.
When I first examined ClassDojo last winter, I thought it was a good fit for elementary school kids, given its cartoonish look. But I discovered that it was being used in middle and high school classrooms, too. High school teachers, it seems, are using ClassDojo to award points during classroom discussions, creating custom awards for students who demonstrate related skills, such as “uses evidence in argument.”
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