Class Dojo

Class Dojo is the American version of Fresh Grade. It builds community within the classroom while keeping parents and students involved. Each student recieves an avatar and all the avatars show up on the front homepage.Screen-Shot-2015-08-12-at-2.32

The little green bubbles on the upper right hand corner are points that student has earned. The teacher is able to create how students are able to collect points, as they can add and create buttons. You can choose to keep it all positive or have negative buttons as well so students can earn points or have them deducted. 6773479

The add your own button gives you the ability to create your own buttons that apply to your class. Examples could be, “Cleaned classroom”, “Is ready to learn”, “Helped a friend”, etc. You can give one individual student a point, or there is a option to give the whole class the points. These points are tracked all year which helps for writing report cards. You can go back in and see what that child did really well with all year, where they got the most points, and also, where that child struggled. Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 7.51.23 PM


The amazing part of Class Dojo is parents are very connected! Everytime you give a student a point or deduct points, their parent or parents get a notification sent right to their phone. Parents can send you a message on Class Dojo commenting on the reward or deduction. Parents can also send a message to ask about what happened, or even send a message to even say that student will be away tomorrow.

Class Dojo also gives you the opportunity to post photos, and similar to the point system, as soon as the photo is posted the parent or parents of the child or children within the photo are notified and are able to comment.

The only downfall of Class Dojo is you need to have every parent sold on using this app or it becomes a hassle. If one childs parents are on board, you have to ensure you do not post any photos of that child. You can still have that child on the site and give them an avatar and points but you have to be cautious about what is posted, etc.

My exploration of Class Dojo is on going but from talking to my sponsor teacher, other teachers at my school, and seeing it being used I do see it as a very beneficial tool to use within the classroom. It helps with classroom management, building community, parent communication, writing report cards, and much more!





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Is mindfulness effective as a classroom management tool?

Before studying how to integrate mindfulness into the classroom, I decided to research just how effective it is as a classroom management tool. I came across a documentary featuring students from a grade 7 class in San Fransisco. At the beginning of the documentary, very little learning was happening. The teacher was constantly stopping the class to move students only to have them talk to their friends from across the room. The school was suspending students more often than any other school in the city. The school’s administration decided to bring in a mindfulness specialist twice a week in an attempt to resolve the situation.

At first, most of the students were uninterested in practicing mindfulness. The specialist spent most of her time trying to get the class to be quiet. After having little progress in the first few sessions, she asked anyone who didn’t want to participate to raise their hands. She then asked each of these students why they did not want to participate. Most of their reasons were that it is boring or unentertaining. After some discussion, some students were asked to leave the room. The specialist explained that the program required student participation and disruptive students take away from the experience for the rest of the class. After this, students began to take the program seriously.

After several weeks of practicing mindfulness, the classroom dynamic had completely changed. 80% of students in the class found mindfulness effective when they needed to calm down and 58% found that it helped them focus in class. Students who used to be sent to the office on a daily basis could now sit through a class without disrupting others.  One student even went on to receive an award for the greatest GPA increase in the school.

This documentary shows what an incredible tool mindfulness can be both inside and outside of the classroom. It helps students become calm, focused and ready to learn. It can be done quickly and quietly, meaning that students can use it during class without disrupting anyone else. When a student learns mindfulness, they can use it whenever it is necessary for the rest of their lives.


Long, R. (Director). (n.d.). Room to Breathe: Mindfulness in the Classroom[Video file]. Retrieved November 06, 2017, from

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“Get On Board”

During my time at my practicum school, I have developed great relationships with my students, as well as some of my coworkers, especially with my Vice principal (soon to be principal) because of our mutual love for surfing. Him and I have been talking and collaborating ideas of how to involve students in the surf community to help youth build greater self-esteem, and a sense of community throughout the school.

My original inquiry project was focusing on girls, and empowering them in confidence and self-esteem, but I feel as though I could take this further and develop this confidence in all students, in all youth.

I have been reading this website/ movement created in Ahousaht called “Get On Board” and this is their summary of what their mission statement is all about:

Get on Board – Empowering youth one board at a time

“Get on Board is a registered non-profit organization which uses board sports-surf/skate/snow to develop social skills, self confidence and goal setting in youth. The very nature of board sports: physicality, creativity, courage, and self discipline help youth develop life skills.
To improve as a boarder you will fall many times. As in life when you fall you have to get back up. The resilience you learn in developing skills as encouraged by our mentors will help you gain the confidence and self esteem you need to overcome many obstacles.
Get on Board helps youth connect to their schools and community through provision of organized teaching/learning programs, advocacy and outreach.”


I love this idea of using surfing as a way to encourage physicality, creativity, courage and self discipline in youth to help them develop life skills, and is something I look forward to collaborating my ideas for this with my vice principal too!


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ODD Definition 

“​Even the best-behaved children can be difficult and challenging at times. But if your child or teen has a frequent and persistent pattern of anger, irritability, arguing, defiance or vindictiveness toward you and other authority figures, he or she may have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).”

This definition is taken from the mayoclinic website. The wording, much like the majority of resources I have found so far, is parent focused as opposed to educator focused.

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Resources for Tom
Today I visited this website and found it very helpful for tips and tricks to help my teaching with Tom. Below will be a few of their tips I think will be helpful with Tom.

Alternate physical and mental activities: I believe this will be a very affective tool to use with Tom because he struggles to keep still throughout a lesson. I think that this will allow him to change his train of thought and re focus himself. Brain breaks will be something I will look into for my class.

Get in a habit of pausing 10 to 16 seconds before answering:I think this is very important to do within the classroom. I need to work on this more because I do not always pause when answering a question. By giving Tom that extra time to think might allow him to contribute to the conversation.

Do not confront lying by making children admit they have been untruthful:I found this one very interesting because I have previous been taught to discuss lying/ fibbing with students when it does come up. I will be looking into this tip further because Tom has a habit of lying and or putting words into peoples’ mouths.

Overall this resource I think will be very helpful in my journey teaching Tom. I am enjoying my time learning beside Tom and look forward to trying this tips and tricks with him in my next practicum.

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