ClassDojo in action

I’m sure ClassDojo is not a unknown classroom tool to most teachers. Many will recognise the trademark ping of a Dojo point being added to a child’s counter. I have been using Dojo for many years now, it is a major part of our school linking with our house team points. Over the years I have developed different ways of using ClassDojo in my classroom and I thought I would use a blog post to share with you how I have used it.

ClassDojo Teacher Badge

1. Simple Points
Obviously the most simple part of ClassDojo is the opportunity to award points to individual children for a variety of different reasons. I normally set up points for showing the schools values, being on task, having interesting answers and helping others. During the start of the year I have a discussion with the class about how points can be achieved and what they think Dojos should be awarded for.

2. Secret Student
This is based on an idea from my final PGCE teaching placement. Using my Lollypop Sticks (or another random name generator) I select a child from the class without the children knowing who it is. I will then tell the children what is expected of the ‘Secret Student’ and how many Dojo points the person will get if they manage to complete the task. If the child selected manages to do what is expected then I announce to the class who the secret student was. If they do not then the secret is kept. -This method works really well at the start of the year. Towards the end of the year I have noticed children start to think that they will never be the person chosen. This may mean that some ‘fixing’ of the child picked will be required!

3. Dojo Monster Change
As you many know it is possible to change the image that each child has as their ‘Dojo Monster’. A little known element however is that you can upload your own images to the ClassDojo website to be used. Over the years I have downloaded a range of images from the children’s favourite films, TV programmes and games. As a reward for having the most amount of Dojo point at the end of the week a child is able to change their character.
Sometimes I will tell the children at the start of a week that it is a ‘special’ week. This means that if the children as able to keep on or above 95% positive Dojos the whole class can change their characters – this can be a lengthy process however on a Friday afternoon it can work well.

Just some of the Class Dojo characters

4. Teachers on Dojo While looking through my Facebook feed I can across this teachers Dojo points image. This is a joke mock up of Dojos in action, but teachers can get Dojo points too! While I haven’t done this I do know of some other teachers that have included themselves on their classes Dojo points. Teachers would award TAs for an explanation in full sentences, for showing persistence etc.

Have you ever used Class Dojo? Do you have any creative ways of incorporating Dojos into the classroom? Please comment below.

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EPIC A must have teachers app?

EPIC! The Netflix of Children’s Books?

It isn’t very often when you find something available for free, but when we teachers do find something for free we all jump on the band wagon. During a recent scroll through Facebook I saw an advert for EPIC.

EPIC is a website full of free to read books for children across the whole primary phase. There are books from popular authors as well as well let known texts. Some stories also include audio and video. A great feature that I like is that teachers can create accounts for children and add books to the children to read at home.

EPIC Online book library

Have you used EPIC or another online book website? What are your experiences? Please comment below.

Learning can happen anywhere

Learning as I’m sure you will enjoy is most certainly not just for children in school! During a recent holiday to North Yorkshire I visited a number of attractions including the North York Moors Railway and Eden Camp. While exploring the various ‘huts’ at Eden Camp it really made me think that learning doesn’t have to take place in the classroom.

Eden Camp a former prisoner of war camp, now modern history museum based just outside the North Yorkshire town of Malton.

There are a vast array of educational experiences out their for teachers and parents to get children involved in however, in times of financial pressure taking children to such places does not happen as regulary as in previous times. Experiences do not have to always happen at such places as museums and other attractions even a visit to the corner of the garden can be a learning experience. Having spent a lot of time in my garden this summer laying a new patio I have found that my garden is home to a lot more wildlife than I originally thought including many toads and a baby hedgehog!

A baby hedgehog that has been visiting my garden over the summer.

Think of the learning that could take place with just focusing on those two animals. The science, the geography, the writing, the maths, the list could go on and on!

Dick King-Smith’s The Hodgeheg

Thinking of hedgehogs makes we think of the now classic children’s book The Hodgeheg. Maybe the baby hedgehog in the garden was Max on his way to the park?

New blog name for new academic year

I have just renamed my blog Edu To Learn to better reflect what my blog is really about. 6 years ago when I was first ‘moving in’ to my first classroom I created a banner for above my interactive whiteboard with the quote “Everyday we learn something new”, I still very much believe in this and i’m sure other colleagues agree with me.

Banner above my interactive whiteboard in my first classroom back in 2013.

I want to use this blog to share with others my thoughts on education and teaching in general as well as sharing ideas. I first started writing the blog during my teacher training year in 2012 as part of a Computing project, during that year I diligently wrote posts to share ideas however, as with all things this was put to the back burner. I am making a new academic year resolution to change this and to write regular posts!

Final Blog Post, or is it?

Well can you believe it we are now coming to the end of the taught sessions at University for this PGCE as we are all about to embark on our final placements. I really cannot believe how quickly the last seven months has gone, it doesn’t seem like five minutes since we all arrived at the university bright eyed and not knowing what the future would hold. But now all these months on we have learn so much and I like to think that over the last two placements we have taught much too!

Today is the 3rd May, the submission date for all subject files/projects and therefore this blog in its assessment capacity is now completed, however I have really enjoyed developing it over the months and enjoyed posting about my experiences of ICT both in University and while out in schools therefore I hope to for it to continue so please watch this space for more information soon!

 

You simply don’t stop learning!

As the saying goes ‘You learn something new everyday’ well how true this could be as I sit here typing away on my new Macbook Pro! After longing for one since before starting my undergraduate degree I am now in the position to buy one, so following the completion of my MA research project I took myself off to the Apple Store in Cambridge to pick it up.
Returning back to the title of this post as I have had little use of Mac computers (I do own a iPhone and iPad however) this means I am having to learn the features of using a different operating system than Windows that I am more than aquatinted with. Learning that Shift and A no long selects all and that command and a is used on the Mac. Also that Macs do not have a right hand mouse button so you have to press control and then the mouse.

There are some features that are very similar to their iOS family such as Safari (web browser). My blog looks great in it! (See picture below!)

Yes your right that was the first image that I have uploaded to the internet from this new computer!

I hopefully I will be able to discuss some of the applications that have been designed for education that are available via the Mac App Store (similar to the iOS App Store) soon.

 

I’m famous!

I’m a strong believer that teachers should share their knowledge with as many people as possible and as a trainee its great to have people wanting to do this. Over the last two placements I have used the TES Online resource collection to find a number of handy resources for lessons. Its great to see that people from across the country (and world) have spent the time to upload their work to allow free assess to all of the TES members. I thought why can’t I do that, so I uploaded all of the resources that I thought would be useful  to others onto the site. The response to these have been fantastic! One resource that was uploaded on the 3rd March 2013 has already been viewed over 2240 times and has been downloaded over 1380 times!

I have also been lucky enough to be ‘tweeted’ by TES Primary sharing my resource with their 16,920 follower (see the screen shot below!)

Don’t forget you can follow my tweets at http://www.twitter.com/tjoyce19 or by using the twitter widget on the left side of this page.