Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year!  It’s been a very busy start and I have a goal to publish at least 2 blog posts a month!  I can do that! I’ve not been good about maintaining my little blog here but I have lots to share this month so I hope to catch up and work ahead!

First, I have all of my SLOs graded and filed.  Now, onto curriculum… full steam ahead.  It’s crazy!  Now that the holidays are past us and we have Winter Vacation on the horizon next month, I think we can actually get down to some work.  The kids have been a bit hard to handle this year.  Not sure why I’m struggling so much with classroom management.  It’s not necessarily bad behavior (though I do have a few who continually test me), but it’s the neediness of the kids.  The constant push and pull that I feel each day.  I want to help but not too much.  I get swarmed with kids asking me questions (to things that I already answered 2 seconds ago!) or needing my reassurances or just telling me off topic things.  It’s maddening!  I’m feeling a bit dizzy from it all.  It seems kids are getting less and less self motivated and less resourceful.  They can’t do anything without an adult or at least someone to help them.  I’m trying out a few things to organize my classroom better so they can get what they need fast but it’s still a work in progress.   I also found this awesome site that is a fun way to deal with classroom behaviors and expectations while having a good time!  Have you heard of Class Dojo?  If you haven’t, you need to check this out…

http://teach.classdojo.com/login

Not only do they have many customizable features but you can upload class lists by copying and pasting and it will generate fun little monster avatars for all your kiddos.  I uploaded 11 class lists in 15 mins!   So easy!

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 3.49.04 PM

This is what your class list screen looks like.  It has the kids names and a fun monster avatar that is chosen randomly.  You can print out secret code reports for kids to take home and customize their little guy.  They have to create an account and then punch in the secret code to access their page.

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 3.49.21 PM

You can customize expectations and positive AND negative behaviors or tasks that you want to focus on.  When the kid does something awesome, they can add a point.  If they are off task, then you can deduct a point.

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 3.49.32 PM

Here are some negative behaviors.  It’s totally up to you how many and what you feel you want to acknowledge.

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 3.49.49 PM

You can take attendance on here too so if you mark a kid absent, then want to give the whole class points for clean up, it won’t give the absent student a point (I mean they weren’t there ,were they?).

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 3.50.40 PM

The kids are super excited about this new tracking system.  It’s fun, cute and totally easy!  I put it up on my overhead and click on it if I catch a kid being helpful, turn in a finished project or off task after a reminder.   I can print a copy of the report for parents and there’s even a feature to email weekly reports automatically to a parent.   I have to give all kids in grades 3-6 a Participation/ Effort grade and want to make sure I have something to back up my grading decision to parents.  It’s another great feedback and communication tool too!  LOVE this so much.

There is a little video that explains this to kids in the class program so I just showed them the 2 min. video and then handed out the code slips.  I think this is going to work great!  I might do it with K-2 next year!

I’ll post soon with some new project ideas!

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3 responses to “Happy New Year 2013!

  1. Do you do physical or intrinsic incentives beyond giving positives? In other words, do you do certificates/prise box, etc. for students that reach a certain number of points? I’m tempted to use this class dojo system for my K-6 art classes because it’s fun and interactive and would definitely help me during grading and conference time. But…I don’t want it to turn into a bank where my kids think their entitled to something physical if they’ve reached a certain number of points. I’m just curious to hear more details about how it’s working in your art classes. Thanks so much for the post!

    • I do give out stickers to the younger kids in K-2 when they reach 25 points and a Dum Dum pop for 50 points. The older kids only get a grade so they do not get physical rewards. Most of the kids love it even if I didn’t give a sticker… the stickers were bought at the dollar store so they aren’t anything big. It’s a great program any way you want to use it!

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