Sunday, February 2, 2014

Classroom Management

I'm SO SO SOOOO lucky to be working with such talent. Seriously, some of these teachers are my heroes. Their blog posts are going to help my classroom turn into a dream. What has been your favorite blog post so far?

Here is my little tip:

Oh boy did my class give me a run for my money at the beginning of the school year. I was asked to loop with my class from last year. Yes I had behaviors in my class last year, but I thought, "Well at least I know what I'm getting into". WRONG!!!! SOOOOO WRONG!!!! I had fourteen students last year (I know a teeny tiny class). Well two students moved and three decided not to be in my room (UGH dagger to my heart). That left me with 8 of my original. Well guess what? All the new enrollments were sent to me. Insert major catastrophe. So much for knowing what I was getting into.

Blog Post with Rudolph FREEBIES.  Hang on for the next 2 days.  We got this!
Ok, for real, this was everyday! It was a living nightmare!

I thought I had an awesome behavior management system in place. It ALWAYS worked for me before. I used a clip chart (of course owl themed). I let the students make the rules. I displayed those rules. We reviewed the rules. I modeled and modeled and modeled. 

I integrated a classroom economy system to go along with the clip chart. If the student reached the highest color, they earned Cha-Ching! Yet, it did not work.

  A Day in My Life--Funny ECard!

To thrive as a teacher you need three bones: A wish bone, A backbone and A funny bone.

I felt like I was drowning in a sea of non-compliant students. Then, just like that, I was thrown a lifesaver. I was able to finally tread water and not be in over my head. What was this lifesaver? An IG post about....

I looked at the picture and  just didn't understand what is was. I decided to Google it. The website was brilliant. It answered all of my questions. The best part, it is FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Class Dojo is a a valuable behavior management tool. If you have a projector and a phone that is capable of downloading the App, then you're all set to take the leap. 

With Class Dojo, you can personalize behaviors that you want the students to be showing on a daily basis. There is also an option to record negative behaviors. Again, it is all personalized. Points that are awarded are time stamped. This will let you and the parent know when the behaviors are occurring. Speaking of parents, they have their own code to access their child's behavior. Many parents have downloaded the App on their phone and keep track of their child's behavior throughout the day. 
Do you need behavior data? Not to worry! Class Dojo offers reports at the click of a button. You are able to see trends for the wee, month, and year. You can also keep track of a child's behavior compared to the rest of the class.

How did it work for me? Well, I quickly set up my class. I also quickly decided on behaviors to use. I decided to implement this new behavior management tool right away. I projected the screen with all the little monsters and kiddos' names on the board. I gave specific instructions to come in and get straight to morning work quickly and quietly. I could hear the little whispers about the board. They wondered what was on it. They wondered why I hadn't said anything about it. They wondered how I made the cute little monsters. As I observed the students, I quickly started to award points for those following directions. That first "ding" was priceless. Their faces all turned towards the board. They saw a classmate's name pop-up on the screen with the words +1 for being on task". Suddenly, it clicked! Little light bulbs started shining brightly in their minds. They all got straight to work. I could tell they were so anxious to see me give them a point. 

This went on for only five minutes or so. I then showed the class the introduction video provided by Class Dojo. We met for a classroom discussion. I asked if this was something that they would be interested in trying out? I got a sea of nodding heads and grins ear to ear. I explained that I was as new to this website as they were. I asked them to bare with me on this first day. I told them to expect technical problems and to allow for human error. I told them this was a trial run and that it may not work out, but at least we were giving it a try. Again, a sea of nodding heads appeared. My kiddos were on the same page as me. Together, as a team, we dove right in!

That first day was wonderful. I took notes of what was working and what changes I needed to make. We had a class meeting at the end of the day. I asked for their opinions. All the kiddos were in agreement that this was something they wanted to continue to try. We discussed how this behavior system was going to work with the ones already in place. We decided to blend all three systems together. We would have Class Dojo, a clip chart, and our classroom economy system. I let the kiddos choose the how all three would work together. They decided that for every three green (positive) points, they would move their owl up on the clip chart. The same thing applied for the red (negative points). They also decided they wanted to receive a dollar for each green point and to owe me a dollar for each red point. We wrote all the the specifics out on a poster board and each kiddo signed it. 

Now I'm not going to lye about it being all fine and dandy from then on out. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with points (even from my phone). Sometimes we have an overall 98% positive day and other days we are in the 80's. Yet, for the most part, this system has transformed my class. I would cry everyday after school. Now, I'm able to teach and enjoy my students for who they are. 

Bottom Line:

*Sometimes not ONE behavior system will work. You might have to blend a few different systems together to create the classroom you want. Be flexible!
*Go to to learn more about how to use this system in your classroom. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I truly hope that you have found it useful. I would love for you to leave some love in my comments section. Thanks again everyone.

You're all ready to head to the next amazing blog. This one is by Molly from Classroom Confections. She is going to talk to you about building fluency. Click {here} to get there. 

Classroom Confections


  1. I have heard so much about Class Dojo and I think this post HELPS so much! Headed over to take a look at it. Loved the honesty.

    Enchanted Kinder Garden

    1. Yea!!! I love hearing this! If yo uhave any questions...don't hesitate to ask. My email is

  2. Great post Mary. I've been doing Class Dojo for two years. Last year, I used the classroom economy, class Dojo and the clipchart just like you do! This year I haven't done the money part yet because I haven't taught it Also, for dojo I have a prize level chart. Every 25 points, they get to choose from two or three prizes. The prizes get better as they move on up. So far I have up to 200 points but I'm going to have to increase that level soon because I know many will get there soon. One of their favorite choices is chewing gum in class or getting to be the teacher for a subject (that's pretty high up there on the prize level).

    I just stared this blog hop on your post...just 140ish more to go! lol

    Amna (Teach Two Reach 2nd Grade Happenings)

  3. Wow! This looks like a great app! Thanks for sharing!