Behavior Management/ Parent Communication
Dear Kindergarten Parents,
This year I will be using an iPad app called “Class Dojo” for behavior management. The app is really fun for the kids because it encourages them to work hard for points based on their behavior. Last year I got great feedback on it from my students and their parents. On a daily basis, the kids will be shown the Class Dojo screen with a fun monster like avatar image of them several times a day. They get to earn points for their avatar by doing positive behaviors like doing their work, being a good listener and being helpful etc. They lose points when they show negative behavior such as not doing their work or not following directions etc.
The neat part about the app is that I can reward the whole class for doing their work or praise a single student with just the click of a button. My class last year though that it was almost “game like” for them because they get new monsters and things when they get so many points. Your student will most likely ask you to create an account so that they can choose their avatar.
I really like that it is a great resource for parents as well as it comes with parent codes that allow you to log in and check on how your students day went with the click of a button. Once you set up an account you can check on your child through the Class Dojo website (www.classdojo.com) or the app for parents. We found this app to be so beneficial last year that Roper will be using it school wide.
If you choose to participate the attached sheet has information as to how you can sign up to check their progress and inform me of your participation. However, I have computers set up at open house for you to sign up right now if it is easier. Your parent codes are found following this section in the packet. Your students can pick their own monster avatar if you chose to create an account. You do not need an iPad to check your student’s profile; you can use www.classdojo.com/parent to login.
If you use it, you will see a daily report that will tell you what percentage of the day I caught them for positive and negative behaviors. It even breaks down the times that I caught them doing each behavior. The kids know about the reports and are supposed to be trying to work towards a “mostly green bubble” or pie chart meaning they did a lot of fantastic work. However, I don’t want you to be alarmed if you see some red for some negative points.
Kindergarteners are known to need a lot of re-directing and sometimes hearing the minus one point ding on the app is all they need to fix their actions and get right back to work. Just because you see a red re-direct, don’t assume it is always a big deal. The app will give you a rough idea, but a minus one point could be as simple as, “I love your idea, but you’ll have to remember not to blurt next time and raise your hand. Blurting costs a Dojo point because if we all blurted it would be hard to have class etc.”
That being said, you will possibly see safe seats and buddy rooms noted on there from time to time with Dojo points. If you are wondering why they went to the safe seat or something and I didn’t write a note about it, it is because there will most likely be a point taken away before or after it for the undesired behavior exhibited. You can always message me about it if you happen to have further questions.
Safe seats are not a huge deal in kindergarten unless you see a pattern. They are our school’s protective way of giving students the chance to fix behaviors before they get out of hand. At Roper, we don’t think of safeseats as “being in trouble” we think of them as a warning so to speak where students get the chance to think about their problems and solve them before they get into more trouble. So please don’t panic if you see an unexpected safe seat or two pop up. The bullet-by-bullet point break down isn’t as important as the overall score because there are likely a lot of points to be given throughout the day for different things.
If your child is asked to go to the “safe seat” they will be directed to move to a separate seat and refocus because they were breaking one of our BIST school rules. This means they were not being either safe, responsible or respectful. They will be asked to fill out a think sheet where they will need to circle the goal for life they will work on in order to fix their problem.
- I can be okay even if I’m mad
- I can be okay if others are not
- I can do something even if I don’t want to
Additionally, they will need to make a plan for next time. At times they will go to the safeseat to work on doing independent work as well to avoid distractions. I will be processing with your child in the safeseat. They need to show me they are ready to work before they are able to go back to their desk. SAFESEATS DO NOT MEAN THAT YOUR CHILD IS “IN TROUBLE.”
However, if your child does not make a positive choice in the safeseat they will be directed to go to the buddy room. The buddy room is a neighboring kindergarten classroom. If your child goes to the buddy room they will be exposed to the same lesson they would be in our room as all Roper teachers teach the same lessons at the same time. However, in the buddy room students will need to sit in that teacher’s safe seat to process with that teacher before returning to class. Students in the buddy room will need to show that they can calm down, get to work and be successful before processing with that teacher about their choices and future plans for improvement. After students are sent back from the buddy room to our classroom they will have to discuss their problem with me as well. When you see a buddy room it is a bigger deal that you should talk to your child about so that they are accountable with you as well. Feel free to use our BIST language at home as well as our goals for life apply to lots of situations.
I know your children will be thrilled to show off their hard work and points! I hope you find it to be a helpful resource for you as a parent to be informed. If you check on your student’s growth at home, Class Dojo will update you on each point that your student receives both positive and negative. I want you to look at patterns in the overall pie chart and set goals with your student rather than focusing each positive and negative point on their screen. The kids are all working for high scores and “green donuts” (pie charts). I will be rewarding them with chances to win class coupons for earning a certain percentage of points regardless of whether or not you choose to track their progress online. Students with the highest percentage of positive points will get the first pick at playtime as well. However, Class Dojo will be an excellent resource for us both to begin noticing behavior issues early on in hopes of preventing major problems. I would really appreciate it if parents would partner with me on this system and talk with your children about issues you are frequently seeing them being re-directed for. Also, please praise or reward your children when they have great days! They love to impress you most of all!
If you have a question about something you see on Class Dojo or another concern, feel free to message me through the app, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at school. Keep in mind however, that just because Dojo lets you see a minute by minute update on your child and allows us to send messages at any time that doesn’t mean you need to worry about every single direction on the app. I will be checking it at night etc. just like an email. However, I won’t have time most days to message frequently throughout the day. I can’t stress to look for patterns. I will be contacting you if I see concerns as well.
Additionally, you can get the most information out of Class Dojo by knowing our class schedule so that you know what times of day your students excel or struggle in. I’ve listed our schedule below. Keep in mind that the great thing about Class Dojo is that I can send my iPad with the students all day long so that they are held to the same standards constantly. However, with that, keep in mind that there are times where Class Dojo is being run by other teachers. If you see that you are constantly seeing issues during specials or lunch for example when other teachers are running Dojo I might not know the details right away. I will be sure to try to get to the bottom of these issues right away, but keep in mind that once again patterns and times of day are what we are looking for if issues pop up. Hopefully, you will see patterns of positive behaviors on Dojo also.
8:15-8:30 Students are picked up from the gym and are working on their “Wake Up Work
8:30- 8:40 Morning Meeting
8:40-9:45 Guided Reading Groups/ Workstations
(each group meets 15 minutes with a short transition time between groups)
9:45-9:50 Clean Up/ Transition for Whole Group Reading
9:50-10:15 Whole Group Reading
10:15-10:30 Writing Lesson
10:30-10:40 Bathroom Break/ Transition to Recess
11:15-11:20 Transition to Class
11:20-11:45 Writing Worktime
11:45-12:15 Unit Studies
12:20-12:40 Math Routines
12:40-1:15 Math Lesson and Worktime
1:20-1:25 Line Up for Specials
1:25-2:10 Specials (6 day rotation)
2:10-2:15 Transition from Specials
2:20-2:45 Plan do Review Re-teaching (Choice Time)
2:45-2:53 Closing Read-a-loud/ Technology Activity and line up for the end of the day
In the end, If you do choose to get involved, I will use Dojo as my primary day-to-day method of communication with you. I will be sending class messages through the app similar to group emails about homework and various day-to-day updates. You can also send private messages back and forth to me via the app. along.
To learn more about Class Dojo check out these great introduction videos below:
How to Create a Parent Class Dojo Account:
Student Introduction to Class Dojo:
Link to make a Parent Login:
Thank you in advance for all of your support and teamwork with your child at home this year!