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. In the past, I have received 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 to work for “high scores.”
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. Roper will be using it school wide.
Your parent codes will be coming home with your child’s first homework assignment. This will give your children and myself time to adjust to the system over the first few weeks. You do not need an iPad or iPhone to check your student’s profile; you can use www.classdojo.com/parent to login. Please make it a priority to join this site, as it is the easiest and fastest way for you to communicate with me and stay up to date on happenings.
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 did not 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 via the app, phone email etc. if you happen to have further questions. Often times, students are asked to go to one of these places if they are breaking our school rules which are that we will be safe, responsible and respectful at all times.
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 safe seats 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. They are listed as a negative point value simply because the app forces me to choose positive or negative for each behavior. However, if a student fixes their behavior, a safe seat is not a huge deal. The bullet-by-bullet point break down of behaviors 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 safe seat to work on doing independent work as well to avoid distractions. I will be processing with your child in the safe seat. 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 safe seat 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 “B.I.S.T. language” at home as well as our goals for life apply to lots of situations.
Overall, 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 while you at work or something. The kids are all working for high scores and “green donuts” (pie charts).
I will be rewarding students with chances to win class wristbands 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.
You will notice your students coming home from time to time on Fridays with wristbands from me about their wonderful behavior or Class Dojo scores. Sending your student home with a wristband is my way of informing you about their great work in school. The students get to choose their prize so the wristbands will be different each time, but they will offer you a great opportunity to celebrate and discuss your student’s accomplishments at school with them!
Most of the prizes are things they will earn at school, but once in a while, they may choose show and tell, which involves them bringing an item of their choice from home. Often times, the kids pick prize box, which means they’ll get a small trinket with their bracelet. We are really focusing on positive praise at Roper this year so other school awards may also come up throughout the year as well. I encourage you to really celebrate your student’s great days with us as we do in the classroom.
We are a NO CANDY school, so all prizes will be tangible items such as stickers, pencils etc! This includes birthday treats or holiday treats brought by students.
Class Dojo will also 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 email@example.com 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 enough 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 becoming a school-wide trend is that students are now held the same classroom standards constantly. However, with that, keep in mind that there are times where other teachers are running Class Dojo. This might mean it is specials time, lunch, recess or a substitute teacher is teaching or something. I have a button for each specialist to mark positive and negative points for their subject area so you should be able to tell when the point was given by another teacher in charge.
Other classroom teachers can award points for things like hallway or playground behavior if they see fit, so know that certain times of day such as during lunch I may not know all of the details of a given point situation immediately as another teacher was in charge at that time. 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 documented on Dojo also. Please be aware that the first few weeks, when we are adjusting to kindergarten and Class Dojo you may not notice consistent patterns, as the kids are new to the system.
8:10-8:15 Pick up Students from the gym
8:15-8:30 “Wake Up Work” and Attendance
8:30 Students are picked up from the gym and are working on their “Wake Up Work
8:30- 8:40 Opening/ Calendar
8:40-9:10 Whole Group Reading
9:10-10:15 Guided Reading Groups (4 groups-15 minutes each + transition time)
10:15-10:40 Word Work
12:00-12:15 Math Routines
(6-day rotation-note the order has not been decided yet)
- Media (Library)
1:00-2:00 Math Lessons
2:00-2:20 Unit Studies
2:20-2:40 Plan do Review Re-teaching (Choice Time)
2:40-2:53 Closing Read-a-loud/ Technology Activity and line up for the end of the day
In the end, 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. I will often send class updates on this. However, email is always a great way to contact me if you have messages that are more than a few lines. You can also send private messages back and forth to me via the app 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!
Below are some examples of what the app looks like