Classroom Management, Part 2

So yesterday I shared my love of the Clip Chart with you, click here to read all about it. I promised that today I would share more about the changes I've made to the Clip Chart System.

I shared this photo yesterday...

You may have been wondering why I numbered the sections of my chart {1, 0, -1...}, well in November of last year I discovered Class Dojo. Class Dojo is an AWESOME website that offers software to help teachers and parents track student behavior. I decided to give it a test run, while keeping the Clip Chart as a backup, hence the numbering.

Dojo is simple to setup, and once you do each student gets a cute little monster avatar. During the day I project the website onto my screen for students to see. Each time I clipped a student up or down I would select their avatar and give or take away a point, which would appear next to their avatar. I made sure that these Dojo points matched the numbering on my chart, to make using both easier on me and my kiddos.

The thing I love most about Class Dojo is that I have to select a reason for giving a point change, because it tracks student behavior. I also love that parents can login at any time during the day, with their passwords, to check their child's behavior. At the end of the week Dojo automatically emails a detailed behavior report to enrolled parents. And I can print a copy for parents who don't have email access. It has been such an easy way to document behavior patterns. My parents love it!

Some people have asked why I still use the Clip Chart if I have Dojo. Once I fell in love with Dojo, I thought I would phase out the Clip Chart and use Dojo exclusively.  But after using both for a few months I started to notice a pattern in my students. Those who received a point were still eager to clip up on the chart, and were still just as excited about jewels and colored clips. However, those who lost a point always needed to be reminded to clip down. It's hard to explain, but it seemed as if they were more hesitant to move their clip down than to lose a point. It was as if the points weren't as real to them as moving their clip, physically moving their clip seemed to have more impact on them. And as I dabbled more into Whole Brain Teaching, I realized how truly important physical response can be for learning. That's when I realized that I had to keep both. My kids were responding more to the Clip Chart, but parents were loving the online access with Dojo and I was loving the documentation Dojo was providing. So I kept both and have never looked back. Yes maintaining both is a bit redundant, but it works for us and that's all that matters.

I've had so much success with it that I've convinced another Clip Chart loving teacher at my school to give Dojo a try this year. I can't wait to hear how it works in her room! If you're interested in checking out Dojo, click here. It's free and easy to use so play around with it this summer, and see if it's something you'd like to try next year.

As for me, I'll be making some minor changes for next year. The first will be to use my new chart. I updated the design to suit my new chevron and chalkboard theme. I also changed the names of two of the categories. I just felt like it was a bit hypocritical to tell my kids to replace 'good' with stronger adjectives in their writing when one of the categories on our chart was "Good Day." It's a really minor change but it will ease my mind. I'm crazy like that. :)

Overall the Clip Chart is working really well for me, but as I mentioned yesterday by the end of the year I was having trouble fitting clips into my Hall of Fame. Honestly I love that I have that problem, but I needed to figure something out for next year. I thought that maybe this year I'd raise the the stakes and require that they get more jewels before they get a new clip. I wasn't really sure what to do, so I did what any modern teacher would do and I combed Pinterest and my favorite blogs for ideas!

So while visiting Stephanie's blog, 3rd Grade Thoughts, I found the perfect solution! She and I share a love for Whole Brain Teaching, and when she unveiled a way to merge Whole Brain Teaching's Super Improver Wall with the Clip Chart I was excited to say the least. I tried doing Super Improvers at the beginning of the year last year, but using it with the Clip Chart was too much for me. Sadly I eventually abandoned Super Improvers. But Stephanie's idea perfectly merges the two, and I can't wait to try it next year. Stephanie did an awesome post on it, so I'll let her do the explaining. :) Just click here to visit her post!

Anyone have more great ideas for the Clip Chart or Dojo? I'd love to hear them!


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