Diggin' Into Next Year: Classroom Management

This week's topic for the Diggin' Into Next Year Series is Classroom Management.  As a new teacher, I really struggled in this area for several years.  I am happy to say that I have found several things that work for me because without effective classroom management strategies its hard for meaningful learning to occur in the classroom....not to mention your stress level will be through the roof!
One of the best classroom management tools that I have found is Class Dojo.  Class Dojo is a web based program that allows you to keep track of each individual student's behavior in a fun and motivating way.  
Class Dojo is completely free!  When you sign up, you simply enter your students' names.  You can choose each student's avatar or they can log into their personal accounts and select their favorite one. 
The program comes with preset behavior chooses or you can set your own custom ones to match the needs of your students.  I have customized the positive behaviors that I am looking for during the day.
Class Dojo also allows you to keep track of the behaviors that need work.  These are also customizable to meet the needs of your students.  
The program keeps track of the points that you give...both positive and negative.  Parents are able to log in to their students account at any time and check on their progress or you could print out the reports and send them home weekly.
There is also an app version of the program so that you can continue to encourage positive choices when your class in on the go.
I would highly encourage you to take a look at Class Dojo as you begin planning for next year.

Each Friday, the students get to see how many points they have earned through Class Dojo.  They receive one Doggie Dollar for each positive behavior point that they earn.
I reinforce ziplock bags with duct tape for the students to store their Doggie Dollars in.  The bags are hung on a bulletin board using a ring and a push pin.
I gave up on the traditional treasure box years ago because it was expensive to maintain.  I was going out once a month and spending around $40 on little "toys" only to have the kids ask, "When are we going to have something good in the treasure box?"  I replaced the meaningless toys with reward coupons.  The students can choose to spend their Doggie Dollars on any award that they choose.  The kids LOVE this...and I LOVE it because it works and it's FREE!
 After Spring Break this year, I add an additional motivational tool to my classroom. 
 I created "Brag Tags" for my students.  The brag tags are printed on card stock and laminated.  I was able to purchase enough chains and connectors for my entire class from Hobby Lobby with their 40% off coupon for around $5. Each Friday, during morning meeting, I would pass out one or more brag tags to each student.  The kids got to wear their brag dags during the day each Friday.  The kids absolutely loved collecting their brag tags and seeing how many they could earn.  This is something that I definitely want to continue next school year.

Class Dojo and Doggie Dollars have played a key role in being able to have a well-managed classroom where students feel respected and are able to learn.
        This is the unit that I use in my classroom. http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Classroom-Management-Dog-Themed-Classroom-Money-Reward-Coupons-Brag-Tags-1278530
 I am currently in the process of making similar units in other themes.  What theme(s) would you like to see?
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  1. I started doing brag tags this year. I couldn't find those necklaces, so I used those silver "O" rings. I made a big deal about some the tags being "limited edition" so they needed to be sure to be good and get them while they lasted. LOL. They loved it, and next year I'm hoping to be better about passing them out.

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

    1. Ali,
      Email me at PAWSitivelyTeaching@gmail.com and I will work something out for you.


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