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Class Dojo

(39 Posts)
RideTheLightning Wed 21-Sep-16 19:44:57

My child is in year 1 and our school has just introduced this. Any parents/teachers with any experience of it?

From what I've read, I am instantly weary of it and am already concerned at the negative impact it is having on my son. He is anxious about the system and can't understand why his hard work is going unnoticed. It seems to have zapped his confidence and he is questioning whether he is 'a good boy' or indeed 'good enough' when he sees other getting points.

We are raising him to be self motivated, and to work hard for himself, not for an external reward. I'm worried that this system will undermine this.

Initial feedback from other parents is mixed. Those parents who (in their opinion) have children with behavioural issues are positive - saying it is good that they can 'keep an eye' on their child etc and think that it will motivate their child to do better. They are thrilled that their child has already won treats/certificates when last term they were in front of the headmistress etc/always having warnings. Others with children who are generally well behaved are optimistic or (like me) are seeing negative repercussions this early on and are concerned.

Any experience yourselves? Will things get better? Is this system a good thing for your school/child? I'd love to hear some positives so that I can either stop worrying or so that I can raise my concerns with the school in a reasoned, sensible manner.

Thanks very much.

irvineoneohone Wed 21-Sep-16 19:52:28

I had really good experience with this. The teacher seemed to give points for all the children, and my ds was rewarded with tiny things, which motivated him. I don't think she used this to punish bad behaviour so much, so normally well behaved children were rewarded as well as others who don't.
Also the PM function was really handy.

user1473583408 Wed 21-Sep-16 19:58:57

My DD's school have used class dojo for over a year. I think it is great. Last year we regularly saw photos of what they were doing in class and it was really good for communicating with the teacher as I work full time. We also had reminders about home work and trips.

PoppyStellar Wed 21-Sep-16 21:24:05

I've also used it and had very positive experience. It's a really helpful way for school and parents to communicate.
I think its success very much depends on how successfully the teachers understand to use it, how regularly it's used, and how the whole idea is 'sold' to the kids.

PoppyStellar Wed 21-Sep-16 21:26:50

Ps I have a well behaved child (at school anyway!) and it's not demotivated her or stressed her out. Quite the opposite, she loves getting dojos.

TheAntiBoop Wed 21-Sep-16 22:37:06

I think it does depend on how the teachers hand them out. Dd's teacher said she keeps an eye on the levels to ensure they are within a range so no child will only have 5 whilst another has 100! I think it could make dd a little more self motivated. She also gives them out to the whole class as well as individually.

It will be interesting to see how it works as I didn't think the treasure chest system (they get to put their name on a raffle ticket - the more you have the more likely you are to win the chest at the end of the week) worked very well last year. At least this way each child is being rewarded as they deserve it and there is no need to take turns in who gets the treat etc

smellyboot Wed 21-Sep-16 23:31:46

Positive here too - the kids loved earning dojo points - mainly for effort etc

zen1 Thu 22-Sep-16 06:27:08

Regardless of the pros and cons of using Class Dojo as a method of behavioural management, I have serious concerns about privacy and what the company does with the data it collects about children. Having read their privacy policy in full, I'm not convinced the information is secure as parents / teachers are led to believe. The company still releases info to their third parities and those parties can also sell it to their third parties etc.
I don't really want photos of my DC / emails referring to them by name being released into the ether.

greenandblackssurvivalkit Thu 22-Sep-16 13:31:26

Hate it. It is very public and shame orientated. Whole class negatives are a collective punishment. It caused tears every night for a while in our house, and this is a well behaved child.

However, it may be the way it is implemented rather than the system itself.

mouldycheesefan Thu 22-Sep-16 13:37:43

My kids love it. No issues. They can exchange the dojos for rewards such a class disco if the whole class earns enough donors together, stationary , sitting on the teachers chair was the most highly regarded prize etc.
If you have an issue with extrinsic reward then any reward be it a sticker, house points, trophies, certificates would also be an issue for you. Dojos are no different. 700 kids in the school, not heard of any problems whatsoever. It appeals to the kids that's the main thing.

mouldycheesefan Thu 22-Sep-16 13:40:16

It doesn't involve any photos or emails that I know of. We don't have access to the system or get any emails about it. The kids have little monster characters, there are no photos of the kids. They can spend their points on changing their character if they want.

Sameoldiggi Thu 22-Sep-16 13:45:25

It's an option, mouldy, you can invite parents. But used at its most basic all the info put in is the child's name.

NewsAt10 Thu 22-Sep-16 13:50:11

Same old system that rewards children who find it easy to do well, which in itself isn't a bad thing, but any reward system leaves some children (usually the ones whose behaviour needs modifying) feeling stressed and dejected or increases a "don't give a shit" attitude.

My ds hated it, found it humiliating that he was way behind everyone else. The children who did well loved it. Not a fair, inclusive system.

NewsAt10 Thu 22-Sep-16 13:51:17

Posted too soon - not fair unless it is handled in a way that gives every child the opportunity to do well, and not focusing on academic prowess and expectations of behaviour which are not reachable to some children.

ReallyTired Thu 22-Sep-16 13:51:34

My daughter's school has never used such a system. Surely a computerised system makes it easier to check that no child is left out. Its very easy to over look the quiet middle ablity child. A least with a computer the system the head teacher could ask the teacher why he has not awarded Perfect Peter any points and given loads of points to horrid henry.

rainbowstardrops Thu 22-Sep-16 13:53:19

I work in Yr1 and ours have funny little monsters as well. Definitely no photos of the children and only their first name. I really don't think anyone would be interested in that.

With regards to any problems, I haven't experienced any. We mainly give them out for good sitting, good listening etc to encourage the wrigglers and chatter-boxes to make the right choices.

We also tend to try and make sure that everyone gets at least some!

chamenager Thu 22-Sep-16 14:38:41

Our school introduced this last year when DS just started Y1.

Initially it made him incredibly anxious. He completely froze up in school for fear of doing something wrong that would earn him a red point. The only thing he ever talked about when he came home was who got how many points of which colour. In a sense you could say it completely took his mind away from learning and focused him on behaving instead, his own and others' behaviour. He didn't need his behaviour improving, it was fine already due to pre-existing latent anxiety, but the dojo made the anxiety much worse.

After a while, after many conversations at home in which we tried to make clear that we did not care one jot about dojo points, and that what matters is the choices you make, not the points you earn (or not), he started to relax about it and now he largely ignores the dojo points. His behaviour has remained the same (or even improved) as he now has returned to 'normal' i.e. is not afraid to say something in case it may be 'wrong'.

I have been a classroom helper and have seen that some children tend to frequently collect red points, others not. This didn't change over the year which indicates to me that these children's behaviour wasn't actually positively affected by the system. Separately and independently some children's parents told me that their children's self esteem was terrible, that they'd often bang their heads on to walls (literally) and state that they 'were bad'. Because whatever they did, however hard they tried, they kept getting red points.

So no, I am not happy at all with the dojo system. However, I must say our school (or teacher) uses it particularly badly. In our school the kid with most green dojos (and no red ones) at the end of the week gains an award. That is wrong on so many levels. It makes good behaviour into a competition between the kids. And a child who struggles to behave well will never win the award. They may give their utmost best for half a day or a whole day but won't be able to keep it up for the week, so will not be rewarded. And once they collected that red point, blocking them from 'winning', they may well give up trying.
Also initially they were constantly pinging. With children gaining 20 or more points each week. Completely distracting from learning. Whereas after a while they made it harder to get green points, so the weekly winners would have 6 or so. And sometimes they made class rewards dependent on no children having red points, so children who did get a red point felt bad for spoiling things for their mates.

All that said, I think the dojos CAN be used in a more positive manner. E.g. rather than making it a competition between the children, you can set each child individual aims. You can tally up and set back to zero after half a day, rather than making yesterday's behaviour hang over your head (and be displayed for everyone to see) every day. Children who find it hard to sit still can be told they will gain points for sitting still, while other children won't - but each child can be aware of their own individual target/goals. You don't have to actually use red points, you can use green ones only, and this does have a good side: You can have an immediate positive reaction to/recognition of small positive things throughout the day. Children who behave well generally can still have goals and be rewarded.

Of course you can do those things with or without the dojo things. So, as with most things, it depends not so much on the system, than on how it is used. And if you talk to school, I'd focus on this aspect. Suggest ways how they can use it more positively.

The main problem IMO is that teachers using the dojo system tend to stop thinking. They feel 'oh this is how we are managing behaviour now, ok then' and just start using it, rather than thinking about what they really want to achieve and how they can use the system to do that.

MiaowTheCat Thu 22-Sep-16 15:15:59

The penny's just dropped with me about why DD1's been going on and on and on about getting "dodos" and "dodo points"!

2014newme Thu 22-Sep-16 15:19:36

The child with most dojo in dds class last year was toward bottom of the class academically but very well behaved and also shy and quiet.
Obviously if you are badly behaved you won't get as many.

2014newme Thu 22-Sep-16 15:20:40

We don't get red points but points can be removed for poor choices

TheAntiBoop Thu 22-Sep-16 15:27:30

In dd's class they don't give red ones and they don't remove either.

It's a tool ultimately - the pros and cons discussed are about how it's implemented by the individual teacher

RideTheLightning Thu 22-Sep-16 16:50:57

Thanks for your comments everyone - lots to think about.

My DS has had no anxiety issues at all before now and is well behaved/top academic group. It's clear he's not anxious because he's badly behaved. It's because he feels he has worked hard/been 'good' but his teacher hasn't noticed.

It's early days for our class, but so far the 'winners/leaders' are children with known behavioural problems who are obviously behaving better (fair enough). Other parents whose kids are also bright/ generally well behaved are saying their children are also worried/feeling sad about their dojos or the lack of them.

I think we will need further info from the teacher as to how she is awarding points and we can take it from there.

2014newme Thu 22-Sep-16 16:53:21

It's a teacher issue not a dojo issue would be same with stickers or other reward. Ours are very very generous with the dojos giving them out all day

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 22-Sep-16 16:55:57

Am I the only one who doesn't know WTF a Dojo is?

AnotherUsernameBitesTheDust Thu 22-Sep-16 17:00:56

A child at my child's school managed to somehow get on the schools account and post photos of her siblings on there for everyone to see. No idea how easy it is to do that, but it put me off it.

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