Monday, August 10

Building Back 2 School: Classroom Tools

Happy Monday!

Today I'm participating in Denise's second party, over at #TeacherMom, linking up to talk about tools we use in our classrooms.

I decided to focus on ClassDojo and brag tags as two of my important classroom tools. Last year, was the first year I tried either ClassDojo or brag tags.

I liked parents getting to the opportunity to see the positives of each day, not just being informed of the negatives. I liked having an easy way to contact parents or send a message to the whole class. ClassDojo does just that! I'm really looking forward to their update this year that will allow me to post pictures for the parents to see what's happening throughout our week. I don't really use any other social media, at this time, to communicate with parents or share pictures from our day, so I'm excited to have this private way of giving them a peek into our activities and learning.


Another change for me this year with ClassDojo will be incorporating money, an incentive for my students to earn cash to spend for special activities, privileges, and small prizes. I decided not to schedule specific times when the whole class can spend their money. (Do you think this is a rookie mistake?) Instead, I'm going to designate a time of day, like at the very end of the day, where a student can spend their money as soon as they have enough or decide to spend it. (I thought this would reduce the amount of time spent managing the store.)

I've also decided that I will reset their points at the end of the week. That's how I'll know how much each student earned that week and how I will decide who was the Dojo of the Week. I've even considered giving each student a "register" to keep track of their debits and credits, after we've learned to add and subtract with regrouping, of course.

Last year, I used brag tags and LOVED it. It took so much time to create, print, laminate, cut out, and distribute the tags, though that I've been trying to do a lot of that work up front this year. By the end of the year, I was unfortunately just giving them out once a month-ish. I want to do better this year with giving some out each week. (Take a look at my storage container from last year. Yikes, huh? Far less organized than my new one for this year, below!)

This year, I'm switching to necklace-sized chains. I'll still create special event/accomplishment tags throughout the year, but I've created lots of tags in advance that can be handed out every week. (Hopefully that will drastically reduce the amount of time spent creating them this year.) I've created birthday ones, spelling test ones, ClassDojo ones, positive behavior ones, and perfect attendance ones. (You can see them all in my store by clicking here or by clicking on the picture below. You'll definitely want to check out my free set!)

I'm ready and excited to start the year out right with brag tags and ClassDojo! I think they will help to engage my students, promote positive behavior, and create motivation to succeed.

As a part of Denise's party, I am giving away my newest set of brag tags: the character traits. It includes ten different positive character traits, thanks to wonderful clip art created by EduClips.

I'm also giving away one of my most popular products, right now, thanks to a movie that came out recently featuring some funny little yellow characters.

You can win both these prizes by checking out my rafflecopter below. I tried to create several ways for you to earn votes to win. Beware, though! The giveaway ends Wednesday morning, so don't delay if you are hoping to win these great back-to-school prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great week!
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