Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
How Do We Motivate Our Students?
Many teachers want to learn how to engage and motivate more students in the classroom. Every year I have many students that struggle to complete their work, stay motivated, and work through difficult material. I am guessing you have the same situations in your classroom, right? This is what makes teaching unique is that there is a new challenge, and each day is never the same as before. We may have some students that start the year off great and now they are slipping behind because of absences, family issues, difficult content, etc. We try to get the most out of our students each day to reach their potential as one of our main goals as teachers. Sometimes, we have to pull out many different tools from our toolbox and get creative to keep students engaged in the learning process.
Build Student Confidence
Over the years, I have learned many tips and tricks for helping students stay motivated. Only one so far has made such an immediate and powerful impact on my students. I only began this about a month ago in my classroom, but I can tell you I have seen tremendous results in my classroom and students are more eager to participate, complete their work, and leave with higher self-esteem than I have ever seen before. Want to learn more and try this in your own classroom to engage and motivate more students? Let’s get to it!
One of the most Important Tools in Your Teacher Toolbox- ClassDojo
ClassDojo has transformed my teaching this school year. This program (which by the way is free) allows teachers to give students real-time feedback on how students are doing in class with their work, behavior, supporting and helping others, and much, much more. It does truly engage and motivates more students in the classroom. Although I am just starting out with this program, I am finding more benefits for my students every day.
Become a Facilitator of Learning
I am now more of a facilitator in the classroom now. The students are much more engaged each day because of the powerful features of this program. The students can see at any given moment how they are doing in your class based on how many points they have. They can redeem points at any time or you can reset the points if you see multiple classes in a day. Let’s look at some of the cool features of this free program to support students and teachers at school.
Why You Should Try ClassDojo
There are so many great features of ClassDojo, but I just wanted to highlight a few that I have been using recently and have found to be very valuable for my classroom:
Advantages of the Program
- Ability to Give Timely Feedback– You can give feedback immediately if a student is on task, working hard, helping others. Also, you can give feedback if the student is not showing areas that need work such as blurting out, off task, etc. Each time you give a positive behavior reward there is a “ding” so everyone knows. Also, there is different sound comes up when students are off task, etc. This feedback helps to engage and motivate more students.
- Choose Your Target Behaviors- You can add as many detailed target behaviors as you would like. If your students struggle in the hallway, you could create a “hallway” behavior to promote.
- Compatible with Your Devices– All you need to do is download the app and it automatically syncs to your computer. I walk around with either my iPad or phone to give points. I also give access to my teacher assistant and they can give out points, etc. when I am teaching class. This is also a great tool for remote learning. Check out their remote learning resources here
- Big Idea Videos– If you are looking to target a specific behavior, check out the Big Idea videos to get the conversation going. Some examples include showing kindness, positive thinking, mindfulness, empathy, and more that are added all the time.
- Redeeming Points- In my class resource room setting, I have different classes coming and going all of the time. I usually reset my points each class period, but I could see for an elementary classroom keeping the points going for a week or longer and having the students redeem points for a reward such as a classroom store item, extra recess, game time, etc.
- Teacher Tools– There are cool features like a timer, grouping tool to put students into random groups of whatever size you would like, Think Pair Share questions, random name chooser, and much more all in one place. As a teacher I appreciate how many great features are in just one place. Check out their YouTube channel for more information!
- Connecting with Families– Teachers can invite parents to see how their student is doing each day. These are great opportunities for conversation around what the student did well that day and maybe some areas to focus on more.
The Power of Praise
The best part about ClassDojo to me is that I am now more intentional about seeking out and recognizing the hard work of students. I felt before that I was only talking to the students who were being disruptive or not getting their work done. Now I am engaging more with all of my students. Students are more encouraged and they know how proud I am of their hard work each day.
A Change in Perspective
This program is a great vehicle for a mindset shift in education. I have been able to engage and motivate more students each day. ClassDojo has many features that a teacher would want on one screen with a simple click. My personal favorites are the quick grouping and the big idea videos to get students thinking on a deeper level. As I go into class each day, I now feel like I can add more value to each student. I am giving them tools, knowledge, and the belief that they can succeed. I hope you find this tool as beneficial for your classroom as I have!
Want More Strategies and Support Each Week?
Do you go into the classroom on Monday overwhelmed at the week ahead of you? The Momentum Monday newsletter is like a Snickers bar for teachers. Each week, there is great information for what you need right now in your classroom. There are student engagement strategies, teacher self-care, a teacher tech tip, and a Q & A section with actual questions that I have received from teachers. Click to view the latest issue of Momentum Monday and subscribe to future issues and view our past issues!