The tricky part can sometimes be, knowing what to use for different purposes. Here is my quick guide to using the different communication tools on Class Dojo.
DO: Keep this feed very visual - parents will keep coming back for more! Try to avoid posting just text messages – that is more what the “all parents” broadcast feature is for in Messages.
DON’T: Post a stream of individual photos of children. Parents will get annoyed at 20+ notifications and having to scroll through a river of posts. They only really want to see their own child. Groups of children and collages of photographs are better. Individual shots can go on individual Student Stories.
DO: Teach students to post themselves! Don’t worry, you approve all posts before they go live. Use it to document evidence of learning for reporting descriptors, to collect formative assessment and as a student reflection tool.
DON’T: Use this as a way to send messages to parents. The students can see this themselves.
DO: Use it for quick text reminders instead of posting them to the Class Story.
DON’T: Use informal language. Although it feels a bit like a chat interface, keep correspondence professional at all time.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been running some rotations with the Year 6 students which aimed to give them experiences with electrical circuits before their STEAM unit next term. They involved rotations with littleBits, Makey-Makeys, Electric Brain Box Sets and a couple of related iPad apps. Its been a busy few weeks, but the students have enjoyed themselves immensely.
What are Little Bits? The official spiel....
littleBits makes an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. littleBits consists of tiny circuit-boards with specific functions engineered to snap together with magnets. No soldering, no wiring, no programming, just snap together for prototyping, learning and fun. Simply combine the different littleBits together and start creating your own design made of sensors, motors, input and output modules
Introductory Lesson with Year 6
At the start of the lesson I provided the group with a bowl with a power (9V battery) and output (LED). I discussed the anatomy of a bit, before moving onto the four categories of bits:
We explored how bits joined together magnetically and from there I encouraged the students to connect their power and see if they could get their LED (output) to shine. Following student successes, I provided each with an pink input. Each student had a different type of switch. I instructed them to add it to their circuit. Some added it to the end of their circuit and discovered that it had no impact on their output, this being a valuable discussion point. We moved on to discuss the order of bits. I set the challenge of creating a circuit with multiple outputs and inputs to control them. The majority of students took a little time to work on this but were all successful in the end. Without much in the way of prior learning to base their explanations, the students made connections and constructed a pleasing understanding. We ended the lesson by testing how the REG LED could be adjusted with the tiny screwdrivers from the littleBits Library.
The images below were used to support the lesson in our Class Notebook, which I found on the Resources for Education on the littleBits website.
Sharing Learning with Class Dojo
A lovely idea for Class Story on Class Dojo has come out of one of the classrooms of a late Class Dojo adopter. It is always pleasing as the Class Dojo Mentor to see people getting on board and having success. We now have all of our classes using Class Dojo on the Primary Campus.
This teacher has used Class Story to post his "Daily Recap". This is a great idea for combating the "What did you do at school today?" question parents often ask their children at the end of the school day.
I love how this idea makes learning transparent for parents but also how it makes students accountable for their own learning.
I'd love to hear about how other teachers are making use of Class Story. Please feel free to comment below!
Read all about my thoughts on teaching in the 21st Century, my experiences with technology in the classroom, running a Maker Space, launching STEAM and Design Thinking with students, coding, robotics and much more!
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