How You Can Encourage Teamwork in Any Elementary Classroom

 

TeamWork Made Easy – Thanks to ClassDojo

~ It’s never about the tool itself… it’s how you use it ~

I’ve used ClassDojo for a number of years in a number of ways. What I love about ClassDojo is they’re always evolving. This is a company that truly listens to their users and builds what they need.You may be familiar with the ClassDojo idea of awarding or deducting points for children based on a child’s behavior. If this is how you know ClassDojo, I highly encourage you to stay tuned over the next few weeks as you will notice the platform evolve into a tool that better aligns with an engaging, student-centric classroom environment.

In our second grade classroom, we work hard to model behavior that is indicative of a respectful and responsible learner who has integrity. These are our school’s core values. ClassDojo has made it easy to create awareness within our classroom for students to understand what these concepts “look like” when being practiced. For example, because we have always used ClassDojo as a whole class or small group model, when we notice a friend being respectful, we share it when appropriate. This way, we can all begin to see these behaviors in action. Plus, it fills our bucket when our efforts are noticed by others. We don’t need a gold star or a cookie – that’s not what I’m saying. But, let’s face it… when someone thanks us for doing something or acknowledges we’ve made an effort, it feels good to be appreciated. It’s about creating an environment where positive behaviors are valued, noticed, and appreciated.

Image Credit: Kagan Gallery

Not “One More Program…”

A Better Way to Teach Any Program

Having been a former college cheerleader and national advanced cross-examination debate finalist, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to serve as a coach in these roles. There’s something to be said about the T.E.A.M acronym – Together Everyone Achieves More. Of course there’s a time for whole group instruction and individual work time, but I’ve seen so many students light up when they get to work together with others towards a common goal.

During my first year of teaching, I was able to attend the 5 day course on Cooperative Learning from Kagan. That’s when I understood how to start integrating more of a hands-on, student-centered experience into each area of instruction to increase active engagement and student achievement. You can read more in this article about how these structures aren’t one more program, but a better way to teach any program. When students get to share in the learning experience, the discussion raises to a new level. Hearing from others broadens their perspective, builds empathy, and ignites deeper learning. That’s why I incorporate Kagan Structures into our classroom experience. These structures provide a framework for groups to do more than work with one another. They provide students an organized system where P.I.E.S exist.

Kagan Structures: P.I.E.S.

  • Positive Interdependence
  • Individual Accountability
  • Equal Participation
  • Simultaneous Interaction


ClassDojo now makes it easy for teams
to track their goals.

I’m so excited about this! Last year, my students individually tracked their goals. This served as a great reflection at the end of each day. However, next year, I’m looking forward to taking it a step further and enhancing our team building within the classroom.

I recommend you check out the Kagan Catalog for tremendous class building and team building activities.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: This post is sponsored by ClassDojo. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Erin

Mother. Teacher. Keynote. Author

Erin Klein is an award winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother.

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