As a group, we recently had an opportunity to be a part of an incredible wave of information coming forward about the Common Core Standards and how they would be implemented in the classroom. As iPad advocates and users, we were thinking that this would be the perfect way to get a ton of apps for our website that we could share with everyone. However, something more happened - we learned.
I’m a big fan of martial arts, and even though I don’t have any moves of my own, I am working hard to develop the ninja frame of mind. Aside from being potentially useful in dark school parking lots and deserted copy rooms, ninja skills have plenty of other real world applications. In the case of this blog post: classroom management.
Through the recommendation of a colleague, I discovered Classroom Dojo, which is a super effective online management system that not only made me want to watch The Karate Kid on Hulu, but also try out the Dojo mojo in my own classroom.
On ClassDojo, teachers can input student names and easily chart the positive and negative behaviors of each child. Because I already utilize an individualized classroom economy, I decided to input groups of students.
My decision to enter seating groups into Dojo worked out well for two reasons. First, it was a whole lot less work to input eight names instead of ninety, and second, collaborative activities can be the most difficult to manage. Some teachers have quiet classrooms, but not me. Learning to accomplish tasks and effectively communicate with peers is a major part of the Common Core standards, not to mention an important life skill. As Karate Kid’s Mr. Miyagi once said, “Lesson is for whole life. When whole life have balance, everything be better.” See? Smart man.
The iPad Jedi Masters are lead learners and instructors who are part of the PSUSD iPad Trailblazer Project. Two of the AppsInClass crew contribute to this blog:
John Stevens, Math Teacher
Jessica Pack, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Video Production Teacher