The Students Have Begun Driving the Dojo!

My students are, like, so cool.  At the end of last week, I introduced the idea that student learning teams would be designing some dojo achievement challenges. (Background on the dojo, the badges, and whatnot can be found here and here.)   Then I asked them to mull over some possibilities for a while, and we got busy with the academic business.  Today we revisited the idea and teams had a short time period to discuss and list possibilities.  The three guidelines I gave were that the achievements had to:  involve learning of some kind, be reasonably achievable for all students, and be enjoyable.

I was so impressed with the initial discussions.  Groups were going in different directions–some wanted to set up reading challenges (eg “Read 4 chapter books in a single month”), and others wanted to do some sort of knowledge-based challenge (eg “Name 10 different kinds of dinosaurs.”)  Lots of questions, wrangling over parameters, and some laughing as I walked around.

In my wanderings, I heard two groups talking about achievements related to our behavior expectations.  They are:

C-Commit to Learning

R-Respect Others

E-Everyone is Safe

E-Everyone is Responsible

K-Kindness Counts

This is the standard for the whole district, and being a “CREEK kid” is kind of a big deal at our school.  One team was discussing how to create an achievement for kindness. “What if you ding by getting 5 kindness points in the dojo?”  (Ding = level up or gain an achievement) This caught my attention.  We’ve never done anything specific with the point breakdown in our Class Dojo, but we do have points based on the above expectations.  I had NEVER even considered this (bad gamer!  no cookie!), and I find the idea intriguing.  Aren’t kids so good at making games?  I’m hoping this idea gets developed, because I want to add just one twist–the kindness points must be rewarded by fellow students, not me.

I look forward to working with students to develop opportunities for using Class Dojo and Classbadges.  It could be disastrous.  It could be wondrous.  Whatever happens, it surely won’t be boring!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tonya Brownfield
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 01:34:44

    It’s student centered, student generated, and students are motivated. Whatever happens it will be WORTH IT!


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