Teachers use classroom management website


As junior Lusine Tarakchyan sits in class, history teacher Eric Kursinski keeps a watchful eye on the students and documents how each behaves by using a website called Class Dojo. The website is broadcast on the whiteboard and shows each student’s participation and behavioral points next to their personalized avatars.

Tarakchyan said that it’s a good way to keep track of the way students behave in class and it’s fun because it’s customizable. Tarakchyan said that if someone participates, Kursinski marks positive points on the student’s character in front of everyone.

Kursinski said that likes how he can broadcast the website on the screen. “It’s kind of a social thing, too, because students don’t want people to know they did something bad so they actually change the way they behave, so in that sense it really helps,” Kursinski said.

Most of Kursinski’s students are in the process of adjusting to Class Dojo. “I think it’s a good thing because the people who usually get negative points are the ones that are disrupting our class so as long as you’re on task, you don’t get negative points,” Tarakchyan said. “It sucks that the whole class can see what you’re getting.”

Kursinski said that Class Dojo is not only there as a reminder that teachers don’t like it when students talk out of place, but also to document proof of students’ behavior. “If you say ‘I wasn’t talking that day’ and I’ve got you down as you were talking out of turn, I have proof documented that you were talking out of turn,” Kursinski said. “You have nothing other than the fact that you’re saying you weren’t talking out of turn.”

In case there is a need to clear up a tardy or absence, teachers can also go back to check which days a student was not on time. The management tool helps the classroom flow with smooth ease.

Students can also log on and check their own grades, just as with the GUSD Student Portal.

Kursinski said that Class Dojo is not considered an academic grade resource unless the participation grades that are displayed are included in a student’s grade at the end of the semester.

Math teacher Armineh Mikaelian also uses Class Dojo, and junior Daryl Paras, who is in Mikaelian’s Math Analysis class, said that she likes the program so far. “She counts tardies, dress code and student disruptions but also gives positive points for participating and answering homework questions,” Paras said.

Paras is also in Kursinski’s class and thinks that it’s easier to take account for points for participation in both subjects.

Kursinski agrees with Paras. “I think it’s really awesome and it’s a good tool to use in today’s day and age,” Kursinski said. “It incorporates technology in the classroom. It’s a visually stimulating thing and the characters are adorable.”