Friday, September 13, 2013

Acquisition App #3: Class DoJo

As a relatively new AIM teacher, the transition to a TL-only space is a work-in-progress. I am looking for exciting ways to encourage my eighth grade learners to speak only French for the entire 40 minutes of class. AIM incorporates several different rewards systems that are tried and true. One of my favorites, was developed by +Sylvia Duckworth and requires students to earn points in groups and then add them up, entirely in the TL at the end of class. They end up learning all the numbers, as points can get up really high. They also learn math and math related vocabulary in addition to the motivation factor as the team with the highest number of points wins a prize! I plan on implementing a group incentive once my students are ready to sit at their tables. Right now, all the tables are set around the outside of the room and the students are up closer to me, sitting in chairs.

This week, I started an incentive system for individuals who speak only in French for the duration of the class. If you are familiar with AIM, I am using this system to replace "les cartes." Class Dojo is the app/website that I have chosen for this reward system. Please view the end of this post to see how my wonderful Edmodo PLN is using Class Dojo in their classrooms!

So, early this week, the students started passing over the "magic line." I have this placed inside the room before the area where all the students sit. The students do not cross the line until I invite them to do so. This is done after we have completed our AIM entry routine. Once they cross that line, they are not to speak English. If they do, they do not earn their class dojo point for the day.

I do not police the kids...this is an honors system. If I do hear English, I stop and gesture for the class to say, "Everyone must speak in French, please." At the end of the class, I gesture for the class to say: Who spoke only in French today? For the first days, I used this script with the students...I'd gesture for them to say it with me. As it takes some time to have each student stand up and say what they need to say, now I ask all of the students who spoke only in French to stand up all at once and say this:

 (I spoke only in French today. I want a point, please.) After they say this with my gestural support, they all walk up to the SMARTboard and press their name on our Class Dojo site. I have it set up with an avatar for each of them. It looks something like this:

 After they have all pressed their avatar, I push the "magic button" that awards the points and I have the speakers turned up high for them to hear the sound effect. At the end of every month I will do a drawing with the names of the kids who have the highest number of points. The winner(s) of the drawing will earn a special reward. 

This is all new to me but so far it seems to be really helping them stay in the Target Language, et ├ža, c'est fantastique! If you have any thoughts or ideas about this system, I'm all ears! Perhaps there's something I can tweak? I am also looking for ideas for rewards for 8th graders. What works for your middle school students? I'd love to hear your ideas. Merci!

Here's the Edmodo help from my wonderful PLN:

Thank you, Edmodians! You Rock!!!

1 comment:

  1. thank you for the great explanation of your use of classdojo. i'm checking into it and thinking of trying it out as a participation tool in my French classes.