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Clip Chart vs. Class Dojo

Classroom Management 


Full Member

I'm moving back to 2nd grade this year. In the past, I used a clip chart, and it went really well. I'm considering changing to class dojo this year.

What do you like better clip chart or dojo? why?

I'm also open to other idea.



Full Member
clip charts

I used to do clip charts too...they were minimally effective (I guess? I didn't really think too much about it). But then I became a mom and something about the clip chart just didn't sit well with me anymore. Then I started seeing more articles coming out against them and it really articulated those icky feelings I was having about it. I don't know if I'll be able to post links but here are a few:




(If these links don't work, just google 'articles against clip charts in school')

I don't really know much about Class Dojo, but it gives me a similar feeling. I would hope that teachers would only use the private setting and never publicly post "scores" and shame kids who struggle with following the rules. I would fear that kids were doing things just to score points, rather than understanding the importance of listening, sharing, etc. I would find it hard to build a strong foundation of trust with my students if their parents were getting notified every time he/she made a mistake in class. I certainly would have been a nervous wreck if my own teachers used class dojo. I fear that I would feel more like a dog trainer than a teacher! It just doesn't seem to create the type of classroom community that I strive for.

So, I started to read A LOT about Positive Discipline for the Classroom and Responsive Classroom. It shifted my mindset from a punishment/reward system to a TEACHING system. Now, we have daily Morning Meetings and weekly Community Circles in which we role play and brainstorm solutions to problems in the class. We weave SEL throughout the day. When a kid is having a rough time, I talk to them (privately). We make a plan about how to have better days (We use "Think Sheets"). They are taught strategies for self-control, getting calm, using empathy, etc. Then, I keep checking in. If a kid isn't getting it together, then I meet with parents and we all sit down and make a personalized behavior plan for him/her. Usually, kids are able to go off the behavior plan in a few weeks.

In some ways, it isn't as easy as "Move your clip" but it's SO much more effective and more empathetic to the childhood experience!


Senior Member
clip chart

I teach 3rd, but I've done both the clip chart and class dojo.

Class dojo just isn't for me. It was really high maintenance, in my opinion. I felt like I had to stop what I was doing and go to the computer to add a point every time someone did something good or made a bad choice. My colleague had issues with parents questioning every point the child received or got taken away, since the parents could see it. I quit using it a few months into the school year.

The clip chart is just easy. The kids can move their clothespin themselves. They still get the opportunity to move back up the chart once they make a mistake, so that tends to motivate them throughout the day. They get a small piece of candy or sticker if they stayed on green or higher at the end of the day. I don't do a treasure chest anymore - cost me too much! I'll be using the clip chart again this year. I think I've used it about 4-5 years now.

I had a rough group last year due to parents taking kids off ADHD meds. So I had to "alter" the clip chart with some of my students. If they're going down the clip chart every day several times, I start putting a small tally chart on their desk. They get a tally for every time they're reminded of behavior. It helps them see quickly, and it really does help them. When they get 3 tallies, THEN they move down the chart. It gives them more chances. That being said, it also takes 3 GOOD reminders to move up the chart, so it's the same in both directions. I talk to the parents before I do the tallies, and at the end of the day I put the number of tallies on a chart that goes home for a parent to sign. That way they know how he/she did. I only do that with the "tally kids".


Senior Member
Honestly, I use class dojo but not really the way most use it. I only use the positive green points sporadically throughout the day for positive feedback on our Promethean board:

Awesome Attention
Caring Classmate
Excellent Effort
Fantastic Focus
Happy Helper
Lovely Listener
Marvelous Manners
Perfect Partner
Praise from another Adult
Terrific Teamwork
Thoughtful Tidying
Wonderful Walker

I just use it as a way to point on good things that I see in the classroom. Also, since it's sent to parents automatically, it serves as a positive note home. I also really like the messaging feature to quickly send reminders to all of the parents. On the red point side, I just have a backpack icon that says note sent home (it's set to zero points) in the case of a student is taking home a Think sheet/Behavior note (I call them Reminder Sheets).


Senior Member
We are required to make a team decision

and must do as everyone else does. So, the clip chart is a compromise that works for me. With dojo, I don't like how tied I would be to the computer or, having to carry and use my own phone for school stuff. As someone else said, it interferes with the flow of lessons when I have to stop, navigate to a different page, and modify points for kids. The clip chart is more immediate, and puts the onus on the student to move the clip. Also, we had parents complaining about texts or notifications from teachers interrupting the flow of their work as well, so we have been instructed to leave parents out of that piece of dojo. I know some people really love dojo, but its not for me.


Senior Member
To piggyback on ACRteach's post, I don't do charts, clips, dojo, rewards, treasure box, or any of those "things". What I do is help children learn to be responsible members of society.

I highly recommend the following books. They will change your mindset. :)

Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn

Dream Class by Michael Linsin (he also has an email which he sends out regularly)

Discipline Without Stress, Punishment, or Rewards by Dr. Marvin Marshall

By the way, my school has a school-wide behavior plan which involves a clip chart. Mine is hanging up, I just don't use it. I never met a clothespin that could help a child to make better decisions. <!--giggle-->


Senior Member
Intrinsic motivation

These are my favorites, especially DWS.

Dream Class by Michael Linsin (he also has an email which he sends out regularly)

Discipline Without Stress, Punishment, or Rewards by Dr. Marvin Marshall

I also use parts of the Responsive Classroom, Bucket Filling, and Conscious Discipline. I don't give rewards for doing what they are supposed to do. Feeling proud means more than any "stuff" I could give.


Full Member
Thanks for all of the advice.

I work with a team and I think we will have a school wide positive behavior plan. I know that some teachers on our teach used both of these approaches. I have heard so much positive comments in the past about Dojo, that I was really thinking of using it, but now I'm not sure.


Junior Member
Dojo all the way

Our entire school does dojo.

Our parents love the immediate feedback and it is very user friendly as a teacher. We set up positive and negative points and you can always find more positives then negatives on kids. Yes you will have the occasional parent who wants to know every point lost and why but the added a notes feature is great for that one parent you can add specifics to try and head off the questions. For example if I take a point for hallway behavior I just add a note gave a verbal warning before taking point.

Not only is it behavior but it's a great communication tool. I would send weekly updates on Sunday so they would know special events or reminders. I could also take pictures of flyers going home so parents could be on the look out and have a digital copy to go back and look at. It also allows class stories so when we do activities I can snap a picture or quick video so parents can see what's going on in class, assemblies, field trips, etc.

They've also made some great changes recently so I would check it out! As a teacher and a parent I can't imagine anything easier to keep the communication lines open.


Full Member
Build positive behavior

I don't like clip or color systems. I used to use one, but I felt like I was ending my day on a negative note by trying to fill out behavior notes for any bad colors, as my school required them to be sent home. I recently switched jobs and a big part of my interview was about why I don't like color systems. I just got an email that school wide we will be doing a two color system with weekly rewards for students with all positive days. :( I'm devastated. It is to promote PBIS. Though I'm not sure how PBIS fits into a color system.

I don't want to hijack this post so I'm going to post this in The Vent if anybody has any advice or comments related. tia


New Member
I use dojo. It works well. My whole school uses it. If a teacher sees the students walking quietly in the halls they get points, eating quietly in the lunchroom, etc. The class with the most points at the end of the week in each grade level gets to have the spirit stick for the next week.

I also like it because you can connect with your parents. They can check and see how their child did for the day. I find that communication with the parents is easier. My students in the past have loved it.


Senior Member
I use both. I start w the clip chart. Then I introduce Dojo. I set a number of Dojo points to equate to colors on the clip chart. Every day my students color a square on their calendar showing what color they earned for the day. So it's always consistent for the parents yet I can mix it up in the class. I find Dojo to be much more cumbersome than a clip chart.