This is a selection of the tools for classroom management that I find useful:
Classroom management: https://www.classroomscreen.com/
Online tool (free). It can be used from any classroom computer or device. It allows you to:
- measure the noise level of the classroom, as long as there’s a microphone
- create QR codes to be scanned by students, so they can visit the website needed
- show symbols to remind them whether they should be silent, or whispering, or working in pairs or groups
- show a traffic light to indicate whether their behaviour is OK or not, or whether the noise level is acceptable (especially useful if you don’t have a microphone installed)
- display a timer, and a clock.
It also allows you to create exit polls on the spot, so you can ask your students anonymously what they thought of the session, did they like the task / project, …
Online noise meters:
- http://toonoisyapp.com/ (Too Noisy Starter-free; Too Noisy Pro ($)
- Noise Moderator (Android)
- Too Loud (iOs)
In my experience, noise meters worked like a charm: with them, I never had to tell my students that they were being a bit too loud when working in groups: there were always students that realised the noise level was getting dangerously close to red, and they shushed everyone else.
Class Dojo (free, online and mobile): a more complete learning management system. If you only want to use it for class management in a similar way to the resources above, that’s totally fine. Open the toolkit on your classroom computer or mobile device, and choose from a set of tools:
I especially like:
- Random: if you have included the list of your students, Class Dojo can pick students at random, so they can’t complain it’s always them, or it’s never them.
- Group Maker: Let Class Dojo make groups for you, even telling it what students shouldn’t be together.
- Noise Meter (needs a microphone)
- Directions: type the instruction you’ve given your students on the screen, so they can remain on task.
- Think Pair Share: display a question for students to discuss.
However, if you want to take full advantage of Class Dojo, you should register your students, and maybe parents as well. More info here: https://www.classdojo.com/about/
I did use Class Dojo awarding my students mostly positive points, and only occasionally negative points (or just 0-points warnings). These “points” can be seen by parents, and by students (if parents grant them permission) through Class Dojo’s app. Class Dojo comes with a set of reasons to give positive or negative points, but more can be added:
Another thing I liked was to share projects and activities we did with parents through Class Dojo:
As of this school year, Class Dojo is introducing student portfolios. It might be worth exploring these as well.