ClassDojo Gets Mindful in the Classroom

No matter how we organize our time, it seems that there are no shortage of distractions that take our attention off what we’d rather concentrate on. With so much distraction, our children find themselves unable to concentrate on their own schoolwork. It’s hurting their performance. ClassDojo is aware of this, and is relying on a little mindfulness to address the problem.

Mindfulness encourages regular meditation as a means to recenter people and allow them to focus. It’s become popular in schools. about 90% of teachers told ClassDojo that it’s a benefit for their students, but that same survey found that only 10% of students practice it regularly.

In response to these numbers, ClassDojo is pushing the “Mindful Moment” initiative–a series of videos that teach kids how to practice mindfulness. It was put together with the help of the founder of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Marc Brackett.

In Brackett’s estimation, mindfulness is a tool that reinforces emotional intelligence. Negative emotions can worsen distraction. Research shows that students and teachers alike experience negative emotions and it slows down their performance throughout the day. According to Brackett, with better emotional intelligence, both would have more productive days.

CEO Sam Chaudhary agrees with this assessment. As a founder for ClassDojo, Chaudhary wanted to help kids learn better by giving their parents a more direct connection to their classrooms. But without regular mindfulness, they won’t have the skill set needed to avoid distraction and center themselves in their studies. And they won’t be as successful in taking lessons from school to better their lives elsewhere.

How Success Academy students are even beating their peers at chess

Last month, a group of more than 130 young Success Academy students flew to Nashville, Tennessee to participate in a national chess competition.


The chess SuperNationals is one of the biggest and most prestigious chess competitions in the country, but this certainly did not seem to worry Success Academy students, some of whom had never left New York state before and never flown on a plane.


Instead, they settled in to play the best chess they could and, when the event was over, one Success Academy team tied in first place in its chess division, while several other teams placed in the top six.


Considering this was the first such competition they had entered, and that they were competing against some of the best young chess players in the country, many from affluent families, the success of these young Success Academy students was monumental.


So how did the Success Academy students beat their peers at chess? What makes them able to do something that, only a few years ago before Success Academy was founded, many in the U.S. would have said was not possible?


It all lies in the way Success Academy treats its students, and how it teaches and educates them.


That is because students at any Success Academy school are taught strict discipline first and foremost.


They are taught to arrive on time, appropriately dressed, and to work as hard as they can while they are in school. If they fail at something in class, the teacher sympathizes and then helps them get back on track to try doing it again.


Students are also taught critical thinking skills and how to problem solve. Two things that obviously held them in good stead at the chess SuperNationals in May.


They are also taught by participating in hands-on group work, and that tends to teach self-confidence and a belief in themselves that they can succeed no matter what they do.


With their performances at the chess SuperNationals against students with far more supposed ‘advantages’, these young Success Academy students proved hard work, having fun and enjoying what you do really can reap massive rewards.

Success Academy named finalist for prestigious national charter school award