KENMORE, Wash. -- It’s a meeting of mind and muscle at Moorlands Elementary in Kenmore.
In Tracey Guyor's 3rd grade classroom, new technologies are regularly employed to help students achieve. The newest one, however, comes with quite a bit of “bling.”
It's called ClassDojo, an application that rewards kids for good behavior, perseverance and hard work. Every time a student is recognized for his or her good work, Guyor notes it on her app and a cheery “bling” rings out in the classroom.
“It’s immediate gratification,” Guyor said.
Parents get the notifications too and can track how their kids are doing – if they’re paying attention or forgot their homework – on their phones.
But this is more than just a reward system. It's part of a larger concept called "Growth Mindset."
“The idea is that you can continually improve your brain and learn by facing challenges and going through them,” said Guyor. “Some kids say they’re stupid, but they learn if they go through challenges they can grow their mind.”
Growth Mindset is based on brain research from Stanford University. It teaches kids that intelligence isn't set in stone. The brain is a muscle that will grow and get smarter when exercised. Short videos reinforce the concepts.
“There's no such thing as dumb or smart because people are smart at different things,” said 9-year-old Elise Klepper.
“Even for the kids things come easy to, when it does come hard for them, they realize this is a chance for me to grow my brain,” said Guyor. “They'll go around the classroom saying, ‘my brain is ‘ripped! I'm getting stronger!’”
Those mental workouts paying off for Klepper. After a lot of time and effort, her drawings were chosen from a field of a quarter million entries to be a new character in the ClassDojo videos.