Monday, January 30, 2017

Bloomz Update

Hey everyone!
We have officially hit the half way mark. Can you believe it? This year has been flying by and I am loving it more than ever. My two classes this year are some of my favorite kids to ever teach. They are growing and changing everyday and I am so proud of how much they are learning!

I wanted to pop in and give a quick update about Bloomz in my classroom this year. Do you remember when I posted this about Bloomz before school started? Well, last week Bloomz sent this little graphic to me that really made me excited.

This sums up my classroom communication pretty well. You can see what I LOVE using. I love to post, I love pictures, I love setting up events, and conferences! This app is wonderful for so many things and I love that it is all in one location. As you can see, my love for this app has also given me some extra time in my classroom. Check out my total time saved!!! Here are some highlights of the things I have loved so far this year:

Conferences: When you have 2 classrooms and 36 families to schedule conferences for it can be pretty overwhelming. I was able to set up and schedule 56 total conferences with ease!

Sharing pictures: I have always been really great at taking pictures during the day. Unfortunately, I haven't been so great at uploading the pictures to where they need to be. Now with Bloomz, I have the app on my phone so I am able to immediately upload any pictures I take and I can add a brief description to my parents what the pictures are. Now there isn't a delay in getting information out! Here is a post I made today. I snapped 4 pictures while we were completing a measurement activity. As soon as I took the pictures, I immediately uploaded it. 

Volunteers: There are two ways to use the volunteers. You can ask volunteers for help in your classroom or you can ask for items to be sent in. I haven't really used the volunteers for coming in to help yet. I am actually wanting to use this feature more soon! But I have used it to ask for items to be sent in. The first time was for my holiday party. On the same day that I posted the request for items for our holiday party, I had everything filled! It was so wonderful and so easy. The day of the holiday party was super easy for me because the items just kept coming in all week. My day was a breeze!! Then just this past Thursday, I went to get some sandwich bags out of the cabinet and I realized I only had gallon sized bags left and I really needed 3 boxes of sandwich bags. I quickly put the request up and by the next morning had them all in my hands. It is amazing!

Quiet Hours- Here is a new feature that I LOVE! We can now set quiet hours so that we won't receive notifications at all hours of the day and night. I have a few parents who work third shift and they will often send me messages at late hours of the night. This feature allows them to send me the note they need me to see when it is on their minds without it causing my notifications to go off at 3am! It is quite amazing!

As we take the downward slope into the end of the year there are still things I am excited about trying. 

Portfolios- I am anxious to use this with my students and upload some work for them to share with their parents. I haven't found the time to try this yet but I am going to work on finding the time to use it with my students!

Behavior Management- Every school year for the 4th quarter, I try to implement a behavior management system. I find that as school winds down toward the end of the year, my kids' behavior struggles some. I always like to introduce something new for them to work with that is motivational. I am SO excited for this year because it is all within the same app that I have grown to love. My parents are loving the app too and I know when I add the behavior management component in, it will be seamless.

Overall, this app is still the best thing that I could bring into my classroom. I have introduced it to my colleagues and most classrooms have implemented in their rooms as well. Here is my favorite thing so far. My principal is totally on board as well. In staff meetings, when he gives us information that he would like for us to send to our parents, in the past he would ask us to put the information in our newsletters, websites, and email parents. Now when there is information he would like us to send to parents, he says, "please send out a Bloomz message or post letting your parents know..." How cool is that? 

It isn't too late either! Try it today. I promise you won't regret it!
Happy Communicating!

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