How I Use It
Cultivating a community among parents was made easier this year with Bloomz. It's a simple thing but when parents see pictures, like them, and post positive comments it helps the class as a whole connect in a friendly way. When families feel like they have a voice and are part of the classroom, the community is lifted. A strong classroom community goes a long way in student progress. This is because students can feel and see their support network operating together. Bloomz enabled me to create opportunities for more conversations through social engagement on our classroom newsfeed. Bloomz participated in Computer Science Week and it was awesome! A coding activity group was created within the Bloomz app and teachers posted links of the best apps and websites for coding in elementary. I tried new apps and coding websites with my class and every time a student created a new code, I posted it on their digital timeline for parents to see. Digital Timelines are essentially portfolios assessment tools.
With minimalism and tiny houses being a trend, it makes the most sense for elementary teachers to utilize a digital portfolio for student work. Millennial parents are on the rise and a digital portfolio is much like the Facebook timeline or Instagram feed. The documents will always exist, are easily accessed with a link, and don’t take up physical space. I post a letter sounds assessment in the beginning of the year and another towards the end so that parents can see the changes. I’m posting these in the weeks before our spring parent teacher conferences so that parents have an idea of specific literacy goals that have been achieved and still need work. When I post the assessment in the portfolio, parents learn this information before we meet to chat at conferences. They have time to digest it and can plan on what they'd like to say. One update I might like to see in Bloomz digital portfolios is subcategories for each subject within the portfolio feature. For example, math could be one subcategory. I would upload all math work samples in the math portfolio so that users can scroll down and see just the math progress. Time will tell how these digital portfolios evolve. The tool helps keep parents aware of specific learning targets in my classroom. The communication is constantly flowing. I am excited to see where the technology leads and how it continues to change parent teacher communication and assessment.