Sneak Peek - Student Behavior Management from Bloomz (coming Aug ’16)
by Nikhil Misra, on Jul 30, 2016 5:38:36 PM
What is Behavior Management?
The all-inclusive parent communication provided by Bloomz continues to improve, now with the addition of instantaneous feedback on student behavior. With the upcoming addition of Behavior Management, a teacher can report a student’s classroom behavior instantly, with minimal effort on their end, and the benefit to both parents and students.
Why is Bloomz adding Behavior Management?
Our vision is to provide a single app that provides all the tools teachers need to communicate with parents, so teachers do not need to disperse and collect information from multiple sources, and similarly parents do not need to sign into different apps to get that information. With the Behavior Management feature we aim to reduce the number of tools that teachers currently use, by incorporating functionality both teachers and parents require and that they may be seeking elsewhere. We listened to their feedback and then also enhanced our app to fill in the gaps that other existing solutions don’t cover, offering everything teachers need in one place.
As the old saying goes, “you catch more bees with honey than vinegar”. Behavior Management from Bloomz was created with the intention of reinforcing positive behavior. Not only can teachers provide individual reinforcement, but they have the unique option to set classwide goals (with rewards like a pizza party!) that rally students together to achieve them. In developing this tool, Bloomz began by listening to the concerns of parents and teachers, and concluded that other behavior management mechanisms could occasionally have the unintended effect of embarrassing less behaved students.
Recently the Huffington Post and the New York Times raised issues over public displays of children’s negative behavior in the classroom which can be embarrassing and raise privacy concerns. Bloomz has opted to give teacher the option to display or not negative feedback in a student’s timeline - still keeping record of and informing parents about it, but without the public shaming that comes with it.
Preview to how Bloomz Behavior Management works
The teacher rewards points by selecting either the “Good Job” or “Needs Work” category, and then choosing from among the different awards available. While assigning an award, the teacher has an option to add comments or notes about why she chose it. These notes will be sent to the parent as part of the report. If the teacher wants to instantly communicate with the parents of the student, she can message them as well.
If the teacher chooses to display behavior progress for their students they can project a student’s flower growth animation via their device or computer. The animation will show the current state of the student’s plant growth. For every 5 points the student earns, their flower display will animate/grow to the next stage. Only the last stage will vary: a random flower type will appear, and on the next point earned after it blooms, the animation will reset to the beginning.
Feedback from parents and teachers→ The Bloomz Approach
“I want to see more than two weeks of behavior progress at a time so I can see how students have participated during the marking period.”
Bloomz provides a year-long student timeline, continuing across years and grades to provide more comprehensive insight to parents and teachers, as opposed to just 2-weeks of behavior feedback data.
“We are worried about behavior management incentivizing students with only rewards and punishments rather than self-motivation.”
The Bloomz behavior feedback tool works to keep parents in the loop while providing mild reward incentives (in the form of flower animations that grow into different characters) to positively reinforce good behavior. This does not infringe upon the child’s self motivation, rather it works as a safety net for teachers and parents by providing instant feedback so they can make sure a child’s behavior is addressed and adapted to, and they don’t fall behind.
“Behavior management concerns us because of its potential for publicly shaming students with less-than-stellar behavior.”
With Bloomz, as soon as a teacher updates a student’s behavior points, parents receive notifications instantly or at the frequency specified by the teacher. All behavior information is visible only to the child’s parents and the teacher reporting to them, preventing any privacy issues or unintended exposure. Thus, if a student receives behavior points in the “needs work” category, other classmates and parents will not be able to view this information; any potentially public embarrassment side effects are avoided and ‘criticism’ feedback becomes genuinely constructive.
“I have to leave the Behavior Management app open, and I’m restricted from selecting prior dates to enter points for students. If I noted down behavior offline during class time, I cannot enter the information later. This causes time and mobility constraints.”
We understand how precious class time can be, and know that teachers must move about the classroom during instruction rather than perching at a desktop, so Bloomz allows teachers to enter behavior points for students on prior dates of their choosing. If they jotted down notes on student behavior while class was in session, or throughout the week, they can always go back at a later time or date to enter in points for students.
“Awards have a fixed number of points, and when students start at an even level every day, incrementing by one or a few-points-at-a-time is too hard to manage.”
Teachers can customize the number of points they assign to each award. While other behavior management apps have a five-point maximum per award, and require teachers to pay for anything beyond five, Bloomz allows teachers to assign any number points that they would like to.
Keeping teachers and parents in sync
While we hope teachers enjoy this added functionality from Bloomz, the Behavior Management feature is still just one useful tool of many at their disposal within the app; teachers can always enable or disable Behavior Management.
At Bloomz we care about meaningful, constructive communication, and strive to make the parent community an engaged and collaborative one. We know that enabling teacher-parent communication is paramount to children's success, but we also are aware that current methods, as modern as they may seem, are not working. We believe the teacher-parent relationship is one of mutual respect and collaboration, and we want to continue to develop that to its fullest potential. Overall, with Behavior Management and other easy-to-use parent-teacher communication tools in one convenient location, teachers can keep parents informed about their child's behavior in class instantly. This partnership between teachers and parents can prepare them to help the student improve and succeed.