Skip to main content

Posts

To Our Founding Teachers

TLDR: During Teacher Appreciation Month, May 2020, teachers can be recognized as Floop Founding Teachers and receive 50% off Floop prices for life. To join, contribute to our summer fund, or show your support for another teacher. [Update June 1, 2020 - Our campaign has ended. Thank you to all our new Founding Teachers for your support!]

Looking back on the last 3 years, I am humbled by how far Floop has come. When I attended a startup hackathon lugging my 150-quiz paper stack, I was only trying to figure out a way to give my students meaningful feedback faster. Then I met Christine Witcher, a middle school STEM teacher who became my co-founder. Christine taught me about effective peer feedback and how to shift agency to students. We dove into the research, talked with feedback experts, and learned about feedback literacy, the crucial life skills around giving, receiving, and using feedback to learn. That led us to incorporating intentional feedback engagement into our platform and cre…
Recent posts

5 Tips for Talking With Students About Coronavirus

As a teacher in Seattle, I’ve seen my class size dwindle through the week. On Monday, 15% of students were absent. On Wednesday, 30% were absent. And on Friday, I had less than half of my students in class. Walking the hallways felt like a ghost town.

There are a number of reasons why my students were absent. Some students had a cold or flu, while others were at academic competitions and college visits. For the vast majority, it was out of precaution for coronavirus. While most of our teenagers are not personally at risk, they might live with an aging grandparent or have a younger brother with a compromised immune system.

Regardless, the empty seats were an ever present reminder, and for the 30-50% of students still in my classes, the only thing they were talking about was coronavirus. Here are some tips I’ve kept in mind when talking with them:

Tip #1: Recognize that this situation is emotional Every student will feel differently about coronavirus. They might be thinking about a fami…

Using Floop for Remote Learning

With Floop started by two teachers in Seattle, you can bet we’re feeling the impacts of coronavirus. Even though our schools are still open, over half of our students are absent out of precautionary measures. Remote learning is now a requirement for us to reach all students, in class and at home.

Teachers can use Floop for FREE through the end of the school year, and schools or PLCs with 5+ teachers can sign up for a free 30 min PD. Here’s how Floop helps teachers give feedback to students learning remotely.

Try Floop for Free
Your Existing Assignments, Any Device Floop was designed to support the way you work and teach, so you use all your existing assignments, paper or digital, on any device. Because students can submit photos of their work, in addition to PDF and Google docs, sheets, and slides, you can facilitate feedback on a variety of assignments. Math tests from home, mixed media paintings, circuits for digital electronics, drafts of essays, science lab notebook entries - all a…

New Year, New Floop

Floop just got so much better. Over the past 6 months, the Floop team rebuilt the app from the ground up in response to your feedback. In addition to the features you already know and love, we’re excited to bring you:
Teacher and peer feedback under one roofRead receipts to see if students are reading your feedback (don’t worry, students don’t see read receipts)A beautiful new visual redesignThe same database--so all your students, classes, and assignments will still be there.Check Out New Floop
Update Jan 21, 2020: New Floop now has Google Drive and Doc integration for students to upload straight from Google Drive. Let us know how it goes!

TLDR: Floop rebuilt its app so we can better serve our teachers and students longterm. New Floop offers a brand new visual design and additional features. Use New Floop if you want to run a guided peer review or see feedback read receipts. Use Old Floop for now if you rely on Google Drive and Doc integration.
What's New With Floop In addition to …

Modeling Feedback Literacy for Our Students

Feedback literacy is an important set of skills that help us learn from feedback. Everything from the way we grade to the way we structure lessons and group work can give students opportunities to develop their feedback literacy.

What's often overlooked is the amazing opportunity we have to model our own journey towards better feedback literacy. To help you along, we've developed a rubric that you, the teacher, can use to self-assess and set goals for improving your own processes for seeking, giving, understanding, and using feedback to learn.

Check it out and let us know what you think!


Click here to download the rubric, along with our entire Feedback Literacy Curriculum.

The Four Stages of Loving Mistakes

The Four Stages of Loving Mistakes In order for students to develop a capacity for learning from feedback, they must first be open to confronting their mistakes. In my classroom, assessment pass-back day used to be an emotional roller coaster. Some students are bouncing out of their seats and others are close to tears, awaiting the 'judgement' that was ahead. 
Through thoughtful and patient instruction and practice with the four stages of learning to love mistakes, my students are becoming increasingly open to confronting their mistakes and using them to learn.
Normalizing mistakes involves the teacher helping to model an open curiosity towards mistakes.Celebration involves finding peers who made similar mistakes and investigating together.Analyzing mistakes involves finding patterns in our mistakes.Generalizing mistakes involves extrapolating patterns to provide valuable insights for future learning.
Floop has developed a lesson plan, as part of our bigger Feedback Literacy c…

The math behind "4x faster"

We claim that Floop will help you give meaningful feedback 4x faster, where did that come from? I'll claim my privilege up front: my classes are small. At most, I have 18 students in my science class at a time. Most years I have three sections of eighth grade science. So thats:
54 students
My students submit something that needs detailed feedback about once every two weeks (though they get quick formative feedback much more often). When I gave detailed feedback by hand, it used to take me about

12 minutes per submission This adds up to about

10.8hrs of 'grading' per assignment
With Floop, I can drag-and-drop repeat comments, switch through submissions quickly, and I don't have to hand back paper work. Now,  I can give feedback in

3 minutes per submission
This cuts my 'grading' time to about

2.7hrs per assignment
What do I do with all that extra time? So much!

Plan more engaging lessonsEat lunch with my students and colleaguesSend celebratory emails to parentsTi…

Feedback Literacy in Three Measures: A Rubric for the Feedback Literate Classroom

Starting this fall, my 7th, 8th, and 10th grade English students will use the following rubric to help guide their interactions with feedback. The descriptions on this rubric stem from both our Floop-teachers’ experiences in the classroom and also UK-based feedback expert, Dr. Naomi Winstone’s research findings.

What excites me about this rubric is that the complex task of the feedback process has been simplified into three distinct moments for discussion and reflection. They are: seeking feedback, making sense of feedback, and using feedback to learn.

My plan is to assess just one assignment according to this rubric at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. For other assignments, students will self-assess and share their findings. The rubric can be our starting point for class discussions on feedback and 1:1 conferences.

Note the importance of having clear work-in-progress assignments so students can show evidence of feedback literacy in this way.

My work-in-progress assignme…

Research Digest: What Does Science Have to Say About Feedback?

Using Red Font Influences the Emotional Perception of Critical Performance Feedback  Bertrams, Alex Althaus, Lea Boss, Tina Furrer, Patricia Jegher, Ladina C. Soszynska, Paulina Tschumi, Vinzenz (2019)
The participants’ subsequent evaluation of the feedback revealed that using red in the feedback caused the feedback to be perceived as relatively less emotionally positive. 
Using a red font indirectly had an adverse effect on the cognitive feedback perception, mediated via the emotional feedback perception.Big Take-Away: Be cautious with that red pen when giving feedback!

How does Floop peer review work?

Helping Students Learn by Giving Feedback The Floop Peer Review tools lets teachers run a rapid, anonymous, and scaffolded peer review session during a single class period. After as little as 30 minutes, students have given and received three to five pieces of detailed peer feedback, focused on a specific criteria set by the teacher. Each sample of work a student sees receives feedback structured by the questions:

     1. How much do you agree that the criteria has been met?      2. What do you see in the work sample that supports your opinion?      3. How might your peer improve on the criteria?      4. What would you like to celebrate about this work sample?
Create an assignment Give it a specific criteria to guide the peer review. 
Monitor student submissions as they come in Have students submit & click "Run Peer Review"
Monitor the peer review session during class Give teacher feedback while students work Investigate interesting results & follow up Try Floop

Self-Assessment as the Starting Point for Holistic Feedback Systems

Every time I try a new unit, it seems like giving formative feedback is a more daunting task than usual. There are problems that crop up that I can’t anticipate as well as new activities and assessments to design. Time for prep and feedback are both in short supply.

Still, I was energized by Floop’s recent research on holistic feedback systems and wanted to add a new feedback activity to the mix.

Here’s what my lesson planning looked like on our formative “feedback days.”
Entry Task: self-assessmentLearning Activities: peer review, discussion, revision planningTeacher Task: Select exactly one criterion per student necessitating teacher feedback. Make that selection based on self-assessment and peer review results. After skimming the feedback forms for self-assessment and then peer review data, I asked myself: where can I make the most impact in a short amount of time? Having students color-code their results traffic light style made the work more visible and therefore faster as I mov…

In Five Minutes, Teachers Can Begin to Build Students’ Feedback Literacy

“Ms. Matlick, I start to shake when I get on stage. I literally can almost throw up,” one student tells me.

We have been knee-deep in a research process for three weeks now as my students prep for writing their own informative TED talks on topics of their choosing. At the end of the unit, they will each stand on a red-dotted stage and present their information in front of their peers. Many are excited, but several are naturally apprehensive, or worse.

The public speaking element of the project certainly ups the stakes, and giving the kids many opportunities to test out the stage and their material in front of small groups will do a lot to build confidence.

But as we head into the drafting and revision stage of the writing process, I’m reminded of a post by Floop co-founder Christine Witcher. She wrote about how feedback exchanges themselves in any context can be emotionally charged, too. She suggests that by not only preparing kids in the traditional sense for the task at hand, we shoul…

Growth Over Grades: How a Resubmit Policy Is Helping Us Build a Culture of Revision

This article originally appeared in EdSurge.
"Are you going to resubmit your chemical changes model?" Valentina asked Jayda.
"I'm not sure,” Jayda responded, “I'm already at proficient and I understand all the concepts, so mastery work wouldn't really be worth it for me." 
Hearing a student say that work isn’t worth it would send most teachers into a downward spiral, but these words brought me joy. Jayda was confident that she understood the material, and hearing her make a choice not to pursue additional work for the purpose of chasing an extra few points on her grade made me proud.
At Forest Ridge, an independent all-girls school serving students in grades 5-12 in Bellevue, Wash., we've been grappling with how to support students in focusing on growth over grades for years.
In 2016, our school began putting intentional effort into getting our students to value the learning process and to focus on growth rather than grades. At the same time, our m…

How Improving Student Feedback and Teaching Data Science Restored Our Classroom Culture

This article original appeared in EdSurge.

Over winter break in 2015, I found myself scouring the internet for career alternatives that would take me out of the classroom. I was in my fifth year of teaching at Forest Ridge, an independent all-girls school serving students in grades 5-12 in Bellevue, Wash., and I was feeling isolated in a room with students who didn’t seem to want to engage with my class, despite all my efforts to bring enthusiasm and passion to my work. The learning environment was tense, my students were angsty and I didn't have the information or strategies to make it better. I wanted to go back to my previous life as a geologist, where everything was quantifiable and the path forward was always revealed through methodical data analysis. Little did I know that by 2019 I would find a way to apply the data science strategies I learned as a geologist to bring joy and engagement back to my classroom. This Class is Unfair The pivotal class I was teaching at the time …