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Showing posts from September, 2018

How Floop Started: Startup Weekend EDU from an Educator’s Perspective

Re-posted from the Seattle Public Library's Shelf Talk blog. I wrote this blog post back in 2016 to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of Startup Weekend EDU Seattle 2015, the weekend where Floop got started!It's been almost 3 years since then, and now, Startup Weekend EDU Seattle 2018 is just around the corner. Learn more about Startup Weekend EDU Seattle here. Last year, Startup Weekend EDU started with rapid-fire pitches. In one minute each, participants shared their idea for improving education. One problem pitched by an educator jumped out to me: Teachers don’t have enough time to give the high-quality feedback that students need. Floop would enable a fast feedback loop between students and teachers. As a high school math and engineering teacher, I related with this problem all too well. I was even carrying around my paper stack of 150 quizzes with the hope that I could grade during downtime.



Team Floop at SWEDU 2015After the pitches, we formed teams around the ideas that …

3 Free Feedback Tools You've Never Heard Of

Today is a quick post with some free stuff! 1. Growth Report Google SheetGet It Here If you're interested in producing a richer, more useful "grade" (i.e. growth) report for students, try this Google sheet template. You'll need some intermediate Google sheets/ Excel skills and it works best if you're already using standards based assessment practices.

2. Rapid Feedback Authoring ToolGet It Here This website helps you create a form and then use it to quickly write narrative feedback to students. The drag-and-drop comment bank makes writing feedback even faster, freeing your brain to focus on student work.

3. OBS Screen Recording SoftwareGet It Here This open-source screen capture software is really easy to use and produces high-quality videos in many formats. I like to capture myself inking on student work and narrating feedback. I then paste the video into OneNote, or upload it as unlisted to YouTube and send students the link. It's also easy for students to…

User Story: Social Sciences + Flash Feedback

Seeking inspiration for how to use focused peer review or single criterion assessment in your classroom? In our User Story series, we feature our teacher innovators with examples of student work and feedback from their classrooms.


Flash Summary


Feedback is most useful early in the writing process
Peer review is a great tool for engaging students in the feedback process
Focusing in on a single criteria makes for strong feedback and stronger writing
Meet Katie Katie Joyce teaches a 9th grade Western Civilization course. This is a survey course using a case study approach. Students use a variety of sources, including primary source documents, to study the origins of civilization. The class focuses on taking a flexible approach to history, using critical thinking skills to evaluate perspectives and facts.




The Benefit It actually makes my job easier! I can speed up the feedback process because the students have usually said everything I would say, or I can focus on one element of the work becau…

Teaching Teamwork in 10 Minutes: The Birds Activity

The first week of school is a powerful time to set norms, and one of the most important norms in a collaborative classroom is valuing others’ perspectives on teams. There are lots of great activities out there - for example, lost at sea or the marshmallow challenge - but when you run a chaotic, project-based classroom, sometimes you crave simplicity. So, here’s a simple and engaging activity that requires only 10 minutes and pencil/paper.
The Birds Activity The Birds Activity (courtesy of Ellen Browne) shows the value of different perspectives on teams. For this activity, students should be in teams of 3-4 and need paper and a writing utensil.

Here are the instructions - try them out yourself! As a facilitator, do NOT show all the instructions up front. Instead, show one instruction at a time.
Independently, write a list with as many names of birds as you can.Discuss strategies with your team. You cannot share specific names of birds, but you can talk about how you thought about your l…