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Summer Reading: Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman

This summer my entire faculty read Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman. This book is packed with research and also addresses and respects the sensitive nature of discussing grading. He does a great job of answer teachers most common questions and concerns about grading reform, like 'If I stop grading homework, won't they stop doing it?' Here are my reading notes:
Assumptions About Grading to Throw OutGrades are mathematical and therefor objective - refuted by looking at grading variance within a single school Intellectual ability falls on a bell curve, and so should student grades within a course - refuted by growth mindset research Students are effectively, extrinsically motivated by external factors like grades - refuted by research by Dan Pink and others that shows that extrinsic motivation only really works for menial tasks.Pillars of an Equitable Grading SystemAccurate - does the grade reflect what students know, and not their behaviors Bias-Resistant - our practices sho…

Our Commitments to Racial Justice and Equity

Floop stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We are horrified by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Elijah McClain, and countless others at the hands of police. We condemn the racial hierarchy that existed before the founding of this country and enforced by this country’s history of racist policies, from slavery, segregation, and our modern era of mass incarceration and policing that disproportionately harms Black people and communities. We are heartbroken at how these wider policies of oppression persist in our education system, through our curriculum, assessment policies, tracking, and discipline processes. But we are also heartened by the renewed attention and support of Black Lives Matter and are committed to doing our part to dismantle the racial hierarchy.
Support Black Lives Matter
Up to this point, we have been quiet on email, social media, and this blog to allow more important voices to come to the front and to engage in thought…

My Racial Awakening: Discovering I am Asian

I tell an abridged version of this racial awakening story to my students to model conversations around race and identity. Being open and authentic with students, I hope, encourages them to be open and authentic with me. I’m sure you have a story of racial awakening as well, and if you haven’t formally articulated it yet, I hope my story can be a useful example.

I learned that I was Asian when I was 11. The fact it took me so long to learn I attribute to luck and privilege.

Growing up, I believed I was Canadian. My identity as Canadian started with my parents before me. Their stories are so much more interesting than what I can share in a paragraph, but simply, my parents lived classic immigrant stories. Both immigrated to Canada from lives of poverty to be part of the first generation in their family to attend college. My dad had a one-way ticket from Hong Kong to Canada with $500 in his pocket, and he drove taxis all night to pay his way through school. My mom grew up in rural Malays…

Use "wise feedback" to increase motivation

Repost from our first blog from Dec 2015. This simple, research-based strategy can have dramatic outcomes for students.

We are betting that you have often experienced this frustration:
Hours spent providing feedback on papers only to find them in the trash. Here at Floop, we are digging into the research and best practices on providing feedback. We’ve stumbled on a few interesting ideas that are challenging the way we think about feedback.

This research paper from David Yeager et al is a gold mine. Think about this incredibly simple practice tried in one of their studies:
A post-it note that said, 'I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them' was placed on students’ essays along with detailed and rigorous criticism. A simple note with dramatic effects. African American students in the control group (who received a control note instead) revised their essays at a rate of 17 percent. African American students who received…

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…

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 …