Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2020

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 Out Grades 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 System Accurate - does the grade reflect what students know, and not their behaviors Bias-Resistant - our practi

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 com

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 Mal

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