Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Feedback Loop

Three instigators for this post...

     --> Parent email:
[Child] and I are having disagreements concerning what is expected of him when it comes to your class assignments that he has initially completed but they have been returned to him stating they need correction or revision (especially when this is communicated over Edline). Would you mind please stating in an email (so I may share it with [child] and so the three of us are clear and “on the same page with the same information”) what you expect of [child] with regard to making corrections and revisions on his papers, even though you have already clearly stated on his 1st quarter report card the following, “Needs to work on correcting papers below 70%”?[Side note from me/Joy - he gave HIMSELF that comment on his report card...]
    --> Gerard Dawson - How to Put Feedback First for Student Learning Course

    --> My Students...  Last quarter, in their video reflections, they said they revised their written                          work "and did much better," but never showed it to me again for more feedback.

Student written work can be revised multiple times in our ELA classes. It can be revised for writing skills (claim, evidence, reasoning OR focus and showing), or for language usage (grammar and conventions). I needed something to clear up the revision process for writing or language usage. It needs to be clear for students and parents.

So... after much writing, rewriting, asking Hubby to read it as a parent, discussing, rewriting... we (yes, Hubby and I) figured out a picture would work much better. A FLOW CHART! After a quick Google search, I found a very basic app - PureFlow. As luck would have it, it's ALREADY ON MY SCHOOL-ISSUED IPAD! After more sketching, re-sketching, resizing, moving arrows, etc.... here is the final (ahem - for NOW) product:

Note: "Proficient" in the grade book (in our 7th grade ELA classes at our school) = 90%.

Our 'proof of learning' page is here on our Weebly.

Author's Note - This Feedback Loop has been REVAMPED! As of 8/1/16, it now looks like this:

This is the result of what I've learned from my first year piloting no grades. Even if I put a "developing" on a paper, that's ALL they look at! No marks. Just feedback. 

My resources so far: 
     "FaR" tabs of our classroom Weebly
     Feedback Instead of Grades LiveBinder for parents (and teachers) to inspect
     My own reflections on this journey


  1. Hello, Joy! I'm so excited to see this scheme! I've been reading your blog for a couple of months already, and you really inspire me. Thanks for such wonderful ideas and sharing useful tips! When I've problems with teaching, I always visit your blog and find the answers. I'm so happy I've found such support.
    With love,

  2. It took me a few days to study this carefully, but I love this.

    It seems to me that figuring out this flowchart was as useful for you (and your husband) as it was for that parent and student.

    This goes to show that it is in the process of teaching something that we come to understand it fully.

    Thanks for this awesome resource.

  3. Joy, I have been reading and re-reading the information you present in this feedback loop. I find it easy on the eye and I would be able to utilize the info in my classes. There is so much for me to know and grow. I would like to be able to have access or with your permission to creat a similar feedback loop in Spanish for me to share effectively with the parents of my students.

    In awe,
    Brenda Valencia

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Joy, May I use/modify your Revamped Feedback Loop? The first one is a success with my students and their families. The revamped one will make everything more amazing.

    3. Yes, yes, yes! Of course. I, too, am excited to use it this year!!

  4. Joy, May I have clarification on the 'proficient' no arrow? Why does the arrow point to Keep for evidence of A work when mastery goes directly to the Keep for evidence of A work? Should there be a part for Keep for evidence of B work? I see the ones for C and D. Perhaps I misread it and need to read more closely.

    1. This is a GREAT question! I should have put that in the post, and will add ASAP! As a 7th grade ELA team at my school, we decided that for the grade book, Mastery = 100%, Proficient = 90%, Developing = 75%, and Needs Improvement / Beginning is 55 or 65% (I forget - we just programmed these into the grade book program in August. What it really means is - you need to revise this one!) :D

    2. Yes, this makes sense. As Mastery would be considered A+, while proficient would be an A-, not a B. Thank you for clarifying.

    3. Joy, I have worked on a translated Feedback Loop in Spanish. May I share it with you on Google Drive? I'd like to verify that I have credited you correctly.