Flubaroo is a google add-on tool for google sheets that will automatically grade submissions based on the criteria that are set by the teacher. It's an extremely popular add-on. In its first iteration, it was a tool that worked best just with multiple choice or single word text/number questions. Recently it has undergone improvements that make it much more student-centered and teacher-friendly.
You can now "hand-grade" student short answers and leave specific feedback without leaving the window - a huge time-saver for teachers. In addition to that, and even better than that - flubaroo now includes an option to send the quiz/exit slip to your student's google drive.
Why is this so cool? Because now your students can have the copy of the quiz/exit slip questions, their answers, and your feedback on a single google doc in their drive. No left-behind sheets, no crumpled and thrown in the trash papers. The commenting feature of google docs allows the work to be the start of the conversation, not the end.
Below is a short overview of the improved features in action. If you are new to flubaroo, take a look at the other videos below to get you up to speed. As always, consider this an open invitation to contact me for more support.
What is Flubaroo?
Socratic Circles are a great way to engage students around a provocative question - students are engaged with the topic, encouraged to think about complex topics with a critical eye, and inspired to explore big ideas.
However, it can be a challenge to give all students a voice in a Socratic Circle that is 30+ students big...there are time, space, and personality constraints that sometimes mean the conversation is dominated by just a few voices.
By leveraging digital tools, you can mitigate these constraints and give all of your students a voice - thus giving all students the opportunity to explore their own thinking as well as their classmate's.
I recently had the good fortune to be able to spend some time at Wheeling Elementary in 4th and 5th grade classrooms using chromebooks in this manner.
The Socratic Circles were set up as inner and outer circles, with the inner circle being students participating in the usual way - responding to each other's thoughts without talking over each other, using respectful discourse. The outer circle students were using their chromebooks to respond to the discussion via the discussion feature in google classroom.
The engagement of the students in both circles was high, every student had a voice, and the ability for each group to function at a higher level was increased: the inner circle discussion was more robust because of the smaller number of participants, the outer circle discussion was lively and engaged because they could respond to the discussion in real time, instead of having to wait until the inner circle finished to share their thoughts.
Take a look:
Being able to differentiate assignments in Google Classroom is an oft-requested feature. We know that differentiation done well is one path to creating an equitable learning environment for all of our students.
Currently, there are work-arounds such as attaching multiple versions of a google doc and directing students on which assignment to choose or using a google sheet add-on such as Doctopus to manage the differentiation. But like most work-arounds, those choices come with an added layer of complexity for the teacher and/or the student.
How about a solution that's quick, easy, and most importantly, instantly responsive to the student's needs in the moment?
Erich Ball, Social Studies teacher at Aurora Hills Middle School, came up with a method he has termed "Scaffold-Blasting."
Here's how he described the process to me:
Say you are working on the gradual release of your students - asking them to do more of the thinking instead of giving them a full outline to follow when approaching a writing assignment. Erich creates a document that does just that and then assigns it in google classroom. Then, when he sees the few students that are struggling to get started, Erich goes into that student's google doc from google classroom and pastes additional help right into their document - maybe more structure, maybe a couple of questions to get the student thinking, whatever would give that student a bit of support.
Brilliant in its simplicity and uber-responsive to his student's needs, Scaffold-Blasting gives all students equitable access to the content and learning AND ensures rigor for all. Great classroom transformations being made possible by 21st century technologies. Love it!