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Going Gradeless, Grades 6-12

Going Gradeless, Grades 6-12
Shifting the Focus to Student Learning

Foreword by Jon Bergmann

March 2021 | 184 pages | Corwin
Reform assessment, reduce stress, and strengthen learning  

Great things happen when students are able to focus on their learning instead of their scores. However, assessment reform, including standards-based grading, remains a hotly debated issue in education. Going Gradeless shows that it is possible to teach and assess without the stress of traditional grading practices. 

Sharing their successful shifts to alternate assessment and their perspectives as experienced classroom teachers, the authors show you how to remove the negative impacts of grades while still maintaining a high level of accountability. Readers will find concrete examples of how these approaches can be developed and applied, plus:

Sample assessments and rubrics
Student work samples from all grade levels
An accountability checklist           
A review of collected data

It is possible to go gradeless! Focusing less on letter grades allows students to interact with the content more deeply, develop better relationships with their teachers and peers, and gain confidence in the classroom, school, and beyond. 
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Why?
How This Book Is Organized

A Note on Terminology

Chapter 2: A Discussion About Equity
Chapter 3: Educational Theory That Grounds Our Model
Chapter 4: Development of the Model, 2015–2020
The Beginning: 2015–2016

First Revision: 2016–2017

Refining and Reorganizing: 2017–2018

Realigning: 2018–2019

Ongoing Adjustments: 2019–2020

Chapter 5: Creating Language for the Learning Progressions
Example: History Contextualization

Example: English Language Arts Thesis/Claim

Example: Math Problem Solving

Example: Art Elements and Principles

Chapter 6: Assessments

Setting the Stage: Our Past Practice

Why Did It Need to Change?

Addressing the Concerns Regarding the New Structure

On Curriculum and Planning

On Sustained Effort

A Note Regarding Integrity

Scalable and Progressive

On Grading (Time, Stress, and Feedback)

On Conversations With Students and Parents

Our Types of Assessments

Chapter 7: Aligning Progress With a Traditional Model
Grade Translations


Scaling the Course

Using for Quarterly or Semester Grades

Reporting Skills Progress in the Gradebook

Reporting Habits of Scholarship


Missing Work and Extra Credit

Concerns and How We Address Them

Chapter 8: Our Evidence
Chapter 9: A Step-by-Step Guide to Going Gradeless
Step 1: Identifying Your Values

Step 2: Grouping the Standards

Step 3: Creating a Learning Progression

Step 4: Pairing Assessments and Standards

Step 5: Aligning Assessments and Activities

Step 6: Reporting Out

Day-to-Day Implementation

Presenting to Students/Parents

In Conclusion

Resources A: Assessing Student Work
Resources B: Student Progress and Setting Benchmarks
Resources C: Some Full Rubrics

"This book shows there is a way to hold students accountable while allowing them to step away from the stress of traditional grading. What a win for moving education forward! It shows evidence that going beyond traditional grading can push students to the next level without the stigma of that letter grade. We can teach and assess with out the stress! In our ever-changing world, we have to find ways to take our students to the next level. Going Gradeless will allow students to focus on their learning and free their minds to explore the content at a deeper level without the fear of failure."

Gayla LeMay, Teacher
Waycross Middle School

For instructors

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