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4 Simple Steps to Revolutionize Education: the Throw Out Grades Challenge

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photo credit: Gordon McKinlay via photopin cc
photo credit: Gordon McKinlay via photopin cc

It’s time to revolutionize education by taking the Throw Out Grades Challenge. (Hold the ice bucket, please.)

We’re not raising money for a worthy cause like ALS, and there will be no shivering, but we’re hoping this turns into a viral meme, just like the Ice Bucket Challenge did.

the Throw Out Grades Challenge

Here are 4 simple steps for completing the Throw Out Grades Challenge:

  1. Make a decision: Pick at least one assignment/project/unit to eliminate traditional number and letter grades (optionally, you can eliminate grades for the entire semester or year).
    Aviva Dunsiger discusses learning with a student
    Aviva Dunsiger discusses learning with a student
  2. Create a conversation about learning: Replace your traditional grades with a verbal conversation about learning and/or written feedback, using an objective system like SE2R.
  3. Grab your smartphone or tablet: Create and publish a video of you either writing feedback or participating in a conversation about learning with a student. Important: be sure to say in the video that you are taking the Throw Out Grades Challenge.
  4. Challenge friends: Share your video on social networks–Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.–and challenge three friends/colleagues to take the Throw Out Grades Challenge. You can always post your video on the Teachers Throwing Out Grades Facebook group page.


This may not be as cool, no pun intended, as the Ice Bucket Challenge, and it may not raise millions of dollars to help cure a deadly disease, but the Throw Out Grades Challenge just might revolutionize teaching and learning. And it’s definitely time for a revolution!

Please take the Throw Out Grades Challenge this school year. Our children will thank you.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder and CEO of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series -- books that provide right-now solutions for teachers and learners. Mark is the author or publisher of dozens of books, including Bestseller Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Join more than 115,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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