10 Ways to Go Gradeless and 8 Teacher Takeaways

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Takeaways from Go Gradeless

Ways to Change Assessment and Go Gradeless

By Melissa Pilakowski

Starr Sackstein’s Hacking Assessment not only revolutionizes education, but it gives step-by-step instructions on how to do it. That’s what makes this book so powerful. Not only does Starr describe her classroom, but she also gives some strategies that readers can start implementing tomorrow. The infographic above outlines eight key takeaways from the book.

What I especially liked in the book was Starr’s description of her process of “going gradeless” in her school that requires grades. That’s certainly the boat that I’m in, and that most teachers in America are in, too. But she provides details on how she still met her school’s requirement for a “grade” through student conferences.

The strategies of conferencing with students and teaching them to grade themselves are two directions I’m following in the coming months.

Going gradeless will be a process for me. I won’t get there overnight, but my goal now is to “grade less”—to focus more on giving narrative feedback during the process, to conference more with students about final grades on papers, and to focus on students meeting standards rather than earning that A.

Melissa Pilakowski is an 11-12 English/Language Arts teacher in Valentine, Nebraska, as well as a passionate lover of language, technology, and gaming in the classroom. Follow her on Twitter at and read her latest adventures in teaching at .

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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 140,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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