52 Weeks of Grade-less — Week 9: “The First 15”
Michael Szczepanik

Hey Mike, I am really in love with your series here and you have inspired a great amount of change in my classroom. I wonder if I could pick your brain a little. As my classes are closing the quarter out this week I am meeting with them for grading period conferences and just in the first few I’ve had, some of the feedback I am getting is that in my model (one that doesn’t confine them by deadline compliance and has only scored them on standard achievement), they are not able to articulate their learning into the letter grade we need to put in the grade book for progress reports. This feeling they have makes me smile inside because it is exactly what I hate about letter grades; they are not fair or adequate in expressing a student’s knowledge. This student feedback creating in me a little nervousness tinge because I am sensing that they are not able to see the standard mastery as I have put it out for them as a 1= beginning, 2= developing, 3=proficient model. I feel like I want to see other gradeless gradebooks so I can help my kids translate their learning better.

I understand that you provide activities for practice throughout a given week or unit, and then provide them with small assessments weekly. Do you score those weekly assessments by assigning points to each standard you are assessing or are the quizzes just based on points? If by points do you have an explicit breakdown for how the points correlate to standard proficiency?

Gosh, I hope that makes sense… I am having a really difficult time with how to make points = standard achievement visually in a fashion that parents and my kids can understand.

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