Now’s the Time to Spark a Conversation

This past week, I had the honor of hosting our second chat on “Getting Started.” I thought that participating in the previous #TG2Chat (Aaron Blackwelder moderating) was intense. Taking on the mantle of moderator notched it up to a whole new level.

The mind-blowing flower power of #TG2Chat moderation

It was also a blessedly busy week of blog posts about going gradeless:

  • In “Changing the Guard,” Aaron Blackwelder reflects on how he was able to give up his role as “gatekeeper,” striving instead to give students “what they deserved more than anything — recognition.”
  • In “Losing Control,” week 5 of his 52 Weeks series, Mike Szczepanik recounts facing the fear of losing control in his classroom once the “threat of grade reduction is no longer available.”
  • In “Communities Without Limits,” Mark Sonnemann explores the possibility of how a community like TG2 can “embrace dissonance and respectful disagreement as a way of building trust and capacity in all participants.”
  • In “Quantifying the Unquantifiable,” Jen Doucette reflects on the difficulty of crunching numbers when you don’t have any — having spent the year providing frequent feedback, encouraging risk-taking, facilitating peer- and self-assessment, and jotting notes from student-led grading conferences.

I defy anyone to watch Monte’s speech (and read the student comments down below) and not feel that something special is happening — both in Monte’s classroom and in this larger community of teachers going gradeless.


This Sunday, July 9, 2017, 9–10 p.m. EDT, we continue our series of summer Twitter chats, examining the whys, the hows, and the whats of going gradeless. The goal is to equip you with the rationale, the know-how, and the vision for you to go gradeless this coming school year.

Our topic for this Sunday’s chat is Assessment and Feedback, examining the qualities of strong assessment and feedback that develops independence in our students. The chat is moderated by Paul Cancellieri, middle school science teacher and co-author (with Bill Ferriter) of the book Creating a Culture of Feedback. He is joined by Becky Prebble, high school English teacher who started her career working in the international education setting, and has recently returned home to work in the American school system. Earlier this week, she wrote a review of Paul’s book!

I think these two are up to the challenge, so I willingly split the mind-blowing flower of #TG2Chat moderation between them. Please check out their introductory video below and skim through the questions in the infographic. I hope you will join us as we spark yet another conversation on the topic of going gradeless.

How have you created a culture of feedback in your classroom? Sound off in the comments below.

Teachers Going Gradeless is a global group of educators convinced that teaching and learning is better when we grade less. Find us on Facebook!

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