I spent my spring break reading all the books and papers I wanted to read during the year into two weeks. One book I was meaning to read was Hacking Assessment by Star Sackstien, it looks at his struggles of moving away from letter grades and traditional assessment to an more open and formative way of working with his students to guide them through their learning. I was intrigued how his findings were similar to what I was trying and doing this year in my classroom. I also felt as if what he was explaining and describing was the only way I could see it working with my field study, and the way I had planned my year in my classroom. I had tried to not use letter grades before but I was missing ways for students to have motivation, and honestly I was not sure if I believed it was going to work. This year having e-portfolios like Freshgrade has helped as well as having other staff that formed a community that I could bounce my ideas, findings and struggles with.
I continue to have a struggle still with communicating to parents the advantages of no using letter grades. I know that it is the right direction to go, but it is what they are use to. I am going to keep looking for ways to explain this better to parents and students. I am about half way through the book and will continue reading it and reflect again on what I learn.