My classroom is ‘ungraded.’ Want to know one of the biggest mis-perceptions out there? That grades equal learning. I didn’t realize it until someone blatantly insinuated that my students were just “doing stuff” and not really learning, because I don’t “give grades.” That conversation has caused me to evaluate and re-evaluate every single thing I do in my classroom. I’ve taught in a traditional classroom, I’ve given hundreds, probably thousands, of grades. I cringe at the thought of what I used to assign points for. Crossword puzzles. Vocabulary definitions. Doing stuff. The way I assess students now? It’s far more accurate than any grade I ever assigned. When we focus on filling our grade books with points and assigning letters to define what our students know, we miss out on something. When we discuss, give powerful feedback, listen carefully, observe, interview, give them room to create, reflect, and revise, we know more. When we have a record of where they began and where they ended up in our classroom, we know more. Far more. We know them. We know their learning. Real learning? It’s a messy, non-linear process. It cannot simplified into a letter or even points.