I asked them to imagine what that would look like at our school.
Their answers were largely summed up in this sentence: "We would feel less stress without grades, but we wouldn't know how we were doing and no one would care about learning without the stress of the grade."
I was a little shocked that they were SO unable to envision a world without grades, even with an example of how this fantastic teacher gave extensive feedback and the kids in the class talked about learning more in that system.
It's no secret to them that I don't like grades that much. I really don't like the hundreds of emails from students asking how to earn back one point on x assignment so they can get an A.
I try and not talk about grades at all. The question "How will this be graded?" usually gets A Look, followed by my head collapsing into my hands. They've learned not to ask that. But that doesn't mean they don't think about it.
Oh, they do.