How can I implement the Grid virtually?

Meghan DeeganBlog, GRID FAQ, Lesson Plan Better, Manage Better, Mastery Done Better

TL;DR:

  • Implement the Grid virtually by creating a daily routine, setting expectations, making the Grid easily accessible, keeping it simple, using videos, keeping yourself organized, assessing students in a variety of ways, and communicating with stakeholders often.
  • Adjusting to a new learning structure can take time for you and your students. Give yourself grace as you and your students adapt to a method for learning.

Teaching virtually is hard.  There are so many pieces to teaching virtually.  Getting to know your students, dealing with tech issues, supporting everyone, making plans, and managing everything either 100% remotely, in a hybrid model, or even in-person yet socially distanced, are just some of the challenges educators are facing.  It. Is. Hard.  On top of all of that, add in starting to implement the Grid Method virtually and helping your students understand and navigate something new.

It can be overwhelming and at times seem impossible.  But, I promise it is doable!  Here are a few tips you can use when implementing the Grid virtually.

If you are open with students and allow them to make suggestions, they’re going to tell you what they need. This will allow you to offer the support that is needed. Click To Tweet

Implement the Grid virtually by creating a daily routine.

Create a daily routine.  Then continue that routine for your students.  They need stability.  If your students know what to expect, it will help them be successful each day, whether you always start the day the same way or you create an agenda for them to follow.

Implement the Grid virtually by setting expectations.

Have them.  Set them.  Communicate them.  My students know what I expect each day, from being on time to completing their assignments each day.  No matter what the day looks like, my students know what they are supposed to be doing.

Implement the Grid virtually by making the Grid accessible.

No matter how you organize your Grids, make them easily accessible to your students.  Bitmoji classrooms are the thing right now and if you set one up, use that as the place your students can access everything they need.  Include a list of what they need to complete with links!  If you don’t have a Bitmoji classroom (I don’t), it’s as simple as creating an agenda on a Google Slide or Google Doc!  Give your students one place they can access everything they need for your Grid.

Implement the Grid virtually by keeping it simple.

Keep your Grids as simple as possible.  I’m not talking about simple content, I’m talking about simple to look at.  Don’t include too much wording.  Students are already so overwhelmed, we really need to do everything we can to keep things simple.  I try to use short phrases in my Grids and then attach links where they will find more information.

Implement the Grid virtually by using videos.

I know that not everyone is a fan of recording themselves, but it can save you a lot of time and offer more support for your students.  Sometimes I feel like I answer the same question 10 times a class period.  I created short screen recordings for each concept that students can refer back to.  This way if they’re struggling, I can direct them back to a certain place in the Grid where I covered that concept.

Implement the Grid virtually by keeping yourself organized.

I have been using spreadsheets with checkboxes to check off each time my students are successfully completing certain tasks.  This allows me to know where my students are at, just like I would in the classroom.  It helps guide my mini-lessons and decide which students I need to check in with.

Implement the Grid virtually by assessing students in different ways.

Assessing virtually is hard.  Build in pieces that allow you to check your students’ understanding while also not having to grade different assessments for each student daily.  I have been using Quizizz, Kahoot, Edulastic, and Boom Cards, just to name a few.  These are all self-grading online tech tools, so as the students practice I can quickly see where their understanding is at.  If you don’t have access to tech, create a few questions you can quickly ask your students to assess their mastery.  

Implement the Grid virtually by communicating with parents and students.

There is no such thing as over communicating right now.  The more parents know, the more comfortable they feel.  If you are open with students and allow them to make suggestions, they’re going to tell you what they need.  This will allow you to offer the support that is needed. 

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Give yourself and your students grace.

Just like if we were in a normal year, teaching your students a brand new method can take time.  It will take some time for students to get used to and understand The Grid Method, but once they do it will run smoothly!  Whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember that your students probably do too.  If a lesson normally takes one day but virtually it takes two, that’s okay.

Lastly, don’t ever forget this: 

They can do this!  You can do this!  Yes, this year looks different, but that doesn’t mean it has to be impossible!

Impact Story

Since using The Grid Method in class, I have changed as a teacher. One aspect of the classroom I have always struggled with is giving up control. When I launched my first Grid, I was nervous, but it did not take long for me to simply love it because I was able to walk around the classroom and coach my kids up as they worked on their Grids.

This year the Grid has fit perfectly into our hybrid model, allowing my students to work at their own pace at home, and yet take ownership of their own learning. At one point this year, the feelings of uncertainty began to creep in again and I thought about not using The Grid Method for the next unit. When I told my students this, they quickly changed my mind. They love the Grid and they appreciate the fact that they always know what is due, where they should be, and they love the fact that they are taking responsibility for their own learning (their words, not mine). The Grid is here to stay! – Mark Horner, APUSH/Psychology Teacher & Teach Better Ambassador


About Meghan Deegan

Meghan Deegan is a 7th grade math teacher in the Chicago suburbs and the Lead Ambassador for the Teach Better Team. She has a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction and is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. She loves working with and connecting with fellow educators and is active on Twitter and Instagram.

Meghan loves spending time with her two dogs, boyfriend, family, and friends!