Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is The Grid Method?

The Grid Method is a student paced, mastery learning system that takes the learning opportunities you already provide your students and makes them more targeted, effective and successful by integrating them into a mastery grid. Students are formatively assessed after each assignment and get multiple opportunities to succeed. It is a way to reach all students where they are instead of where you want them to be.

Who is The Grid Method for?

This method is for anyone who wants to reach more students and hold their learners more accountable. It’s for the new teachers trying to figure everything out and the experienced teacher trying to renew their love of teaching. It was created by a successful teacher that had the worst year of his life and needed to make a change. The Grid Method also works with technology for those individuals or districts looking for a way to fully integrate the new technology they have to increase student achievement.

Why would I want to change the way I teach?

If what you’re doing is working and you’re reaching every student in your classroom…DON’T! The Grid Method can give you more time, give your students more success, and help you implement dozens of research based practices with one easy to use system. The Grid Method shouldn’t change your style, passion, or talent as a teacher. It simply provides a structural framework to implement what you already do well.

Can I apply The Grid Method to behavior?

It has not been used for behavior traditionally, but it absolutely can be utilized to track and monitor student progress towards mastery of behavior targets.

Can The Grid Method be used to drive whole group instruction as opposed to independent learning?

Whole group instruction can absolutely be utilized within the system. Introducing content with whole class instruction and then creating “small groups” or learning teams can allow teachers to provide intervention where needed while encouraging other students to work on more advanced material. The power and success of the system increases as individual accountability and differentiation increases. At a basic level, a targeted and developed grid with whole group instruction as the primary method of delivery would still be more efficient than a traditional “day to day” model of planning or instruction without mastery in mind

Collaboration and small group work is, and should always be, part of learning. The pace is individualized but the learning can absolutely be collaborative.

How can The Grid Method be used for a cross curricular project or PBL?

The Grid Method has been successfully used for the implementation of larger cross-curricular projects. Once the cross-curricular problem is defined, the specific content targets can be created and aligned based on the topic. The content knowledge needed to meet the targets and answer the larger question could be met with targeted learning opportunities (lessons / tasks) which compose the grid and build in a “step by step” manner to the completion of the larger project. Student products are often much more thoughtful and meaningful if lower levels or DOK concepts are fully understood before applied.

How does The Grid Method look in a self-contained room?

While the structure of a self-contained classroom has obvious differences from “subject” based classrooms, the application of mastery learning, targeted instruction and standards-based instruction can be applied to any learning environment. The Grid Method provides a system in which to easily implement these pieces cohesively.
The system itself would not change, but the content and design of the grids would need to be modified to be inclusive of more subject areas. As long as the learning targets (objectives) for the content being covered are clear and accessible, the method will still work.

Can the grid or progress through grid be modified for individual needs of students?

Absolutely! Modifying pace, task order, assessments and or delivery of instruction should always be based on student need and best interest. The focus should always be providing what student needs to master content.

What if I don’t have any technology?

Technology is a huge advantage, but no part of the system is fully dependent on it. The instruction and learning opportunities should be designed with both the students and resources available in mind. Targeted activities and instruction can be created with aligned assessments without technology, but additional time may be required for grading tasks or providing live instruction. Stations are a way to implement multiple opportunities at once based on level of mastery without technology. Technology simply makes that easier.

What is Progressive Mastery Learning, LLC?

PML is a company that was created to establish a website, resources, and assistance for teachers, schools, and districts to learn how to use The Grid Method. The company provides an easier way to organize, protect, and centralize what we do.