Use Grid View to Watch Students Collaborate

I’m a huge fan of collaborative Google Slides. Why open 30 documents when you can open ONE! The steps are simple.

  • Create a Google Slides.
  • Name the slides.
  • DO NOT PUT ANYTHING ON THEM. Students will delete your slides. Don’t bother.
  • Close the Slides.
  • Share with edit access to the students. (You can do this in Google Classroom by choosing “Students can edit file” or before you close the slides use the blue share button to change to “anyone can edit.”
  • Ask students to add a slide and put their name in the speaker notes.

I try to use collaborative Google Slides or collaborative Google Sheets more often than I have students do individual documents. We become a community of learners and I only have ONE document to open and give feedback on rather than 30.

Grid View

This is a pretty new feature in Google Slides. In the bottom left is a 2 by 3 icon of squares. Click on this to switch to Grid view.
Grid view in Google Slides

This allows you to see all students working on their slides at once.

Control Minus

Control Minus to zoom out

Use Control Minus to zoom out. I’ll usually hit it about 3 times to be able to see all of the student’s slides.
zoom out and see more slides

Project Grid View

I’m prone to project the grid view while I go around and work with students on their slides. I can look up and get an overall snapshot. It also makes it easy to get to a particular student’s slide.

Frayer Model

This is unrelated to Grid View but in the tweet what we were doing was practicing doing collaborative Frayer models on Google Slides. 

What is awesome about the Frayer model in Google Slides is the ability to use multi-media. Students can insert pictures, selfies (take a selfie that represents the word), insert videos, drawings, etc… It may seem silly but I also like that students can choose the font. A small way a student’s personality can shine through so they differentiate themselves from everyone else. Students should make comments on each other’s slides that demonstrate their understanding of the vocabulary word. Not just good job, but a high quality feedback comment that shows their own understanding.

“Math Frayer Model”

I attended a workshop with Jo Boaler and her and Cathy Williams shared a model for solving math that looks very similar to the Frayer model for vocabulary.

Here is a sample for dividing fractions.

I used the EquatIO Chrome extension to create the fractions for the slides. You literally handwrite the math and it converts it to type. EquatIO is free for teachers (

Try sharing the Fryer or Solve it Google Slides with your students collaboratively. Each student adds a slide and puts their name in the speaker notes. (note: you can then use Control F to find a student by typing in their name). Easily share out student work and collaborate around student ideas. Grid view helps a lot! Give it a try!

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