UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Cultural shifts with retakes–the teacher side

I've written before about the cultural shifts in the classroom my math colleagues and I have made over the last few years with regard to retakes--I think the best way to describe the journey is to say that we went from never allowing retakes to reluctantly trying them out to embracing them fully.  I don't… Continue reading Cultural shifts with retakes–the teacher side

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Where to Begin?

For many of us in New England (or at least in Massachusetts), today was the first full day of February vacation.  I'm looking forward to a week of being able to plan my days a bit more on my own schedule, to sleeping in well past my usual 4:15 wake-up, and to moving my head… Continue reading Where to Begin?

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Talking with students: trusting the kids

"It's important...to see your role as helping to guide student thinking, not trying to control the choices they make.  This can be a hard balance to strike, especially if you crafted certain choices with specific students in mind.  It can be tempting to try and sway their decision, but as soon as we start to… Continue reading Talking with students: trusting the kids

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Time, time, time

One question I get asked a lot when I talk about removing myself from the front of the room is how I can guarantee that all students are working all the time.  To be blunt, I can't.  And while I am always thinking about ways to make my classes so engaging that all students want… Continue reading Time, time, time

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Talking with students: moving kids forward with challenge

I've written about how I use homework checkins as a time to build relationships with students as well as to get a sense of content needs from the class as a whole.  These checkins also give me an opportunity to reflect back to students my observations that they might be at a place where they… Continue reading Talking with students: moving kids forward with challenge

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Talking with students: homework checkins

Over vacation (remember vacation?  How far away it seems!), I spent some time reading Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn by Mike Anderson.  In the section titled "Teaching Honest Self-Assessment," the author offers some suggestions for ways to help students improve their skills with self-assessment.  One that spoke to me was "[c]oach students individually" (pg. 66),… Continue reading Talking with students: homework checkins

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Of brains and Bunsen burners

The strange assumption that a group's distribution of measurements could safely be substituted for an individual's distribution of measurements was implicitly accepted by almost every scientist who studied individuals, though most of the time they were hardly conscious of it.  (Todd Rose, The End of Average, pg. 62) High school biology was a disaster.  I… Continue reading Of brains and Bunsen burners

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Professional “Self-Care”

I entered undergraduate as a theater major.  Within a semester, I had switched to English.  But then I wanted to add an Econ minor.  I didn't add Econ, but I did add math as a minor.  And then I added Spanish.   My advisor asked me one time if I was planning to take any… Continue reading Professional “Self-Care”

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

“Progressing Towards Expert Practice”

One of the things I most appreciate about having the opportunity to teach, co-teach or be an assistant for a course on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is that my (adult) students ALWAYS push me to go further in my own practice with my 7th graders.  This week, when I was reading student work on the… Continue reading “Progressing Towards Expert Practice”

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Crisis and Resiliency

I recently started co-teaching a course on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with Dr. Katie Novak, our assistant superintendent and international UDL guru.  The course began with a self-reflection on UDL and, in reading over the submissions, I saw many students (teachers) reflecting on how their school experiences might have been different if they had… Continue reading Crisis and Resiliency