Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Universal Design…..for Learning

How did Universal Design for Learning (UDL) come to be?  On the one hand, it began with the work of CAST, the Center for Applied Special Technology, still the leader in UDL.  On the other hand, UDL also mirrors Universal Design, a concept in design, architecture, and urban planning. The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design… Continue reading Universal Design…..for Learning

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

How UDL changes instructional practice

Recently, I was asked by a fellow teacher to share some lesson plans that showed how my colleague, Irene Witt, and I incorporate the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines into our practice.  I don't remember the last time I wrote a formal lesson plan, but I thought I would share here parts of my… Continue reading How UDL changes instructional practice

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Failing at UDL (part two)

One thing I always say about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is that it has given me permission to do things that I felt, on some level, were right, but wasn't always encouraged or allowed to do them with different administrators.  UDL also pushes me to do those things well.  This second blog on "Failing… Continue reading Failing at UDL (part two)


“Decentralizing” Education: using Stations/Centers in UDL

The first year our district adopted the Eureka math curriculum, we were asked to teach the program more or less word-for-word.  It made sense--we couldn't really assess its efficacy if we hadn't given it a fair chance. So, we taught our Ratios and Proportions (RP) Module.  And the Rational Numbers (RN) Module.  And the Expressions… Continue reading “Decentralizing” Education: using Stations/Centers in UDL

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Failing at UDL (part one)

As I move into my third-ish year of "doing UDL," it seems like a good time to stop and reflect on some of my more spectacular failures in learning about and implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Replacing Teacher Instruction....completely A few years, when the projector in my classroom died for the final time, I was… Continue reading Failing at UDL (part one)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Bringing UDL into traditional assessments

Some teachers have content standards, where they can offer choices in assessment because they have to assess content knowledge, rather than doing something by a certain method.  (See my blog post on types of standards for information about figuring out your standards.) Other teachers, like myself, teach standards that are primarily method standards, where we… Continue reading Bringing UDL into traditional assessments

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

UDL Magic

It was a bad morning in Room 155 North.  My friend and colleague, Mark Richardson, had been working to "UDL" a project on the energy pyramid, opening up his current assignment to include a technology element.  Originally, the assignment had been to draw and color pictures of animals on a paper version of a pyramid,… Continue reading UDL Magic

UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Informal Assessment in the Math Classroom

In last week's post, I described "Topic Reflections," a self-assessment tool we designed for this year to help students engage in self-reflection.  While that post focused on the power of self-reflection for students, this week's post looks at the benefits we are experiencing from the teacher side with a combination of of Topic Reflections and… Continue reading Informal Assessment in the Math Classroom

UDL in Practice

Helping Students Engage in Self-Monitoring

Guideline 6 of the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines is to provide options for executive function.  Specifically, the Checkpoints look at supporting students in learning  to engage in appropriate goal-setting (6.1), planning and strategy development (6.2), managing information and resources (6.3), and increasing capacity for monitoring progress (6.4). Honestly, prior to this past summer, I had… Continue reading Helping Students Engage in Self-Monitoring

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Choice Assignments: adding choice to instruction

When you are starting to think about using the Guidelines for Universal Design for Learning (UDL), the biggest bang for your buck in making change is to offer choice.  However, as a math teacher, I have struggled to think about adding choice to assessments, which are so standards-driven at the 7th grade level, so I… Continue reading Choice Assignments: adding choice to instruction