Eureka and Middle School Math · UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Guest Post: Kristy Coletti

Kristy Coletti is a fifth-grade math teacher at Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School.  She put together this amazing chart last year for an assignment for the UDL Design Lab course that I co-taught with Dr. Katie Novak during the 2018-2019 school year.

What I love most about this chart is that Kristy’s work strengthens Eureka, challenges it from the perspective of Universal Design for Learning without losing any of the high-quality content that Eureka brought to the math game when it first came on the scene.

Please enjoy and be inspired–I know I am every time I read it!

Eureka Lesson Outline Potential Barriers Additional Activities to provide access to all
Application Problem

(Teacher led/Large group)

(8-10 min)

  • Audio/Visual learning only
  • Traditional “calling on” students
  • Think time- dominant students may get called on more frequently, not allowing all students time to think and share their ideas
  • Language dense problems do not allow access for all students
  • Time constraints- not much time allotted for questions from class.
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Present/Post the application problem in audio and visual on google classroom for reteach
  • Manipulatives
  • Graphic organizers that remind students of how to write a constructed response
Fluency Practice

(Teacher led/Large group) (12 min)

  • Speed is rewarded
  • Processing time
  • Are we sending the message that faster is better?
  • Games that help build fluency as an activity after the problem set is complete
  • Choice of independent vs. group vs pair work for fluency
  • Choice of games to practice fluency  (computer, dice, cards, etc)
  • Fluency practice where students are not timed allow access for all students, regardless of their ability to regulate themselves
Concept Development

(Teacher led/ Large group) (30 min)

  • Lacks multiple means of presentation for all types of learning styles
  • Lots of teacher talk, hard to maintain all students focus
  • Think time- dominant students may get called on more frequently, not allowing all students time to think and share their ideas
  • Language dense problems do not allow access for all students, especially when these problems are presented orally in a large group format.
  • Video representation of different concepts in the concept development
  • Access to highlighters to mark up the problems
  • Provide copies of the concept development problems to students as the teacher works through them on the board
  • Call on a variety of kids using a variety of different means
  • Partner students up
  • Zearn lessons
Problem Set

(Independent Work)

(20 min)

  • Language dense word problems occupy 2/3 of each problem set.
  • Students with reading struggles may struggle decoding words and their meanings.
  • Small group as needed
  • Use of manipulatives
  • Access to graphic organizers
  • Post problems around the room for students to work on in pairs, get up and move around
  • Math workshop menu that cover the concepts covered in the problem set allow for student choice
  • Check your problem set answer with a friend
  • Make problem set word problems on index cards and have students choose  cards (offered in a box on the table) with problems to complete using Math Workshop
  • Access to answer key

(Teacher led/Large group)

(10 min)

  • Auditory presentation of teacher to student has many of the same barriers previously listed above.
  • Students can take their own temperature on how they feel about the lesson for the day
  • Students can share one thing they learned/ one part they still have a question about by writing it out rather than sharing it orally with the whole class
Exit Ticket

(Independent Work/3 min)

  • Language dense problems
  • Speed needed to complete before dismissal from class and onto next academic block
  • Students can be given one problem rather than four to show what they know.
  • Exit ticket could be given instead of homework, or homework used to assess their knowledge of a given lesson.


2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Kristy Coletti

  1. This is an awesome chart. I teach sixth grade math with eureka and I’m just learning about UDL. Eureka 6th grade format is far different than 5th grade. I wonder if there is a chart for 6-8 eureka?


    1. I will share your comment with Kristy! She wrote this chart as part of a course she took last year, so I don’t know if someone else has a version of their own somewhere else. Since Kristy teaches 5th grade, she made this chart for what she was teaching.


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