The Common Core requires teachers across grade bands and content areas to teach speaking and listening skills. In the spirit of UDL, these skills must be scaffolded so students understand how to contribute effectively in a discussion. Today I’m teaching a lesson in a third grade classroom where students will gain knowledge by closely watching, listening to, and conversing with students. To do this well, I will provide the following scaffolds to support them. If you’d like the Word document, download Speaking and Listening, grade 3.

It’s Speaking and Listening Day!

  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
  • Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.

Today we are going to watch a video about dinosaurs and then we will have a discussion about the video and how it relates to the information we learned about dinosaurs from books and articles. During our discussion, commit to contribute to the conversation using at least TWO of the prompts below.

Check Understanding

  • _________________, could you please rephrase that?
  • I did not understand ____________________, could you repeat that, please?
  • Can you say more about that?
  • I have a question about ________. State your question.

Link Your Comments to the Remarks of Others

  • My idea is related to ____________’s idea ___________.
  • I really liked ______’s idea about _________.
  • I agree with ______. Also, _________.
  • While I can see why you believe this, I see this differently. In my opinion _______.
  • That’s a valid point, but I feel __________.
  • I do agree with the part about _________ but __________.

Expressing Your Own Ideas

  • I believe that _________.
  • In my opinion __________.
  • I think that __________ because ________.

For more concrete ideas to implement Common Core standards using Universal Design for Learning principles, pick up a copy of my book, UDL Now!  Teacher’s Monday Morning Guide to Implementing Common Core Standards using Universal Design for Learning.

Scaffold Speaking and Listening the UDL Way

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