Think of UDL as a super-charged vehicle to deliver rigorous, standards-based curriculum. Last week, I noted the alignment between the Common Core (CCSS) anchor standards in reading and the UDL Representation Guidelines. To see post, click here.

Today, I’d like to review the Expression Guidelines and how they will help you to teach the CCSS anchor standards for writing (view standards here). It’s just more evidence that UDL is best practice and can help you transition to the Common Core while still challenging and engaging students.

II. Provide Multiple Means of Expression

How UDL Can Help 

4. Provide options for physical action4.1 Vary the methods for response and navigation

4.2 Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies

4.1 Give students the option of writing (in purple pen, black pen, pencil, etc..), typing, physically manipulating objects, etc… when completing assignments.


4.2 Allow students to use technology to express knowledge like using speech recognition software, typing, etc. These accommodations will be available on the PARCC (see post here) so students should have practice using them.

5: Provide options for expression and communication5.1 Use multiple media for communication

5.2 Use multiple tools for construction and composition

5.3 Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance



5.1 Give students choices about what they will write. Note that the standards never note that the product has to be an essay. They just require students to “write arguments” (CCSS: W1), “write informative/ explanatory texts” (CCSS,W.2), and “write narratives” (CCSS,W.3). Instead of just writing a traditional essay, they could write a skit, a poem, a letter, or create a PowerPoint, Prezi etc… with text. After all, it’s just important that they, “demonstrate understanding of the subject under investigation” (CCSS,W.7).


5.2 Provide students with the tools they need to complete writing assignment: dictionaries, computers with spell check, voice recognition software, handouts with necessary graphic organizers, and exemplars. Again, many of these supports will be available to them on the PARRC.

5.3 Help to scaffold writing by providing students with graphic organizers, exemplars, and rubrics for each assignment.


6: Provide options for executive functions6.1 Guide appropriate goal-setting

6.2 Support planning and strategy development

6.3 Facilitate managing information and resources

6.4 Enhance capacity for monitoring progress


6.1 Begin all writing assignments with an objective and rationale, so students know what they will be expected to do and why.


6.2/6.3 Give students a lot of tips on how to stay organized while they are completing each assignment. You can embed these tips into each assignment.

6.4 Always provide many opportunities for students to get feedback before completing summative assessments. Also, teach students to evaluate their own writing on self-assessment rubrics, so they can monitor their progress and determine whether or not they met standards.

These guidelines help to develop strategic, goal-directed learners
UDL Delivers Writing Too!

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