BrainsmallUniversal Design for Learning (UDL) is not just a framework for curriculum design. It is a belief that all students are capable of learning and that instructional methods, when implemented intentionally, can help all students succeed. So, what does this look like in the classroom? Hopefully the lists below can help you to visualize UDL in action.

Representation:  Content and skills are presented in multiple ways with scaffolding available.

What does this look like?

  • Learning objective or standard is posted and visible to students.
  • Teacher explains the standard to students and its rationale. All students could tell an observer the goal of the lesson.
  • ”More than one presentation method is apparent: lecture, reading text, audio, video. (i.e, teacher reads directions while projecting them with document camera, or students watch a video with closed captioning.)
  • Teacher uses Powerpoint, Prezi, Glogster, the online textbook, Youtube, or other presentation software to present content. This integrates visuals, audio, and text.
  • As students read, teacher reminds them to highlight patterns, critical features, and/or big ideas. Not just reading text without scaffolds.
  • ”Teacher pre-teaches vocabulary and activates prior knowledge. May use Frayer models, vocabulary tables,images etc…
  • Teacher uses diagrams, charts, and images throughout the lesson. Does not only rely on text.
  • ”Model note-taking while presenting information (i.e, Cornell notes or slotted notes).
  • Teacher provides stations where students can learn information on their own (i.e, read a text, view a video, listen to audio, work in collaborative group, etc…)
  • Allows students to access technology (IPads, Nooks, etc…) so they can customize the display of information.

Expression:  Students are provided with choice and/or scaffolding when expressing their knowledge in formative and summative assessments.

What does this look like?

  • ”Teacher has multiple methods of assessing student knowledge when working toward content standards. May be a combination of the following: debates, Socratic circles, essays, objective tests, projects, skits, lab reports, journals, etc…
  • Teacher uses exit tickets or other dipsticking method so all students are assessed daily.
  • When teaching specific methods, such as solving an algebraic equation or writing an essay, teacher provides the following: Work exemplars, rubrics, frequent mastery-oriented feedback, and all necessary resources and materials necessary to complete assignment (i.e, textbooks, pencils, paper.)

Engagement:  Students are engaged in authentic, relevant learning opportunities.

What does this look like?

  • Provide a daily agenda or checklist to help students monitor their progress.
  • Teacher is walking and monitoring the classroom to keep students on task and prevent frustration.
  • Classroom arrangement is set up for minimal distractions.
  • Students are allowed to work collaboratively. Teacher may facilitate Paideia seminars, Socratic circles, etc…
  • Teacher offers engaging choices for assignments: simulations, mock interviews, poetry slams, blogs,debates,  etc…
What Does UDL Look Like?

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