April 2018 Newsletter – Action and Expression: The How of Learning

According to the CAST Universal Design for Learning Guidelines:

“Learners differ in the ways that they can navigate a learning environment and express what they know.”

Whether it is due to a diagnosed disability or other learning difference, children explore and demonstrate learning in many different ways. Here are a few specific recommendations that are included in UDL that can be applied to early learning environments:

  • Incorporate any adaptive equipment used by students; work with parents and therapists to become familiar with these supports
  • Allow ample time for children to complete work; some children may require extended periods of time
  • Allow children to return to their work throughout the day; use a “Save Shelf” to store ongoing work
  • Allow options for children to respond to questions by pointing or otherwise indicating their choices
  • Allow children to show what they know about concepts using preferred materials (Blocks, paint, drawings, photography, manipulatives, storytelling, dramatic play, etc.)
  • Incorporate various technology as a means for children to express their knowledge (videos, computer drawings, music producing programs, PowerPoint, graphing, storyboards, etc.)
  • Encourage children to use manipulatives to express their understanding of math concepts
  • Allow children to express their knowledge independently or within small groups
  • Provide chances for children to share what they know one-on-one with teachers, in front of small groups, or in front of the large group; not every child will perform well in each of these situations
  • Help children determine the next steps in their learning, based on their current level of knowledge/skill
  • Help children create plans for accomplishing tasks; introduce strategy and creative thinking in order to solve problems
  • Help children organize information using a variety of visual organizers
  • Ask open ended questions to promote deeper thinking about concepts and self-reflection

Adapted from: CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from http://udlguidelines.cast.org

To view the article on Engagement – The Why of Learning, click here.

To view the article on Representation – The What of Learning , click here.

To view the article on Director’s Corner – Helping Teachers Understand and Implement UDL, click here.