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.