According to the CAST Universal Design for Learning Guidelines:
“Learners differ in the ways that they perceive and comprehend information that is presented to them.”
The fact that children take in and process information differently means that teachers must be prepared to present information in different ways for different learners. Here are a few specific recommendations that are included in UDL that can be applied to early learning environments:
- Provide materials in different formats – large print books, audiobooks, tactile experiences, digital materials, etc.
- Present information in graphs, charts, and illustrations for visual learners
- Utilize American Sign Language to communicate with students and enhance language development
- Incorporate visual/picture cues with instructions and daily routines
- Introduce new words before using them in lessons
- Explain unfamiliar or confusing language such as puns, jargon, and idioms
- Connect new information with prior knowledge and experiences
- Conduct picture walks through books prior to reading to identify main ideas of the story
- Provide manipulatives when working on math concepts
- Connect math concepts to everyday experiences such as meal times and how many children are in line for the playground
- Create connections between key words and concepts for English Language Learners
- Incorporate concepts across all learning centers, including outdoor learning
- Teach children memory tricks
- Provide many opportunities for exploration and repetition
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 How of Learning , click here.
To view the article on Director’s Corner – Helping Teachers Understand and Implement UDL, click here.