I enjoyed learning about UDL, Universal Design for Learning, this week. Although i was quite confused at first, it was very helpful to learn about how Universal Design actually began with archichitecture. People used to design buildings and then go back and make them user-friendly. Now, architects think about ramps and wide doors and emergency exits before they even begin construction. As teachers, we must take into consideration the needs of our students before we even start planning or teaching.
I have been thinking about how I can implement elements of UDL in my own classroom. I hope to be able to provide lots of different methods to present information to my students. I know that people respond to various presentations differently, and I want to make sure I can reach all of my students. I also plan to use more than just quizzes and tests to determine what my students know and have learned. Games, projects, songs, and other activities are good tools for student assessment that often go unnoticed. I want to meet the needs of my diverse learners by using lots of pre-assessments and taking time to discuss with my students what they know, what they want to know, and what needs to change. Of course, I will set high expectations for all of my students so that they are encouraged to strive for their best work in all aspects of learning.
For more information on UDL visit: http://www.advocacyinstitute.org/UDL/