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Brian kayser classroom spaces, writing, and udl


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Brian kayser classroom spaces, writing, and udl

  1. 1. Classroom Spaces, and UDL Brian KayserSpecial Education Teacher at Walton Middle School in Charlottesville, VA
  2. 2. The Physical SpaceAs a special education teacher, I havemostly taught collaborative classes, whichmeant I was always the guest in anotherteacher’s classroom.Being a guest is okay at a restaurant, butnot in a classroom.When I was given space this year, I wantedto redesign it so the kids could feel asthough they had their own space.
  3. 3. Steps I took...There were three teacher desks in thespace over the summer. I got rid of allthree.Got rid of all desks and replaced them withround tables. They’ve been much easier forthe students to use for collaboration.Took down all posters on wall. The onlythings that go on the wall are student-created work and materials and our map toshow where we’ve connected this year.
  4. 4. Steps I took...Added comfort furniture to the class. Thereare beanbags, pillows, empty five gallonbuckets, and a couch.Most students sit in different places eachday. This simple decision means they enterthe class already thinking.Students can sit where they want as longas they are on task.Students often choose different locations
  5. 5. What it looks like...To view panorama, please visit:
  6. 6. Other Places Students Use Students can also work in:• The kitchen attached to Room 4• The hallway• The library
  7. 7. Writing and UDLEvery student needs to understand andtruly believe they have something valuableto share with the world.Students need to understand what writingis – sharing your thoughts with the world –and the many avenues they can take tosharing their thoughts
  8. 8. Writing and UDLcont…Some students have used Dragon Dictation(free iPod app) for speech-to-text dictation.Others have needed a teacher scribe.Others have tried both options and foundthose processes didn’t work for them,opting instead to type their work.
  9. 9. Writing and UDLcont…The key to maximizing UDL in writing it toknow what you want your students to know,but be very flexible in the path each studentchooses to show they know what they’resupposed to.An example of this is…
  10. 10. The Short Story Project- Students are currently working on this.- Students first write a story and share it onGoogle Docs for feedback.- Once their story is written, students will tellthe story in a different way (movie, puppetshow, picture book, animation(, dramatic reading, etc).- Students will then reflect how differentmediums changed/enhanced/limited their story.
  11. 11. The Short Story Project cont.- In this process, we’ve already had discussions about why certain mediums were better than others depending on the story.- Key element for students is telling a compelling story...they’re very interested to learn new technologies to get the best product possible.
  12. 12. The Short Story Project cont.- Currently most students are on Part 2 of their project.- Some are planning a movie, others are adapting their story into a children’s book, one student is producing a puppet show, and one student is retelling the story through Twitter conversations using FakeTweetBuilder ( The biggest challenge is being able to help kids with a variety of problems and keeping
  13. 13. Student BloggingEach student has their own EduBlog.orgblog (total cost for 50 students is $40)Students choose their theme and colorlayoutStudents learn to post only the work theyare truly proud ofAll student blogs are posted on thelanguage arts website for easy accessStudents are given time to comment on
  14. 14. Some examples
  15. 15. One more example
  16. 16. Comics
  17. 17. StripGeneratorAn example from StripGenerator( }I like about StripGenerator:- it’s free- very easy interface-multiple students can be logged into thesame account at the same time
  18. 18. StripGenerator cont.What I don’t like about StripGenerator- strips can not be edited...once they’resubmitted, it’s final- no color- limited characters and objects
  19. 19. For examples, please visit costs money, but they give a onemonth free trial. The comics are easy to make,very customizable, and give students a ton ofoptions. This is my favorite comic creating site.
  20. 20. VoiceThread-Students have used VoiceThread( for a variety ofprojects, such as telling about theirfavorite holiday memory, history projects,and as a digital story for elementarystudents-Please visit
  21. 21. SoundCloud- SoundCloud (, great iPod app) is a free site that allows students to record or post recordings of their work to be shared- Students have used this to tell about their favorite holiday memory after they wrote it.- We’ve also experimented with podcasting using AudioBoo (, great iPod
  22. 22. SoundCloud cont.- SoundCloud (, great iPod app) is a free site that allows students to record or post recordings of their work to be shared- Students have used this to tell about their favorite holiday memory after they wrote it.- We’ve also experimented with podcasting using AudioBoo (, great iPod
  23. 23. Global FictionReadings
  24. 24. Global FictionReadingsStudents write, edit, and rewriteWhen students have a final draft, theypractice reading with a partnerStudents then read their writing to theirclassmates on a scheduled dayThe reading is also broadcast throughUstream, a video streaming service (free),to family and other classes that can tune in
  25. 25. Global FictionReading Cont.Students receive immediate feedback fromtheir classmates and teachersThrough Twitter and Ustream, students alsoreceive feedback
  26. 26. Some Feedback...Thanks, Rebecca, Tyler, et al. Now I know from whence many of you come, yourbackgrounds and bios.I enjoyed hearing yall read. Not only was it interesting to hear your views aboutimportant topics such as bullying, but I enjoyed the fiction and poems, too. Flying dogs,magic bears, ghosts, and dragons (lots of them)? Thieves dressed in flags? Foodsflavored with rosemary? And there was a lot more, too. Some of these things remindedme of what I think is called "magical reality."The writing I heard was very impressive. There were many excellent sentences; the clearsentences made it easy for me to understand the ideas you were presenting. I alsoheard many writers using sophisticated and strong vocabulary.; colorful words helped topaint a picture for me about what was happening in a parking lot, and action verbshelped to describe the movements of characters.Congratulations.JohnL
  27. 27. More Uses forUstream...I’ve also used Ustream to broadcast ourband concerts, talent show, and graduation.By sharing the Ustream link with familiesand other classrooms, it gives our kids awider, authentic audience.Link:
  28. 28. More feedback from ourUstream events...
  29. 29. More feedback from ourUstream events...
  30. 30. Google DocsGoogle Docs allows for collaboration duringthe writing process.Students can view each other’s work fromtheir own computer and leave commentsand ideas for each other.Students can collaborate on one documentat the same time from different computers,or from one and they all automatically havethe updated document as long as it is
  31. 31. Pen PalsStudents have pen pals from Ireland andAustralia.They have the opportunity to describeCharlottesville to their pen pals and to learnabout other cultures.Students share letters through email andGoogle Docs
  32. 32. SkypingMy students have Skyped with other middleschool classes to share work and listen to others’work.We’ve Skyped with our pen pals in Ireland.We’ve Skyped with elementary classes to listen totheir work and teach them new material.We’ve Skyped with a 9/11 survivor.We’ve Skyped with a variety of classes for DotDay, Digital Learning Day, and Read Across
  33. 33. The SuperSchoolProjectStudents maintained a Tumblr page dedicated toshowing what happened at Walton on a dailybasis.Students took the pictures, edited them, wrote acaption, and posted them on their own.
  34. 34. The SuperSchool Project cont…An example
  35. 35. ContactBrian KayserEmail: bkayser@k12albemarle.orgTwitter: @bkayser11Blog: