Making Content and Curriculum Accessible for ELs with Universal Design for Learning


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Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles used to develop environments that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. The presenter will share experiences and best practices for using UDL and digital technologies to make content areas and a rigorous curriculum accessible for ELs.

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  • Great presentation at MD TESOL 2013. Useful information. Thanks!
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  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles used to develop environments that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. The presenter will share experiences and best practices for using UDL and digital technologies to make content areas and a rigorous curriculum accessible for ELs.
  • I focus on principle I and IIAbility to communicate in more than one language Ability to learn independently Ability to work with a diverse group of people Appreciation of the arts Awareness of global issues Being creative and "thinking outside of the box" Critical thinking and problem solving skills Effective communications through public speaking Effective communications through writing Financial literacy - understanding personal finances Information and media literacy skills Leadership skills Research skills Teamwork and collaboration skills Technology skills Understanding of civics and community responsibilities Other
  • Current challenges include increased diversity in classrooms; high expectations for all students; high stakes testing; accountability for all students. Today’s classrooms are highly complex and pose difficult hurdles for teachers. As a result of IDEA ’97, many students who used to be excluded from general education curriculum are expected to progress in the general education classroom and curriculum. Teachers now need to be successful with a much more diverse group of students including English Language Learners, students from other cultures, and students with diverse disabilities. All students are commonly in the same schools, same classrooms, and same curriculum. Schools, teachers and students are accountable for real progress and demonstrable learning outcomes in the regular education curriculum. But the print-based curriculum is designed for a homogeneous group of students and is not flexible or adjustable for different learner needs.UDL addresses these challenges and offers increased opportunity for all students to access, participate, and progress in the general education curriculum. In this training session we present principles of UDL and show how to apply them in classroom practice.
  • UDL has its beginnings in the architectural field assuring access for all to curbs, buildings and so on. Ensures that student barriers to learning are removedIt is the curriculum that can’t meet the learning needs of all students and needs to be fixed
  • Map on to 3 groups of brain networks: recognition, strategic, and affective
  • Using the three principles of UDL, teachers can create goals that promote high expectations for all learners, use flexible methods and materials, and accurately assess student progress.
  • Network-Appropriate Teaching MethodsTo support diverse recognition networks:Provide multiple examplesHighlight critical featuresProvide multiple media and formatsSupport background contextTo support diverse strategic networks:Provide flexible models of skilled performanceProvide opportunities to practice with supportsProvide ongoing, relevant feedbackOffer flexible opportunities for demonstrating skillTo support diverse affective networks:Offer choices of context and toolsOffer adjustable levels of challengeOffer choices of learning contextOffer choices of rewardsFigure 3. To help teachers support learners' diverse recognition, strategic, and affective networks, CAST has developed three sets of UDL teaching methods. These teaching methods can be used to make the curriculum more flexible and broadly supportive
  • This work began with the establishment of the Maryland UDL Task Force which published its recommendations on April 26, 2011A. Beginning in the 2013—2014 school year, using the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum in English and mathematics as a model, local school systems shall use UDL guidelines and principles, consistent with Regulation .03 of this chapter, in the development or revision of curriculum. B. Beginning in the 2014—2015 school year, local school systems shall use UDL guidelines and principles, consistent with Regulation .03 of this chapter, in the development and provision of: (1) Curriculum; (2) Instructional materials; (3) Instruction; (4) Professional development; and (5) Student assessments.
  • “Both seek to enhance student achievement by proactively designing learning environments and instructional materials in ways that allow all students to be successful,” (Edyburn, 2003, p. 3). According to Tomlinson (2002), there are four classroom elements that must be taken into account to ensure differentiated instruction: content, process, product, and learning environment.
  • Correspondences between Universal Design for Learning and Differentiated InstructionFrom Rose and Meyers (2009)
  • Example of
  • Now, text could be easily enlarged, simplified, summarized, highlighted, translated, converted to speech, graphically represented, and supported through accessible, digital materials.Digital media are versatile. Versatility means the same content can be displayed in multiple formats - still image, sound, moving image, combinations of text on video, sound in text, video in text, and more. For example, the “I Have a Dream” speech can be listened to on audio tape, can be watched and listened to on video tape, can be read from print, or any combination of these. With this flexibility in the medium, an individual can choose his/her preferred format without changing the content. Digital media are transformable.Transformability means the same content is displayed in multiple ways: Adjusting the way something is presented without changing it to another medium, e.g. changing the appearance of text (color, size, font) or images (size, shade), adjusting sound volume (loud/soft), turning off/on graphics, is referred to as “within-media transformations.”Changing from one medium to another, e.g. text-to-speech, speech-to-text, text-to-Braille, is referred to as “cross-media transformations.”
  • Text annotations that gloss crucial vocabulary or provide necessary contextual information without paraphrasing the text for students Pre-reading activities and conversations that access and build on students’ background knowledge and set up excitement and purpose for reading in a unitActivities during and after reading that allow students to engage in knowledge building with their classmates and teachers
  • District level strategies:Promote UDL from the top down, to include administrators and curriculum designers. Provide information to schools on how to get the tools in place to work on UDL objectives (e.g., computers, special software, scanners, etc.Develop training modules that focus on UDL one classroom and one curriculum unit at a time School administration strategies:Develop a school plan to incorporate UDLIdentify instructional barriers to achieving UDL Identify ways too overcome barriers using flexible technologiesHelp teachers in the classroom embed UDL into curriculum unitsStart up strategies at district and school levels:Start with a manageable curriculum unitIdentify the goals of the unitIdentify what students need to do to show masteryDetermine what the instructional barriers are for specific students Determine what tools would help thisDetermine how goals, methods and assessments can be adjusted
  • A route for every learner
  • Making Content and Curriculum Accessible for ELs with Universal Design for Learning

    1. 1. Making Content and Curriculum Accessible for ELs with Universal Design for Learning Erin Lowry Maryland TESOL Conference CCBC Essex October 26, 2013
    2. 2. Objectives  Define and discuss UDL in order to understand its role in Common Core  Identify UDL resources to help with lesson planning in order to make rigorous instruction accessible to all students  Examine some UDL best practices, including the use of echnology
    3. 3. The Big Question  What strategies and resources can I use to meet the needs of my ELL students without ―watering down‖ my instruction and still address CCSS?
    4. 4. Shifts in CCSS • Emphasis on informational text • Complex Text • Close Reading • Respond to text-dependent questions with oral and written responses • Vocabulary/Academic Vocabulary • Focus on rich content knowledge
    5. 5. What is UDL?  A framework for instruction organized around three principles based on the learning sciences  These principles guide the design and development of curriculum that is effective and inclusive for all learners  UDL focuses on curricular ―disabilities‖ Rose & Gravel, 2010
    6. 6. What are the brain networks?  There is no such thing as a ―regular‖ student  Learning is unique to each individual  Variability among individuals in how they perceive and interact with any environment
    7. 7. How can UDL support CCSS shifts? Provide Multiple Means of Representation  Perception  Language, expressions, and symbols  Comprehension Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression  Physical action  Expression and communication  Executive function Provide Multiple Means of Engagement  Recruiting interest  Sustaining effort  Self-regulation
    8. 8. Principles of UDL  Provide multiple means of representation  give students various ways of acquiring, processing, and integrating information and knowledge  Provide multiple means of action and expression  provide students with options for navigating and demonstrating learning  Provide multiple means of engagement  tap individual learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn
    9. 9. To Support Diverse Recognition Networks  Provide multiple examples  Highlight critical features  Provide multiple media and formats  Support background context
    10. 10. To Support Diverse Strategic Networks  Provide flexible models of skilled performance  Provide opportunities to practice with supports  Provide ongoing, relevant feedback  Offer flexible opportunities for demonstrating skill
    11. 11. To Support Diverse Affective Networks  Offer choices of context and tools  Offer adjustable levels of challenge  Offer choices of learning context  Offer choices of rewards
    12. 12. UDL & Maryland  The Maryland State Board of Education adopted regulations that require all local districts to use UDL  2013—2014 school yearlocal school systems shall use UDL guidelines and principlesin the development or revision of curriculum  2014—2015 school yearlocal school systems shall use UDL guidelines and principle sin the development and provision of curriculum, instructional materials, instruction, professional development, and student assessments
    13. 13. UDL & The Common Core  All students can benefit from applying UDL to curriculum design and instructional practice  CCSS is the ―what‖ in education—the goals and expectations  UDL is the ―how‖—the curriculum and instructional framework teachers use to plan lessons  UDL framework provides means to maximize student attainment of the CCSS
    14. 14. Providing Access to GradeLevel Curriculum with UDL  Read-aloud options  Compare text in different languages  Vocabulary support (visuals, pronunciation, definitions, translations)  Models  Additional background information
    15. 15. UDL vs. Differentiation  Both enhance student achievement by design learning environments and instructional materials that allow all students to be successful  UDL places a greater emphasis on the use of technology
    16. 16. Universal Design for Learning Differentiated Instruction Principle I and the Recognition Network: a) Provide multiple examples, and b) Provide multiple media and formats, Content: Several elements and materials used to support instructional content Principle 1 and the Recognition Network: c) Highlight critical features, Content: instruction is content-focused and principledriven Additional Guidelines: Use assessment as a teaching tool to extend rather than merely measure instruction. Principle 1 and Recognition Network: d) Support background knowledge. Principle 2 and the Strategic Network: a) Flexible models of skilled performance, Additional Guidelines: Engaging all learners is essential b) Opportunities to practice with supports. Product: Students are active and responsible explorers. d) Flexible opportunities to demonstrate skill. Product: Vary expectations and requirements for student responses. Principle 3 and the Affective Network: a) Choices of content and tools, b) Levels of challenge, c) Choices of rewards, d) Choices of learning contexts. Process: Flexible grouping is consistently used and Classroom management benefits students and teachers.
    17. 17. Why We Need Flexible Instructional Media  Learners’ capacities are defined by the interplay between learners’ abilities and the tools they use  Traditional classroom materials and media come in one size fits all, but they do not fit everyone  Inflexible media create barriers to learning
    18. 18. UDL Principles are Aligned with WIDA Supports UDL WIDA Principle I: Multiple Means of Representation Sensory Supports Principle II: Multiple Means of Action and Expression Graphic Supports Principle III: Multiple Means of Engagement Interactive Support
    19. 19. UDL Principle I: Multiple Means of Representation WIDA Sensory Supports  Realia  Real-life objects (realia)  Manipulatives  Manipulatives  Visuals  Pictures & photographs  Music  Illustrations, diagrams &  Modeling  Thinking maps  Graphic organizers  Role play  Games  Cooperative learning drawings  Magazines & newspapers  Physical activities  Videos & Films  Broadcasts  Models & figures
    20. 20. UDL Principle II: Multiple Means of Action and Expression WIDA Graphic Supports  Authentic product creation  Charts  Role play  Graphic organizers  Multimedia product  Tables  Podcasting  Music/Rap  Online projects  Charts  Oral telling  Total physical response (TPR)  Interpretive dance  Interactive stations  Graphs  Timelines  Number lines
    21. 21. UDL Principle III: Multiple Means of Engagement WIDA Interactive Supports  Real-life examples  In pairs or partners  Personal relationship  In triads or small groups  Authentic grouping  In a whole group  Virtual fieldtrips  Using cooperative group  Virtual guests speakers  Structures  Project-based learning  With the Internet (Websites)  Student centered activities  Interviews  Active interaction  Technology or software programs  In the native language (L1)
    22. 22. Role of Technology  Digital media is versatile and transformable  Capacity to combine and transform text, speech, and images  Can be networked  Alternative to print-only environment
    23. 23. Examples from the Classroom  The Tell-Tale Heart ,telltale_heart,1.html  Catching Fire  Kindle and Storia versions  Linked audio using Audible  Connected dictionary, translation, and annotation tools  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow     Visual and audio support Images Interactive activities Graded and original text
    24. 24. General Supports for Reading  Audio  Sentence deconstruction (juicy sentences)  Close reading  Chunking text  Translation and glossary/dictionary  Screen readers (WordQ, Natural Reader)
    25. 25. Providing Access to Complex Texts  Scholastic Storia  Kindle  Project Gutenberg  iBook and iBook Author  Bookry
    26. 26. Providing Access to Complex Texts: Audio  Text-to-speech  Natural Reader  Audible   Free audio 
    27. 27. Examples from the Classroom  Reading Choice  TrueFlix   Expert Space   RAZ Kids 
    28. 28.,telltale_heart,1.html The Tell-Tale Heart
    29. 29. Providing Access to Complex Texts  UDL Editions   CAST Book Builder   CAST UDL Studio 
    30. 30. Supports for Reading  Reading choice  TrueFlix   Expert Space   Reading A-Z 
    31. 31. Supports for Writing  Oral dictation tools / apps  Dragon Speak
    32. 32. Vocabulary Visual Support  Shahi   Visuwords 
    33. 33. General Resources   35294157/udl_pic.png
    34. 34. Where to Start?
    35. 35. Questions?  Erin Lowry   Presentation Resources  3a9288053cb3
    36. 36. Where to Find Examples  UDL Center   Montgomery County  Middle School UDL Videos  ideo/list.shtm  UDL Tool Finder  nder/
    37. 37. CAST Resources  UDL Exchange   UDL Connect   UDL Editions   UDL Training Toolkits  urces.cfm?tk_id=61
    38. 38. References  CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author.  Edyburn, D. L. (2010). Would you recognize universal design for learning if you saw it? Ten propositions for new directions for the second decade of UDL. Learning Disability Quarterly, 33(1), 33-41.  Hall, T.E., Meyer, A., and Rose, D.H. (Eds.). (2012). Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom. New York: The Guilford Press.  Rose, D. H., & Gravel, J. W. (2010). Universal design for learning. In P. Peterson, E. Baker, & B. McGraw, (Eds.), International encyclopedia of education (pp. 119–124). Oxford: Elsevier. Available at  Tegmark-Chita, M., Gravel, J. W., &Serpa, M. D. B., Domings, Y., & Rose, DH (2012). Using the Universal Design for Learning framework to support culturally diverse learners. Journal of Education, 192(1), 17-22.