UDL: Because One Size Fits None
Classrooms today are incredibly diverse. As educators embrace equity and inclusion, they have to meet the needs of all students. To do this, educators have to change the way they “do” school. Classes have a wide mix of strengths and weaknesses, and a one-size-fits-all curriculum does not meet most children’s needs.
Today's modern classroom requires teachers to be flexible and versatile in their lesson plans and instructional delivery. As an educator, it is critical to understand where a student’s instructional level stands, where gaps in understanding exist, and where the heavy lifting of teaching happens. But how is this done? How can they address 25 bright and shiny faces in the classroom in a way that identifies what they know, what they are ready to learn, and how best to instruct them? The answer is the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework that focuses on what students need to learn to how educators can teach them.
UDL empowers students to recognize their own interests and needs and personalize learning to their standard. Teachers proactively design the curriculum to eliminate barriers. UDL empowers teachers to design lessons for the broadest possible range of students. When students make choices and participate in a self-assessment, they learn how their choices allow them to work toward their goals so teachers can make adjustments and learn about what works and what doesn’t.
The UDL framework starts with the belief that every student is different and that’s the norm. Yet what guidelines can teachers implement to build an effective and meaningful approach to children's learning? The outline of the UDL framework specifies that all students can learn, and it is built around flexible choices, paths, and instruction with three guiding principles that we discussed in previous blogs: Read about the principles of multiple means of representation, multiple means of engagement and multiple means of action and expression.
Are there UDL-compliant activities that provide for multiple means of Representation, Action and Expression and Engagement? Could movement-based learning games meet the needs of students and follow the UDL checklists? YES! How does Kinems do this according to UDL guidelines?
Principle I: Provide Multiple Means of Representation
Guideline 1: Provide options for perception
√ Offer alternatives for visual information
Guideline 2: Provide options for language, mathematical expressions, and symbols √ Illustrate through multiple media
Guideline 3: Provide options for comprehension
√ Guide information processing, visualization, and manipulation
Principle II: Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
Guideline 4: Provide options for physical action
√ Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies
Guideline 5: Provide options for expression and communication
√ Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance
Guideline 6: Provide options for executive functions
√ Enhance capacity for monitoring progress
Principle III: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement
Guideline 7: Provide options for recruiting interest
√ Optimize individual choice and autonomy
Guideline 8: Provide options for sustaining effort and persistence
√ Vary demands and resources to optimize challenge
Guideline 9: Provide options for self-regulation
√ Facilitate personal coping skills and strategies
Source: UDL Guidelines Checklist
Kinems offers a wide range of activities that promote children's development of motor skills, enabling them to reach their full potential! When educators utilize our active learning games, they have access to a seamless teaching tool that evaluates and monitors every child’s academic progress in real-time and promotes UDL learning.
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