Sunday, December 4, 2011

Are your lessons universal?

Every student learns in a different way. In class we have been learning about Universal Design for Learning and how teachers can create an environment supported by UDL. Before looking at CAST UDL Lesson Builder, a website designed to help create a UDL environment, I thought I was doing a fairly good job teaching in a way that was meeting the needs of my learners. Of course reviewing the site gave me some new and fresh ideas, but I do a fairly decent job teaching in a variety of ways. The part that I need to work on the most in my classroom is creating multiple practices or independent work practices that have variety and allow the students to choose which method works best for them. This is something that I will keep in mind as I continue throughout the school year. I took a lesson that I teach each year regarding time to the nearest five minutes and adjusted it to make it more universal. Even though time is not a huge project, it is still something that is important for my second graders to learn. You can see my adapted lesson here and how I made it more universal. If there are any more ideas of what I can do with time I would be happy to
hear them.

Photo taken from


  1. I think we all strive to find new and better ways to reach our learners at different levels and abilities. The struggle comes in identifying what will work and what won't, but with practice(and little trial and error) we can be successful.

  2. Chelsey, I have found that in general, elementary teachers DO use UDL without labeling it as such, and have been for years. You are an excellent teacher who cares about each and every student, so I know that you try to find success for all your students!

  3. Chelsey,

    I love how you gave the students choices multiple times in your lesson. This in my mind allows the students to feel comfortable in their learning environment, plus they feel like they have a stake in their learning. Not only are you meeting the needs of your students with special needs but you are also helping your students to become independent learners. Yay for you! Great lesson and great ideas.

  4. I too think that teachers do practice forms of UDL but do not realize what it is called. Good instruction has never been a one size fits all solution. IT takes time to create good lessons and it takes a wise instructor to know when and how to make changes. I also believe that elementary teachers are more in tune with the practices of UDL than are secondary. Thanks for the post.