There are many valuable educational frameworks to look at and use when composing lesson plans. Previously in the Master’s program coursework, we dove into one framework called TPACK. We then quickly jumped into a new framework called UDL.
UDL stands for universal design for learning and “is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn” (About UDL, 2015). The three guiding principles of UDL are: provide multiple means of representation, action & expression, and engagement (CAST, 2011).
It will be through this framework that I will be analyzing my sixth grade math lesson on parallel lines cut by a transversal. This is the same lesson I recently revised using TPACK (see revisions in purple). I began this UDL process by using an Educator Worksheet to brainstorm ideas. You can read about that beginning task here. I also researched a math learning disability called dyscalculia to determine strategies that will not only help students struggling with this disability, but also all learners in the classroom.
In order to provide multiple means of representation, I revised my lesson so that I use the SMART board, iPads, a screen cast, manipulatives, paper, and colored pencils. In doing so, I was able to incorporate various mediums. This lesson begins with a short video clip showing a gymnast on parallel bars. Viewing this will lead to a discussion of parallel lines and their relationship to the real world. The use of the words “interior” and “exterior” will be looked at and applied to every day situations. This will prep students to be familiar with these words when they show up in angle relationships. These discussions will help students activate their prior knowledge. This is a key component of guideline one, strand three of the UDL framework (CAST, 2011).
Action and Expression is the second main guideline in the UDL framework. One of the main components is to “provide options for physical action,” so I am revising this lesson to include manipulatives (CAST, 2011). I will have the students watch the screen cast with the necessary subject content. Then, they will apply what they’ve learned by using Twizzlers to form parallel lines and transversals, and colored beads to show certain angle relationships.
According to Paul Flinter, for children with dyscalculia, “concepts have to be made the subject of instruction and this means learning situations must include concrete manipulative materials and direct hands-on experiences” (1979). Flinter is correct, but this statement could really apply to all children which shows how seamless UDL is. The students will be modeling these different angle relationships and then transferring that image to their notebook and labeling it appropriately. In one article, Matthew Michaelson gives strategies for improving math problem solving skills for dyscalculic learners (2007). One suggestion is to use colored pencils to bring attention to different parts of the question (Michaelson, 2007). By using colored pencils to code the congruent angles in their drawn images, it is helping all students to see these relationships more easily.
The third principle of UDL is to provide multiple means of engagement (Cast, 2011). The instruction will take place directly. However, instead of lecture, it will be through a screen cast available on the iPad. This will allow students the ability to pause and rewind if they are confused. This gives them the opportunity to self regulate their learning thereby incorporating an important part of the third principle of UDL (CAST, 2011). Another strategy Michaelson gives is to allow them to “move through a lesson at the student’s own pace so that he or she does not become bogged down by the material” and the screen cast allows them to do just that (2007).
Fostering “collaboration and community” is another important part of the UDL framework and something that I strive to create (CAST, 2011). By having students work in groups while learning with manipulatives, our classroom community is strengthened.
Check out my UDL revised lesson! (Remember, my TPACK revisions are in purple. My UDL revisions can be seen in green.)
CAST (2011). Universal design for learning guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author.
About UDL | National Center On Universal Design for Learning. (2015.). Retrieved July 15, 2015, from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl
Michaelson, M. T. (2007). An overview of dyscalculia: Methods for ascertaining and accommodating dyscalculic children in the classroom. Australian Mathematics Teacher, 63(3), 17-22. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/62055718?accountid=12598
Flinter, P. F. (1979). Educational implications of dyscalculia. Arithmetic Teacher, 26(7), 42-46. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/63798779?accountid=12598