What is UDL?: Universal Design for learning is defined by the udl.gov website as “The term UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that:
(A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and
(B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient.“
It is NOT another education or teaching acronym. It is a compilation of best practice in teaching!
How do I use this template?: This template is designed to give you the tools to build an inclusive instructional plan using the curriculum you already have. Some students might need more instructional support and some students might need to have an accelerated learning path. By designing your lessons around the Universal Design for Learning framework, you will be building in differentiation and differentiated instruction already, making both your instruction as well as your assessments automatically accessible by those with disabilities, and those students who are learning English as a second language.
Why should I use this template?: Teachers are overwhelmed with paperwork. Students have IEPs, 504 plans, ELL plans, gifted instruction plans, plus we have grades, concerned parents, concerned administrators, etc. I know the list goes on and on…. This document will proactively answer many of those questions. When you get an email from a parent asking if you are following an IEP in your class, you have proof already created that yes, you are aware of best practice in the neuroscience of education and their child’s needs are being met. This is not a time consuming document. All you have to do is fill in text boxes with your already creative teacher mind. Adapt it to your curricular and instructional needs.
Added BONUS: This is the type of thoughtful planning that gets you noticed! If you are considering advancement in your career, being cognizant of tools such as this will get you recognized as a leader in your building! It is well worth the time investment!
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