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Meeting the needs of all students using a UDL approach

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Duration: 2:18

Kate Friedwald explains how she uses a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach in her classroom. Teaching is based on students' specific needs and learning activities are differentiated and personalised for each learner.

Kate Friedwald:
I take the Universal Design for Learning approach here in Room 1 where all the children carry out the same learning, and it's produced in a different medium for each learner.

So I have some that read, some that listen to it, some that discuss it with others. And it just means that no matter what the learning needs are in the classroom, everybody can access the same information, the same texts.

So each morning the class looks at a document we call our "Must do" document, and it might have a maths, a reading, and a writing activity on there. They choose what order to do those in. They have another Google document that they have to put on exactly what they’ve done, and they outline for me maybe what page they worked from, maybe who they worked from (with), how many questions they did, if they found it easy, hard. Then once they finish the activities they must have done they can choose from a list of "Can dos".

The "Can dos" are based around that child’s learning need, so a child who is mostly needing to practice their writing will do more writing in that time. Maths they will do more maths, and so on. So I can look at that document at the end of any lesson at any day and see, "Oh, that child, that child, and that child really got that maths strategy, I need to approach a new one".

They can revisit those "Must dos" in that document and check again have they met what they were needing to do, have they been working on their most, their biggest learning need, and they go from there as the day progresses.

I group them based on their specific need, so I don’t have all low writers together or higher writers together. I group them based on – one group needs to practice punctuation, one group needs to practice planning.

The beauty of having the "Must do/can do" approach and the one-to-one is it doesn’t matter when they are attacking that need. Whether it’s individually, with a group, or with myself, they can do that.

When we get to activities like inquiry learning, they are able to go a lot further because they can do a lot more research, and they can just grab that iPad actually when they need it.

It has also allowed me to send a whole lot of information we use in class out to parents, and out to children from their emails, and they’ve been printing it and using it at home, or using it at home via their devices. So it means the resources aren’t just on the wall or when I print them, they are with them 24/7.