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Reflection on Universal Design Learning

Universal Design Learning (UDL) was a very pleasant discovery for me. The UDL strategies seemed to transform the unit into a tool with which to deliver clear content ideas and goals for learning to students.

Unit objectives, goals and strategies are key in preparing lessons and assessing student progress. It is difficult to articulate how you want someone to learn and what it is they should learn from the lesson. I re-wrote a unit using clear strategies and objectives base on UDL. The concrete goals and strategies will help all students learn.

I feel that in order to use the methods of UDL effectively in the classroom they would need to be reviewed quite often. Lesson plans would need to be modified in an ongoing basis. Some students are more adept at bottom-up or literal recognition and some are better at top-down or more complex strategies for understanding what they perceive. Using several strategies to present the same idea can help many students recognize a concept. This is true because each student has their previous experience stored differently and will need to access it to link it to the new concept. The more ways you show what something is (and isn't) the more connections you can make with the students to learn the concept.

Objectives:


Make me think! is the theme of the objectives in which to assess the students for both units.

1. Student's will interact with their environment, peers, family, works of art and the teacher.
2. They will be able to create meaning from those interactions.
3. They will be able to represent those interactions using their imagination and metaphors in a way that 'make one think'.
4. They will put forth the effort to learn to use their imagination and create representations of their world that are unique, not ordinary or common, ways to communicate their ideas and experiences.
5. They will put forth the effort to learn to understand their classmates and their classmates art, the art of other artists brought into the class and their teacher and her art and treat everyone and their art with respect.

Unit One (1) Content Outline


I. Who Am I? Where am I?

A. The five senses: how we experience
1. Looking at our world: a strategy to use the body, eyes, mind to fully experience. Add goals of what to look for and specific instructions on how to enhance the literal experience with imagination.
2. Looking at art: a strategy to use the body, eyes, mind to fully experience art. Add goals of what to look for and specific instructions on how to enhance the literal experience with imagination.
B. Using the imagination
1. Imagining within our world. Representing everyday experiences using our imagination. How can we use imaginative techniques to convey the feelings we have experienced?
a. Ask: Why do we use our imagination? show examples of pictures, films, performances, consumer products that do and do not use imagination (emerging curriculum)
b. Goal: learning to experience. Ask: who am I and where am I? Am I plain or do I have wonderfully imaginative ideas about me and my life?
2. Imagining within a work of art. Understanding the artists world of imagination and metaphor.
a. Goal: learning to experience who the artist is and where the artist is through their art work. Looking at how the artist used their imagination.
b. Varieties of recognition of the art: UDL reference top-down: What does it remind you of? UDL reference bottom-up: What do you actually see?

Unit Two (2) Content Outline


II. How do I get from where I am to where I want to be?

A. Representing a concept using imagination and understanding metaphor
1. Representing a concept from our life. Using our everyday experiences to express our feelings with imagination and metaphor.
a. Goal: representing a concept of where I am and where I want to go using imagination and metaphor.
b. Ask: Why do we use metaphor in life? Do: show examples of pictures, films, performances, consumer products that do and do not use metaphor. (emerging curriculum)
2. Representations of a concept from an artists world through their art work. Understanding the artists world through their use of imagination and metaphor.
a. Example: Show students a concept map of the artists resources from his life that were used in his art work. How did he/she actually look, where did they live, art of the time, music of the time? These represent completely all of the actual pieces he/she used. How did they use metaphor? (supportive pedagogy)
b. UDL reference top-down recognition of the art: What does it remind you of? UDL reference bottom-up recognition of the art: What do you actually see?
B. Discussing the experience: the joy of art is sharing it with others
1. Discussing the experience of looking, imagining and representing your experiences using metaphor
2. Discussing the experience of looking at the imaginative and metaphors that represent experiences of an artist through their art work.









References:

1 Center for applied special technology(CAST)

2 Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age a full-text FREE copy of the book Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age by David Rose and Anne Meyer.

3 What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?

4 Teacher Planning and the Universal Design for Learning Environments clear examples of how universal design can be incorporated in developing units


Questions or comments here


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