UDL is a Standards-Based Curriculum Design

All too often, when I speak with teachers about integrating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into their classrooms, I get feedback that it simply isn’t possible. “I can’t provide options; I teach math.” “I have standards I need to meet,

Growth Mindset: Teaching Your Students to Be Expert Learners

Growth Mindset: Teaching Your Students to Be Expert Learners

When I taught English years ago, I was dealing out tattered paperbacks of the classics like it was my life’s calling. The whole class read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and then the whole class read Old Man and the Sea. I excitedly

Inclusive Education: It’s Not the Students Who Are Disabled

Inclusive Education: It’s Not the Students Who Are Disabled

The first organization to address the personalization of instruction for all students was the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). CAST is still going strong today. Their research on increasing outcomes for students with disabilities began in 1984, when they

UDL vs DI: The Dinner Party Analogy

UDL vs DI: The Dinner Party Analogy

When I am presenting on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an education framework routed in offering options to students to help them take control of their own education, teachers often tell me they have been doing it already for years.

How UDL Will Capture a Classroom

How UDL Will Capture a Classroom

  I grew up in a little town called Seekonk, Massachusetts. My childhood home was built on a dead end, abutting a forest perfect for a game of Capture the Flag. On summer nights, our neighborhood crew divided the woods

A-Ha Moment about Assistive Technology

When working with educators on UDL implementation, there is one question that always comes up. “Is UDL effective for students with significant, intensive needs?” Today, Joy Zabala provides an emphatic “yes!” And believe me, if anyone knows this with certainty, it’s

UDL Engagement: Honoring Cultural Identity

“The future’s so bright I’ve gotta wear shades…” Oh,Timbuk3, how right you were. Today, Dr. Liz Berquist asked us to don sunglasses as a metaphorical lens to see where our learners are coming from, understand them and the culture that defines

UDL, Expert Learners, and the 36 Ton Machine

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to the fabulous Loui Lord Nelson, author of Design and Deliver, discuss the characteristics of an expert learner – by sharing an analogy about the “Best. Birthday Present. Ever.” To provide some background, UDL is all

“That” Teacher

Ten years ago, I was teaching 7th grade. One of my students was a bright, charismatic girl who wanted to be an English teacher when she grew up. She promised to keep in touch and come back and volunteer in

Cage Busting the UDL Way!

This week I attended and presented at the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching (ECET2) conference in Snowbird, Utah. In addition to collaborating with 350 of the country’s top educators, I had the pleasure to attend a session lead

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