Chapter 1 suggests that a shift in teaching practice is similar to a new weight loss program—both endeavors require commitment, time, and support. Support is important because it will increase collective efficacy and make it more likely that all teachers will continue to implement UDL, even when moving through phases similar to those new teachers go through. In the text, I encourage teachers to form or participate in PLCs in their own schools to enlist other teachers to implement UDL simultaneously, so you can channel the Biggest Loser to use effective, research based practices to keep your practice in tip top shape. As I noted in the book, UDL is a lifestyle change – it’s not a fad diet. You have to make real, long-term changes in your practice, but it doesn’t start there. Just like an article on Health Ambition about weight loss notes, the journey starts with motivation, and research-based best practices.
If you have a group of like-minded teachers already, you may consider meeting before or after school to view the presentations for each chapter and peer review each others’ lessons. If you’d like to join a virtual PLC, connect with other UDL educators on Twitter using the hashtag #UDLchat
- As a group, you may wish to read a more detailed answer to the question, “What is a Professional Learning Community?” in this article written by Rick Dufour.
- If you’d prefer, watch Rick Dufour speak about the importance of PLCs in American education in a short (1:30 min) video produced by Solution Tree. The video outlines the need for PLCs to be “results oriented” to increase student learning. Keep this in mind as you read UDL Now!
One great way to help build your PLC is to institute instructional rounds. You may want to explore a little more about instructional rounds and consider how you can collaborate with other teachers to implement UDL while improving your practice. Select one or more of the resources below to learn more about Instructional Rounds and their ability to improve teacher practice.
- Short article by Robert Marzano explaining how to get started with instructional rounds.
- If you’d like a more detailed explanation of what UDL Rounds are, and how to implement them, view the complete protocol for Instructional Rounds including the observation forms used in classrooms.
- Here is a PDF of a district’s slide presentation on how to implement UDL Rounds. Provides a nice overview of the purpose and the process.
- 7 minute video on how to implement Instructional Rounds,Collaborating to Improve Instruction: Instructional Rounds