UDL Chat 4-# Teacher Preperation & UDL

Wednesday April 17th 2019

Image result for giff the proof is in the pudding

Questions:

Q1: Everyone in the educational sphere is involved in teacher preparation, both directly and indirectly. How do you see yourself within teacher prep?

Q2: What are some ways that classroom teachers can best support teacher candidates in their UDL journeys?

Q3: What part do administrators play in a student teacher’s UDL knowledge-building?

Q4: How might students impact a teacher candidate’s UDL adventure?

Reflection:

This Twitter chat was as enlightening as ever! I really got the hang of the notifications in this chat in that I learned how to respond by putting @the person’s name at the end of the chat. I found myself engaging in a side discussion specifically in response to fellow classmate Susan Gower’s post about trying to influence others into the realm of UDL and being met with apathy and disinterest. I responded about frustration’s I have developed in trying to be a change maker and how I have developed a reputation. This is where Jennifer Pusatari stepped in and said to “show them the data.” She not only suggested data in regards to test scores but also in terms of engagement and she provided me with some data tracking forms. This was excellent advice because like they say “the proof is in the pudding.”

This Twitter chat was also about how UDL can be integrated into teacher preparation at the school level through mentorship opportunities. There were lots of useful insights shared about how it needs to start with administrators training the staff but also being invested in UDL as well. I certainly agree that it starts with the administrators, but any teacher that is invested in UDL that takes on a mentoring role can inspire younger teachers by being “influencers”. This is done by simply implementing UDL in the classroom and sharing the results. These snow balls can create an avalanche allowing the word to spread. To put it more simply, the power to influence change and inspire rising teachers can start with us in our own classrooms. Teachers like myself, that have become transformed by UDL, are the ones that need to step up and out with confidence and take on mentees. I know that this is something that I should do that I have shied away from. I need confidence to push through and take on this amazing and necessary responsibility. I need not be afraid to shine my light because the proof is in the pudding.

I also started following Jennifer Pustari because of her amazing insight!

UDL Chat 3-#UDL Chat “Engage the Brain”

Image result for brain gif

Wednesday April 3rd, 2019

*This twitter chat focused on Design for Learning that taps into emotion,

Questions:

Q1: What do you do to insure that learners perceive your learning environment and activities in a positive way, setting the emotional foundation for learning to occur? #UDLchat

Q2: How do you design, or coach others to design, learning environments to balance moments of attention and moments of self-reflection? #UDLchat

Q3: How do you help learners understand brain plasticity and how do you apply it to the design of your instruction? #UDLchat

Q4: What are your favorite ways to support learners in managing cognitive load (the amount of energy it takes to complete a task)? #UDLchat

Reflection:

I was excited to chat with fellow classmate about LaQuita Extine, and I even gained two followers Barb Gentile Green and Tesha Fitzgerald. As always, I was blown away by Mindy Johnson’s insights whom I began to follow.

A lot of the conversation in this lively discussion dealt with how to engage the brain as well as how to give the brain a break. One commenter talked about providing multiple brain breaks while even the teenage learner (whom I teach) is only able to focus for fifteen minutes at a time. It was also stated in the discussion that learning is not about “how much you can stuff inside the brain”. This tied back to cognitive load which you can tell in teaching is occurring because that is the point of the lesson where student’s eyes begin to gloss over which is when those brain breaks are needed.

 I also love LaQuita Extine’s comment that “I wish the Ss understood that learning is what we are doing every day. My goal everyday is to learn one new thing at my job. If am not learning then I am not living.” I agree with this because part of engaging in the brain is getting learners invested in what they are learning in recognizing every learning opportunity as a valuable one.

In addition, I chimed in with this sentiment, “I try to stress for learners that learning is an ongoing process and that in learning you continue to grow to teach students not to be so down on themselves and know that they can improve-if they try (This was my answer for question 2). I said this because this is how I coach students towards developing a growth mindset and that investment in learning which is so important. Students need to recognize that learning is a fluid process and that skills take time to develop which is why they should not grow disheartened if they don’t perform a skill perfectly the first time.

As always, I was floored at how fast paced the discussion was and how positive. Also, the refresh button on my screen was a must and in the last chat I hope to get the hang of the whole how to reply to comments aspect.

UDL Chat 2-Throwback Throwdown

Wednesday March 6th, 2019

Image result for stayin alive gif

Questions:

Q1: Describe UDL in 140 characters.

The way learning should be.

Q2: What drives your interest and passion for UDL?

A2:Increasing student affect and confidence so they believe in themselves again. They have become too beaten down by the one size fits all system #udlchat.

Q3: What is one concrete strategy that you use in your learning environment that could “sell” UDL to other educators?

Reflection:

Going into this chat I felt much more comfortable participating, and I was able to respond to every question. Here are my answers to the three questions.

12: What drives your interest and passion for UDL?

Q1: Describe UDL in 140 characters.

A2: Best practice. #udlchat

A2:Increasing student affect and confidence so they believe in themselves again. They have become too beaten down by the one size fits all system #udlchat.

Q3: What is one concrete strategy that you use in your learning environment that could “sell” UDL to other educators?

A3: to ELA teachers why not give students student choice in the passage they read? #udlchat

This UDL chat was very engaging and lively. One contributor struck me by talking about how since we live in a world full of choice, how can we not provide the same for our students? This struck me because school is so compulsory that we  take the joy out of teaching. There is an innate belief that because students have to “do what teachers say” they have to “do what we teach”. The idea of catering learning to students seems so much like an entitlement, but its’ not!  Learners ARE entitled to learn what they need in a way that suits their needs.

I also like how one commenter said that, “UDL transforms teachers from being lesson planners to lesson designers, designing educational experiences that serve all learners.” I like this way of summing up UDL because often times when we plan a standard lesson it becomes so rigid that we feel like we must see it through whether or not it works with all students in the classroom. It also designed in a one size fits all way that ignores the jagged profile of learners.

UDL Chat 1-UDL & Agile Space Design

Wednesday February 6th, 2019

Image result for classroom space gif

Discussion Questions:

1.Palmer’s first paradox isspace should be bounded and openHow do the UDL Guidelines support the design of this paradox and what does this look like in your space?

2.Palmer’s fourth paradox is space should honor little voice and big voiceHow do the concepts of UDL create tradition and discipline AND honor individuality?

3.Learning environments have been called the “Third Teacher.” How does (or could) your learning environment act as your third teacher? How does it embody UDL from a lens of space?

Reflection:

First of all, these Twitter chats go so fast! It was hard to keep up with. Much of the chat was focused on me figuring out where my post was showing up as I was using the participate site, but my chats were not showing up there. I later learned to literally go to the #udl site and just tweet as myself. I later found my plethora of tweets asking how to use the site. They also show out on my own profile. #Shocker!

This discussion focused on the concept of bound anatomy which is the concept in which some aspects of learning are “controlled” by the learner while other aspects of the learning environment are released to the learner. This was a very interesting conversation because much of it revolved around how instructor’s design their learning space. Many of the commenters reflected on the fact that the learning environment must be bound in terms of rules and expectations while students are provided with free choice seating and are provided with student choice. I agree with these ideas of providing boundaries within the classroom, but I also agree with the idea of having students participate in setting the rules of the classroom so as to  take ownership of the rules and expectations. However, parameters should be set to prevent students from going off the deep end.

I was most struck by the empowerment, encouragement, and enthusiasm of the participants in the chat. I enjoyed hearing my colleagues point of view in such a positive atmosphere. I began following @RonRogers and KimberlyCoy @digitallearnudl.