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April 2015 Blog Posts (23)

Faces of UDL: A Technological Reboot

This evening, I enjoyed attending “The Many Faces of UDL” presented by Matt Bergman.  This is the second time I’ve heard Mr. Bergman present, and I’m glad I took the opportunity to learn from him again. During his refreshing presentation, I was able to rethink how I can leverage technology to overcome learning obstacles in my classroom tomorrow. Indeed, I’m using the visual dictionary…


Added by Nicole St. Clair- Stewart on April 30, 2015 at 7:08pm — No Comments

UDL Lesson Plan Template

Yesterday, I worked with the English department to create a new lesson plan template.  Our goal was to create a template that was student centered and aligned with the UDL guidelines.  We had productive discussions on what would be most useful to include in the template.  I attached one of the final products, created by Mr. Smith and Mrs. Bitzelberger.

Lesson Plan Template:…


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 29, 2015 at 12:27pm — No Comments

Collaborate on a Lesson with Colleagues

I recently met with two 8th grade teachers to collaborate on lesson planning.  Although they are not in the PLC, they were interested in using UDL as part of the planning process.  One teacher brought the UDL wheel, and one brought a list of the guidelines to the planning session.  We started by looking at the standards and discussing what students needed to be able to do by the end of the lesson.  Then, we talked about how the lesson connected to an upcoming assessment which requires…


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 23, 2015 at 11:32am — No Comments

Curate a Pinterest Board

I have started a Pinterest board to collect UDL ideas.  I have had fun pinning, and I have found it useful to have all the ideas I come across stored in one place.  I'm looking forward to continuing to add to the board!  Here is the link: https://www.pinterest.com/ahcammarata/udl-ideas/

Added by Amanda Hughes on April 23, 2015 at 8:32am — No Comments

Post a Resource to UDL Exchange

I created several resources to support the lesson I posted to UDL Exchange.  Here are the links to the resources:


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 22, 2015 at 12:41pm — No Comments

Post a Lesson to UDL Exhcange

I created a lesson on UDL Exchange to help students learn the difference between prose and drama.  Here is a link to the lesson: http://udlexchange.cast.org/lesson/1850952#id1309

Added by Amanda Hughes on April 22, 2015 at 12:40pm — No Comments

Vocabulary Scrapbook

My principal does a weekly newsletter with a section dedicated to bettering  instruction.  It's called "Pipkin's Pedagogy".  Each week I submit a small blurb with something I think teachers could find useful.  In keeping with the vocabulary theme, I sent this instructional suggestion for this week:

Looking for a new way to incorporate vocabulary…


Added by Christine Pipkin on April 21, 2015 at 11:38am — No Comments

Ghost Walks

The UDL Committee at my school solicited my assistance with planning a ghost walk.  After several discussions, the walks have been postponed to the fall, but here is what we have come up with so far:

* Participants will be given a BINGO board so that as they walk around they can mark off what they see/hear.

* Photos will be taken to share at a future faculty meeting on ways to incorporate UDL concepts

* We are undecided if we are going to do a ghost walk or a learning…


Added by Christine Pipkin on April 21, 2015 at 11:15am — No Comments


I worked with another UDL PLC member to create a BINGO game for her lesson.  We did this so that the students were not sitting at their own seat practicing finding radius and diameter.  Instead, I took the same problems and cut them out.  They were placed randomly around the room along with questions incorporating the unit vocabulary.  Students had to solve the problems and then find the correct answer on their BINGO board.  It was a fun way to practice a drill and kill skill.  Students were…


Added by Christine Pipkin on April 21, 2015 at 11:08am — No Comments

Attend an After School UDL PLC Meeting - Reading and the Brain

See discussion board from 4/15 for my thoughts on this meeting. 

Added by Amanda Hughes on April 18, 2015 at 2:52pm — No Comments

Lead a Presentation on UDL for New Teachers

At the beginning of the year, Nikki asked Carrie Reeve and me to present to the new teachers on UDL.  We worked together to plan a presentation based on all of the resources we have accumulated over the years.  The most challenging part of this was deciding what information to include.  There is so much to say about UDL that it was hard to create just one presentation.  Since I have been working with UDL for several years now, it was also hard to keep in mind that we were presenting to…


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 18, 2015 at 2:51pm — No Comments

Invite a PLC Member to Watch me Teach and Provide Feedback

In October, Michelle and my assistant principal observed me and provided feedback.  I planned a lesson based on the UDL guidelines, so I was excited to have another PLC member observe the implementation.  I created stations to help students learn about the differences between prose and drama.  I shared the standard with the students to heighten the salience of goals and objectives.  Each station represented the material in a different way, so I provided multiple means of representation.  I…


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 18, 2015 at 2:49pm — No Comments

Observe a Fellow PLC Member and Provide Feedback

In October, I observed Michelle Ziesman and provided feedback based on the UDL guidelines.  In the lesson, students were reviewing for an upcoming test.  Michelle had a quiz made on a flip chart, and students were using the ActivExpressions to share their answers.  The questions contained both visuals and words, which provided options for language.  Some students did not feel comfortable using the technology, so Michelle allowed them to write their answers on white boards instead of using…


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 18, 2015 at 2:47pm — No Comments

Participate in UDL Walkthroughs

In both February and April, I participated in UDL walkthroughs with visitors from Houston Independent School District.  In both instances, I went with the visitors to observe multiple classrooms and then debriefed with them.  I also invited them in to observe my classes.  I had the opportunity to share my UDL journey.

I found this to be a very rewarding experience.  The teachers did not have a lot of experience implementing UDL and were extremely eager to learn.  I explained to them…


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 18, 2015 at 2:46pm — No Comments

Participate in a 1:1 Planning Conference

In February, I met with Carol Connor to help her plan her observation lesson.  Since she is also a member of the PLC, she really wanted to use the UDL guidelines to plan the lesson.  We had also recently attended a professional development session led by Alaina on using discussion strategies in the classroom.  Carol ended up using a placemat discussion and discussion cards in the lesson.  The placement discussion served to activate background knowledge prior to reading a text.  After reading…


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 18, 2015 at 2:44pm — No Comments

Attend a District UDL Speaker

On January 21st, I attended a district wide principals' meeting with Nikki.  As part of the meeting, we attended a session led by Jan Chappuis. She is an educational researcher who has written several books on assessment and feedback.  She talked about how we currently give students an assignment, tell them they have to do it to earn points, and then give them a grade on the assignment.  This serves to reduce…


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 18, 2015 at 2:42pm — No Comments

Attend an Online UDL PLC Meeting

 Due to snow closures, we had on online UDL PLC meeting in February.  My group decided to explore the resources on project based learning.  We wanted to know exactly what qualifies as project based learning and if the projects can be short or if they have to be extended. 

After looking at the resources, it seems that project based learning does need to be extended.  It appears to be meant to replace day to day lessons and is a way to embed the skills within the project rather than…


Added by Amanda Hughes on April 18, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Student Centered iPad- Vocabulary Strategies for the Real World

Let's face it, sometimes reading is boring.  I happened to have the obligation to teach my students word choice using a very dry article.  To help them reengage and promote exploration of the text, my coteacher (Dr. Walton) and I divided the class into small groups and allowed each group to use a ipad.  At their fingertips, they had access to images, a visual thesaurus, and dictionary.com. The groups and the ipad kept students engaged when they would've otherwise put their heads down.  As a…


Added by Nicole St. Clair- Stewart on April 16, 2015 at 3:30pm — No Comments

April 15th PLC Meeting

See discussion board for reflection

Added by Ashley Link on April 15, 2015 at 4:40pm — No Comments

4/14 Math, Brain & UDL PLC Meeting

See Discussion Board Notes from meeting- Shelby Small posted our notes on our Math notes from the brain research done during the meeting.

Added by Erin Fortney on April 15, 2015 at 4:30pm — No Comments

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