According to the National Center on Universal Design for Learning, UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that provides all individuals equal opportunities for learning. The UDL blueprint can be used to set instructional goals, create lessons, select resources and design assessments that are flexible, customizable, and adjustable to student needs. The CAST blueprint provides 3 guidelines for designing lessons to meet the needs of learners: I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation, II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression and III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement. This month’s classroom challenge will look at graphic organizers as a strategy for addressing the guidelines in the UDL blueprint. Graphic organizers provide an illustration of your thoughts and how they can be organized and presented most effectively.
Graphic organizers can help to build a framework for learning. They provide students the opportunity to dissect and build on existing information. This will allow them to become more intimate with the knowledge and the learning process. Color, sound, images, and text can be added to a graphic organizer to address a number of learning styles and personality types. Templates with guiding questions could be created by teachers or student could design their graphic organizer from scratch based on a concept, idea, or instructions posed by the teacher. Asking the right open ended question could lead to deeper thinking, engagement and a lifetime of learning. What graphic organizer are you currently using and what questions are you posing to students through the process to facilitate deeper thinking?