I am from the Midwest, so I like to call my soda "pop," which helped inspire my acronym! Whether I am designing a student lesson or professional development opportunity, I plan with a POP!
How does it work?
First, I begin by understanding my learning goal. What do I want participants to be able to do or know at the end of my lesson?
Next, I identify or "predict" high-probability barriers that may exist in my lesson. For example, students may not understand certain vocabulary terms or how to use a certain technology. What do I know that my students are going to struggle with?
Then, I brainstorm options or ways to "overcome" many of these high-probability barriers. In other words, I begin to proactively plan on ways to address high-probability barriers through accessibility. Brain research tells us that there are 3 ways we can plan for accessibility (UDL framework):
- Options for Representing Content - Brain research states that students may need different ways to represent content if students are learning a new concept. For example, if I know that my students may struggle with understanding vocabulary terms, I might need to provide different ways of understanding the terms through Quizlet flashcards and Flocabulary videos.
- Options for Expressing Knowlege - If students are demonstrating an understanding of content, I may need to think about being flexible with the product or process.
- Flexibility in the Product - If I am asking students to demonstrate their understanding of the causes of the Revolutionary War, I may have the flexibility to have students write a paper or develop a video presentation. Just be careful! Too much choice is paralyzing. It may be helpful to offer
- Flexibility in the Process - If I don't have flexibility in the product (i.e. all students have to write an essay), I could find ways to make the process flexible. For example, students could type out their thoughts on Google Docs or use the built-in Voice Typing feature. I could also provide students with digital or paper graphic organizers to organize their thoughts.
- Options for Engagement - In other words, how can I help students connect with the learning experience. When students are engaged, they have opportunities to practice autonomy, choice, self-regulation, and goal setting. For example, I might develop a checklist with helpful reminders for my students prior to turning in a writing assignment.
Finally, I begin planning my learning experience with accessibility in mind. I plan for the high-probability barriers with accessible options. In other words, I am proactive in addressing problematic areas so that ALL participants have access to learning and can achieve the learning goal. It's not about "dumbing down" a goal, but providing tools, strategies, and resources for ALL participants to have the opportunity to achieve the goal.