Understanding the #UDL Guidelines: Part 3 - Multiple Means of Represenation (cont'd)

I'm continuing my series on the UDL Guidelines that help support the 3 principles of UDL. We are still focusing on the Guidelines that help support Multiple Means of Representation.
  • Perception
  • Using Language, Expressions, and Symbols
  • Comprehension
Today's focus will be on the ingredient of Language, Expressions, and Symbols!

The Guideline:

Providing students with Multiple Means of Representation can also mean providing options for comprehending language, mathematical expressions, and symbols because written language includes more than letters. How those letters are combined create language and create meaning for our students.

Bumper Stickers - "Low-Tech" 
For example, when I teach new vocabulary terms, I will often have my students create Bumper Stickers to help define the term. The stickers contain the term, pictures to describe the term, and a slogan to describe the term. I do this because anyone can copy and read a definition, but true understanding occurs when we can make meaning in different ways.

I like this approach because visual learners can use the graphics to make meaning, auditory learners can listen to the explanation, and the kinestetic learners are able to construct an actual product. When we are finished, I will often place the bumper stickers around my room to help remind students of the new terms. Many teachers use word walls, some use flashcards, and I use bumper stickers! It doesn't matter what you use because the whole idea is to provide students with multiple exposures to the vocabulary to make meaning.

Quizlet - "High-Tech"
Quizlet is free flashcard program that provides students a variety of ways for understanding terms, symbols, equations, and even pictures. You can use the basic flashcard feature, have the terms read aloud, quiz yourself, or play review games. You can create your own set of cards or browse the thousands of user-generated cards that already exist.

I recently completed coursework through Temple University to earn my Instructional Learning Technology certificate. While I was completing my coursework, I was asked to construct an online training site / workshop to educate teachers on ELL. I really don't have much of an ELL background, but I was fascinated how ELL students construct meaning of the English language. Quizlet is a perfect tool for ELL students for several reasons:
  1. Students can have terms read aloud, which can help students understand the terms better.
  2. The advanced version gives students the opportunity to see pictures. 
  3. Quizlet naturally scaffolds and customizes how students learn words. They have the option of using the supports of what appears and doesn't appear on the cards.
  4. Students can interact with terms through quizzes and games, which is very much engaging!

Join me later in the week, as I continue discussing the UDL guidelines and wrap up Multiple Means of Representation!

For more information on UDL, visit CAST or the National Center on UDL.

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