Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Anyone?

By Mary Lou Donahoeapple-256261__180

As part of my recent coursework on Inclusive Practices, I was introduced to two exceptionally useful books. The concepts in these books are critical to all teachers because when we plan our lessons keeping UDL principles in mind, we can create engaging lessons for all of the students in our classrooms.  Very importantly, this type of planning can obviate the need for us to create separate worksheets for individual students. When we use UDL Principles in our planning, the same lesson can be adjusted by having clear and purposeful goals.

Design and Deliver: Planning and Teaching using Universal Design for Learning. Dr. Loui Lord Nelson. (2014). Brookes Publishing

Dr. Nelson’s book is an excellent introduction to UDL.  It is engaging, easy to read and very informative.  This book covers the many barriers that limit student learning. It also provides strategic insights into understanding learner variability, the critical differences students bring into the classroom and how to adjust for those differences in an inclusive setting.  She very clearly explains the 3 UDL Principles, checklists and guidelines.  It is a small book with big benefits to the reader!

UDL Lesson Planner: The Step-by-Step Guide for Teaching All Learners. Dr. Patty Ralabate. Brookes Publishing. Anticipated publication date: January 2016.

My professor wrote this upcoming book on lesson planning using the UDL Principles, and I was very fortunate to be able to read several chapters from it.

Dr. Ralabate tells us we need to think of creating lessons with purposeful goals.  Thinking of flexible lesson goals instead of constructive goals provides us with more options within a lesson and enables us to reach all learners. The book provides lots of practical information on how to write those goals and create inclusive lessons. The book will go on sale January 2016!

Please consider reading these two books. I believe that once you have mastered the concepts in these books, your lessons plans will never be the same.


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