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Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Instructional Variety

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Instructional Variety  

If you were a farmer who had just one gardening tool, how frustrating would your work be? What would happen to the growth of your plants?

This analogy to teaching helps explain why educational frameworks like Universal Design for Learning (UDL) advocate for teachers to develop a variety of strategies to help them reach all students.

And so, in the spirit of instructional variety, we offer you two resource options for this Strategy of the Week:

An interactive version of this teaching-as-gardening analogy.

Teaching as a Gardener

And, a document with descriptions of and resources for using nine different instructional strategies and approaches.

teaching strategy

Try the Interactive Lesson

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Using Chants and Songs to Scaffold Content

Using Chants and Songs to Scaffold Content 

What letter comes after “P” in the alphabet? What sound does the duck make on Ol’ McDonald’s farm? How does a bill (sitting there on Capitol Hill) become a law? Once the connection is made, it can be hard to separate a song from its content.

Students are more likely to internalize what they are learning when teachers scaffold the content using a chant or song. This is especially true of English language learners. Watch this 2:00 video to see a few examples of chants and songs in action.

Using Chants and Songs to Scaffold Content

Share out: What is a song or chant that your students enjoy? Let us know what it is and why they enjoy it!

This video comes with a downloadable guidebook.

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Shifting the Mindset of Teachers from Themselves to Students

 

Shifting the Mindset of Teachers from Themselves to Students

There are times when a student might “fall off the boat.” And when they do, what do you think is more productive: thinking about how the situation affects you or helping the student get back on the boat?

At Mont Harmon Middle School, one simple shift in mindset for administrators and teachers helped make it so that all students are “on deck.” Watch this 1:40 long video to hear their story.

Mont Harmon Middle School

Share out: How do you show students that they are an important part of the school?

Peer Guidance for Student Misconceptions – 4th Grade

Teaching Strategies – Peer Guidance for Student Misconceptions – Elementary

Ms. Shannon Washburn, a 4th grade teacher at Kerrick Elementary in Louisville, Kentucky, guides her students to help their peers clarify misconceptions about representing fractions on a number line.

 

Click here to downloadable the guidebook

This content is part of an extensive library of videos on the Edivate Platform

Teaching Strategies – Warm-Ups: Letters to the Class

Teaching Strategies – Warm-Ups: Letters to the Class – Elementary

In this segment, two elementary school teachers use mail, or letters to the class, to introduce the learning target of a math lesson. The letters appeal to the students’ imagination and create a setting for problem-based math instruction.

 

Click here to downloadable the guidebook

This content is part of an extensive library of videos on the Edivate Platform.

Whole Brain Teaching: Mirror

Teaching Strategies – Whole Brain Teaching: Mirror – Elementary

Teachers engage students in direct instruction and review using “mirror,” a Whole Brain Teaching method. The mirror strategy requires students to imitate the teacher’s actions and/or words. As they do so, students engage their motor memory and are better able to retain important information.

Click here to downloadable the guidebook

This content is part of an extensive library of videos on the Edivate Platform

Formative Assessment: Three-Sentence Essay

Teaching Strategies – Formative Assessment: Three-Sentence Essay

Ms. Christy Reasons, a 12th grade ELA teacher in Shelby County, Tennessee, uses three-sentence essays on an exit ticket to formatively assess student understanding of lesson content.

 

Click here to downloadable the guidebook

This content is part of an extensive library of videos on the Edivate Platform.

Formative Assessment: Whiteboards

Teaching Strategies – Formative Assessment: Whiteboards – Secondary

Secondary teachers from around the United States formatively assess student learning using whiteboards. Whiteboards are an effective, informal way to determine each student’s level of mastery and provides an opportunity for teachers to clarify any breakdowns in student understanding.

Click here to downloadable the guidebook

This content is part of an extensive library of videos on the Edivate Platform.

Using Songs to Reinforce Math Content

Using Songs to Reinforce Math Content – Elementary

Teachers can use songs to activate and reinforce math content. In this segment, kindergarten students learn to decompose the number five. Songs remind them how to spell, add, and subtract the number five, as well as define the word “decompose.”

 

Click here to downloadable the guidebook

This content is part of an extensive library of videos on the Edivate Platform