Our next story comes from Elizabeth Dobrinen and her team at Madison Elementary School. Elizabeth is a RSP teacher working with students across multiple grade levels. Madison's 4th grade PLC and Elizabeth were in our UDL pilots for the 2016-2017 school year doing some incredible work in the area of professional teaming and support of students of diverse sets of needs. Here is her story!
The use of the UDL instructional planning process allows our UDL team to regularly establish clear outcomes, anticipate learner needs and measure their success. UDL also promotes collaboration among staff, student self-sufficiency and student advocacy amongst both general and special education students.
Investigating the learner’s preferences for representation, expression and engagement allows our team to work together to discover the strengths of each student in the area of learning and assessment.
For example: the 4th grade standard of area multiplication can be daunting for any student. As a team we created two model options for students to help guide them through the steps. Students were given a choice of what model worked for their learning style. Options were also given for their learning environment. Based on data and/or IEP goals, students from all three classes were directed to a small group setting in the back of the classroom. With the RSP teacher, students strengthened their understanding of the standard with their choice of the math model.
Additionally, any student can ask to request learning in a small group setting or large group for guided support. Students regularly take teachers up on this option. To ensure generalization of the standard taught, students regularly are asked to “teach” their peers to support their learning and the learning of their peers.
Data showed that with options with assessment styles (one to one setting, test read to student, white board, multiplication tables) students increased their scores by 70%.
Our 4th grade pilot program has now extended to collaboration with 5th grade and students are demonstrating success. As a staff that collaborates regularly together we are having a better understanding of UDL and how to ensure success for all students.
Elizabeth Dobrinen (RSP) & the UDL team
Madison Elementary School
Amy Williams & Zach Smith
District Leads for Universal Design for Learning
Sanger unified school district
Curriculum & Instruction department