Principle II

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Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

Students differ in the ways that they can navigate a learning environment and express what they know. For example, individuals with significant motor disabilities (e.g. cerebral palsy), those who struggle with strategic and organizational abilities (executive function disorders, ADHD), those who have language barriers, and so forth approach learning tasks very differently. Some may be able to express themselves well in writing text but not oral speech, and vice versa. In reality, there is no one means of expression that will be optimal for all students; providing options for expression is essential.

Guideline 4: Provide options for physical action

Guideline 5: Provide options for expressive skills and fluency

Guideline 6: Provide options for executive functions

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4 Responses to Principle II

  1. Rebecca Zemlicka says:

    This principal has really helped me reflect on things that I have changed this past year to teach in a way that includes one girl. Contrary to the reason most teachers probably start to apply UDL, this child is a smart, average girl. Her brother who is also in the class has an IEP. The unique thing about this girl is she went through some severe trauma and won’t talk in class. The good news is, she will engage. So instead of verbal group responses, I thought about ways I could rephrase questions to include her way of participation, which is only through gestures. I have also taught her and the other students some sign language. When prompted to talk she hides her head, but when prompted to answer in a way that involves pointing or showing, she has a smile of confidence of her face. Even though my instruction changed for this one child, I am sure that it has benefited other learners as well especially considering I work in a bilingual classroom. So I think UDL can be a change the occurs for one student, but ends up benefiting the whole group as they access the classroom and curriculum, become confident in their skills, and learn.

    • Kim Robles says:

      Rebecca,
      After reading your post I wanted to share a similiar experience. I too have a student that suffers from anxiety and won’t talk at school. His family says he talks at home. At school he will write notes or uses his computer to type messages, to get his needs met. He will not present in front of the class. So, when he has a project that is to be presented, we have him record himself at home giving his presentation and then it is given to the teacher.

  2. Sarah Hargadine says:

    When I think about providing a variety of options for physical activity, I think of the technology I have in my own ECSE classroom. I have one particular student who loves learning through computer games, and technology is highly motivating for him. However, he struggles with using the computer mouse. Our program purchased an iPad, and we found that this was the perfect alternative for this young boy to play the interactive computer games that he loves, without needing the fine motor skills required to use a mouse. Instead, he can simply touch the screen to manipulate things and to play the games.

    • Kristy Whitaker says:

      Hi Sarah,
      I agree with you that the iPad is a great tool for children who are having trouble coordinating the use of keyboard and mouse. I work with very young children and they are able to use the iPad and learn cause/effect, pointing, etc. It is such an intuitive technology that even very young children are able to be successful in using it.

      I participate in adult trainings and part of our training essential skills is to build physical activity into our training days. We use a variety of fine and gross motor activities to ensure adult engagement. If adults do better with physical activity built in to their learning day, then by all means, children will benefit from this.

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