Describe your UDL Practicum:

I'm coming back to teaching after almost two decades pursuing a different career path outside of education and miles away from classrooms. In spite of the greater flexibility and definitely higher income, I decided that it's time to simplify and focus on more meaningful work. Turns out, teaching isn't as simple as it was back then. When I was teaching Pre-21st Century, my job was to present information and demonstrate skills; the student's job was to learn and pass the tests that I sometimes created but typically copied questions from the end of each chapter in the textbooks. It was understood that some students would get it; some would not; some because they wouldn't try hard enough; some because they just weren't academically-inclined. In the courses I took to renew my teaching certificate I was introduced to recent brain research, student variability, the impact of culture, etc. Now, I see that the job of teacher is very different.

This innovation applies to:

A Whole Class

Why I chose this focus for my UDL Practicum:

As I mentioned, just getting back to the classroom after years in another career. I've been assigned to a very diverse group of 5th-graders. We live in a very rural community with limited resources. I need help learning how to work with these kids.

Will other colleagues be involved?

I will be working closely with the Special Ed Teacher (there's only one in our small elementary)

What I expect as the outcome:

I'm especially interested in improving student engagement. I have enough understanding of Universal Design that I'm convinced that if I can more effectively reach kids with very different interests, skill levels, and cultural backgrounds, they will achieve at much higher levels.

How I will know if the outcome was achieved:

This is an area where I need lots of help. I worked through the assessment design forms and made them part of my UDL Action Plan, but I'm not sure I know how to implement.