Friday, February 21, 2020

Engaging Learners

One of the 3 UDL Principles, ENGAGEMENT, is something that I have really been intrigued by and motivated to tackle in my own teaching, and it is something that is a frequent topic of conversation/thought for many of the educators I know or have met, certainly some of you all reading this!   We have all been there for

  • The Good:  You have every kids attention, they are asking great questions, they are excited, you are excited, you are in the Zone.
  • The Bad:  You have most of the kids attention, most of the time..the same kids raise their hand to chime in... but you know the kid doodling behind a notebook will have no clue what was just taught.
  • The Ugly:  You are thinking to yourself, "The lesson is going too bad, is it?", when one student blurts out, "Why are we doing this anyway?! This is boring!"

Engaging learners involves all of the things in the word cloud (top of page) and more, because once you get past the initial task of "sparking learning", you can move down the column to toward "tackling challenges" then further down the column toward"self motivated learning". (learner driven)

When we scroll down the vertical section on Engagement (Green area of UDL guidelines), the responsibilities move from more teacher directed to more student directed.  You may be more interested in looking at student access in terms of your math instruction, while building more independence through workshop may pertain to where you are in language arts instruction.  Think about your own needs and interests and explore a resource or two to further your understanding or find something you can try Monday... or try Someday...

I have compiled some resources to check out . .  I own Teach Like a Pirate, and Learn Like a Pirate and will keep them on a shelf in (or outside?) my office.  Feel free to check them out when you are waiting for the copier :)

Recruiting Interest -"access" (sparking learning):  
That responsibility falls mostly on the Teacher

  • Teach Like a Pirate is a fabulous book with a huge section on Hooks you can use to pull students in...  Here is a link for you to browse the book...

  • This link is a Teach Like a Pirate slide share...

  • You might want to go to Twitter and search #TLAP or @burgessdave for Pirate thoughts, hooks and ideas from educators around the globe!
  • Well Played 3-5, by Karen Gartland offers a great array of math games, clearly linked to standards.  This link goes to a sample handout  I also own the book.  

  • Check out this symbaloo webmix I put together that includes everything from setting up Math workshop, to links to games and printable resources from the Well Played math game books (materials range K-8)

Sustaining Effort and Persistence- "build" (tackling challenges-staying engaged):  
still heavily reliant on the teacher to scaffold.

  • Engage the Brain, by Allison Posey is a terrific book that speaks to the emotional aspects of learning and teaching.  She "presents 6 strategies that tap the power of emotion" in the design of learning. Here is a link to a #UDLchat she led that focused on her book.

  • Allison shares some great thinking from her book in this ThinkUDL podcast.  (I own a kindle version of the book-if you want to take a look)

  • VIDEO: (2 minute video) . Lesson chunking... to assist attention and working memory.

  • Article:  "Just Ask" by Joni Degener, UDL expert/consultant.  In this article Joni speaks particularly of 10 ways to invite student into the design process.

Self Regulation- "internalize" (self motivated learning- learner driven): 
Teacher facilitates learning, while students drive with self motivated purpose and regulation.

  • Learn Like a Pirate, Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead and Succeed, is a fantastic book for helping you address concerns like, "I'm worried about giving up control to my students.", "This will be too much work, I can't take another thing right now.", "I don't want chaos! I have students who will ruin it for the class." and more... the book is very practical and fun to read.  This link shares a sample of quotes from the book.

  • Learn Like a Pirate author Paul Solarz offers this link that provides info about the book, scroll down to find links to Paul Solarz's own classroom projects!  Great resource!!!  5th gradish?
Well I hope this was helpful to you wherever you are in your teaching practice or journey!  I would love to hear from you about any takeaways you have...
  • what has challenged you?
  • what has been reaffirmed?
  • what will you do moving forward? 
    • (something for monday? something for someday?)
Please add me to your conversation:
  • write a comment or response on this blog
  • email me 
  • create an instagram post, 1 minute (or less) video and tag me, @ABLearningDesign 
  • send me a Tweet @AmyBoyden , #UDL, #Engagement
  • stop by and borrow a book :)

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Creators...A keystone!

“Creators” is the title of chapter 10, from Innovate Inside the Box.  This chapter speaks to my heart as an educator.  The notion of people as creators inspired me to teach, empowered me as a mom, and has driven my work and my return to the fields of both education and artistic creations.   However, I try to never assume that others will understand the importance of creation for our students, because even during two years of graduate work on integrating the arts in education, which was basically a masters degree on connecting kids through creation to the curriculum, there were still folks who struggled to make the leap from projects or activities that were mainly consumption based, to work that connected kids, the curriculum and creation in meaningful and powerful ways.  When I first began blogging, I wrote a post about my experience as a second grader and I still see shadows of this kind of teaching many years later:
Back in second grade I was grilled by my teacher for producing an actual original poem from my heart, ( she assumed I plagiarized it!) while another girl received endless stars on the board (second grade accolades) for her infinite list of Green things (back when green was just a color) Green is a frog, Green is a leaf, Green is the mold on my brother’s socks.- OK you got me I made that part up about the socks, I may still be a tad bitter, but you get the idea.
I also wrote a post called Writing, Teaching, and Parenting poetry which speaks to the understanding that often our kids are generally subject to school as a place that is ‘killing the creativity’  ( ref to Ted Talk, Sir Ken Robinson) they are born with due to compliance based, consumption based teaching that persists within our educational system.  More so it touches on some things I was trying to do, even as a very new teacher, and then as a mom of young children, to counter the killing of creativity.

As I read chapter 10 of IITB, I realize that I am still working on this goal both personally and professionally.  I am still writing and blogging, because I want more than anything for all educators to understand the importance of understanding our kids to be creators, and designing teaching that will allow them to grow, because as the quote from Thomas Friedman on pg. 179 states,
“The world only cares about and pays off on what you can do with what you know.”
So how do we as educators start to make that leap from worksheets or even projects, to meaningful creations. . .from compliance to empowerment?  Katie Novak hits the nail on the head when she notes, “Options and choices are often used interchangeably, but they are not always synonymous”   Right now lots of educators are providing options to students, but the real choices are still in the teacher’s hands.  She goes on to describe how clearly identifying the goal, what students need to learn, can free us teachers to allow, or better yet encourage, students to choose what they want to create in order to show their learning, set a goal, and make a plan to get there.

The teacher role remains important, yet shifts away from setting a goal ourselves then spending hours gathering resources and tools to help every student to reach the same goal in the same way.   The role shifts toward understanding that our students are variable.  Our role shifts toward guiding students on how they will reach that goal in a way that is meaningful to them and meets them where they are at. Our goal shifts from suppling endless resources, to implementing the “rule of five” to help our students to narrow down the options, (and avoid brain freeze!- as noted, too many choices is not a good thing either!)  Our goal is to help them focus their efforts rather than direct every step.  This to me feels more sustainable than being the sole provider of multiple options for a classroom of students, lesson after lesson.  I keep coming back to: “If you ( the teacher) are doing the work, who is doing the learning?”

If we begin to scaffold student learning in this way, we will begin to shift the responsibility of learning, planning, goal setting to our students.  Similarly, my colleague, an amazing SLP, Liz Cole recently described how to scaffold students planning abilities by using the “get ready, do, done” model used commonly in her work.

The importance of this?

  • It is necessary to teach our students explicitly how to plan for learning, rather than outsourcing the planning work to the teacher who then must drag the student through the assignment that they care nothing about. 
  • Fact:  The CDC estimates 10% of our kids have adhd and we know now that many other factors can affect attention and working memory of our students.  Many of our students will not learn these skills unless they are explicitly taught.  (similar to reading research!) 
  • Involving students in choices connected to goals moves our teaching and student learning from consumption to creation, from compliance to empowerment, from teacher driven to student driven.

My Do Monday...  (Inspired by InnovateInside the Box ch 9 Observant)... Ask my kids to observe what helps them, observe their surroundings their tools, what works... (example in action:  What helps you to be able to understand the math in school?  When home trying to do homework...what is missing?  What do you need to succeed?)

My Do Someday...  Look at one or two of our traditional LES projects and think about the discreet skills, for planning, for researching, that students need to be able to do in order to create meaningful understanding/learning for themselves.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Innovative Book study

I have been partaking in an #innovateinsidethebox book study and have really been enjoying stepping outside my own box.  I love to write, for me that is easy. But I Have been trying out new challenges and exploring new technology a little.  Did I mention the book study is happening on Instagram?  I’m trying not to let Instagram make me feel old!  Lol!  My current exploration was to use Canva to create a slideshow of takeaways from chapter three and share via Instagram post.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

UDL- a Grass Roots effort- One Teacher's Story

Several weeks ago now, I had the pleasure of visiting the Swift River School to hear third grade teacher Paige Smith talk to fellow colleagues about our visit to Groton-Dunstable school district and Universal Design.  Speaking to her previously, I know she wanted to share from a stance of support, and the idea that we are all learning together, we are all going to be in different places in this journey, and that is OK!  After attending, I would have to say she was madly successful on all counts!

To begin, Paige shared how she had her first introduction to UDL when heard Katie Novak visited  Union #28 about 4 years ago.  Even then, the idea of Universal Design just clicked for her.  That said, it was an introduction.  Two summers ago, she was invited to attend the CAST Symposium along with several other staff members from around the district, where I must attest we all gained some foundational knowledge and motivation.  There, we began to really understand UDL as a social justice issue for any child who has difficulty accessing the curriculum due to reasons ranging from race and economic status, to visible and invisible disabilities, and further, including those challenging students who misbehave, disengage or otherwise make our job as teachers difficult, with the idea that all our learners are variable.

Paige’s next step was to join the Learning Design Team, which for the first year became a place to reflect.  She described herself as more motivated than ever to use Universal Design principals, and designed a great project with options for learning and especially for kids to show what they know?  It was a lot of work, and she expressed out loud, something many of us have thought, ( I will bet if you are reading this you thought it too) “The big project route didn’t feel sustainable!”  She knew she wanted to keep working at Universal Design, but also wants to be reasonable with herself and her time, knowing teacher burnout is a real thing.

This photo is just one that I saw that day, and it fits.  Paige noted that the big project with options is great, but for her not sustainable on daily weekly level.  If we think of the goal of UDL being self directed learning, we can accomplish that in more regularly sustainable ways.
This year Paige and several Design Team members, along with Jen, Pru, and Annie visited Groton Dunstable school District to see Universal Design in action.  It was such an eye opening experience.  I was impressed by the variability acknowledged from class to class.  It was amazing to witness how focused the students were, even during transitions, with a room overfull with 12 to 15 adults observing.  Those kids clearly had the sense that they were there for a reason, they had work to do, and there were not kids actively seeking attention from the room full of adults.  Kids transitioned to a wide variety of alternate seating options quickly, and when asked, could explain their choice as it related to their current work or assignment.  The seating was child directed with the option, stated on the wall in most classes, that the teacher reserves the right to step in and move them if they make a choice that is not helping them meet the learning goal.

Paige made it her mission to notice teacher space within the classrooms.  Sometimes they were actually difficult to find.  There were very few places in each classroom that were not intentionally for the kids to use.  Some teachers had a traditional desk, but many had reduced their teacher footprint to a small table or a shelf in a corner.  These rooms were very clearly rooms for children to learn and move.  She explained how she has been working at reducing her own teacher footprint in her room, but she is saving the big job of getting rid of her desk, for summer maybe when she has a bit more time to spend.

The thing that really clicked for many of us who visited Groton Dunstable was that every classroom we visited from kindergarten up through middle school used the workshop model in some form.  The learning goal in each classroom was clearly stated, often with options listed if the kids met the goal.  The “centers” ranged from listed options that students accessed in a space of their choice, to tables and areas around the room which teachers set up or put out for students to work on the learning goal. The message was clear, if the student needed to summarize their reading, they could read an independent book, or read/ listen to an online text or article, then they had options to write, they used
a graphic organizer, could write, type or speak their summary.  In some classrooms, there were many choices out on tables, at the carpet, all around the room.

The key to making this choice time academic was not worksheets or telling the kids they need to work hard.  They key was to communicate the learning goal.  If the goal was learning to count to 12, every center was a place for the children to play with those numbers, putting number blocks in order, spinning and counting and writing numbers, counting little pumpkins to place with each number, making numbers out of wiki stir, pulling a number out of a bag and trying to guess what it is before you see it... the possibilities were as endless as the imagination.  Some tables were for sitting, some for standing, some activities were at a short legged table or on the floor, the kids were trying them all and getting to know themselves as learners.

Paige after giving us a brief introduction to her thinking, gave us time to explore and ask questions, we could use chrome books to browse pictures, there was a set of printed photographs and there was a slideshow projected on screen.  She noted in good humor that almost everyone chose the big screen option, and that “sometimes that is how it goes” you put effort in to create options and everyone picks “a”.  She noted that in the beginning when just introducing options to our students, they all chose the safe option.  Now her students are branching out.  Sometimes, we think we know what a student will choose and they choose something else and it works.  Sometimes they make a choice that isn’t working, that is a place for teaching.  One thing that stuck with me is, if we are saying no to a student, first ask yourself “why?”, if the student can still meet the learning goal, try “yes”.  Through

In one kindergarten classroom, the kids spin the hand to find out where to go next, if it is full, they spin again.  The choices were all "academic" but were also clearly fun and playful.
conferencing our job as teachers is to help a student learn to make a good choice for themselves as a learner, and what better way to learn to make good choices than to have many opportunities to make mistakes, to think about them and learn from them. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Options, Student Variability and the importance of asking "Why?"

Compliance does not foster innovation.” ― George Couros, The Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity

Creating Empowered Experiences, from George Couros’  “Innovate Inside the Box"

Don't we all wish our kids had a teacher like this?
In first grade my son had an amazing and intuitive teacher.  She did not know exactly what was different about my son, and she didn't have a label for him, but she understood that something was making school hard for him despite his deceptively large vocabulary, fantastic capacity for understanding deep messages in literature, and a chess playing brain.  School was tragically difficult for my then 7 year old.  She made a point to provide options for him and all her students, because her
background in counseling and social work informed her thinking. That was ten years ago!

Now this simple gesture, provide options, is becoming more common knowledge and validated as a strategy for working with students struggling with anxiety, trauma or other mental health issues.  It is a simple idea really, based on “know your students”.  In Universally Designed Learning, this is a central idea but I see it with a twist!  The twist is to understand that there is student variability!  At any given time or with any given student, even the ones you ‘know’, there may be something you cannot name, or simply don’t know, that can make school hard for students to access learning.

I keep hearing this with regard to Universally Designing Learning... When you ask a student to do something, make sure and ask yourself, "WHY?"  Is it important to the learning goal?  or can the goal be met another way?

"Relationship > Rules-  When you are inundated with initiatives and overwhelmed by the pressure and stress that come with being an educator, it can be easy to lose sight of our purpose.  But if we stop and ask ourselves, 'Why am I involved in education?'  the answer will never be 'to control my students.'" (p.10 Innovate Inside the Box)

The truth is that many of us as teachers rely heavily on compliance, and most teachers probably would not bat an eyelash at 3 expectations that often foiled my son's success.

  1. Sit quietly, body in control, cross your legs at meeting, listen and speak respectfully
  2. Follow directions that the teacher gives you, single or multistep.  
  3. Everyone needs to behave according to our class rules, compact or constitution.
  4. Students should write to explain what they know, to show what they read, to demonstrate learning...
I will admit, having started my teaching practice working with 5-7 year olds, I had to face my own issues around my ideas concerning compliance when I returned to teaching years later working with fourth graders.  Fourth graders are officially of the age, that "the teachers said to do it" matters naught.  At least for most of them, if not at the beginning of the year, then by at least half way through, they are pushing back in some fashion.  It was during these more recent years that I have really begun to ponder the "Why?" and try and be prepared to answer that question, with forethought and luck, before my students asked.

The following are "Why?" questions I have asked myself.  The possible responses that follow are related to thoughts or responses that come from the 3 following trains of thought.
  • compliance:  because I have to
  • engagement:  because I am interested
  • empowered: because I want to and see value in creating a difference for myself and or others.

  • Why do I want my students to sit up rather than lie down at circle?  
    • COMPLIANCE-  All the kids need to sit up and pay attention to what is happening.  If one lays down they all will.  It looks lazy, or it makes me uncomfortable that they aren't doing what I said.
    • ENGAGEMENT-  If I am charismatic and entertaining, or use puppets and other tools they will stay sitting up and pay attention because it will be fun.  
    • EMPOWERMENT:  If I can pinpoint the goal as being a good listener, and be ready to share your own ideas as well, I will realize my goal isn't for them to sit up or sit in a particular way, but to be alert and attending to the conversation appropriately.  I may begin to teach them how their brains work, that lying down will tell their brains it is time to rest not to learn, kids can begin to attend to how they feel in certain positions.  If I provide options for sitting up that meet the needs of my students, chairs, cushion, bench, carpet they can begin to make appropriate choices to help themselves attend to meeting.  If we role play what it feels like to have kids in different postures while we are sharing ideas, we can see how our posture effects how others feel around us and begin to understand there is a meaningful purpose to sitting up and facing the speaker.
  • Why do I want my students to listen to and follow directions?
    • COMPLIANCE-  Students need to follow directions in order for me to establish order in the classroom, or in order for them to know what to do or pay attention to at any given time.
    • ENGAGEMENT- If I motivate them with the prospect of a fun engaging activity they will be more likely to follow the directions.  
    • EMPOWERMENT-  I understand that at any given moment I may have a student who will miss or misinterpret a verbal instruction.  Maybe their mind wandered to something happening at home, or something they are inventing, or they had to use the restroom or were out sick.  If I can provide written instructions, audio instructions, or visual cues  or videos for instructions, more kids will understand or be able to access the instructions, and I will have those tools available to use for the student who is absent today, or for next year.  They will also begin to understand their own needs as learners and how to best access instructions for themselves.
  • Why do I want my students to follow the rules?
    • COMPLIANCE-  Without rules there is chaos.  People will think I lack the ability to control my class.  I need to feel in control, I am the adult.
    • ENGAGEMENT-  I know if kids are having fun and doing fun, motivating things like entertaining lessons, music, body breaks and so on they are more likely to behave.  
    • EMPOWERMENT- My students understand that school is a place to learn, and that the ultimate why is about them, their safety, their learning and their responsibility in their own future.  I understand their behaviors as communication, and know that when inappropriate behaviors are popping out, it is most likely someone's needs are not being met, maybe their basic needs (food, love, rest), maybe their learning needs (purpose, connection, meaning)
  • Why do I expect my students to complete assignments?
    • COMPLIANCE- I need to show that we got through the expected curriculum.  The students need to show they were there for that lesson.  I need proof that they understood.
    • ENGAGEMENT- I hope they will enjoy the learning, and want to do it, I can give them options like colored paper, special pens, or access to computers...  
    • EMPOWERMENT-  If my assignments are driven by Massachusetts frameworks, and learning goals are tied to frameworks, the learning goal is the why.  I can free my students to show what they know in ways that work for them.  Some students for whom writing is hard, will benefit from the option of recording their ideas in audio or video format, maybe they would rather use a graphic organizer, or just type rather than hand write.  Some days a student may choose a graphic organizer, while another day the same student may feel like creating a video will work better for them.  When I don't assume I know what is best for my students, I am allowing my students to discover what works best for themselves, it is the first step of self advocacy and thus empowering.

Is there one place in your day?  In your classroom?  Where you can make a shift from teacher directed interactions involving compliance toward engagement, or can you push a place of engagement toward empowerment? 

This week, I moved from offering options in learning and representing, to options in goal setting.  As an interventionist, I wasn't sure how or if this would work (isn't it my job to identify and target specific goals), but in a particular instance this week it made sense to say to a student, "I can see there are a few things we can work on, but I would like to know if you have an idea about where we should start."  The child responded in a thoughtful way, and so has set a goal for himself.  Heartened by this experience, I tried this again with two students in another grade, I talked about what I knew and have discussed with their teacher, but then sent it back to them to identify a possible goal, the two students acknowledged a goal that I hadn't pointed out directly but was thrilled that they acknowledged as a worthy goal.  I am finding this is an exciting step in my adventures in Universally Designing Learning within the confines of Essential Skills.

UPDATE!!! 1/25/2020 

After 2 weeks of hard work, one of my goal setters has reached his first goal!  I sent him home with a certificate of award for his accomplishment, to "Get better at long division, and remember all the steps" Although I offered videos, and online options, my student chose "to just do lots of long division problems", so he came in and gave it a go.  He completed problems, every day becoming more proficient at recalling the steps, I intervened when necessary, but encouraging independence as we went along.  Monday we (he) will be setting a new goal for himself!
My two readers have jumped right into their goal, which requires completing an entire book.  They set this goal for themselves, so much more powerful than me sitting over them saying, "You must finish this book!"  These kiddos tend to do a lot of 'book choosing' and 'book hopping', and they knew it!  It is a perfect goal combined with some student choice, to allow me to entice them into an author/genre that might just jumpstart their reading progress.  We are using a graphic novel for a Reader's Theater style partner read.  The best part?  They are both enjoying it! I hear from them:  "It's fun!  Like acting it out! I love it!"

For Today (this one didn't wait till someday)

When I was a kid and I had a report to write, a test to study for, or some project to do, it would always look like I wasn't doing any such thing.  I would muddle around my bedroom, looking around my space, pondering for... awhile. Then, I would tear into my room, dismantling arrangements of objects, emptying shelves and so on.  It would look like pure chaos, until hours later, when it all came back together, furniture rearranged, items back into places, clothes put away.  Then, I would be on my way and able to settle in on the task at hand.  The first few times this happened, I was up till late at night actually completing the assignment.  As I got older, I tried to plan ahead and do some of the teardown and rebuild prior to the night before the assignment was due!!

This week, I realized on Friday afternoon, that some old habits die hard.  I had begun writing progress reports, knowing they are due next week, but by three o'clock, I was feeling dissatisfied with my space.  I kept thinking about how small my space was and how much of it was dedicated to teacher materials vs. student stuff, due to no real closet space.  One of my coworkers made a vow to minimize her teacher space in her classroom, so as much of her room as possible was dedicated for her students.  I have had some ideas buzzing around about my head since before break, but hadn't had a chance to make it happen.  So there I was books and binders knee deep on the floor, crates dumped out, tack board leaning against a table, on Friday afternoon at 3:15. Students headed out for the weekend, coworkers on their way to the grocery store or home before the weekend storm, and I was in the middle of a mess.

a little mess here 

a little mess there
Within an hour, not the half our I had told myself and my coworker, (who looked in and laughed, "You are Nuts!" I was back in shape.  Reorganized, and ready to go, with my teacher stuff consolidated to a corner, and a little extra wiggle room for my kids.

The shelf atop my desk was on the floor with student items innefficiently arranged, so I used the smaller shelf for student items and arranged teaching materials up and out of kidspace.

this small shelf was overstuffed with teacher materials and difficult to access.  It was right in the way of the whiteboard and was taking up necessary floorspace.

Now my kid space is clutter free

The work table is free to move or rotate, and the white board is accessible, and I made student goal setting sheets handy in the orange folder on the bulletin board.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Growing UDL in Our School, seed starting

I feel like I am in a funny position this year.  I am really loving my new role as Essential Skills Support, and really enjoy both the students and working with my colleagues. I am committed to thinking about access for kids and Universally Designing Learning for them and have been pretty open with my thinking around UDL  and teaching with this blog.  I am also trying to find my way as a newish member of the teaching staff.

I am aware that my role, as ESS, is somewhat different than that of the classroom teacher, or at least that there may be a perception that it is. Really, as I see it, we are all here to teach all our kids.  So, when we have conversations at the Design Team meetings about how to encourage and grow UDL practice at each of our schools, I wonder what would be my best course of action.  I wonder how my encouragement and enthusiasm for UDL is perceived or received by teachers I work with.  I wonder if I am I seen as naively idealistic or too exuberant?  I wonder do folks want me to chime in with a UDL perspective or do they groan inwardly at the thought of it?  I wonder Do they want me to offer ideas?  or wait till they ask?   

I also wonder if I am overthinking it all!  In fact, the people who I have had conversations with around UDL have seemed to welcome my ideas.  When I checked in to be sure I am not being too pushy, I have received feedback that I am not.  So, perhaps I really am using restraint and not screaming all that is UDL from the rooftops!  

At our Design Team meeting this week, we talked about the idea of growing UDL practice in a grassroots way, from teacher to teacher.  Paige began at Swift River, with a seed, sharing out with staff about her UDL journey.  She has offered her classroom for observation, and has offered to come observe others.  She has had conversations with teachers seeking ideas, and encouragement.  Within days, the seed she started was growing.

I can't speak for Ms Regan, but I can say I was thrilled when she excitedly thanked me for reminding her to go to Paige's presentation and how it really helped her take a leap that has had a huge impact on her class.  I think of my blog a kind of seed, but I hadn't yet got a sense of whether the seed was sprouting anything at all.  So, I love how clearly Paige's presentation resulted in teachers making changes, some right away, some over days and weeks to follow.

My classroom is small, my student population is somewhat specific, but I am also willing to share.  I am happy to have conversations, or observe, give feedback or just encouragement.  I am not an expert on UDL, but I do think I am an expert learner of UDL practices and though I am not currently a classroom teacher, I have practical experience there.  I would love to offer a time totally voluntary, perhaps once or twice a month, when staff at LES could get together in my room or somewhere else, to talk UDL, ask questions, problem solve, share resources, books, ideas, or offer encouragement.  Also, just know I am happy to talk UDL just about anytime.