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Offer Flexible Opportunities for Demonstrating Skill

Page history last edited by Mallory Burton 12 years, 8 months ago

Providing Flexible Opportunities for Demonstrating Skill is a UDL strategy presented in Chapter 6 of Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age. 


Key Concepts:

1. Learners needs opportunities to demonstrate skills.

2. Demonstration challenges learners to consolidate their learning. 

3. Demonstrations for a broader audience encourage feedback from more sources than just the classroom teacher.

4. Digital media such as creating digital presentations or blogging provide opportunities for demonstrating skill.


Sample Lesson


Several intermediate classrooms from a year 1 UDL team recently hosted a Passion Cafe.  Students in several intermediate classrooms had been researching topics of great personal interest.  Teachers had established checkpoints throughout the research process such as choosing a topic and gathering facts and students worked on these projects at home or whenever they had spare classroom time.  The students had already presented oral reports on their subject in their own classrooms.  At the Passion Cafe, students received cups of tea (real China cups!) and cookies and proceeded to "mix" as if they were at a tea party sharing information about their topic conversationally.  4 intermediate classes stayed completely on task for an exciting and interesting 1.5 hours at this Passion Cafe.




What are some other venues in which students can present their work to an authentic audience?



This brainstorm was created during a discussion during our online meeting with Wordle.



Different Ways to Demonstrate Skills

Saskatchewan Schools has created a great resource for matching learning styles to Bloom's action verbs, a variety of products suitable for that learning style, and alternate assessments for that learning style. 

Much of student work is presented for an audience of one...the teacher.  Presenting or performing for a larger, genuine audience can be very motivating.  Many teachers report (and it was certainly our experience at summer camp) that student blogging for a genuine audience is highly motivating.  Paul Hamilton's interview with Mrs. Smith's bloggers makes a convincing case for student blogging. 

  Buddy Reading is one way of demonstrating reading skills for a genuine purpose.  A Prince Rupert grade 5 classroom enjoys buddy reading with seniors.  In year 2 of the UDL project, students in Prince George were highly motivated by using Skype to buddy read to students in North Carolina, sharing books that conveyed a sense of place.  Kathy reported that the students used every spare moment to practice their reading and would constantly nab any teacher or parent they could find to listen to their reading.
  Many of the digital storytelling sites available on the web allow sharing of stories and will produce soft or hard-cover books for a fee.  The Parent Advisory Committees at several schools have provided the funding for such projects.  In year 1, Rod's class did a 6-week project in which his grade 7 students created original storybooks for their younger buddies.  He had been doing this project for many years with his students and several of his students' books have been published.  (I am trying to get him to write this unit up for the LOR.)







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