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Universal Design for Learning Case

Study
Target Student Portfolio
Name: Kim

Age: 17

Stage: Stage 6 Year 11

Disability: Expressive Language Disorder

Students Strength: Kim has strong numerical and graphical skills in mathematics
learning. He can solve the problems of algebra and calculus faster than other
students in the class.

Students Learning Needs: Kim has difficulties in understanding the instructions and
interpreting the results of linguistic mathematical problems. He needs explicit
instructions to follow in classroom activities, and effective development in
communication and interpersonal skills.

Part 1
In the recent decades, as the awareness and development of inclusive education,
students with disabilities and special learning needs are more and more involved in
regular classrooms (Loreman, Deppeler & Harvey, 2011). In order to include all
students in the classroom, teachers need to make reasonable adjustments in
teaching activities, such as using the framework of Universal Design for Learning
(UDL) (Poed and Elkins, 2012). UDL contains three elements, which are multiple
means of representation, multiple means of expression and multiple means of
engagement (Loreman, Deppeler & Harvey, 2011). UDL requires teachers to
recognise individual needs for every student, and seek alternative approaches to
assist students learning (Pisha and Coyne, 2001). In this justification, I will evaluate
Kims strength and learning needs based on my observation, and discuss the
adjustments of pedagogies according to UDL, so that Kims strength is manifested
and his learning needs are satisfied. I will also show the modifications to a
mathematics lesson plan (shown in blue colour) as an example of adjustments in
pedagogies.

Kim was a student that I observed in my professional practice. My mentor teacher


claimed that Kim had strong numerical and graphical skills in mathematics learning.
He achieved good results in the topic exams of algebra and calculus, which
demonstrated his competence in numerical and graphical learning. However, his
overall mathematics achievement was still lower than his peers, especially, his
performance in statistics, probability and financial mathematics was relatively low.
My mentor teachers ascribed his underperformance in linguistic problems to his
drawback of understanding the instructions and expressing his ideas. This was
verified by his low marks in presentation and report writing assignments. From my
observation, he was usually disengaged in the classroom activities until I
demonstrated examples based on the instruction, and he had difficulties in
completing the tasks that involves verbal or written reasoning. Furthermore, he was
isolated in the classroom, as his classmates believed that he was not willing to share
his authentic ideas, and hard to communicate with.

Although Kim demonstrated adequate numerical and graphical competence for


mathematics learning, his linguistic disability still hindered him from achieving
expected learning outcomes. As discovered by Koponen, Mononen, Rasanen and
Ahonen (2006), students with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) has lower
performance in both verbal and nonverbal mathematics. However, the researchers
also find that students with SLI can perform calculations as accurately as other
students, but with slower calculation strategies. In the article, the researchers
identify that heterogeneity in numerical skills of students with SLI is one of the
possible reasons for that result. Kims scenario is consistent with this research, he
demonstrates adequate numerical skills in some aspects of mathematics learning,
however his skills in linguistic problem solving is effected by his disability. Another
research demonstrates that students with SLI perform significantly lower in timed
calculation than in untimed calculation (Fazio, 1999). It implies that Kims difficulty in
completing tasks on time can be ascribed by his disability. Fazio also provided some
suggestions to foster the learning of students with SLI. First, teachers can encourage
multiple strategies and solutions in mathematical problems, for example, visual
aids such as tallies can be used in calculation. Second, teachers can provide
additional instructions to students with SLI. Third, teachers can emphasis the
interaction between knowledge of arithmetic procedures, mathematical
vocabulary, and mathematical concepts. After incorporating the two research and
my observation, I conclude that Kim has strength on numerical skills, but needs
additional support in linguistic instruction and reasoning, task completion, and
engagement in activities and with peers. UDL can be adopted to assist Kims learning
in mathematics by adjusting the pedagogies in delivering the knowledge to him,
assessing his understandings, and engaging him into learning activities.

The first element of UDL is multiple means of representation, which means teachers
are expected to provide multiple methods for students to obtain information and
knowledge (Loreman, Deppeler & Harvey, 2011). For Kims scenario, adjustments in
content delivery must break the linguistic barrier that hinders him from mathematics
learning, and take his advantage of numerical and graphical skills. The Teaching for
Inclusion Student Profile Builder (2017) provides suggestions that I can use clear and
explicit linguistic expression to cope Kims difficulty in receiving and processing
verbal and written language. For example, according to the Profile Builder, I can
include word banks, glossaries and highlighted key terms, issue materials prior to
the lesson for student to review, redesign worksheets to clearly identify answer
spaces and working-out areas, arrange for rest breaks to include opportunities for
individualised teacher attention, or colour-code key terms and concepts, so that
he can receive and process linguistic instructions and knowledge easily. Another
literature claims that UDL could be implemented by the use of digital technology and
multiple media (Meyer, Rose and Gordon, 2016). The book suggests that digital
technology, such as calculator, software and internet, will provide alternative
resources for learners with diverse learning needs, it can be considered as an
extension to paper-based resources. Also multiple media resource incorporates
multiple methods of expression, such as sound, texts and images, so that different
types of learners can access the resource and receive information from it. Also Goos
et al (2007, p.78) suggests that technology can help students connect between
multiple representations, such as the symbolic, numerical and graphical expression.
The ideas from the literature are consulted in making UDL adjustments to the
mathematics lesson plan. In the introduction stage of the lesson, I will play a
YouTube video to recall students previous knowledge and concept, as well as make
up the lag of financial mathematics knowledge for Kim, as it is effective and efficient
for Kim to obtain knowledge from the numerical graphical demonstration. I will also
hand out work sheets that contain definitions of terminologies in financial
mathematics, such as future value, in order to assist Kim in understanding the
concept. In the work sheets, I will use different colours for each row, in order to
make Kim aware that for different periods he need to apply different formulas. I will
also demonstrate how to apply the formulas for the interest rate of 1% to provide a
more explicit instruction to him.

Multiple means of expression implies that teachers must encourage alternative


approaches for students to demonstrate their knowledge (Loreman, Deppeler &
Harvey, 2011). As claim by Meo (2008), instead of adopting only one assessment
method, providing the choices of multiple assessment methods to students can help
them demonstrate their knowledge. Kim has disability in linguistic expression, thus
teachers must provide opportunities for him to demonstrate his understandings in
numerical or graphical response. Two suggestions from the Teaching for Inclusion
Student Profile Builder (2017) is considered to be useful for Kim. The first suggestion
is including collaborative activities, which means Kim can express his knowledge by
contributing his strength to the collaborative work, instead of exposing his weakness
of linguistic expression in assessments. However, this strategy cannot be effectively
implemented unless he is effectively engaged in the group works. The second
strategy is arranging for choice in assessment and presentation of information,
which mean Kim can be provided with opportunities to demonstrate his knowledge
in the methods other than linguistic response. Furthermore, Meyer, Rose and
Gordon (2016) suggests that students can express their knowledge by the use of
technology. It provides an idea that teachers can involve technology in the
assessments of Kims class. For example, teachers can allow submission of Excel file
and presentation with PowerPoint slides in statistics topic, so that Kim can express
his knowledge numerically, graphically or visually. In the lesson plan, the adjustment
in the final discussion provides Kim with the opportunity to demonstrate his
understanding of the differences between compound interest and annuity
calculation using a numerical tables.

Multiple means of engagement requires teachers to involve and motive students


with diverse learning needs, interest and styles (Loreman, Deppeler & Harvey, 2011).
As investigated by Lein et.al (2016), students performance in mathematics is
significantly influence by the level of engagement. In order to engage Kim in
classroom activities, teachers must motive him by breaking the barriers that hinder
him from participation, and providing opportunities for him to engage with peers.
Some appropriate strategies are suggested by the Teaching for Inclusion Student
Profile Builder (2017). First, it suggests teachers to use visualised resources. Second,
teachers can provide materials to students prior to the lesson. Third, teachers can
include collaborative activities, provide explicit group roles in the collaborative
learning, and establish a peer mentor program. One specific strategy of
collaborative learning is jigsaw cooperation, which is justified to be effective in
increasing the level of engagement in mathematics classrooms (Sengul and Katranci,
2013). In addition to the Teaching for Inclusion Student Profile Builder, Meyer, Rose
and Gordons book (2016) also suggests that teachers can develop multiple means of
engagement by developing students self-regulation and providing students with
autonomy. In teaching practice, teachers can develop more student-directed
learning activities and self or peer assessment. For Kims scenario, I will design more
group works to develop his communication and interpersonal skills. However, in
order to break the barriers that hinder him from sharing his ideas in the group, the
activities must manifest his strength in numerical and graphical skills. In the lesson
plan the original jigsaw collaboration activity is adequate to engage Kim, as it can
provide an opportunity for him to share his numerical findings in constructing the
Future Value Interest Factor table. Also the Travel Game activity can make him been
mentored and monitored by peers. The only adjustment in the activity is that I will
walk around in the classroom to monitor the effectiveness of collaborative work for
Kim as well as the whole class.

The use of UDL framework if effective to assist learnings for students with
disabilities. Instead of one-size-fit-all pedagogies, UDL encourages multiple means of
representation, expression and engagement, so that all students can manifest their
strength, and achieve the learning goals of themselves. For Kim, who is a students
with expression language disorder, the UDL adjustments provides opportunities for
him to demonstrate his strength in numerical and graphical competence, and breaks
the barriers that hinders him from being included in the classroom activities. Not
only for Kim, will UDL also create an inclusive environment for students with and
without disabilities.
Year 11 Financial Mathematics Lesson
Plan
Time Teaching and learning actions Organisation Centred

T/S

Introduction Recall students previous knowledge in financial Teacher: Lead T and S


mathematics by asking questions. the revision for
previous
UDL: play the YouTube video of Compound Interest
knowledge
Explained to recall students previous knowledge and
5 mins concept, as well as make up the lag of financial UDL: Play the
mathematics knowledge for Kim. The video link is video and hand
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf91rEGw88Q&t=7s. out work sheets.
Hand out the work sheets that contains all the material in Student: recall
the Resources. Add the definitions of the key words their knowledge
simple interest, compound interest, future value,
present value, annuity and mortgage on the top of UDL: Watch the
the work sheets. video and recall
previous
knowledge.

Resources:

UDL: Laptop,
Projector and
work sheets.

Body Activity 1. Construct the future value interest factor Teacher: T and S
table. demonstrate
example,
This activity involves jigsaw collaborative learning construct the
strategy. Students form five groups, and calculate the future value
10-15 mins value interest factor at 1%, 2%, 3%, 4% and 5% interest factor
respectively for different periods. Then teacher lead table
students to put all the information into a table.
The formulas for annuity calculation are:
Student: work
1 Period: FV = 1.
out the future
2 Periods: FV = (1 + r%) + 1 value interest
factors table in
3 Periods: FV = (1 + %)2 + (1 + r%) + 1 groups
4 Periods: FV = (1 + %)3 + (1 + %)2 + (1 + r%) + Resources:
1
Teacher demonstrate the calculation of future value
interest factor at 1% for 1, 2, 3 and 4 period on the broad.
Students form four groups, and calculate the value interest
factor at 2%, 3%, 4% and 5% respectively for different
periods. Then teacher lead students to put all the
information into a table.

Activity 2. Calculation of annuity value using future Teacher: show T


value interest factors table. examples to
students
Show students example about calculation of annuity
value, remaining value of an annuity loan, and
contribution amount superannuation and home loan.
Student: get the
10 min idea of
calculation using
future value
interest factors
table

Resources:

Activity 3. Travel Game (exercise for annuity Teacher: hand S


calculation). out resources,
walk around to
Students form groups of 3 or 4 according to the class size. assist students if
Each group is provided with the Travel Game board, a needed
question sheet, a pack of cut Opportunity Cards sheet,
and a pair of red and blue dice.
Each student put an indicator at the START cell, and Student: Play the
take turns to act clockwise. In one turn, the current person game
roll two dices, the student on the right hand side hold the
Question Sheet, and ask the current person to calculate the
annuity value in the corresponding row and column Resources:
shown on the two dices. For example, if the red die shows Travel Game set,
a 2 the blue die shows a 3, the current person have to dices
calculate The future value of $800 contributions for 2
periods at 2% interest.
If the current persons answer is correct, he/she move the
20-25 mins indicator one step forwards, otherwise the indicator stay in
the current cell. Then the dices and the Question Sheet are
passed to the next person clockwise.
If the indicator is moved to the Opportunity cell, the
person must draw an opportunity card, and answer the
question according to the card. If the answer is correct, the
indicator can be moved one step forwards. Otherwise, the
indicator must be moved one step backwards.
The person who arrive the FINISH cell first win the
game.
UDL: Hang around to monitor and assist each group,
including Kims group.

Conclusion Have student discuss about the common mistakes they Teacher: listen to S and T
made in the game, lead their discussion to the difference students discuss,
between annuities and compound interest loans. lead the discuss
5-10 mins UDL: Lead students to construct a future value table of
compound interest loans in groups using the formula
FV = (1 + %) , and make them discuss the difference Student:
between the tables for compound interest loan and participate in
annuity. Hang around to collect response from each discussion
group, including Kims group.

Period Interest Resources:


1% 2% 3%
1 1.0100
2 1.0201
3 1.0303
4 1.0406

Resources

Future Value Interest Factors Table


Period Interest
1% 2% 3% 4% 5%
1 1.0000
2 2.0100
3 3.0301
4 4.0604
Travel Game Board
FINISH FINISH FINISH FINISH

Opportunity Opportunity

Opportunity

Opportunity

Opportunity Opportunity

Opportunity

Opportunity

Opportunity

Opportunity Opportunity

Opportunity

START START START START


Question Sheet
Red Dice
1 2 3 4 5 6
Interest-
1% 2% 3% 4% 5%
free
The future
value of
1 $500 $ 2,030.20 $ 2,060.80 $ 2,091.81 $ 2,123.23 $ 2,155.06 $2000
contributions
for 4 periods
The
contributions
2 to achieve $ 1,231.41 $ 1,213.12 $ 1,195.14 $ 1,177.45 $ 1,160.06 $1250
$5000 in 4
periods
The future
value of
Blue 3 $800 $ 1,608.00 $ 1,616.00 $ 1,624.00 $ 1,632.00 $ 1,640.00 $1600
contributions
for 2 periods
The
contributions
Dice 4 to achieve $ 1,980.13 $ 1,960.53 $ 1,941.18 $ 1,922.09 $ 1,903.25 $2000
$6000 in 3
periods
The future
value of
5 $1000 $ 3,030.10 $ 3,060.40 $ 3,090.90 $ 3,121.60 $ 3,152.50 $3000
contributions
for 3 periods
The
remaining
amount for a
$10000 loan
6 $ 8,191.00 $ 8,384.00 $ 8,579.00 $ 8,776.00 $ 8,975.00 $8000
after 2
periods with
contributions
of $1000

Opportunity Cards Answers


$5202 $2040
$3000 $9600
Opportunity Cards

If a $5000 deposit is If a $2000 loan is taken


taken at 2% interest at 4% interest per
per annum, what is its annum, what is its
value after 2 years? value after 6 months?

If a $25000 load is
If a $1000 yearly taken at 3% interest
contribution is paid at per annum, the
4% interest per annum, monthly contribution is
what the total amount $800, what the total
paid after 3 years? amount paid back
during the first year?

Bonus Dice Roll Bonus Dice Roll


References

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Performance in Children with Specific Language Impairment: A 5-Year Follow-
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Research and practice for the 21st century. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen &
Unwin.
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Meo, G. (2008). Curriculum planning for all learners: Applying universal design for
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h.schools.nsw.edu.au/learningtraits_pdf.php?prepname=&name=&selections
%5B%5D=academic-low-engagement&selections%5B%5D=academic-
problems-with-task-completion&selections%5B%5D=communication-
difficulty-expressing-ideas&selections%5B%5D=communication-speech-
impairment&selections%5B%5D=communication-difficulty-following-
instructions&selections%5B%5D=communication-receptive-language-
problems&selections%5B%5D=development-socially-
isolated&selections%5B%5D=development-difficulty-working-with-
others&disabilities%5B%5D=expressive-language-
disorder&download=false&generatepdf=Generate+PDF.