BJ Goff Conducts Training for Latham Teachers

November 27, 2010

BJ Goff, PhD, the well-known educational consultant expert on Prader Willi Syndrome, came to Latham School on November 10 and 11 to conduct classroom observations and provide advanced training for the Latham teachers. BJ did a presentation on “Universal Design for Learning”. (UDL) UDL is a scientifically researched framework for guiding educational practices. It provides flexibility in the ways that information is presented to students and flexibility in the ways they can demonstrate their knowledge and skills. There are three main guidelines for teachers working within a UDL framework:

(1)    Teachers should provide multiple means of presenting information – for example, instead of giving a written outline, students could listen to the information on a CD and, in many subjects, students could work with or manipulate the information ( as in planting seeds instead of just reading about seeds)

(2)    Teachers must provide multiple means of students interacting with and expressing their understanding of the information – for example, students can access information by use of a smart board with internet connection (Latham has several of these smart boards), students can give an oral report instead of a written report; students can use assistive technologies (such as an “Alpha smart” – Latham has 17 of these small keyboards that foster independence in expression and help with writing).

(3)    Teachers must provide multiple means of Engagement – this is the guide that brings it all together – the UDL approach increases individual choice and autonomy, enhances strengths and values and reduces distractions by requiring a focus on the goals and objectives of the lessons. Teachers have to be sure the students know WHY they are being asked to lean something. Multiple means of engagement also requires teachers to build in coping skills and foster collaboration in reviewing students work – so, for example – project based learning is a valued means of assessing student progress.

Teachers really enjoyed the presentation and BJ gave us excellent feedback on our work with all of the students.

Related Posts:
A Visit From Dr. B.J. Goff
Report From the Behavior Group
A Message from Christine Gallant

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