Common Core State Standards
Universal Design for Learning
Lori Nixon, TN Department of Education
July 2013
 Common Core State Standards
 Providing Access
 Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
 Accommodations
 New Generation Assessments
Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
 Resources to Share:
• CCSSO-Implementation Tools and Resources
• Common Core State Standards
• CCSS Initiative Document
Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
 From Common Core to Curriculum: Five Big Ideas
• Big Idea #1: The Common Core Standards have new
emphases and require a careful reading.
Big Idea #2: Standards are not curriculum.
Big Idea #3: Standards need to be “unpacked”.
Big Idea #4: A coherent curriculum is mapped
backwards from desired performances.
Big Idea #5: The standards come to life through the
From Common Core Standards to Curriculum: Five Big Ideas
Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins
English Language Arts
Instructional Shifts
1. Building knowledge through content-rich
2. Reading, writing and speaking grounded
in evidence from text, both literary and
3. Regular practice with complex text and
its academic language
Instructional Shifts
1. Focus strongly where the Standards
2. Coherence: think across grades, and
link to major topics* within grades
3. Rigor: in major topics* pursue:
conceptual understanding, procedural
skill and fluency, and application with
equal intensity.
Priorities in Mathematics
Priorities in Support of Rich Instruction and Expectations
of Fluency and Conceptual Understanding
Addition and subtraction, measurement using
whole number quantities
Multiplication and division of whole numbers
and fractions
Ratios and proportional reasoning; early
expressions and equations
Ratios and proportional reasoning; arithmetic
of rational numbers
Linear algebra
 The standards require speed and accuracy in
 Teachers structure class time and/or homework
time for students to practice core functions such
as single-digit multiplication so that they are
more able to understand and manipulate more
complex concepts
Required Fluencies in K-8
Expected Fluency
Add/Subtract within 5
Add/Subtract within 10
Add/Subtract within 20 (Know single digit sums from memory)
Add/Subtract within 100
Multiply/Divide within 100 (Know single digit products from memory)
Add/Subtract within 1000
Add/Subtract within 1,000,000
Multi-digit multiplication
Multi-digit division
Multi-digit decimal operations
Fluency with rational number arithmetic
Solve multistep problems with positive and negative rational numbers in any form
Solve one-variable equations of the form px + q = r and p(x + q) = r fluently
Solve one-variable linear equations, including cases with infinitely many solutions or no solutions
Solve problems involving volumes of cones, cylinders, and spheres together with previous geometry work,
proportional reasoning and multi-step problem solving in grade 7
Fluency in High School
Algebra I
Solving characteristic problems involving the analytic geometry of lines
Fluency in adding, subtracting, and multiplying polynomials
Fluency in transforming expressions and seeing parts of an expression as a single object
5, 7
Fluency with the triangle congruence and similarity criteria
Fluency with the use of coordinates
Fluency with the use of construction tools
Divide polynomials with remainder by inspection in simple cases
See structure in expressions and use this structure to rewrite expressions
Fluency in translating between recursive definitions and closed forms
Algebra II
Recommended Fluency
PARCC Content Model Frameworks
 Inform development of item specifications and blueprints for the
PARCC assessments, and
 Support implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
 Primary purpose: to provide a frame for the PARCC assessments,
they also are voluntary resources to help educators and those
developing curricula and instructional materials.
What Promotes Access?
Opportunity to
Learn Standards
Universal Design
for Learning
Origins of Universal Design CAST© 2003
Universal Design
Is our physical environment
DisWeb © 2000 Karen G. Stone
• Architectural term coined
by R. Mace
• Physical environment design
for access
• Stairs as access feature/barrier
• Physical Disabilities
• Elderly
• Children
• Strollers/Carts
• Retrofitting for physical access
remains a design afterthought
Retrofitting our Physical Environment
• Typically solves one issue
• Often costly to implement
• Aesthetically inelegant
Copyright ® 1997 Access Elevator Company
UD Origin and Definitions
“Consider the needs of the broadest
possible range of users from the
Architect, Ron Mace CAST© 2003
Universal Design
 Not one size fits all – but alternatives.
 Designed from the beginning, not added on
• More economical
Increases access opportunities for everyone.
Intentional approach to design
Anticipates a variety of needs
Respects human diversity CAST© 2003
UD and UDL
Physical Environment
Instructional Environment
Physical barriers may exist in our
architectural environment
Learning barriers may exist in our
curricular environment
Proactive design of physical space
Proactive design of curriculum
and instruction
Physical retrofitting can be costly and is
often inelegant
Instructional accommodations can be
time consuming and difficult to
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
David Rose, Co-Executive Director of CAST,
UDL differs in that the point of entry is at the
design stage, how you begin to design a good
learning environment, a good lesson, a good
curriculum. UDL seeks to get to the core of
the curriculum, to design it so that it is a
good curriculum for all students from the
beginning. Assistive technologies,
accommodations, modifications typically come
after, as does differentiated instruction.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
UDL is an educational
approach to teaching,
learning, and
assessment, drawing on
new brain research and
new media technologies
to respond to individual
learner differences. CAST© 2003
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Dr. Jan Sheinker, an affiliate of NCEO and consultant to Edvantia Inc.,
noted that assessment developers need to determine whether the
items or tasks will:
 Increase or decrease access.
 Take into account that a child’s disability may cause a variance in
the learning progression.
 Reflect assumptions that are not true for all students, e.g., all
students are taught in the same scope and sequence.
 Yield results that are immediately available for instruction.
 Reflect unfamiliarity with technology, for instance, as states move to
technology enhanced assessments.
 Signal the need for accommodations not currently used or available.
Origins of Universal Design for
Learning (UDL)
 CAST believes that “barriers to learning are not, in
fact, inherent in the capacities of learners, but instead
arise in learners' interactions with inflexible
educational goals, materials, methods, and
UDL AT A Glance
UDL Principles
Provide multiple and flexible methods of
representation to give students with diverse
learning styles and needs various ways of
acquiring information and knowledge.
Action and Expression
Provide multiple and flexible means of
action and expression to provide diverse
students with alternatives for
demonstrating what they have learned.
Provide multiple and flexible means of
engagement to tap diverse learners'
interests, challenge them appropriately,
and motivate them to learn.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
 It may not be reasonable or possible for teachers to incorporate all
three of the UDL principles into every lesson plan. Rather, they are
intended to guide instruction over time.
 Even when teachers apply the three principles, some students may
need additional support. Consequently, teachers will sometimes
have to make accommodations (e.g., allow the use of a spell
checker) to meet an individual student's needs.
Class Learning Profile
 The Model Template is an example of a class learning profile in
the context of a science unit on researching different aspects of a
flower. Students' strengths, needs, and preferences/interests most
relevant for this curriculum unit are listed in the table to provide an
overview of student characteristics.
 Examples of Student Qualities offers examples of the kinds of
strengths, needs, and interests or preferences that fall into the
different brain networks. These are examples only, designed to help
you understand what kinds of traits fall within the domain of each
brain network.
 The Blank Template offers structured support for creating a class
profile for your students, within the context of particular curricular
UDL Apps
 For Android
or IPhone
UDL and Accommodations
 Universal Design for Learning (UDL) refers to the
process of making course concepts and skills attainable
to a greater number of students, regardless of their
differing learning styles, physical, sensory organizational
and linguistic abilities.
 Rather than the “one-size fits-all” approach, UDL
stresses flexible delivery of content, assignment and
activities. UDL allows the learning process to be more
accessible without singling out students with disabilities.
“A critical part of teaching and assessing
students with disabilities… is providing them
with accommodations that support learning
and that support their ability to show what
they know and can do.”
NICHY (2007). Assessment and Accommodations,
Evidence for Education, V2, Issue 1, p. 1
Accommodations v. Modifications
Accommodations – Changes in materials or procedures
that enable students to meaningfully access instruction and
assessment. Assessment accommodations do not change
the construct that is being measured.
 Accommodations mediate the effects of a student’s
disability and do not reduce learning expectations.
Modifications – Changes in materials or procedures that
enable students to access instruction and assessment.
Assessment modifications do change the construct that
is being measured.
 Modifications create challenges for assessment validity.
Accommodation vs. Modification
Instructional or test adaptations
Change the target skill or construct of interest
Allow student to demonstrate knowledge without
fundamentally changing the target skill being taught or
Instructional or test adaptations that allow the student to
demonstrate knowledge, but also reduce the target skill
in some way
Do not reduce learning or performance expectations
Often reduce learning expectations or affect content in
such a way that what is being taught or tested
fundamentally changes
Change the manner or setting in which information is
presented or the manner in which students respond
Likely leads to inaccurate inferences about what student
really knows and can do; may unintentionally
overestimate student’s knowledge and skills
Include: timing, flexible scheduling, accommodated
presentation of material, setting, response
Include: reducing number of items required, lowering the
complexity of items or task required
Problems with Modifications
 May confuse accommodations and modifications
and change the target skill, resulting in incorrect
assumptions about what the student actually
 Modifications are more likely to reduce
expectations for students.
 Modifications limit students’ opportunity to learn
and may contribute to learned helplessness in
the future.
Choosing Accommodations
1. Expect students with disabilities to achieve grade-level
academic content standards.
Learn about accommodations for instruction that are
acceptable for assessment.
Make decisions about assessment accommodations
based on a student’s academic and behavioral needs.
Only use accommodations when appropriate.
Administer accommodations during instruction and
Evaluate, improve, and in some cases remove
accommodations when appropriate.
Classroom Accommodations
Instructional Methods and Materials
• Student can’t identify main ideas or important points
– Highlight important points of the text to draw attention. Tell the student to
read these points first.
Give the student a list of important vocabulary.
Have the student read the summary or objectives first.
Have the student read the review questions first, then look for the answers.
Give the student a worksheet or study guide to follow when he or she must
do independent reading.
Use hands-on activities, pictures, or diagrams to support understanding of
abstract concepts complex information.
Let the student use sticky notes or an erasable highlighter to mark key
points in the textbook.
Let the student use a book written at a lower grade level. This can help the
student pay more attention to the main ideas.
Adapted from Accommodations: Assisting Students with Disabilities—
A Guide for Educators
Classroom Accommodations
Instructional Methods and Materials
 Student can understand the information, but can’t
read the required materials.
• Provide an audio version of the material. Use bookson-tape or have an assistant, volunteer, or other
student make a recording.
• Use a videotape or movie that presents the same
• Use assistive technology to transfer printed words to
• Have a learning buddy read aloud textbooks or other
printed material.
Classroom Accommodations
Assignments and Assessments
Student has difficulty following instructions.
• Student needs help to get ready for the
– Use a prearranged signal to gain the student’s
attention before giving directions.
– Make sure the student is facing you when
instructions are given.
– Change your tone of voice to alert the student and
sustain attention.
– Give the student an agenda or schedule for each
Classroom Accommodations
Assignments and Assessments
Student gets confused by complex materials.
 Block sections on paper for each response by drawing lines or
folding. Show students how to cover parts of text or worksheet not
being used.
 Use different kinds of paper, such as graph paper for doing
computations or paper with midlines for taking notes.
 Use color-coding to help students identify tasks, meanings, or
 Give page numbers for locating answers to questions.
 Simplify directions by numbering each step.
 Use uncluttered and clearly formatted tests and worksheets.
Arrange problems or items so that it is easy to know where to start
and how to proceed.
Assessment Accommodations
 Assessment accommodations are changes in testing materials or
procedures that enable students to participate in assessments in a
way that assesses abilities rather than disabilities. Without
accommodations, the assessment may not accurately measure the
student's knowledge and skills.
Assessment Accommodations
Four Common Accommodation Categories
 Presentation
• Alter the method or format used to administer assessment
 Response
• Alternative methods to provide responses to test items
 Timing and Scheduling
• Changes in allowable length of time to complete test or the way time is
 Setting
• Changes in the location or conditions within the assessment setting
Matching Category to Need
 Presentation
• Those with disabilities
that affect reading
standard print, typically
as a result of a physical,
sensory, cognitive, or
specific learning
• Examples-Braille, Tactile
Graphics, ClosedCaptioning
 Response
• Students who have
physical, sensory, or
learning disabilities
(including difficulties
with memory,
directionality, alignment,
and organization)
• Examples-Braille Notetaker, Calculation Device,
Assistive Technology
Matching Category to Need
Timing and Scheduling
Setting Considerations
 Helpful to students who need
 Changes to the setting can benefit
additional or extended time
 Extra time may be needed by
students to process information,
write responses, or use special
devices or equipment
 Frequent breaks or extended
breaks may be helpful for students
with challenges remaining alert or
who are more productive at
certain times of day
students who are easily distracted
in large group settings and who
concentrate best in a small group
or individual setting
New Generation Assessments
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for
College and Career
National Center and State Collaborative
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for
College and Careers
PARCC states have committed to building a K-12 assessment system
 Builds a pathway to college and career readiness for all students,
 Creates high-quality assessments that measure the full range of the
 Supports educators in the classroom,
 Makes better use of technology in assessments, and
 Advances accountability at all levels.
National Center and State Collaborative
 Building an assessment system based on research-based
understanding of:
• technical quality of AA-AAS design
• formative and interim uses of assessment data
• summative assessments
• academic curriculum and instruction for students with significant
cognitive disabilities
• student learning characteristics and communication
• effective professional development

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