Final Project UDL

Dear Dr Wendy , Andrew ,  DR. Diane and colleages I have posted my UDL final project on the note taking site. The project is submited in two documents. The traditional plan and the UDL plan because I couldn’t put them in one file . The tables would be disordered.


Differentiation and UDL

Luna Nasrallah

Week 15- UD and other theories or Approaches

April 24, 2012


Universal design is having curriculum planning, strategy and materials in place in advance to meet the needs of all learners. It should ensure that the classroom and other learning environments and strategies can be used and are accessible for students as possible by meeting their different needs, age, abilities because some of them are low achievers, or brilliant and others struggle in reading, writing, and math or even lack motivation or have other difficulties and problems.

Curriculum tells teachers what to teach, while differentiated instruction tells teachers how to teach it to a range of learners by employing a variety of teaching approaches using accommodations through technology, materials, sequences and procedures to help a learner be successful in the classroom.

Differentiation is when all of these strategies are applied to the instruction for all learners in the classroom and are incorporated in the curriculum with planning processes and examples that could be provided and applied to the students, teaching and learning situations. “To differentiate instruction is to recognize students’ varying background knowledge, readiness, language, preferences in learning and interests; and to react responsively. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is and assisting in the learning process.” As Hal Nicole, Strangman and Anne Meyer indicated in their report “Differentiated Instruction and Implications for UDL Implementation Effective Classroom Practices.”

The theory behind differentiated instruction comes from the views of Vygotsky (1980).

According to Vygotsky, social context and the interactions of the student within that social

Context plays a fundamental role in the acquisition of knowledge. Students in their “zone of

Proximal development” can, with assistance, resolve a problem that they could not have

Resolved alone and move on to another level of knowledge.

When teachers provide dynamic, flexible and clear instructions while scaffolding students and monitoring them through collaborative work, they could implement UDL, because when children mingle and work in a social context they can exchange information and use different strategies of learning. Working in small group instruction, literary circles, investigation groups using multiple intelligences such spatial, kinesthetic, tactile, audio visuals or technology such as wikies, blogs and internet enable students to access learning from different perspectives and choose the strategy that fit their abilities and methods of learning.

The teacher can differentiate one or a number of the following elements in any classroom learning situation (Tomlinson, 2004):

• The content or what the students are going to learn, in other words, the concepts that the teachers should deliver to students. The content should address in the same concepts to all the students but level of complexity should be adjusted and accommodated according to the needs and diversity of students.

• The processes or activities and the procedures that the teacher is going to engage students in should be flexible and variable; she could deliver the main idea to the whole class, then divide them in small groups and coach their work and assess their progress.

• The products or the practice and accomplishment that follow the learning period and  the ongoing assessment to the students’ progress by assessing them before delivering the content, while and after the completion of the learning process.

To sum up, I can say that the differentiations and UDL are integrated and are not separable because you can’t use UDL without differentiations and also if you differentiate that means you follow UDL. Though UDL is designed in advance to meet the needs of different student diversion after studying the environment, background of the students and their readiness to study, whereas the differentiation in instruction is embedded in the curriculum and ready to be used, but when the teachers adjust them and don’t apply them literary as they are they could be universal.

I would like to raise this question: Are all the teachers able to meet the needs of the students as some of the teachers have some special needs that need to be met?



The Report of the Expert Panel on Literacy and Numeracy Instruction for Students with Special Education Needs, Kindergarten to Grade 6 (2005)

National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC) Differentiated Instruction and Implications for UDL Implementation Effective Classroom Practices Report By Tracey Hall, Nicole Strangman, and Anne Meyer








Visual Imagery

Week 11 Reflection :

In Ch.2 ” the Nature and Power Of Image”  Barry tackled a very impressive issue which has various angles to look at. All the civilizations and cultures were manifested through symbols and images,even the languages. People get to know about other values, attitudes and life styles by perceiving the images that depict their daily life and the experiences that they pass through. Images express feelings, facts and emotions in a much further aspect. If two persons look at the same picture they can have different conceptions that are related to their experiences, visual and mental image.If we try to verbalize the paintings of Picasso as an example everyone will describe them from his perception of his own life but at the same time  he couldn’t capture the genuine picture through words.

I will quote what T.S. Eliot said in his masterpiece” The Four Quartets ” images not words that communicate deeply” and I would like to add my own expression that ” images are louder than Speech” because images are more profound and deep and they are a way of better communication. I agree with the idea that says that images are a kind of multimedia display because through the picture you can use your multiple intelligence to interpret what you see, touch, smell, hear from the image in a way that it gives you a comprehensive idea about the whole scene ,also you can use your creativity in relating it to your own world and other cultures and conceptions.

Some people aren’t able to visualize or see pictures through their imaginations . Once I was  doing a relaxation exercise by imagining a safe and quiet place. In this activity I was able to relief and sooth my feelings after along tiring day. Not by dreaming but by moving to a better place through visualization. When I tried to help my worried and stressed friend by applying this techniques, she was unable to imagine anything and whenever she closed her eyes , it was very hard even impossible to her to imagine anything as she said . This incident gives me an insight that it isn’t the same with everybody, maybe I used to picture things and perceive them in my mind or maybe the stress of my friend was so overwhelming that it hinders her imagination.

In Gerland-Thomson article, he presented different kinds of images for persons with disabilities to show that disability is a culturally fabricated narrative of the body, similar to what we understand as fictions of race and gender.I do believe that some advertisements, mass media and propaganda exploit the pictures of some persons for political, social, economical and personal purposes, especially when they look for Donner or sponsorship or when they want to be elected or nominated for a specific position. This fact implies high stigma and dehumanization in some respects that show normal people and persons with special needs as  materials and substances for promotion. On the other hand some images manifest the creativeness of some of these persons when they challenge the hardships and obstacles of their lives and surpass the difficulties by proving their capabilities and talents in achieving  their goals and fulfilling their dreams and ambitions.

Week Eleven : Technology Lab ” You Tube, Vimeo” Podcast/ vodcasts

YouTube and vimeo for  videos are used to retrieve multimedia content, and to ease browsing and exploration of media collections. I use You Tube in some of my presentations and training courses as a source for manifesting an interview,  Eng. lessons , author talks, documentary films, video films and any other educational purposes like showing different instructional strategies and visual aids or explaining natural phenomena like hurricane, earthquakes etc…Using digital videos that trigger students learning and exploration  embedded in blogs within our learning system ” blackboard” is very beneficial in which they increase students participation and promote reflective learning and on-line collaboration and engage students in the tech-learning resources at our schools.

According to the Podcast , it is a new technology for me and I was glad to explore its uses. It is online audio content that is delivered  via an RSS feed . Pod-casting gives far more options than radio does. Listeners can determine the time and place. They also decide the programs they want to receive .Podcasting can be used for :

* Self – Guided Walking Tours

* Music

*Talk Shows

* Story Telling

It is good for the blind students.

Here are some useful sites:

Podcasting Tools –


Podcast Alley –


PodcastBunker –


Podcasting News –

Vodcasts is used in the Flipped class, teaching lessons online without attending classes and students respond to the assignment online.

Lesson Planning with UD

Luna Says: March 17,2012

(Knoll, 2008) discussed the idea of ” creating smaller cohort” in which the instructor can work with student-peer facilitators who are familiar with his course and universal design and accommodation” interdependence” and can provide the students with the guidelines of the course on a blog and help in the preparation of the class setting and environment . This method is connected with the theory of apprenticeship( Vygotsky, 1978) that is contingent on social interaction and cultural settings in which individuals share experience and gradually the teacher can release responsibility and students can depend on themselves through the small groups. I think it is a great idea that makes the students acquire the knowledge and practice in the teaching- learning process and be part of the curricular instructions in and out school . This strategy enablse them to participate in some decisions on how to access information and the best methods to learn using different kinds of resources and techniques that meet the needs of students abilities and mentalities.

In Rose & Meyer(2002) they represented the importance of setting the goals and the restricts of the standards. I do believe that setting the goals is essential for teachers especially when they consider the differentiation of instructions and the various levels of the students . The goals should be flexible and manipulative in a way that help the students and teachers to achieve them through many methods. This target should not only depend on the print texts and content because the standard instructions limit deep thinking and creativity as it depends on one path. The issue is not only content coverage and some principles and rules to be explained to the students , the gifted teacher can use UD strategies in her class and enable the students to access the information through  the internet, on line resources, blogs, digital texts,images , sounds,media, videos etc….

Meanwhile, she can coach her students and assess their progress with necessary feedback lest not to be confused with the so many information.

In The Staff at Cast.(2006) the authors provided so many examples of UD instructions in teaching geography and social studies, what I liked is the idea of being independent in seeking the adequate accommodation for your school or class and not waiting for a solution from the institutions. Using the digital texts in reading comprehension, changing the texts into braille system, audio or large print for the disabled students is a UD . The idea of mandate accountability and  NCLB is an efficient procedure if the educators keep assessing all the students using the same measurements but at the same time include the students with special needs in school instructions and curricula.





RR Week 7

Luna Nasrallah

Feb 25, 2012

Reading Reflection week 7


Davidson. N. (2011) in her book “Now you see it” Ch. 5 manifested a very crucial and significant issue which is learning through playing.  She highlighted the idea of “Creative Productions Offer instructions” in Mr. German’s class as he applied some kind of real –world experience and succeeded in converting the abstract concepts into concrete trying to soothe the rigidity of the standardized tests by applying flexible approaches.

This technique proved its efficacy at classes by indulging and engaging every student in the project of the lesson giving everyone a task and working in a team soul in collaboration leading each challenge to another challenge not failure. I do believe that this way was successful with my students in which every student felt proud of his capability in pushing the work to reach the peak even if his portion is so small and his abilities are limited but their effect is great. By working together students can compete to show their talents because they are not under spot and can try many times and change their plan with alternatives, analyze measure, repair, revise and get feedback from peers and thrive for perfection but not give up.

Mrs. Davidson focused on Game Mechanics and she discussed the different researches and points of views about video games. Using the strategies of these games as a method of learning, is awesome and of great value when we learn from bottom up, work with diversity, immerse with different talents, assess and solve difficult problems. But the big question do our students always use these games for this purpose? Isn’t it a way to hide from the society, and close your room for many long hours dealing with the world of technology forgetting about your duties, family or even your health when you don’t set at your table for having your meals? You don’t have such problems with your kids! aren’t they addicted in a way that even their mind still thinking of the game after quitting, you will say ok, this game makes him think of some solutions , yes it’s accredit but what about real life with family ! Do we have to be addicted and segregated from the real life! What about outdoors activities, sport, meeting friends, enjoying nature and more and more questions. Moreover the nervous system will always be alerted and goes to the extremes while focusing ultimately, shooting, running or chasing your goal. For these reasons and more video games is a coin with two faces that we should examine, study, negotiate and evaluate at a national and international basis because they shape the coming life of our new generations.

Chisholm, W., & May, M. (2009) Ch. 1&2 tackle the subject of Universal Design and that it  should be incorporated in everyday life and must comprise the whole community and especially people with disabilities. Everyone has a different disability , maybe he is not sociable, has readings difficulties, weakness in muscles or movements, he stutters , he is partially blind etc…Nobody is without a disability of different sort, so if any tech- company or project will exclude people with disabilities he should stop inventing new devices from now because he will exclude the whole community. IPod, I pad webs, links, wiki and any new invention should think of facilities, strategies that enable people to access and make use of in their work, study, food, health and transportations services because these improved devices are blessing in terms of communications, working and reaching the outside world. Imagine your life without mobile or IPhone or internet, I bit you will feel lost and isolated. Let’s work hand in hand to defend our rights in accessing these devises and using them for everybody’s welfare.


Technology Lab ” Survey Monkey” & Online Portfolios


Technology Lab week 5

Survey Monkey & Portfolios

Both of the links are new to me though I completed some surveys that were sent to me from some students completing their higher education, and according to Portfolios I have general information about how to do a portfolio from my adviser and colleagues but this is the first time I visit the sight on line.

In Survey Monkey I watched some videos in YouTube about its function and usage and I found that scholars, students, companies, advertisements can use this link to input some information, questionnaire about the survey that they want to use in their study, collect information and data and use the CSV or SPP programs to analyze their data according to the size of the sample and they come up with the ratio and the analysis of the results.

If you want to create surveys and polls for free and to be a customer you can access the above links.

You can watch some videos on you tube if you want some tutorials or to do business or to investigate about your health, DNA or genes.

One of the good sites that I found beneficial is five steps to a better Portfolio by Jeffery Veen in which she explains about how to design a good portfolio:

I found one of the most significant sites for my teaches that I administer entitled “ samples professional teaching portfolios  in which it has some techniques about classroom management, rules, centers, assignments, activities, best strategies in teaching and so many valuable information.






Reading Reflection # 4 week %

Luna Nasrallah

Reading Reflection # 4 week 5

Feb 11, 2012

UDL Principle 2 and assessment

     Rose, D. H & Myer, A. (2002) discussed the issue of accuracy assessment progress in terms of fairness and differentiations in testing mediums. Assessment is an inherent process that teachers should tackle and perform accurately especially in an inclusive class that comprises different abilities, talents and disabilities. The idea of imbedded assessment  is an old new criteria in which teachers used to assess students loud reading ,check their mistakes, give necessary feedback  and jot down grades, also when they give some excerpts to dictate students they use peer correction, self-correction  , Moreover some quizzes that are given at the end of the lesson are checked at class by teachers and the correct answers are written on the board for students to copy, even while writing an essay or a piece of composition teachers give instant feedback and students make their necessary adjustments. The new technique is embedded in digital curriculum in which students prompts and responses can be placed within content and stored in their computer to be viewed and analyzed .The thinking Reader Self check with its five levels became an alternative monitor and guide for the teacher who used to go around students and explain every instruction for anyone who couldn’t cope with the rest. I think it is cool because it facilitates the job of a teacher.

Salend, S (2009). “Using technology to create and administer accessible tests”, tackled the same issue of Rose and Myer broadly when he demonstrated a research by a general educator, a special educator and an IT teacher who suggested the idea of Technology based testing, in this research they highlighted the idea of differentiating not only in instructions using technology, digitized texts, talking word processors, Braille versions, FM and wireless technology for different students’ needs and disabilities but also utilizing technology in assessing and testing students in a way that suits every need. This project is a comprehensive scheme that exerts a lot of effort, consumes time and money, apparently it seems fair and practical but if anyone studies it thoroughly he will find that it implies many obstacles, like students, devices, contents and teachers preparations. These elements may hinder some of technology performances but as a matter of fact and in near future I predict that the whole education system will be digitized and students will depend on self-study that the curricula will be directed and controlled by technology.

Thousand, J.S., Villa, R. A., & Nevin, A.I.   “Differentiating and assessing the product of learning” focused on teachers’ accountability not only to administer and interpret high stakes tests but they are also responsible to convey the products of learning to all students with different diversities, cultures, students who study English as a second language, gifted and talented and students of poverty. This mission comprises meeting the needs of these different mentalities that teachers encounter and deal with daily and permanently. The idea of Townsend (2002) that indicates no teacher should be left behind with respect to knowing how to design and evaluate culturally and responsive methods is of great value since the teacher differentiates in structure and strategies to pave the road for every student to overcome the impediments and stumps that face him through learning. This subject leads me to assert the importance of Zone of Proximal Development that plays a big role in improving the students’ achievements and progress. While I was teaching I used the idea of reciprocal scaffolding and co- teaching among peers and found that it was very beneficial and even better than teacher scaffolding students in terms of following instructions and completing tasks because the students feel more relaxed and therefore can behave naturally with his peer especially if they are mates and feel free to ask him any question or clarifications. While when dealing with his teacher he is more tensed and behaves in a formal way. This strategy was very beneficial and rewarding at class and in tests results.