Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Erika Husby
    Guest
    Post count: 98

    Hi all,

    I’m going to be very honest here about my frustrations during this course. I hope I can give my honest feedback, coming from a place of care and concern for my students and adult education as a whole. I always appreciate opportunities to reflect and discuss equity in general and UDL specifically. However, at the same time that we are having these theoretical discussions, I’m feeling bombarded by pressure to use corporate curriculum such as Burlington English that does NOT align with equity or UDL values and pressure to teach to the standardized tests my students have to take which are directly against the principles of equity and UDL. ICCB is responsible for determining funding for programs based on students’ standardized test scores, and is also telling me about equity. That doesn’t seem right to me. Standardized tests like CASAS and Best Plus are NOT equitable. Students have a variety of physical disabilities as well as other factors that hamper their ability to produce level gains. Many of the materials we are given to use do not align with the principles of UDL, focusing almost entirely on producing correct answers, instead of learning from students’ contributions.

    I also want to add, I teach a very beginner level of ESL. I would love to have more resources and suggestions, or even time to discuss how we can practice UDL principles in a lower level class. All of the activities or templates we were given required students to read and write. My students don’t read or write in English, and some don’t read or write in any language. I’m also not able to discuss theoretical principles of equity with my students because they don’t have that level of vocabulary in English. I absolutely think that it’s possible to find ways to practice metacognition and elicit student feedback and provide information in different ways, but I wish that if I’m going to take a course on this, I’ll get more support in how to actually do this. I feel like we spent more time discussing the fact that equity is important, instead of discussing what that actually looks like in our classrooms.

    I know that working in educational institutions always means working within contradictions of material reality and theoretical goals. But it just seems TOO contradictory that ICCB is both promoting equity, and determining funding for programming based on testing metrics.

    Hilary Johnson
    Guest
    Post count: 98

    Erika,

    Having read your response and having come from a Counselor role in this adult education program, I absolutely understand your frustrations. I am in contact with many students in many different classes, given my role and I see what you are saying on a daily basis. We have students that can grasp the information being given to them and then completely fail on a standardized test. We are also seeing significant improvements in other aspects of their lives that are not generally taken into consideration. The gains they make in other areas are just as important as the ones that they make on a standardized test, in my opinion. Thank you for your honesty.

    Hilary

    Julie Kletzing
    Guest
    Post count: 98

    Erika,
    You’re right, it is hard to see all of a student’s talents and skills from a standardized test. Especially if they are reading and writing tests. But any type of test only reflects part of a student possibilities.
    Just a couple of ideas on UDL for low-level students, though you may very well already be using these– lots and lots of visuals, symbols, images. Vidoes. Scaffolding with sentence starters and step-by-step instructions. Activating prior knowledge with simple questions. Kinesthetic activities such as flashcards and creating posters with colors.

    Amy Elston
    Guest
    Post count: 98

    Erika,
    What you said is so valid. I teach ABE/ASE language arts, and my experience is different. I feel I have many opportunities to include UDL, while staying standards aligned and preparing students for the exams. I would encourage you to sign up for the Equity Institute. I did this course and equity institute last spring. (I asked to join this cohort and do both again, because I was very overwhelmed with other commitments in the spring and did not feel like I gave all this the attention it needed). During the Equity Institute I felt like I had many opportunities to incorporate UDL and many discussions about ways to do it. I would encourage you to sign up for the institute, because I feel you will have more opportunities to see how it can be incorporated into your ESL class there. But please know I hear you, and it is frustrating when we feel pulled in different directions, when ultimately we just want to see our students succeed.

    SIPDC
    Guest
    Post count: 98

    Erika,

    Thanks for expressing yourself and sharing your concerns. We, as trainers, need to have this information shared in order to be able to provide you with the best assistance and support possible. For the sake of response, let’s divide your concerns into areas we can control and/or help you with and those that we would welcome further conversation but are beyond our sphere of influence.

    The course you just completed, Foundations of Designing for Equity and Access for ALL Learners, is what the title suggests: foundational concepts. As stated in the course description, “This hybrid course focuses on a definition of equity and creating a new lens to view ourselves, our learners, and our learning environments” and “begins an introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL).” Now that we are aware of your desire to infuse more than a foundational approach to UDL in your classroom, we are looking forward to more discussion and opportunities. We have two options to support you in this desire. One is the Equity Institute: Designing for Equity in Action through UDL. This is a deeper dive into lesson planning while integrating UDL. Here is the application: <a href=”https://forms.gle/BA6yLqcboUH4GgCm7&#8243;

    In addition, we will reach out to you to schedule a time to brainstorm specific ideas for your classroom and your learners. As we told everyone in the training, we can talk about UDL all day long and welcome opportunities to help our teachers infuse more UDL into their classrooms.Thanks for sharing with us your desire for further conversation and application.

    Also, we hope that you saw the link below that is in the Final Assignment area. It was designed for low-level ESL Learners that may need visuals rather than text. Again, it was meant to be adaptable as well. We thought your design was quite effective, but we did read your comment about how you wished there had been a template for lower-level ESL learners.

    https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/3267377/files/154082587?wrap=1

    An additional support coming soon is a lesson plan repository for teachers to share their best lesson plan ideas that are standards based AND infuse UDL. This initiative was born out of the exceptional work we get to see from Illinois teachers completing assignments in our Equity Institute as well as in the Standards Proficient training.

    One last opportunity to continue the conversation is participation in the Equity Learning Community that will be meeting virtually beginning early next year. Our vision is to have means to share resources and ideas and provide insights to ICCB on how we would like the equity mission to be fulfilled in Illinois Adult Education. More to come on this soon.

    We are looking forward to continuing the conversation.

    SIPDC
    Guest
    Post count: 98

    Erika,

    Thanks for expressing yourself and sharing your concerns. We, as trainers, need to have this information shared in order to be able to provide you with the best assistance and support possible. For the sake of response, let’s divide your concerns into areas we can control and/or help you with and those that we would welcome further conversation but are beyond our sphere of influence.

    The course you just completed, Foundations of Designing for Equity and Access for ALL Learners, is what the title suggests: foundational concepts. As stated in the course description, “This hybrid course focuses on a definition of equity and creating a new lens to view ourselves, our learners, and our learning environments” and “begins an introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL).” Now that we are aware of your desire to infuse more than a foundational approach to UDL in your classroom, we are looking forward to more discussion and opportunities. We have two options to support you in this desire. One is the Equity Institute: Designing for Equity in Action through UDL. This is a deeper dive into lesson planning while integrating UDL. Here is the application: https://forms.gle/BA6yLqcboUH4GgCm7

    In addition, we will reach out to you to schedule a time to brainstorm specific ideas for your classroom and your learners. As we told everyone in the training, we can talk about UDL all day long and welcome opportunities to help our teachers infuse more UDL into their classrooms.Thanks for sharing with us your desire for further conversation and application.

    Also, we hope that you saw the link below that is in the Final Assignment area. It was designed for low-level ESL Learners that may need visuals rather than text. Again, it was meant to be adaptable as well. We thought your design was quite effective, but we did read your comment about how you wished there had been a template for lower-level ESL learners.

    https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/3267377/files/154082587?wrap=1

    An additional support coming soon is a lesson plan repository for teachers to share their best lesson plan ideas that are standards based AND infuse UDL. This initiative was born out of the exceptional work we get to see from Illinois teachers completing assignments in our Equity Institute as well as in the Standards Proficient training.

    One last opportunity to continue the conversation is participation in the Equity Learning Community that will be meeting virtually beginning early next year. Our vision is to have means to share resources and ideas and provide insights to ICCB on how we would like the equity mission to be fulfilled in Illinois Adult Education. More to come on this soon.

    We are looking forward to continuing the conversation.

    Tara Schwab and Sarah Goldammer
    Guest
    Post count: 98

    Erika,

    Thanks for expressing yourself and sharing your concerns. We, as trainers, need to have this information shared in order to be able to provide you with the best assistance and support possible. For the sake of response, let’s divide your concerns into areas we can control and/or help you with and those that we would welcome further conversation but are beyond our sphere of influence.

    The course you just completed, Foundations of Designing for Equity and Access for ALL Learners, is what the title suggests: foundational concepts. As stated in the course description, “This hybrid course focuses on a definition of equity and creating a new lens to view ourselves, our learners, and our learning environments” and “begins an introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL).” Now that we are aware of your desire to infuse more than a foundational approach to UDL in your classroom, we are looking forward to more discussion and opportunities. We have two options to support you in this desire. One is the Equity Institute: Designing for Equity in Action through UDL. This is a deeper dive into lesson planning while integrating UDL. Here is the application: https://forms.gle/BA6yLqcboUH4GgCm7

    In addition, we will reach out to you to schedule a time to brainstorm specific ideas for your classroom and your learners. As we told everyone in the training, we can talk about UDL all day long and welcome opportunities to help our teachers infuse more UDL into their classrooms.Thanks for sharing with us your desire for further conversation and application.

    Also, we hope that you saw the link below that is in the Final Assignment area. It was designed for low-level ESL Learners that may need visuals rather than text. Again, it was meant to be adaptable as well. We thought your design was quite effective, but we did read your comment about how you wished there had been a template for lower-level ESL learners.

    https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/3267377/files/154082587?wrap=1

    An additional support coming soon is a lesson plan repository for teachers to share their best lesson plan ideas that are standards based AND infuse UDL. This initiative was born out of the exceptional work we get to see from Illinois teachers completing assignments in our Equity Institute as well as in the Standards Proficient training.

    One last opportunity to continue the conversation is participation in the Equity Learning Community that will be meeting virtually beginning early next year. Our vision is to have means to share resources and ideas and provide insights to ICCB on how we would like the equity mission to be fulfilled in Illinois Adult Education. More to come on this soon.

    We are looking forward to continuing the conversation.

    Sarah Goldammer
    Guest
    Post count: 98

    Erika,

    Thanks for expressing yourself and sharing your concerns. We, as trainers, need to have this information shared in order to be able to provide you with the best assistance and support possible. For the sake of response, let’s divide your concerns into areas we can control and/or help you with and those that we would welcome further conversation but are beyond our sphere of influence.

    The course you just completed, Foundations of Designing for Equity and Access for ALL Learners, is what the title suggests: foundational concepts. As stated in the course description, “This hybrid course focuses on a definition of equity and creating a new lens to view ourselves, our learners, and our learning environments” and “begins an introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL).” Now that we are aware of your desire to infuse more than a foundational approach to UDL in your classroom, we are looking forward to more discussion and opportunities. We have two options to support you in this desire. One is the Equity Institute: Designing for Equity in Action through UDL. This is a deeper dive into lesson planning while integrating UDL. Here is the application: https://forms.gle/BA6yLqcboUH4GgCm7

    In addition, we will reach out to you to schedule a time to brainstorm specific ideas for your classroom and your learners. As we told everyone in the training, we can talk about UDL all day long and welcome opportunities to help our teachers infuse more UDL into their classrooms .Thanks for sharing with us your desire for further conversation and application.

    Also, we hope that you saw the link below that is in the Final Assignment area. It was designed for low-level ESL Learners that may need visuals rather than text. Again, it was meant to be adaptable as well. We thought your design was quite effective, but we did read your comment about how you wished there had been a template for lower-level ESL learners.

    https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/3267377/files/154082587?wrap=1

    An additional support coming soon is a lesson plan repository for teachers to share their best lesson plan ideas that are standards based AND infuse UDL. This initiative was born out of the exceptional work we get to see from Illinois teachers completing assignments in our Equity Institute as well as in the Standards Proficient training.

    One last opportunity to continue the conversation is participation in the Equity Learning Community that will be meeting virtually beginning early next year. Our vision is to have means to share resources and ideas and provide insights to ICCB on how we would like the equity mission to be fulfilled in Illinois Adult Education. More to come on this soon.

    We are looking forward to continuing the conversation.
    Sarah & Tara

    kim hemphill
    Guest
    Post count: 98

    Having taught lower levels for 7 years, I find that a way to create equity in the classroom is to supplement the book with different activities that involve different senses such as sight, hearing, feeling (emotional and physical) and movement. Also I sense a pace to go with the students. Although the book and CASAS are not really equitable, they have some value in measurement, but they’re not the whole picture, so I supplement.

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