Monday, November 12, 2007

Universal Design for Learning and Math Manipulatives

Sitting in a three day workshop on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) gave me some time to reflect on the state of software development and the power of the Internet. The focus of the three day workshop was on helping teachers to remove barriers to math instruction (Grades 5-8) in the classroom. Using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model we were able to look carefully at textbooks and lessons and figure out ways that we could present math lessons so that we provide students with multiple mean of representing math concepts. As our workshop leaders from CAST were presenting the information they pointed us to various sites on the Internet that offered students the opportunity to work with virtual manipulatives. I was thinking that just a couple of years ago we would have been discussing the use of commercial software to meet our objectives but now we were focused on websites that offer a rich source of math manipulatives that students could work with to help them better understand and visualize math concepts. Tings have certainly changed in such a short period of time. Take a look at some of these websites to see whats there- you will be amazed!

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