UDL Principle - Provide Multiple Means of Representation
Guideline 3 - Provide Options for Comprehension
Have you ever stumbled across a fluent reader that has almost no comprehension? The high fluency reader isn't usually the one we think of as lacking comprehension. We have to be careful because they can slip through the cracks. It can sometimes be difficult to think about the student that might be reading the most books in class as the one with almost no comprehension. So what do we do? If you are using the Universal Design for Learning Framework, then it is built in.
Part of framing a new lesson or unit is building the background knowledge of our learners. The UDL Framework guides us through it by using checkpoint 3.1 (http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle1#principle1_g3)
So to make the learning accessible and more likely to be assimilated we must "prime, activate and provide prerequisite knowledge."
A lot of our learners do not have the experiences, or the background knowledge that we would expect. So we need to plan from the start to build and activate the learner's background knowledge. A book you may want to consider reading is "The Book Whisperer" by Donalyn Miller. She talks about how important it is for us as teachers to model good reading and make sure students have the time to read during the school day. She challenges her students to read 40 books during their school year with her.
So as you design your unit or lesson, be sure to consult the UDL Framework for specific examples, such as using KWL Charts, or Concept Maps. Many teachers find using analogies and metaphors work well to bridge the concepts as a winning strategy.
*CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author. *
Miller, Donalyn, and Jeff Anderson. The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009. Print.
A person that has invested in the lives of others through many avenues including education.