December 17

Chapter 4- Making Curriculum Accessible Through Instructional Strategies and Accommodations

Wow! That was a long title!

UDL, RTI, Accommodations- this chapter gives a good overview of these three topics. I also loved the example given about a lesson that used UDL- the rock lesson. Oh how I wish every teacher taught in this way! It is so difficult to change the way teachers teach, especially when they typically do not attend Professional Development Sessionsto help improve their teaching techniques. Strictly paper/pencil tasks is just not supportive of all student needs.


In my district, we use the RTI model of 3-tiered instructional supports. It is how we structure the additional supports in our school. This year, we have a significant number of emotionally/behaviourally needy students in our primary classes- one student who is quite violent, one student who is a flight risk, another student who is both violent and a flight risk and a fourth student who is a risk to himself. Due to this, we have placed a large amount of support into these classrooms. Unfortunately, this leaves some of our other students in the intermediate wing less supported. How I wish our school and mostly, our district were funded adequately so that we were better able to meet the needs of our students.


Accommodations/adaptations is an area that is a real struggle for some of my colleagues to understand. They often get it and modifications mixed up. I really like the list that they have placed at the end of this chapter. Some of these I often forget to include on my IEPs, so it will be great to utilize this book when writing them next time.


Does your school/district use the RTI model of instructional support?

Is UDL being used effectively in your school? Do you, like me, have colleagues who are not utilizing this method for including all students, giving them all access to the curriculum?

Do you have any accommodations that are not on the list but might be helpful to others in the group?

Posted December 17, 2018 by tiebcmembers in category Inclusion in Action

3 thoughts on “Chapter 4- Making Curriculum Accessible Through Instructional Strategies and Accommodations

  1. Carla Lowther

    RTI was introduced to SD#60 many years ago. I was a classroom teacher back then. Unfortunately (at least in my opinion), it was introduced to us as “they way we are going to deal with students who demonstrate behaviour problems”. More recently, the RTI model has been used by LATs to help teachers determine what is in their classes with regards to academic needs, very much like the left side of Fig 4.1 on pg 42. At the school I was at for the last 4 years, we did this last year for some of the classes. We, as LATs, found it very useful for knowing which classes we needed to focus on.
    Our (LATs) issue was time: There was not enough time to do it academically for all 7 classes in the school academically let alone behaviourally. The campus I was mainly at rarely has severe behaviour students like most schools due to the way students are chosen for the other campus vs the main high school campus. However, many ‘interesting’ behaviours show themselves in the Gr. 10 campus: drawing all the time to avoid work, skipping certain classes, wasting time extraordinarily when they are supposed to be doing independent or group Project Based Learning, not being willing to understand that you really can and WILL fail classes and have to repeat them next year in Gr. 11 at the main campus.
    Like you, Sarah, I LOVE the examples of adaptations given in this chapter. I also LOVE how the author, on pg 43, explains how we would give a hearing impaired person a hearing aid so they can be successful. Those teachers who are against UDL just look at the LATs with a complete lack of understanding when you explain it in that way, or how those of us who do not have perfect vision wear glasses. Many of these teachers wear glasses! B/c it is not something like seeing or hearing, they struggle to understand why these students need different accommodations. I wish there was an easy way to help those teachers understand this.

  2. Debra Swain

    The quote, “All students benefit from instructional strategies that are responsive and inclusive” is a good motto. Also, Eredics description of how she structured her primary classroom around themes reflected the way many of my primary colleagues work. It was good to see these practices discussed in the book.

    The suggestions for differentiation were clear and again reflect current practice. I think it is helpful to see things in print and realize how much we are already doing.
    I also appreciated the straightforward language regarding targetted intervention when a student was struggling with academic or behavioral standards. Eredics states that the student will often receive support in class or in a resource room and in small groups or individually.
    Our District is beginning to use a more formal RTI and teachers are still learning about how the district is interpretting RTI.

  3. LeAnn

    In my previous school division in Alberta, we were using RTI. This worked very well in the elementary schools where class wide assessments in reading, writing, and math were given to determine who could really use more targeted instruction. This school division was given extra funds to have instructional learning coaches and intervention specialists to work with those with targeted needs. The premise was that if we can identify some of their learning needs early, and give them targeted interventions, and monitor the progress, then students will be more successful in the later grades. In theory, of course, this should work, but we quickly realized that we only have the students for a short time each day, and then they go home without any, or minimal support, follow through, or reinforcement.
    In my present school, we are getting better at using UDL more effectively. Just this week, I had to enlarge a periodic table for one student who had vision issues, and although he did not want to really use this tool, his classmates where quite eager to have a larger version of this table. This is the true meaning of UDL: make it accessible for one, and others may use it as well. This helps in a secondary school, particularly when students do not want to feel or look different. If others use the adapted tool, then why can’t others! Make it accessible for all! I think we do a good job accommodating for our students in most classrooms, and most teachers and EAs do this without realizing what it is they are doing. Lights are dimmed, visual reminders are posted, audio books are offered, alternate test schedules and placements are provided, prompts and cues are practiced.
    Our main resource for UDL is
    Check this site out for valuable ideas, and of course, check out the Shelley Moore website at


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