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Building Fluencies with Graduated Levels of Support for Practice and Performance in Universal Design for Learning

Building fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance is a universal design for learning (UDL) guideline that supports multiple means of action and expression. The UDL guidelines were developed by an organization called CAST. This article will explore how teachers and other educators can support learners at different levels of fluency.

Building fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance in Universal Design for Learning

Building fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance means helping learners gain the skills they will need to keep learning later in life. For example, these skills include:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Learning through their senses, including:
    • Audibly
    • Visually

Learners will need varying levels of support as they gradually gain each of these skills.

Teachers can use many strategies for building fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance. For instance, teachers can provide models showing learners how to understand a scene from a play in different ways, such as:

  • Closely reading and interpreting certain lines
  • Acting out the scene
  • Viewing a film version
  • Drawing

Likewise, teachers can invite colleagues or tutors to demonstrate performing tasks in different ways. For example, the classroom teacher might solve a math problem with equations. Conversely, others might demonstrate different strategies, such as:

  • Graphs
  • Diagrams
  • Sentences
  • Models

Learners observing these different methods can choose the ones that work best for them, and focus on gaining skill in those strategies.

Teachers and guest presenters can also provide learners with different types and levels of feedback. For example, some software programs for reading and math gradually decrease support as learners gain skill. Similarly, teachers can provide their own individualized feedback based on each learner’s progress. For instance, learners interpreting art or music may need detailed feedback at first reminding them what to look or listen for. Later, learners may need feedback focusing on how to analyze or synthesize what they have seen or heard.