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Making the Common Core Writing Standards Accessible Through Universal Design for Learning

Making the Common Core Writing Standards Accessible Through Universal Design for Learning

With Contributions by Nancy Aguinaga

Additional resources:

June 2015 | 184 pages | Corwin

Unlock hidden writing skills in all learners through UDL!
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for writing are promising but present a host of challenges in implementation, especially for struggling students. In this valuable resource, Sally A. Spencer demonstrates the potential of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a framework for making the CCSS writing and language standards accessible to all kids. Educators who utilize these strategies will know:

  • How to leverage the strengths of students to optimize writing instruction and overcome their weaknesses
  • The ways UDL can minimize the roadblocks in CCSS implementation
  • How to - and how not to - use technology to teach writing and language conventions

With dozens of classroom-ready activities, resources for further reading, and reproducibles, this easy-to-use guide will help you make all students proficient writers.

About the Author
1. The Big Deal About Writing
2. Strolling Through the Standards
3. Universal Design for Learning
4. Engagement
5. Representation (Part One)
6. Representation (Part Two)
7. Action and Expression
8. Closing Thoughts


"This is a wonderful, engaging, and encouraging book that provides the knowledge and resources that teachers will need to reach higher standards in writing for all of their students. Most importantly, Spencer and Aguinaga, with the clear voices of experienced teachers, show how to reach those higher standards not by trying to standardize students but by opening new pathways to success."

David H. Rose
Founder and Chief Education Officer, Center for Applied Special Technology

"So many times teaching publications are designed and written for the “in a perfect world” classroom. As a special education teacher I am so excited to see a book that acknowledges, up front, that there are students with special needs in almost every classroom and provides the skills and strategies necessary to make EVERY student successful. These skills and strategies are not another "thing” for the teachers to do, they are a method of teaching that is more effective for everyone."

Elaine Dalke, Elementary Teacher
Henry W. Sory Elementary

"This is one of the most relatable and relevant teaching books I have read. It is packed with practical ideas, solid background information, and several resources. It is perfect for any teacher struggling to help students with a variety of needs achieve the goals set by the CCSS."

Kristin Striebel, Teacher
Francis Howell School District

"This is the ultimate guide to successful UDL implementation, with ready-to- use activities and resources that support the Common Core Writing Standards for students in all grades. Energize your classroom with this practical guide that engages all learners and helps you plan your lessons with ease. This is a must-have for all teachers!"

Renee Bernhardt, Ed.S Curriculum and Instruction-Learning Support
Cherokee County School District

"Kudos to the author for addressing and uniting four heavy-duty instructional concerns–UDL, CCSS, writing instruction, and meeting the needs of struggling learners–in one easy-to-read book. This book enables pre- and in-service teachers to make sense of the issues at hand and effectively deliver writing and language instruction to struggling learners using UDL strategies while incorporating the CCSS."

Amy F. Conner Love, Assistant Professor, Special Education
Clarion University of Pennsylvania

"This is a much needed addition to the “toolbox” that teachers need to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse universe of students in the most demanding educational environment that schools have been called on to address. Along with reading and math, writing skills are essential to the life of all students."

J. David Smith, Professor Emeritus
University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University

"The author of this book knows what teachers want!  She understands that teachers do not have a lot of extra time and experience a lot of pressure from districts and state departments to enhance learning for all students.  Making The Common Core Writing Standards Accessible Through Universal Design For Learning is quick, practical, teacher-friendly, and has easy-to-implement strategies for immediate use in your classroom!"

Rachel Spenner, 6th Grade Literacy Teacher
Westridge Elementary School

"This book is a must have resource for any teacher facing the challenge of meeting the Common Core Writing Standards with diverse learners!  Not only is it chock full of ready to use strategies, technology tips, graphic organizers, and teaching techniques, but it models Universal Design for Learning tenants by offering multiple ways to obtain and understand the concepts and ideas.  Written in an engaging style, with anecdotes from teachers and students, each chapter is highly engaging with strategies you will want to implement immediately. Thanks Sally for such a wonderful guide for all educators!"

Mary Schillinger, Assistant Superintendent Education
Las Virgenes Unified School District

"The best starting point for teachers of all types of students is the idea that we must meet children where they are and push them in their own personal path to greatness. No matter what a child’s capacity, challenge, or ability, it is our task to engage them, educate them, support them, and unlock the unique potential within each of them. With clear, accessible strategies and a plethora of useful tools and direction, Dr. Sally Spencer’s book beautifully illuminates how teachers can do precisely that. I’m a better teacher today for having read it."

Rebecca Mieliwocki, English Teacher
2012 National Teacher of the Year

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents


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ISBN: 9781483369471

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