Reaching All Learners at Macintyre High School

It's a privilege to be able to visit your school and meet the staff and students who comprise your learning environment. My goal for the days I'm visiting your school again this year and next is to share with you the following four elements of learning that I feel will resonate well with your educational needs:

  • To engage the principles of Personalisation in the classroom, with particular reference to Universal Design for Learning;
  • To highlight examples of the utilisation of student Special Interests at school towards principles of Learning for Life;
  • To discuss ways of proactively addressing student Emotional Regulation needs referencing Zones of Regulation; and,
  • To workshop ways of implementing new Technology with regards to heightening pedagogical Accessibility

The following are resources that I mentioned in my talk, and will help you to follow-up on the considerations discussed. As well, at the bottom of this page are further resources from Day 2 of my work at your school, including apps discussed with the Multi-Categorical class, the Zones of Regulation program, and the whole school Positive Behaviour Support work I mentioned.

As a simple action plan regarding Universal Design for Learning to get started, I recommend the following:

  1. Look through the slides again from the talk, listen go the Todd Rose podcast below, and consider the idea that there are no students who can be defined as 'average' students, hence if we teach in a standardised way with a view to educating the 'average' student we are significantly missing out on the tremendous amount of variability in our classrooms. Consider the research that Benjamin Bloom conducted on fixed pace group instruction in the 1980s, and how only around 20% of students in the class are achieving mastery in these settings. We need to consider ways of designing our educational practice to teach to the edges of our classrooms, not to the averages. 
  2. Consider the Universal Design for Learning principles mentioned in the slides. Consider the three key principles: Multiple ways of engaging your students, multiple ways of representing information to your students, and providing multiples ways for students to represent their understanding. The team at CAST (Link: CAST - About Universal Design for Learning) have some excellent further information on this. Think about the next lesson you are going to teach - what is one principle that you can take from this and apply to your next lesson? I mentioned yesterday about that feeling of engagement that students felt in the Geography lesson I mentioned with regards to the game played at the end - sometimes this is a great starting point for considering engagement, What will capture the attention of all my students? Use this as your starting point.
  3. Reference the two resources I have uploaded below from 'Your UDL Lesson Planner' our by Patti Kelly Ralabate - they are excellent templates to help you plan your lessons with Universal Design for Learning built in. Make it a professional goal to use the 'Check In: Lesson Analysis' resource as part of your programming and professional reflection. 


As a simple action plan regarding Positive Behaviour Support to get started, I recommend the following:

  1. Look over the 'Zones of Regulation' program visual at the bottom of this page and consider how the consistent use of a share language that engages students in a reflection on: i) What 'zone' they are in, and ii) what strategy they can use to help regulate themselves to move into the 'green zone' (optimal learning / optimal emotional space). Like anything, the more we have students reflect upon their emotional state the better they become at recognising how they are feeling. And, the more we talk about and help students to practice strategies they can use when they are in an emotional state that is not serving them well, the better they will get at recognising how to regulate themselves into a state that is more emotionally successful. 
  2. Consider our 'Orange' form below as a document that could serve your Learning Support Team / Well Being team with regards to interpreting behavioural needs at school and providing a proactive method of supporting students to replace challenging behaviours with more appropriate behaviours. Consider the regularity with which you meet to discuss student behavioural needs and can talk as a team, with teachers of the students involved in the planning process, to proactively consider these strategies. When we are in the classroom and a challenging behaviour is occurring, it is often too late for us to get much traction on fixing the challenge there and then; our better course of action is to be reflective about the challenging behaviour and to take it to our Learning Support Team and strategise a proactive plan to meet with the student, discuss and address the communication deficit / skill deficit that is resulting in the challenging behaviour, and formulate a plan to address this. You'll find all the planning documents you need for this process on our Positive Behaviour Support website here:

Curious Minds podcast interviewing Todd Rose on the 'Myth of Average':


Jagged Profiles for Intelligence (From 'The End of Average' by Todd Rose):

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Compare Teaching Methods and UDL Strategies, from 'Your UDL Lesson Planner' by Patti Kelly Ralabate:

Characteristics of Japanese Blackboards (Ertle and Fernandez, 2001). Lesson Study Research Group.

Check-In: Lesson Analysis, from 'Your UDL Lesson Planner' by Patti Kelly Ralabate:

iPad Apps for Multi-Categorical Class

Evernote (Note Taking / Organisational Tool)

Book Creator (Content Creation / Story Builder)

Explain Everything (Annotate Presentations / Virtual Whiteboard)

Choiceworks (Visual Schedules / Choice Boards)

Choiceworks Calendar (Visual Calendar / Organisational Tool)

Exploring Emotions (Zones of Regulation app)


Remember your accessibility options in 'Settings' as well. Turn on 'Screen Speak' to allow students to highlight any text and have it read aloud. Use 'Siri' to allow students to dictate what they want said into the iPad. You can download a range of keyboards for your iPad as well, such as Lowercase Keyboard with its OpenDyslexic font, and Keedogo Plus

Zones of Regulation

Positive Behaviour Support

We have a range of resources available on our Positive Behaviour Support website (link) that will be beneficial to consider with regards to whole school Positive Behaviour Support planning. We like the term 'Behaviour Detectives' - teachers as behaviour detectives, proactively investigating the notion of 'all behaviour is a form of communication'. What are students trying to communicate when they exhibit a particular behaviour? What skill or need are they lacking that we need to teach them in order to support them? 

Our Orange Form is a great document to get started with, will would be a terrific template to use as part of your school Learning Support Team / Well Being team or similar to talk through student need through a 'behaviour detective' lens: