While assessing lesson plans, it is helpful to use a Universal Design for Learning guideline checklist. The lesson plan I assessed, was written when I student taught in a second grade classroom. The lesson was used to teach the students in the area of health and fitness, specifically teaching them how to eat a healthy breakfast and why it is important to do so. Students were shown pictures and charts given within the curriculum, as well as created a healthy breakfast food poster. The students were given pictures (already laminated and placed on the board) and were to choose their favorite breakfast food. They then taped the picture of the food on the poster, and as a class, the students discussed how they could enhance the food to make it healthier and provide themselves with energy to last throughout their morning. For example, if one student chose yogurt as their breakfast food, peers might suggest adding granola and/or fruit to the yogurt to make it healthier and to keep their stomachs more full, as opposed to just eating the yogurt plain.
After I assessed the lesson plan using the UDL guidelines, I realized I had no use of technology within the lesson plan. Although a SmartBoard, student laptops, and a teacher laptop are provided by the district, none of them were used within the lesson. For that reason, I added all of these forms of technology to enhance the lesson plan and to engage student learning. Along with using the posters and charts provided with the curriculum, I added the use of the SmartBoard; using it to show students pictures of healthy foods and demonstrations of exercises they can do to keep healthy. After the class activity was complete, I had the students use their laptops to complete healthy food games and activities on a website. This not only adds technology, but also keeps students engaged in the lesson by giving them an activity to complete that not only catches their eye, but also pertains to the subject matter.
After completing an assessment on a lesson plan, I realized how important it is to add technology into every lesson. Technology adds variety, class discussions, student engagement, and gives students access to tools they may not have access to outside of the classroom. Technology also gives all types of learners the opportunity to learn.