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How can we ensure our lesson plans meet the needs of ALL of our students?

Now that students have access to powerful technology tools, it is time to integrate technology in meaningful, purposeful ways. Whether you are teaching face to face or virtually, EduProtocols allow teachers to work less, teach better…and most importantly…students achieve more!

What are EduProtocols?

EduProtocols are a set of strategies you can use to simplify planning and get results. They’re simple activities you can use over and over again, adjusting for new content. They have fun names, like Fast and the Curious, Cyber Sandwich, and Booka Kucha. Call them “lesson frames,” like picture frames. You can change the content (the picture) inside a picture frame, but the frame always stays the same.

They are not a product you purchase. Once you start using these activity ideas, they are a way of life! You can find lots of examples at EduProtocols.com

Created originally by Jon Corippo and Marlena Hebern, the EduProtocols community has expanded vast and wide to ensure all subject areas and all grade levels benefit from their use. EduProtocols are open pedagogy that work with any content area or curriculum.

EduProtocols support Universal Design for Learning

We know the two years of pandemic-era remote teaching have had a huge impact on our jobs in the classroom. We know we want students to be successful. We want to be effective teachers. We want ALL students to experience growth in their learning. This seems like such an insurmountable task. With the varied levels and abilities of our students, what is a teacher to do? 

This is where EduProtocols come in. They really provide the HOW when teachers need to meet the diverse needs of learners, provide multiple means of learning opportunities, build relationships with students, and address social-emotional learning.

Universal Design for Learning is a framework for teaching that helps teachers improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. It provides for …

  • Engagement, the “why” of learning (affective networks in the brain)
  • Representation, the “what” of learning (recognition networks in the brain)
  • Action and Expression, the “how” of learning (strategic networks in the brain)

Example unit: How Kim deploys EduProtocols

Here’s an example showing how the elements of lesson design, UDL, and EduProtocols can align for effective lesson planning. This is from my 5th grade American Revolution Unit.

How UDL fits with deploying EduProtocols across a unit

Universal Design for Learning (cast.org) is of utmost importance as we design lessons to meet the diverse needs of learners. UDL is a function of the general education classroom and goes hand in hand with best, first instruction. 

EduProtocols align with the principles of UDL in genuine, meaningful ways. For example, Iron Chef allows students to foster collaboration (Engagement), guide information processing and visualizing (Representation), and use multiple tools for construction and composition (Action/Expression). When we take multiple means of addressing learners’ needs, we meet the needs of many rather than a few.

“Racking and stacking” EduProtocols

When it comes to planning effective lessons, teachers and layer multiple EduProtocols. I call this “Rack and Stack”. Like the chart above, you can see effective pedagogy and intentional lesson design in the example. When I was in the classroom, I found myself relying on the triad of Fast and Curious, Thin Slide, and CyberSandwich for a comprehensive lesson that could be taught in about an hour. I present many ideas and practical examples about how to do this through my book, Deploying EduProtocols, and in our very supporting Facebook group, EmpowerEDventure.

EduProtocols + social emotional learning

In addition to the technological needs of learning from a distance or integrating technology in effective ways, the EduProtocols support social and emotional learning (SEL). The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) created a framework based on five core needs that are integral to the development of children. 

SEL does not need a separate, isolated time in the school day. The more we can integrate these skills into the lessons we create, the better. The use of EduProtocols supports each of these areas. EduProtocols can be leveraged to incorporate life skills into everyday learning. Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Responsible Decision-Making, Self-Management, and Relationship Skills, the five core needs, are exemplified in many of the EduProtocols where learning is scaffolded, chunked, and social.

Examples of SELs and EduProtocols

Self Awareness: Create consistency, repetition, and feedback with Fast and Curious and 8 pARTS

Social Awareness: Provide opportunities for collaboration and communication by using Cyber Sandwich and Iron Chef

Responsible Decision Making: By using EduProtocols on a regular basis, scaffolds and supports are provided for a gradual release of responsibility by lowering the cognitive load. All 4 C’s (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication) are inherent in the EduProtocols.

Self Management: Build executive functioning skills in students by providing manageable tasks for students to complete, receive actionable feedback, and feel successful

Relationships: Create connections among classmates to create a safe environment for learning and failure. With Frayer a Friend, students are sharing about themselves to a partner. The partner is recording what is being verbalized on a Frayer model. Students are building a relationship with each other and among other students as the pairs for quads to share about their partner.

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