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linda Ojala's discussion posts

  • linda Ojala 25 Nov 2014 4:04pm () in Think Time and Collaborative Learning

    Think Time and Collaborative Learning

    After watching this short video I have introduced more discussion time in the class which starts with ‘My own think time’ before we move onto peer or group sharing.

    Thinking and Collaborative Learning You can watch this video here

    UDL Support

    • Visual for “think time”
    • Providing prompts through key visuals and links to what they are “thinking/reflecting” about
    • Offering scaffolds

    At the end the teacher gave options as to how they wanted to move on, building in that choice.  I’ve found it a really quick way to scan the room and identify those students who are finding part of the task challenging.  I then can quickly adapt for them or ensure they buddy with more of mentor peer who can support them.

  • linda Ojala 25 Nov 2014 2:42pm () in Supporting UDL with GAFE (Ulearn14)

    Hi Monika

    It was great to be able to go back into the ULearn resources and do some rewindable learning by looking through your slides.

    I have just started using the Read&Write Google extension.   Although after the 30 days you loose many of the features but the ability to have the text read so easily to you is still a big bonus.  Initially I have just started with a group of target students in my class.  It makes many more resources accessible for them. 

    Read and Write Icon     

  • linda Ojala 21 Oct 2014 11:24am () in Using visuals to support patterns in writing

    In the classroom I use a lot of Lane Clarks visual frameworks to support understanding through:

    Highlighting patterns, critical features, big ideas and relationships.   

    UDL Guidelines Check Point 3.2 

    Lane uses thinkchart organisers to:

    • Activate prior knowledge and understandings
    • Reduce cognitive over load with complexity of material presented
    • Active long term memory

    Her organisers offer supporting visuals and sequential steps to guide learners through a process.

    Some  of her frameworks are available for download


    Lane Clark


    It would be great to hear from any teachers using Lane’s visuals.

  • linda Ojala 21 Oct 2014 10:14am () in Using visuals to support patterns in writing

    Hi Roxy

    It helpful to actually see teachers in action

    Some points of interest for me were:

    • Variation and choice in planning styles.
    • Collaborative discussion
    • Students working in quite a different range of positions.   I was quite interested in the way that some students were working standing up with work pinned to the wall.
  • linda Ojala 18 Sep 2014 7:39pm () in How do we collect data to support learning?

    Hi Tessa

    It was a shame I couldn't make it to the webinar - is there a chance to access this.

     It would be really interesting to hear how teachers are personalising assessment to sit in line with personalising learning and effective ways to engage our learners in the assessment process.


  • linda Ojala 12 Sep 2014 10:51am () in How do we collect data to support learning?

    My reflection has been that  we actually make the assessment from the start inflexible.  At times we are often still using quite set assessments developed 20 years ago, very much a one size fits all. With digital technolgies so close at our fingertips we can snap shots, videos and have children create their own stories to show understanding.  

    I'd be really keen to hear from others how you are using different types of ways to gather data and how students are invloved. 

  • linda Ojala 29 Aug 2014 10:50am () in How do we collect data to support learning?

    Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley

    After listening to this Ted Talk with Ken Robinson, I have been considering the wide and varied ways that we gather data on our students.



    Ken's key points:

    • Standardized testing has its place as a diagnostic tool
    • Often testing becomes the dominant culture and rather than support learning can obstruct.

    In line with the UDL framework – If we understand and recognize that our learners all naturally different and diverse how do we support this through the data that we collect? Or how we encourage diversity in the way students show us what they know? 

    Is it still a one size fits all approach?



  • linda Ojala 29 Aug 2014 10:15am () in Using visuals to support patterns in writing

    Here are some of the ways I have been using the UDL principles to support and frame my writing programme

    • Providing a range of examples and models of different types of writing
    •  Providing multiple models in different ways such as video, audio, diagrams and charts.  Having these  available within the class but also in online spaces so that students can continue to access them for  reference.
    • Explicitly highlighting critical features using colour and visuals to direct student learning
       Visual Support Writing











    Fact Visual Support

    List developed  as a class

    Do you have any visuals to share?

    It would be great to hear from others about what you are doing.



  • linda Ojala 15 Aug 2014 11:43am () in A snapshot of the UDL Guidelines
    Thanks for making the connections with UDL. It was helpful to look at the guidelines and then connect with the examples.
    I particularly liked the comment, "We can access them as they are writing and work with them… the students are seeing that writing is not an event it’s a process”  

     In my context, my year 3 students love it when I pop on line into their document while they are writing. We can have a converstation and talk about "where to" or " new ideas".  Using Google Docs to do this is a great "just in time" teaching tool.  I've found it encourages "engagment" we often have a few laughs across the room and they really don't see the chat back as continuing to develop their writing!Smile


  • linda Ojala 01 Aug 2014 11:37am () in The real reason children fidget

    Hi All,

    I guess my own experience having a range of furniture and a classroom environment that is flexible enough so that all children can find a comfortable position is a real bonus.  Giving options about “where to sit” and “on what to sit” helps those students who need to move more or just like to find their own way of being comfortable.

    Working within an environment where there is far less “whole class” gathering times and more emphasis on student led learning, encourages less of the “teacher talk” and “mat times” which can be a real problem area for students who need to be up and moving.  I try to keep any whole class instruction time to a minimum. It can be interesting to video your self and see just how long we actually expect our students to sit and listen. I think finding different ways of engaging our students’ helpful – increasing creative and visual options to support learning.