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Universal Design for Learning Science: Reframing Elementary Instruction in Physical Science

by: Deborah Hanuscin and Delinda van Garderen

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New in 2020!
Download and read a sample chapter from this book to learn more.
Here’s good news: With this practical book, you can learn from experienced elementary school educators about how to make physical science both challenging and accessible for a diverse range of students. Written by teachers for teachers, Universal Design for Learning Science will inspire you to reframe your lessons to reflect how students learn and to support the success of all students.

The book is divided into three parts:
• Rethinking instruction. The focus is on the 5E Learning Cycle (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate) and Universal Design for Learning, a systematic way to plan for and support diverse learners. You’ll see how using these two frameworks can provide challenging, inquiry-based experiences for all students that support the Next Generation Science Standards.
• Learning by example. Through nine real-world vignettes, current and former teachers provide you with insights for teaching science in general, and in particular to kids with special needs. The teachers spotlight a variety of students—including struggling learners, differently abled students, and those with executive functioning challenges—as they demonstrate how strategies from the frameworks can knock down obstacles to learning.
• Applying the frameworks. Additional resources include practical tools and techniques that work in the classroom, in teacher education contexts, and in professional development workshops.

And here’s even better news: Universal Design for Learning Science proves that implementing these frameworks doesn’t require adopting a new curriculum. As the authors write, this book shows how you can use your existing curricula and resources while “identifying barriers to learning and possible solutions—in other words, using a sharper knife, a bigger fork, or a deeper spoon to more effectively deal with what’s already on your plate!”

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




About the Authors and Contributors


Part I: The Frameworks

Chapter 1: Reframing Instruction With the 5E Learning Cycle

Dante Cisterna, Deborah Hanuscin, and Kelsey Lipsitz

Chapter 2: Reframing Instruction With Universal Design for Learning

Delinda van Garderen, Cathy Newman Thomas, and Kate M. Sadler

Part II: The Vignettes

Chapter 3: Why Does Matter Matter?

Shelli Thelen

Chapter 4: To Change or Not to Change?

Christine Meredith

Chapter 5: Magnets?What’s the Problem?

Deborah Hanuscin

Chapter 6: An Attractive Idea

Tracy Hager

Chapter 7: You Really Dropped the Ball

Mahaley Sullivan

Chapter 8: Save the Penguins!

Betsy O’Day

Chapter 9: Making Connections With Circuits

Nicole Burks

Chapter 10: Can You Hear Me Know?

Brooks Ragar

Chapter 11: Seeing the Light

Deborah Hanuscin

Part III: Applying the Frameworks

Chapter 12: Reframing Your Instruction

Delinda van Garderen, Deborah Hanuscin, Cathy Newman Thomas, and Kate M. Sadler

Chapter 13: Reframing Instruction in Teacher Education Settings

Deborah Hanuscin and Delinda van Garderen


Grade Levels



Disabilities English Language Learners Equity Inclusion Lesson Plans Physical Science Teacher Preparation Teaching Strategies


Type NSTA Press BookPub Date 5/29/2020Pages 295ISBN 978-1-68140-695-4Stock # PB452X

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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