August 23-25, 2021

Teaching To Diversity: Creating Compassionate Classroom Communities – 3 days

Dr. Jennifer Katz

Today’s classrooms reflect the diversity of a global world. This diversity means that students vary in what they already know, what they are ready to learn, the pace at which they are able to proceed through curriculum, and the level of adult support they require for success. Building inclusive learning communities requires that students see school as a place where they belong, are valued, and have something to contribute. The Three Block Model of Universal Design for Learning is an effective approach to classroom management, planning, instruction, and assessment that creates a compassionate learning community from K-12. It has been implemented in elementary, middle, and high schools across three provinces, and has been shown to increase student engagement, academic achievement, self-concept, respect for diverse others, prosocial behavior, and teacher satisfaction and self-efficacy.

This workshop will focus on the practical “how to,” of starting the year, building climate, and planning units in a way that facilitates differentiated instruction, inquiry, and multi-modal/outcomes based assessment. Sample units, lessons, video, and student work K-12 will be shared!

Days 1-3 Topics Covered


Day 1 

Inclusion and Universal Design for Learning – What are they?

  1. Social and Academic Inclusion
  2. UDL – what is it?
    • Updated definitions and frameworks, introduction to the Three Block Model
  3. Research / outcomes of implementation
  4. Block One – Social and Emotional Learning & Mental Health
    • Why it matters: The neurology of learning and its links to social and emotional well-being
    • Developing well-being, community, leadership and social problem solving
    • The Three Practices
      • Spirit Buddies
        • Democratic classrooms
        • RD program
Day 2 Mental Health in the Classroom – Resiliency and mental health literacy for all

  1. Positive Mental health
    1. Tier l Programming
      1. DBT
      2. The Brain Unit
    2. The Calls to Action of the TRC
      1. Trauma informed care
      2. Indigenous worldviews on health and healing

Inclusive Instructional Practice…Designing learning environments for diverse learners with the new BC curriculum

  1. Block Two: Planning for diverse learners
    1. Designing learning spaces
    2. Year Planning – Finding connections in curriculum in ways that learners on a spectrum of ability, background knowledge, and interests can engage in
    3. Unit/Lesson Planning – Engaging diverse learners in complex concepts, and deep learning (yes, including your modified kids!)
      1. Essential understandings
      2. Differentiating instruction and assessment
      3. Inquiry
      4. Assessment for, of, as learning
      5. Developing rubrics
      6. Evaluation and grading
Day 3 Inclusive Instructional Practice – Managing learning environments for diverse learners

  1. Planning continued
  2. Teaching & Engaging Diverse Learners
  3. Management of differentiated tasks
  4. The flow of assessment and instruction
  5. Introducing team/group work
  6. Teaching higher order conceptual representation

Optional Module(s) depending on group needs

  1. Staff well-being
    1. Building positive school culture and teacher stress
  2. Literacy in the UDL classroom
    1. Teaching expressive and receptive communication to diverse learners
  3. Numeracy in the UDL classroom
    1. Teaching expressive and receptive communication to diverse learners
  4. Including students with significant disabilities
    1. Tier lll supports through a UDL lens
  5. Facilitated planning time/maker space/ design lab