I chuckled a bit when I read the information about Universal Design. Back in the 90s I was grade 5 teacher in the UK. We certainly didn’t have all the bells and whistles back then (one computer sheared between two classes with 32 kids in each…and it rarely worked) but we certainly adhered to these principals and were given structures to work within. For example, in math class… Ok say I was going to work with fractions. First there would be some type of presentation for the whole class usually involving the old form of a doc cam (over head projector), then the class would be split into three groups. There was a group that learned best with manipulatives so they maybe had pizzas made of card to split into fractions, then another group who still needed something more visual would work with say shapes drawn on paper and have to circle which fraction was shaded. Another group who could think more abstractly could work with the fractions themselves. Took a lot of thinking and prep but it worked well and all the kids were able to learn.
I have carried this thinking into my classes here. Although I don’t have my students cutting up pizza in class (although I am sure they would like that) I do always try to use multiple ways to explain things. If I have written instructions I always explain them as well and you will often see pictures and diagrams on my whiteboard to explain concepts such as how a certain verb tense works.