Using Unique Learning Systems (ULS) can be overwhelming the first time you log on. There are many different components to each lesson and it can be hard to figure out where to start. Here are my top 10 tips for using Unique Learning System.
1. Don’t Print Everything Out
Do not print the books and worksheets out. They can be done digitally just as easily and the students get immediate feedback on their answers. I often project the activities and the students choose their answers on the smartboard or Tapit. I can easily make something larger or narrow the choices to a field of two if I need to.
2. Group Lessons Are Key
What do you do if all of you students need assistance working? Group lessons! My students sit around the smart board and we take turns answering the questions and we work on coming up with answers together. I can make choices larger if I need to and students can answer with AAC or picture symbols.
3. Differentiated Levels
Make sure you are setting the right library and assignment levels in the students profile. This is one of the most important things. Students have access to the N2Y library and this filters out the books they are not ready for. There are multiple versions of many books, so this is really helpful.
4. Use The iPad
ULS does not have an app currently, but it is friendly to use on the iPad. I create an icon that links to the sign in page for each student and sign them in with a QR code. They can access daily assignments that way. Make sure to lock the ipad with guided access and to “draw” the guided access over the web browser bar so students can not leave the ULS website.
5. Profile Setup
Make sure each student’s profile is set up properly. If the profile isn’t setup, then assignments and activities will not show up. The students dashboard will display with an empty screen.
6. Laminate and Reuse
If you do print items, only print those you can use and laminate them. I always print the vocabulary and word cards and laminate them and use them during group lessons for students to make choices with. The matching games and sorts get laminated them to reuse as well.
7. Don’t Do Everything
You do not have to do everything in a unit. Choose the parts that are most useful for you. ULS recently had a large update. I love how the activities are now categorized on the left menu. I pick and choose what part of the lesson is relevant to what I am teaching.
8. N2Y Library
ULS actually has a comprehensive adapted book library. It includes the books you read during ELA lessons, but also a wide variety of books on different subjects. They are all symbol supported and each book has a variety of reading levels available. I use these books to support social studies and science lessons all year long.
9. Pair it with N2Y and L3 Skills
Throw N2Y and L3 skills in there. I use N2Y for social studies because it has events from the news in a symbol supported format and has fun extension activities. L3 skills are games that students can use to work on skills. We often play these together.
10. Utilize the Assessment
Before each unit begins there is a pre assessment and at the end is a post assessment. They are simple, not very long, and give good data about what a student knows. I recommend utilizing these before and after each unit.
These tips have kept me from being overwhelmed and allowed me to get used to the platform while still utilizing it. I am used to the layout now, but still follow each and every one of these 10 tips for using unique learning system.