Cheat Sheet, Key Terms

UDL 1.1 UDL 2.1 UDL 3.1

A glossary is typically a list of terms with definitions or an outline of concepts that have been identified throughout the lesson or unit. The glossary can be used as a quick reference by the student to supplement the learning as well as a study guide for a test. Students may also have the option of using the glossary during the exam depending upon the accommodations in the IEP and/or teacher preferences. The glossary can be student or teacher created.

Implementation Tips

Invest Students in the Glossary
Consider the needs of the student when determining whether the student can create his own glossary or whether the student could work with a peer to create a glossary. The best approach is to have the glossary embedded in the student's learning process as well as incorporated throughout the lesson. Have the student use the glossary as a learning tool.
Modeling Use of the Glossary
Think about how the student can use the glossary when studying and reading. Teach the student strategies for using the glossary during the process of learning (e.g. when reading the textbook, when working on math problems in class, during note-taking).
Incorporate Visuals
The glossary can look very different depending on the needs of the learner and the academic content. Incorporate visual display strategies that might help increase access to the information (e.g. highlight certain words, include diagrams or pictures).


The student has a math glossary that contains the order of operations rules. Have the rules listed out and provide an color coded example (1st step parenthesis in blue, 2nd step exponents in green, 3rd step – multiplication / division in yellow, 4th step – addition / subtraction in orange). The student can refer to the cheat sheet when completing math problems using order of operations.
The student uses a grammar glossary when editing an essay to check for subject-verb tense agreement. Include an outline of the six common verb tenses and an example and non-example for each.
The student creates a vocabulary glossary when reading Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and can use the glossary when answering comprehension questions about the book.

Related Strategies