What Works! Challenges & Success in the Classroom
Process – 3 years – one-step at a time – administration expectations Planning before – both contribute – face-to-face – electronic & on the spot Communication – comfort levels – professional marriage – discipline-same page Routines need to be constant Different Approaches for teaching content/subject-specific areas
Areas of Expertise General Educator Curriculum & instruction Classroom management Knowledge of typical students Pacing Special Educator Process of learning Individualization Documentation/Other Accountability Paperwork Mastery vs. Coverage Joint Responsibilities Knowledge of IEP Goals/Objectives/BIP Grades Discipline Implementationof Accommodations/Modifications Joint Responsibilities Knowledge of IEP Goals/Objectives/BIP Grades Discipline Implementationof Accommodations/Modifications
Co-Teaching Approaches 6 approaches to co-teaching – One teach, One observe – Station Teaching – Parallel Teaching – Alternative Teaching – Teaming – One Teach, One assist 6 approaches to co-teaching – One teach, One observe – Station Teaching – Parallel Teaching – Alternative Teaching – Teaming – One Teach, One assist
One Teach-One Observe As we all know in today’s schools there is a large emphasis on data collection. This method for co-teaching presents educators with an unique opportunity to gather useful data to help improve all students learning. In this method, one teacher performs whole group instruction, while the other teacher gathers useful data on targets the team has decided is important.
One Teach-One Observe Recommended use: Frequent, but for short period of time. This method of co-teaching should be used several times a week, if not daily. This allows the team to gage their instruction for effectiveness, and make appropriate changes or adapt to student needs.
Gathering Student Data Behavioral/Social Skills data – Frequency – Duration Instructional Data – Student participation – Accuracy count – Mastery Levels
Variations of Gathering Data Co-teachers can also use this method to collect data on one another to monitor their own skills. – Do they call on boys & girls proportionally? – Assess levels of questioning – Consistency in responding to student behavoirs. Teachers in new partnerships should wait to become more familiar with one another before trying this variation. This should NEVER be used as a “GOTCHA” among teachers.
Opportunities & Challenges Collecting useful data is a great way for teachers to focus on student needs. Conversations need to be had about what type of data needs to be collected, and what to do with the data after it has been collected. Make sure to use the data to make decisions that are centered around student learning and behavior.
Station Teaching Grouping students in various ways is an always- recommended way to reach students at different levels. Small groups can be grouped in a variety of ways… – Skill level – Learning styles – Student Interests – Behavior/Social Interactions – Combinations
Station Teaching Recommended use: Frequent Co-teaching provides a greater opportunity to utilize the station model. Basic station approach – Content & students are divided into 3 groups. – Two stations are teacher led, while the 3 rd group works independently – Groups rotate between stations, and by the conclusion of the lesson students will have completed all 3 stations, and each teacher will have seen every student.
Opportunities & Challenges Opportunities More small group instructional time Additional support for students Highly interactive learning environment Versatile grouping for increased productivity Opportunities More small group instructional time Additional support for students Highly interactive learning environment Versatile grouping for increased productivity Challenges Each station must function independently of each other Group logistics Noise level Time constraints Making sure students stay engaged Challenges Each station must function independently of each other Group logistics Noise level Time constraints Making sure students stay engaged
Parallel Teaching Recommended use: Frequent This method of co-teaching lets teachers provide more individualized attention. Students are divided into 2 groups, the teachers then lead each group in the same instruction. Students only receive instruction from 1 teacher, and groups do not rotate.
Opportunities & Challenges Opportunities & challenges of parallel teaching are very similar to station teaching Student groups maximize participation while minimizing behavioral problems, and can increase instructional intensity. Parallel teaching is only effective if both teachers can deliver equivalent instruction, and are knowledgeable of content area.
Variations to Parallel Teaching Parallel teaching can be a flexible method for delivering instruction. Example 1 In an elementary math class groups are divided into students who prefer working with manipulatives, and those who don’t. Example 1 In an elementary math class groups are divided into students who prefer working with manipulatives, and those who don’t. Example 2 In a high school History class this model be used to present different points of view of the Civil War. After the instruction the two groups will participate in a whole group debate. Example 2 In a high school History class this model be used to present different points of view of the Civil War. After the instruction the two groups will participate in a whole group debate.
Alternative Teaching Recommended use: Occasionally Alternative teaching consists of one teacher managing a large group, while the other teacher manages a small group. Examples of when to use alternative teaching model: – Pre-teaching – Test reviews – Behavior modifications
Alternative Teaching Opportunities Permits one teacher to work with a small group Additional direct instruction or enrichment of targeted group Instructional flexibility More personalized interaction with students
Alternative Teaching Challenges Most importantly: make sure small group does not appear to be a pull out for SpEd Planning time needed Vary students being pulled to small group, AND trade off teacher facilitating the small group. Teacher needs to be knowledgeable of the content
Teaming Recommended Use – Occasional(3-4 times per grading period) -Some teachers describe Teaming as “one brain in two bodies” -Both teachers are in front of the class, sharing the responsibility of leading instruction.
Teaming - Opportunities 1. Teaming can be very energizing.(Willing to try new ways to reach students. 2.It can also increase entertainment/engagement factor of teaching. (ex. Instructional conversations, sharing question- asking, and antics that sometimes occur during this co-teach approach. 3.Students are more likely to stay attentive, if done correctly.
Teaming - Challenges 1. When both teachers are in front of the class, individual needs may be missed. 2. Must have a comfortable relationship with your co-teach partner.(You must be flexible and have instructional trust with each other) 3. If both teachers tend to talk quite a bit, teachers may have difficulty pacing their lessons and may slow lessons down, or not give enough time for student practice after lesson is taught.
Examples of Teaming 1. Elementary- Math-Vertical and horizontal lines( One teacher wears blouse with horizontal lines and the other wears a blouse with vertical lines and each explains the concept they are wearing.) 2. Middle School – Science- During a lab, one teacher explains the lab, while the other teacher demonstrates the lab and quizzes students, occasionally making intentional mistakes to check student comprehension, and asking the students to repeat directions.
More Examples 1. High School – English – When teaching a novel, two teachers acted out scenes from Of Mice and Men to help students grasp key events and themes.
Final Thoughts- Teaming - Remember, you must have an open mind and a good working relationship with your co- teach partner. - Make sure you plan with your co-teach partner before teaming. - Be creative as a team.(Have fun with it!!)
One Teaching, One Assisting Recommended Use- Seldom (or less) This approach places one teacher in a lead role while the other is functioning as support to the classroom. One teacher leads the instruction while the other (unobtrusively)monitors student work, addresses behavior issues, answers student questions, and facilitates instruction. One teaching, one assisting has the greatest potential to be over-used and abused.
One Teaching, One Assisting in Practice A 3 rd grade class is reviewing multiplication. One teacher writes a problem the board, and the students all solve it using individual white boards and markers. At the other teacher’s signal they all hold up their whiteboards and the assisting teacher scans to be sure that all the students have completed the problem correctly. One teacher is leading instruction on a class project the special education teacher is helping pass out materials to students and checking to make sure they are being used properly.
Opportunities and Challenges Opportunities Individual support. Students feels less embarrassed about asking questions or asking for help when not having to do so in front of an entire class. Use this approach to help students attention during instruction. Challenges Students become dependent on teacher support rather than fostering independence in learning. Having a teacher explaining concepts while the other teacher is still instructing takes away a students focus.
Concerns of One Teaching, One Assisting DON’T Co-Teach THIS WAY One of the biggest concerns for this approach is the general education teacher continues to teach as if in a one-teacher class room. The special education educator then works as a passive partner who waits for instruction to finish before helping students who are struggling or is used as a highly paid teaching assistant. Eventually this will lead to the specialist being asked questions such as these: Do they pay you to do this? Are they ever going to let you have your own classroom? I don’t have to listen to you. You’re not the real teacher.
Summary Co-Teaching is a process and a partnership. Embracing your partnership & working together to find what works for your team is what will make you successful co-teachers. Don’t just become good at using one model… you should use the various models to meet the needs of your instructional goals, and your students.