Co-Teaching: It’s Not Easy but It’s Worth It Wendy Pack Rowan County Schools
Objectives • I can tell the difference between collaboration and co -teaching. • I can learn about the different types of co-teaching. • I can identify the three stages of co-teaching.
Let’s Build a House – Step 1 • Grab a partner! • Draw a house using any of the basic shapes: triangles, squares, rectangles, and circles. • Do not let your partner see your drawing.
Let’s Build a House – Step 2 • Now, add as many details to your house as you like. • Do not show your partner.
Let’s Build a House – TOGETHER Step 3 • Come together with your partner. Use elements of each picture to create a house together.
Let’s Build a House – TOGETHER! Step 4 • Compare your 3 houses. • How is the house that was drawn collaboratively different from the houses that you drew by yourselves? • Did you find that elements from the first two houses where used to draw the third house?
In the Beginning…
Collaborative Teaching Versus Co-Teaching • “Collaboration” is by definition a broad term • It means, “A style of interaction. ” • It is the way people work together as professionals toward mutual goals with shared responsibility, shared resources, and shared accountability. • “Co-teaching” is a specific type of collaborative teaching format. • It is a special education service delivery option which involves two certified teachers (regular and special education) • These teachers share instructional responsibility and accountability • They use partnership strategies in a general education setting.
Co-Teaching 1. 0 • When co-teaching was “born, ” the sole goal was to place students with special needs into the regular education classroom to learn aside their peers, gaining access to the general curriculum. • Particular intention was given to the co-teaching relationship rather than the unique needs of the students and consequently, Specially Designed Instruction fell to the wayside.
More on Co-Teaching 1. 0… Co-teaching was compared to marriage Good Co-teachers became clones of each other.
Divorce Happens • There was still the “Yours, Mine and Ours” conversations going on… • By nature, we are territorial • Our mindsets hadn’t changed, but we were in the same classroom together.
Changes in Education, Led to Changes in Mindset
Co-Teaching Reborn • The specialist should be “doing something special, ” and each teacher should lead from strengths. • When it is working well, coteaching has many benefits, including teacher growth and more importantly, student growth. • In current education, educators focus on integrating into daily lesson the special education strategies and techniques that will enable students to achieve the goal (s) of their IEP – Co-Teaching 2. 0
Questions to Keep in Mind • Am I already using any of these co-teaching strategies? • How can these strategies be used in my classroom?
Co-Teaching Models • Whole Group Approaches: Teaming One Teach, One Observe One Teach, One Assist • Small Group Approaches: Station Teaching Parallel Teaching Alternative Teaching
Teaming, involves co-teaching partners teaching in front of the class, each fully and simultaneously engaged in leading the delivery of core instruction. Co-teachers may have different but equally active roles. For example, one co-teacher may be leading the large group lesson while the other charts key points/ models note-taking ( also called Speak & Chart) or restates key concepts for clarification (referred to as Speak & Add).
Suggestions for Teaming • Introducing content with strategies • Asking questions • Showing parity to your students • One writing, the other talking and switch
One Teach, One Observe or Assist One Teach, One Observe, also known as “Lead and Support”, is implemented with one co-teaching partner leading instruction, while the other collects data through observation. The co-teaching partners pre-determine specific observational information to gather during instruction and together analyze the data for use in making instructional decisions or to form temporary skill groups. One Teach, One Assist, consists of one co-teacher being primarily responsible for delivery of core instruction for the day’s lesson while the other co-teacher circulates through the classroom providing assistance to students as needed.
Suggestions for One Teach, One Observe or Assist • • Use sparingly Least effective for instruction Most effective for data collection Sometimes necessary for instruction
Station Teaching • Through Station Teaching, co-teaching partners divide students into rotating small groups and divide content into instructional segments which students encounter in learning centers or ‘stations’. • Each teaching partner takes responsibility for delivery of a portion or segment of the days’ instruction within one station. • All students have access to each co-teaching partner and every station by rotating from one station to the next; some stations may structure groups or pairs to work independently with materials on a pre-planned activity while others feature teacher-directed activities for small groups. • Station teaching can be used effectively in any content area, when the content is not required to be taught in sequential order.
Station Teaching Suggestions • • • Math Teacher Station Skill Station Vocabulary Station Review Station Project Based Station • • • Language Arts Integration Station Core Skill Station (Teacher) Independent Reading Vocabulary Station Grammar Station Skill Station
Parallel Teaching • In Parallel Teaching, the co-teaching partners divide the class into two groups and lead content instruction with both groups simultaneously. • This approach is recommended for frequent use as it allows for smaller groups and more individualized teacher attention during instruction, while maximizing student participation and minimizing student behavior problems.
Suggestions for Parallel Teaching • Excellent strategy to use when reviewing a graded quiz or study guide • Use Smartboard (Scaffolded) Lessons • “Dinner Tables” in the same room or move to different rooms* • Teach/Do two different activities and flip the groups the next day.
Alternative Teaching • In Alternative Teaching, one co-teaching partner instructs the large group while the other works briefly with a temporarily formed small group for a specific instructional purpose. • Students return to the large group and continue participating in classroom instruction, group work or assignments. • Small groups should be formed and re-formed based on ongoing formative assessment and should avoid any consistent segregation which stigmatizes students with disabilities.
Suggestions for Alternative Teaching • Use to pre-teach or reteach a skill • Great model to utilize after parallel teaching • Can be used anytime during a class • Use both teachers!
Student Investment • • Set clear expectations Have an agenda Give students a voice Act using the student voice
Student Involvement in Data Analysis Plan – Learning Targets Ex. I can evaluate expressions with exponents. Do – Agenda Ex. • Bell work • Super Base Song • Practice Problems • Assessment Act – Plus/Delta Study – Assessment Scores 1 st Period A’s-8 B’s-5 C’s-4 D’s-0 F’s-2 Plus – Good activities, love cooperative learning, song helped me learn Delta – More hands-on activities, more practice
Data Wall • Class Goal: Based on the needs of the class, a student goal is set. Students and teachers monitor individual and class progress on a regular basis using a data wall.
Current Data Wall
How do students feel?
How do you implement Specially Designed Instruction?
Specially Designed Instruction • “Specially Designed Instruction” (SDI) must be provided by a teacher who is certified in special education and thus “highly qualified” under IDEA, but can be reinforced by the general education teacher. • The special education teacher must take the partnership lead in the planning, designing, initial delivery, and monitoring of the SDI outlined in the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP). • The special education teacher should be reinforcing the content specialist as well.
The Right to Specially Designed Instruction • IDEA 2004 clarified that • This means… – Instruction directly connected that SDI was the right of to the IEP students with – Teaching in the domain in disabilities. which the student has special needs • SDI is not the same as – Changes in content, differentiation or methodology or delivery of accommodations, it is instruction – Ongoing monitoring of what teachers must do progress to ensure students – The use of strategies other reach their goals. learners don’t generally need
The New Look of Co-Teaching Implementation of SDI • Station Teaching – At a teacher led station, the teacher preteaches vocabulary for the next unit. The special educator uses brief videos for a group of students with special needs. He then focuses intentionally on on essential words for the upcoming lesson. • Parallel Teaching – The Special Education teacher breaks a project down in multiple steps, aiding students in explicit discussion on each segment. Students follow teacher made checklists to complete each part of the assignment.
• Alternative Teaching – While other student’s complete a warm-up activity, the special educator works with a group of students with and without disabilities to explain tone and theme. Students give various examples and when ready, return to the full class, prepared to be successful. • Other Approaches – Example: The Special Educator explains the graphic organizer, in detail, that students are about to complete or one teacher may interrupt the other teacher to ask specific questions or give an alternative strategy.
ALL OF THIS SOUNDS GOOD… NOW WHAT?
Avoiding the Clash of the Titans
Taking Action • Administrators should provide information, encourage proactive preparation from teachers • Assess level of collaboration currently in place • Pre-plan • Implement slowly…baby steps!
Co-Planning is as Important as Co-Teaching • Co-teaching teams should have a minimum of one scheduling/planning period (45– 60 minutes) per week. • Experienced teams should spend 10 minutes to plan each lesson.
Getting to Know Each Other • Ease into working with one another • Deal with the “little” things first • These typically become the deal breakers down the road and preventing these road blocks early can make your lives easier • You aren’t going to like everyone and not everyone is going to like you.
Getting to Know Each Other • Important to spend time talking and getting better acquainted with each other’s skills, interests, and educational philosophies • Discuss current classroom routines and rules • Be willing to bend your thinking • Discuss discipline
The Three Stages of Co-Teaching • Beginning • Compromising • Co-Teaching
Beginning • Impression of separateness – Students with disabilities vs. students without disabilities • Little ownership of materials or space by special educator • Delegated spaces which are rarely abandoned
Beginning • Teachers often present separate lessons • One teacher is “boss, ” one is “helper” • Special educator may be unfamiliar with content or methodology used by the general education teacher • General ed teacher may have limited understanding of modifying the curriculum and making appropriate accommodations
Compromising More movement and shared space Sharing of materials Territoriality becomes less evident Special Education teacher moves more freely around the classroom, but rarely takes center stage • Special educator acquires a knowledge of the scope and sequence and develops a solid understanding of the content of the curriculum and can then suggest accommodations and modifications • •
Co-Teaching • Seating arrangements intentionally interspersed • All students participate in cooperative grouping assignments • Teachers are more fluid in an unplanned and natural way • Both teachers appreciate the specific curriculum competencies that they bring to the content area
When It Doesn’t Work (Sometimes it won’t…)
Redefining Our Co-Teaching Relationship • It is less like a marriage and more like a business partnership • Each teacher bring knowledge and skill to the classroom. • Co-teachers create a classroom of acceptance
Communicate • Say what you mean without being mean • Be proactive • Be professional • Leave your personal feelings at home • ALWAYS put what students need above your own needs • Go beyond
If Everything Fails…
Co-Teaching Tips • Clearly communicate with the students – your expectations and their IEP goals and accommodations (if age appropriate) • Communicate clearly with parents –Do this together! • Communicate – consistently and clearly with each other • Support your co-teacher
Co-Teaching Tips • • • Practice testing accommodations daily Advocate for ALL students BE the specialist/ BE the content expert Invest in ALL the students Be flexible
The end result of co-teaching is that students with disabilities and without disabilities learn the grade-level curriculum as well as the strategies that will help them succeed throughout a lifetime.
Question and Answer
Resources • Kentucky Department of Education Division of Learning Services. Collaborative Teaching Practices for Exceptional Children • www. ascd. org “Welcome to Co-Teaching 2. 0”/ Educational Leadership/December 2015/January 2016