Co-Teach! - Liberty ISD

A Learning Process
Presented By:
Tarkington ISD Special Education
Co-Teaching Approaches
Challenges & Successes of co-teaching
Roles & Responsibilities
Co-Teaching models
What Works!
Challenges & Success in the
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 of Expertise
General Educator
Curriculum & instruction
Classroom management
Knowledge of typical
Special Educator
Process of learning
Accountability Paperwork
Mastery vs. Coverage
Joint Responsibilities
• Knowledge of IEP Goals/Objectives/BIP
• Grades
• Discipline
• Implementationof Accommodations/Modifications
Approaches to Co-Teaching
The 6 models
Co-Teaching Approaches
• 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
– Do they call on boys & girls
– 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
Station Teaching
• Grouping students in various ways is an alwaysrecommended way to reach students at different
• Small groups can be grouped in a variety of
Skill level
Learning styles
Student Interests
Behavior/Social Interactions
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
– Two stations are teacher led, while the 3rd group works
– 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
More small group
instructional time
Additional support for
Highly interactive
learning environment
Versatile grouping for
increased productivity
Each station must
function independently
of each other
Group logistics
Noise level
Time constraints
Making sure students
stay engaged
Parallel Teaching
This method of
Recommended use:
co-teaching lets
teachers provide
individualized Students are
divided into 2
groups, the
teachers then lead
each group in the Students only
same instruction. receive instruction
from 1 teacher,
and groups do not
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 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
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
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
Teacher needs to be knowledgeable of the
Recommended Use –
Occasional(3-4 times per
grading period)
-Some teachers describe
Teaming as “one brain in two
-Both teachers are in front of
the class, sharing the
responsibility of leading
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
3. Students are more likely to stay attentive, if done
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
• 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 coteach 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
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.
A 3rd 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.
Opportunities and Challenges
• 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
• Students become
dependent on teacher
support rather than
fostering independence in
• Having a teacher explaining
concepts while the other
teacher is still instructing
takes away a students focus.
Concerns of One Teaching, One Assisting
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
I don’t have to listen to you. You’re not the
real teacher.
DON’T Co-Teach
• 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
• Friend, Marilyn. Co-Teach! Building and
Sustaining Effective Classroom Partnerships in
Inclusive Schools. 2nd Edition. Greensboro,
NC: Marilyn Friend, Inc., 2014. Print.

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