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What is Co-Teaching?
Co-teaching is two or more people sharing responsibility for teaching some or all of the students assigned to the classroom. It involves the distribution of responsibility among people for planning, instruction, and evaluation for a classroom of students.
The Elements of Co-Teaching
Coordinate their work towards a common goal through planning, teaching, and assessing their impact together;
Share a belief system that each member of the co-teaching team has unique and needed expertise;
Demonstrate parity by alternatively engaging in the dual roles of teacher and learner, expert and novice, giver and recipient of knowledge or skills;
Use a cooperative process that includes face-to-face interaction, positive interdependence, performance, as well as monitoring and processing of interpersonal skills, and individual accountability.
Typically have an area of expertise that stands out. When a special ed teacher is paired with a general ed teacher, the former is most often the originator of accommodations and modifications for special needs students while the latter is most often the content expert. But this does not necessarily have to occur.
Models of Co-Teaching
The choice of model to be implemented is based on the needs of the students and the goals of a lesson or unit. It can and should change, according to what will best meet these goals.
Lead & Support/Presenter Helper:
One teacher leads, planning lesson content and presentation with some input and feedback from the co-teacher. The other teacher plans for and assists with students' individual learning and/or behavioral needs.
Station Teaching/Part A-Part B:
Two diverse groups of students work at classroom stations with each teacher. Each teacher plans the content of her/his respective station based on the overall lesson plan. The two groups of students switch stations in the middle of the class period or the next day.
Parallel Teaching/Two Smaller Groups:
Co-teachers jointly plan instruction and independently deliver content in the same way to separate groups of students. Each teacher may take half the class or small groups of students.
Complementary Teaching/Alternative Teaching/Higher Understanding:
One teacher instructs the large group while the other teacher pre-teaches, re-teaches, supplements, or enriches instruction for a smaller group of students.
Co-teachers share the planning and instruction for all of the students in a highly collaborative manner. Both teachers can lead large group and small group instruction.
Co-teachers jointly plan and present the basic lesson to all of the students and then split the class into two groups, each instructed by one of the teachers. The groups are divided based on different needs of students for review, re-teaching, or enrichment of the concepts taught.
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