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Reading Instruction and Co-teaching: How General and Special Educators Can Work Together Colleen Klein Reutebuch, PhD. THINK ABOUT THIS. Currently, more instruction for students with disabilities is taking place through general education settings.

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Reading Instruction and Co-teaching: How General and Special Educators Can Work TogetherColleen Klein Reutebuch, PhD

think about this
THINK ABOUT THIS

Currently, more instruction for students with disabilities is taking place through general education settings

Polloway, E. A., Patton, J. R., & Serna, L. (2007). Strategies for teaching students with special needs. New Jersey: Pearson.

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WHY?

  • Expectations associated with full inclusion, NCLB, RTI, and standards based education continue
  • Increased diversity in today’s classrooms
cooperative or co teaching
COOPERATIVE OR CO-TEACHING
  • Has emerged as an effective way to facilitate the inclusion of students with diverse needs and occurs when two or more educators (general and special educator or other specialist) share the instruction for students in a classroom

Friend, M., & Cook, L. (2003). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school professionals

(5th Ed.). Boston: Pearson.

what is emphasized
WHAT IS EMPHASIZED?
  • Cooperative planning, instructing, and evaluating
what is required
WHAT IS REQUIRED?
  • Administrative support
  • Professional development and training
  • Adequate planning time
  • A willingness and comfort level to work with a colleague in the classroom
  • Ongoing communication
  • Parity
  • Trust
  • Flexibility
what is the benefit
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

In a three-year study of effective co-teaching teams, general and special educator teachers reported:

  • Academic and social gains for students with disabilities
  • Opportunities for professional growth
  • Professional satisfaction
  • Personal support
what are the critical features of reading instruction during co teaching
WHAT ARE THE CRITICAL FEATURES OF READING INSTRUCTION DURING CO-TEACHING?
  • Instructional materials
  • Delivery of instruction
  • Instructional grouping
  • Student progress monitoring
what are the components of co teaching during reading instruction
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF CO-TEACHING DURING READING INSTRUCTION?
  • Establishing a co-teaching relationship
  • Identifying individual students’ needs
  • Planning for instruction
  • Monitoring students’ progress
1 establishing a co teaching relationship
1. Establishing a co-teaching relationship

Setting Demands

Develop a shared understanding of classroom expectations and student needs’

Negotiation

Establishing co-teaching goals, expectations, and roles

Entry

Create the co-teaching

team

2 identifying individual students needs
2. Identifying individual students’ needs

Both teachers should get to know and understand all students in the classroom, not just those with special needs

Understanding the students’ strengths and weaknesses

  • Read and discuss IEPs for students with disabilities
  • Develop student goals for accessing the general education curriculum
  • Discuss potential problems and possible solutions before they arise in the class
3 planning for instruction
3. Planning for instruction
  • Finding time to plan

Co-planning is most effective when teachers have a designated time to plan

  • Co-teaching models

Model A: One group

Model B: Two heterogeneous groups

Model C: Two homogeneous groups

Model D: Multiple groups

Model E: Whole class

model a one group one lead teacher one teacher teaching on purpose
Student grouping: whole class

“Teaching on purpose” is giving short lessons to individuals in pairs, or small groups of students during or as follow-up to whole group instruction

1-2 minute purpose: Approach students after instruction to follow-up on key ideas or concepts, encourage participation, answer questions, check for understanding or review directions

5-minute purpose: Review concepts and vocabulary or check for understanding

10-12 minute purpose: Provide a mini-lesson on a skill that is related to the main lesson (e.g., how to find the main idea). This format is often used to teach explicitly a reading skill such as learning the sound of letters and blending the sounds together to make words.

Model A: One groupOne lead teacherOne teacher “teaching on purpose”
model b two heterogeneous groups two teachers teach same content
Student grouping: two large groups

This method is often used as a follow-up to Model A. In Model B, the class is divided into two heterogeneous groups with each teacher instructing one group.

The purpose of this co-teaching model is to provide a large number of opportunities for students to participate and interact with one another to have their responses and knowledge monitored by the teacher.

Model B: Two heterogeneous groupsTwo teachers teach same content
model c two homogeneous groups teachers teach different content
Student grouping: two same-ability groups

Students are divided into two groups, based on their skill level in the topic area. One teacher re-teaches while the other teacher provides alternative information or extension activities to the second group

Students’ skill levels for the specific content to be taught, not overall reading ability, is the criterion for group membership.

Model C: Two homogeneous groupsTeachers teach different content
model d multiple groups teachers monitor teach
Student grouping: groups may be homogeneous or heterogeneous

Model D is often used during cooperative learning activities, reading groups, and in learning centers. Students may move between workstations or may be assigned to work in specific areas.

This model is often used during reading to provide intensive small-group instruction for students with disabilities or other special concerns.

Several small groups work on a variety of literacy activities while the remaining groups work on activities to improve special reading skills.

Teachers monitor progress and provide mini-lessons to individuals, pairs, or small groups of students.

Model D: Multiple groupsTeachers monitor/teach
model e whole class two teachers teach together
Student grouping: Whole class

Model D is the most difficult model of co-teaching. Co-teachers may want to try this model once they have experience working together and feel comfortable with each other’s teaching styles.

In this model, teachers work cooperatively to teach a lesson. One teacher may lead the whole class lesson while the other teacher interjects with elaborations, comments, and questions to clarify material.

Often the general education teacher provides curriculum materials while the special education teacher adds strategies to help students with disabilities remember key ideas and organize information.

Model E: Whole classTwo teachers teach together
4 monitoring students progress
4. Monitoring students’ progress

Purpose: To determine how student are performing and to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction and intervention techniques

Students whose teachers collect and record data and use the data to make instructional decisions show more academic progress than students whose teachers do not follow these progress monitoring procedures.

Fuchs, L.S. (1986). Monitoring progress among mildly handicapped pupils: Review of current practice and research. Remedial and Special Education 65(3), 5-12.

4 monitoring students progress1
4. Monitoring students’ progress

Use of data: If students are failing to proceed at an adequate rate then

  • Increase the intensity of instruction by spending more time providing explicit instruction
  • Decrease the group size
  • Change the materials or instructional method
top 10 issues and possible solutions for co teaching during reading instruction
Find time to plan

45 minutes a week is optimal

TOP 10 ISSUES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR CO-TEACHING DURING READING INSTRUCTION

“It really comes down to planning. We didn’t have time to discuss the curriculum so we never new until the middle of a lesson that we had a different idea of what was best for the students. Now that we plan together, we are better able to coordinate instruction.”

top 10 issues and possible solutions for co teaching during reading instruction1
2. Designate spaceTOP 10 ISSUES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR CO-TEACHING DURING READING INSTRUCTION

“Every day when I came into class the general table was covered with her [education teaching stuff]. It definitely sent me a message.”

top 10 issues and possible solutions for co teaching during reading instruction2
3. Assign grades together

4.Communicate with students and parents

TOP 10 ISSUES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR CO-TEACHING DURING READING INSTRUCTION
top 10 issues and possible solutions for co teaching during reading instruction3
5. Manage the classroom togetherTOP 10 ISSUES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR CO-TEACHING DURING READING INSTRUCTION

“We never sent anything home unless it had both of our signatures on it. Now parents feel like they

can talk to either of us about the child.”

top 10 issues and possible solutions for co teaching during reading instruction4
6. Identify and limit the number of studentsTOP 10 ISSUES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR CO-TEACHING DURING READING INSTRUCTION

“In one class we have six

students with disabilities and in another class, we have only two-but their needs are much greater. It really depends on the kids.”

top 10 issues and possible solutions for co teaching during reading instruction5
7. Attend professional development on co-teaching

8. Provide support for the general education teacher when the special education teacher is not present

9. Identify and address conflict

TOP 10 ISSUES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR CO-TEACHING DURING READING INSTRUCTION
top 10 issues and possible solutions for co teaching during reading instruction6
10. Manage the

schedule

Special educator should not be divided by more than 3 general educators or 2 grade levels

TOP 10 ISSUES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR CO-TEACHING DURING READING INSTRUCTION

“I co-teach in 3rd, 5th, an a K classroom as well as pulling out 7 students. I just can’t be everywhere at the same time.

what administrators can do to facilitate co teaching
WHAT ADMINISTRATORS CAN DO TO FACILITATE CO-TEACHING
  • Provide adequate planning time.
  • Provide adequate professional development opportunities.
  • Make resources available.
  • Support the co-teacher when his/her partner is not present.
  • Schedule co-teaching for blocks of time in which it will be most effective.
what administrators can do to facilitate co teaching1
WHAT ADMINISTRATORS CAN DO TO FACILITATE CO-TEACHING

6. Pair teachers who can work together effectively.

7. Limit the number of students with special needs.

8. Ensure that parents understand the dynamics of co-teaching.

9. Be aware of and be responsive to staff and student needs as they change over time.

10. Recognize that other service delivery options in addition to co-teaching may be necessary to meet the needs of all students.

how to get started or refocused
HOW TO GET STARTED OR REFOCUSED
  • Start small.
  • Select teachers who have a “track record” of working well together and who want to co-teach.
  • Select students with special needs with who teachers have worked and have some educational history.
  • Integrate planning time into teachers’ schedules.
  • Attend professional development with partner.
how to get started or redefined
HOW TO GET STARTED OR REDEFINED

6. Discuss the objectives of co-teaching with the parents of all the students in the classroom.

7. Begin with two to three co-teaching models until a comfort level with these new practices has been established.

8. Ensure that teachers have sufficient blocks of time in the class together so that different co-teaching models can be implemented.

9. Collect and use data to assist in decision making about the effectiveness of instruction.

10. Conduct periodic evaluations of co-teaching procedures. What is working? What is not working? Ho can co-teaching be improved?

need more info
NEED MORE INFO?

Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts. (2000). Coordinating for reading instruction: General education and special education working together. Austin, TX: Author.

http://www.texasreading.org/downloads/k12/2000_SERPcoteachbooklet.PDF

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