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Communication is the KEY: Co-Teaching & Co-Planning. Latricia Trites, Ph.D. February 23 & 25, 2009. What is Co-teaching?. Take a few minutes to discuss with your partner how you define co-teaching. What are effective co-teaching characteristics?. Video Examples of Co-teaching.

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Communication is the key co teaching co planning
Communication is the KEY:Co-Teaching & Co-Planning

Latricia Trites, Ph.D.

February 23 & 25, 2009

What is co teaching
What is Co-teaching?

  • Take a few minutes to discuss with your partner how you define co-teaching.

  • What are effective co-teaching characteristics?

Video examples of co teaching
Video Examples of Co-teaching

  • These first 5 examples are provided from Brigham Young University and can be found at

  • The last example is from

Co teaching

  • Partnership

  • Trust

  • Hard work

  • Communication

  • Shared preparation and shared responsibility.

  • Both are always working. Each section of each lesson should specify roles of both.

  • Considered a very demanding work arrangement.

Co teaching definition
Co-Teaching Definition

  • Two (or more) educators or other certified staff

  • Contract to share instructional responsibility

  • For a single group of students

  • Primarily in a single classroom or workspace

  • For specific content (objectives)

  • With mutual ownership, pooled resources, and joint accountability

    Cook & Friend (2004)

What co teaching isn t
What Co-Teaching Isn’t

  • One person teaching one subject followed by another person teaching a different subject

  • One person teaching one subject while another person prepares instructional materials, makes copies, corrects papers, etc.

  • One person teaching a lesson while other people simply observe

  • One person’s ideas about what and how to teach being the only ideas implemented

  • One person being assigned as a tutor

    Villa, Thousand, & Nevin (2008)

Effective co teaching
Effective Co-Teaching

  • Mixes and matches models.

  • Changes models and roles for variety and interest for learners.

  • May involve delegation of specific tasks to one teacher (e.g., one is the phonics expert).

  • Always specifies the role of each teacher in each activity.

Tips for effective co teaching
Tips for Effective Co-Teaching

  • Get to know your partner

  • Create a workable schedule

  • Vary instructional practices

  • Avoid second guessing your partner


Get to know your partner
Get to Know Your Partner

  • Discuss personal and professional issues

  • Discuss any “pet peeves”?

  • Discuss any health concerns

  • Discuss learning styles and preferences

  • Create a signal system for communicating in the classroom

Follow up getting to know you
Follow-up Getting to Know You

  • Now that you’ve worked with your co-teacher for a semester (most of you), take this time to get to know each other better.

  • What is your personal learning style?

  • What is your personality type?

  • What is your teaching style?

  • When do you plan best?

  • How do you plan?

  • Where do you plan?

  • How do you deal with conflict?

Co teaching must include co planning
Co-teaching MUST include Co-planning!

  • Find time to plan together

  • Discuss what will be taught, how it will be taught, and by whom

  • Create a “co-teaching” lesson plan template to be used

Effective planning
Effective Planning

  • Examine Curriculum Guidelines

  • Learn to write effective objectives

  • Do long-term planning as well as short-term planning.

  • Communicate with each other before AND after each co-teaching session.

Goals vs objectives
Goals vs. Objectives

  • Goals are broad and most often contain many objectives in order to achieve the goal.

    • Students will write effective short essays.

  • Objectives are much more specific and contain only ONE observable outcome.

    • Students will write a topic sentence for a short essay with 70% accuracy.

What are effective objectives
What are Effective Objectives?

  • Objectives that are outcomes based – state what the student will accomplish.

  • Objectives that have only one outcome in each one.

  • Objectives that can be assessed.

  • Objectives that answer why an activity is being done.

Objective examples
Objective Examples

  • Good Objective:

    • Students will demonstrate their ability to spell current vocabulary words by playing a game of hang man with a level of 75% accuracy in spelling.

  • Bad Objective:

    • Students will play hang man.

Objective activity
Objective Activity

  • Take 30 minutes and do the following:

    • Select 10 different curriculum goals from the list and with your textbook, write at least one effective objective.

Co planning

  • Both teachers contribute to the planning stage.

  • Both teachers agree as to which teacher will be responsible for what activity and for what materials.

  • Both teachers will talk openly with each other AFTER the class to evaluate the effectiveness of the lesson.

Planning activity
Planning Activity

  • Take 30 minutes to do the following:

    • Long range planning with your co-teachers

    • General detailed planning for the next month

    • Immediate planning for the next week


    • Each ETA should talk with his/her LETs about the co-teaching demonstration for April 22nd, May 6th, and May 20th. Which activity will you present? Which LET will participate with you?


Brigham Young University, David O. McKay School of Education, Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education, “Co-teaching: A modelfor classroom management.

Burell, C. (2005). “Video on the Benefits of Co-teaching: A Blast from 2005”

Friend, & Cook, L. (2004). Co-Teaching: Principles, Practices, and Pragmatics. New Mexico Public Education Department Quarterly Special Education Meeting Albuquerque, NM April 29, 2004

Murawski, W., & Dicker, L.A. (2004). Tips and strategies for co-teaching at the secondary level. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 36(5) 52-58.

Villa, R., Thousand, J., & Nevin, A. (2008). What is co-teaching? In. A guide to co-teaching: Practical tips for facilitating student learning (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin Press.