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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Co-teaching...What is That?!?!

The general definition of co-teaching involves two equally-qualified individuals who may or may not have the same area of expertise jointly delivering instruction to a group of students Co-teaching is something as upcoming teachers need to learn how to do. Co-teaching is a strategy that is in many classroom, weather it is with an special education teacher or another teacher that knows the subject. This strategy is to benefit the students as well as the head teacher.

There are five co-teaching approaches according to Jane M. Sileo are
1. One Teach, One Support
2. Team Teaching
3. Parallel Teaching
4. Station Teaching
5. Alternate Teaching  
Each of these approaches can but used throughout a unit in a classroom that host co-teachers. Picking the best approach for your classroom is the key in your students learning. We will break down each one and what each one entails.

One Teach, One Support
This approach entail that the "lead" teacher is teaching the whole class all at once. The other teacher will support the "lead" teacher by gathering observational data for the teacher or circulating the classroom providing assistance to  the students that need help.
Layout example for One Teach/One Support
Team Teaching
In this approach the teachers are teaching the material at the same time in the front of the classroom together. Another name for this approach is "tag team" or "one brain in two bodies". This could be in the form of a debate, modeling information, or role playing. The teachers have to prepare for the class together and make sure they know where the other teacher is and where they want the lesson to end.
Layout example for Team Teaching
Parallel Teaching
The class will be split into two groups and each teacher will teach the smaller group the same material. The students could be seeing the same material but in different ways, depending on the needs of each student.
Layout example for Parallel Teaching
Station Teaching
students are divided into three or four different smaller groups in which they rotate to different station in the classroom. At each station, there is different material or a different way to view the same material or concepts. The two teachers will be walking around the classroom helping students individually or as a group.
Layout example for Station Teaching
Alternative teaching
One teacher is teaching a larger group of the students, while the other teacher is telling a small group of students. This small group of students might just need some more re-teaching, pre-teaching, or enrichment. The key to this approach is that the larger group is not learning any new concepts/material, so the smaller group will not fall behind.
Layout example for Alternative Teaching
Each of these approaches have pros and cons, but you and your co-teacher will have to decide what one will work best with your group of students and your classroom.

In out project in MTH 329, we have to use one of the following approaches to teach our lesson. My group did a combination of team teach and stations teaching. I will let you know how the lesson goes with the co-teaching. 

My group started off with a simple review activity  in which the students wrote on the board the answers to what a fraction looks like in decimal, picture, and percentage form. As the students finished, they looked each others work and wrote a check mark on the board next to the ones they believe were wrong. My co-teachers and I team taught the next section with asking each student to explain their check mark and why they think it is wrong. We then transitioned into the students get into groups and filling out a table that had the chances of different outcomes of a card game. Here, my co-teachers and I walked around the class looking over each students shoulder and stopping to help each student if they needed help. We then came back other and wrote down the answer and discussed the material and how each student came up with that answer (team teaching). The final activity we used station teaching. In each group, we knew what main point we had to hit with each group and how we would hit the points. With the station teaching we were able to develop more one-on-one interactions with the students and see if the students full understood the concept we were getting at with the lesson. 

 Sileo, Jane M. "Co-teaching: Getting to Know Your Partner." TEACHING Exceptional Children 43 (2011): 32-38. Web.


  1. A blast from the past! We talked about this a lot in the Universal Design for Learning class, but it's been some time since I've seen it. I'd recommend taking advantage of the other bodies in the room as much as possible. Having recently had a class of 31, it's a good reminder that students don't get the individual attention the often need, and it highlights one of the major reasons students fall behind in classes, as the class needs to keep moving and there aren't enough resources to dedicate to a handful of students. So again, cherish any of these opportunities you get. A nice touch might be to talk about how some of the planning went, as co-teaching often stems from co-planning.

    Looking forward to the update!

  2. I agree with you, and think it would be very helpful to have an extra teacher teaching math, and in any class. The two I like the least are parallel teaching and alternative teaching. In both of those, the students are separated into two groups, and students will be inclined to label one as the "better" group, especially if the groups remain the same. This won't be good for class morale. But the teachers can pick and choose which method is best for the lesson that day, which is great for flexibility and will help students learn the material in different ways.

  3. Good coverage of the modes. Maybe nice input from you on it might be your questions about each way of teaching, or what you're wondering about, or what you guys thought about it before teaching and how you chose what to try. But if the more to come was here, that would be good, too.

    Other Cs +