Co-Teaching Partnerships:Planning for a New School Year

The start of a new school year is a great time to implement new instructional practices and refresh old ones. Schools have been providing co-teaching as a service delivery model for students with disabilities for more than two decades (Friend, 2014). Each year, new co-teaching partnerships initiate and veteran teams renew their instructional plans and commitments to the purpose of co-teaching: to ensure academic progress for students with disabilities in the general education curriculum. [Read more…]

Collaboration Corner – September/October 2015

ccsmallThe Link Lines newsletter features answers to questions submitted by readers. For the September/October issue, the following question was posed by an educator from Amelia County Public Schools after reading Laying the Foundation: Considerations for Scheduling Students with Disabilities.

Dear T/TAC,

“I would like more information about class grouping. If 20-40% of the students have IEP’s, then what should the breakdown of the rest of the students abilities be rated. In other words should the other students be low, medium or high achieving students? What percentage? Thank you for any help you can give me on this topic.” [Read more…]

Creating Synergy: Lesson Design in a Co-Taught Classroom

In recent years, co-teaching has become a popular service delivery model for meeting the needs of students with disabilities. Co-taught lessons must be carefully planned with the curriculum and student needs in mind. As such, co-teachers are accountable for designing and delivering specially designed instruction and providing opportunities for students to reach their Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals within the general education classroom. When designing instruction, partners collaboratively make decisions about grouping students for instructional activities, the co-teaching approaches to use within a lesson, teacher roles and responsibilities during instruction,and methods for student progress monitoring (Friend, 2014).

[Read more…]

Lesson Design for an Inclusive Classroom

Inclusion is a belief system that values diversity and fosters a shared responsibility to help all students to reach their potential (Villa & Thousand, 2005).

Creating an inclusive classroom requires the orchestration of multiple fundamental practices, including:

  • Flexibility of teaching modes, learning styles, assessment, and grouping;
  • Ongoing assessment, both formal and informal;
  • Grouping by readiness, interests, learning styles, and size – whole class, small group, pairs, individual;
  • Appropriate challenge with interesting and engaging learning tasks that take students from where they are to where they need to be;
  • Student-teacher collaboration where students are consciously providing information about their learning, and making responsible choices, and teachers are assessing, conferencing, and adjusting accordingly.

(Adapted from Fattig & Taylor, 2008) [Read more…]

Aligning and Coordinating Instruction for Students With Disabilities Across Tiers

Students with and without disabilities are expected to master grade-level standards. For students with disabilities who are eligible for special education services, an individualized educational program (IEP) provides academic and behavioral supports designed to level the playing field and create opportunities to succeed in the general education curriculum (Florida Department of Education, 2013). While IEPs should be standards-based, they are not verbatim restatements of grade-level standards or lists of standards from lower grades (Virginia Department of Education, 2011). The annual goals stated in an IEP should be based on the student’s present level of performance and should provide a detailed structure for assisting the student in building the skills required to meet the demands of grade-level standards. This detailed structure is the foundation for specially designed instruction (SDI) (Batsche, 2015). [Read more…]

T/TAC William and Mary Welcomes Nick Kier

T/TAC W&M is pleased to announce Mr. Nick Kier as the newest Project Specialist team member. Nick brings expertise and experience from 8 years of teaching secondary social studies in Virginia and North Carolina schools where he successfully supported improved academic and behavioral outcomes for students with disabilities. In addition, Nick has held multiple leadership roles both at the school and division levels in curriculum writing, professional learning communities, peer coaching, and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). [Read more…]