A Mother and Daughter Co-Teaching Team’s Story: A Unique Partnership at Lee Jackson Elementary School in Mathews County, VA

In this podcast, you will meet a mother and daughter co-teaching team from Lee Jackson Elementary school in Mathews County, VA. Kris Long, her school’s Teacher of the Year, and Chandler Rogers discuss their unique co-teaching relationship and provides co-teaching tips for new teams as well as insights for veteran partners. Listen to the podcast. [Read more…]

Co-Teaching Demonstration Sites in Regions 2 and 3

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has identified 35 co-teaching demonstration sites throughout the commonwealth in the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative. There are eight demonstration sites locally in Superintendents Regions 2 and 3 (see Table 1).  These model sites provide opportunities for co-teaching partners across the state to observe effective co-teaching. The sites highlight research-based inclusive practices to meet the needs of all students within the general education classroom. At each model site, the co-teaching teams share with visitors co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing practices that have helped their students succeed.

For more information about the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, or to arrange a visit to a model site near you, please contact Donni Perry or Shelley Littleton, at T/TAC, College of William & Mary. Co-Teaching and Inclusive Practices materials are available on the VDOE website and at Real Co-Teachers of Virginia at T/TAC Online.

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A New School Year Brings a New Format for Link Lines

Welcome back to another school year ripe with possibilities and learning!  While you were enjoying your summer, the Training and Technical Assistance Center at the College of William and Mary (T/TAC W&M) celebrated its 20th year anniversary.  Over the past two decades, T/TAC W&M has provided a variety of services, resources, and information to support professionals who serve students with disabilities in K-12 educational settings. Our Link Lines newsletter, initially in print format, has become an online resource for many educators and families in Superintendents Regions 2 and 3.

Recognizing the importance of providing a variety of multi-media formats, we are implementing some changes to Link Lines this year.  Although the number of editions per year will remain the same, the design will be new.  Our first edition of the 2016-17 academic year highlights past resources and new products related to co-teaching and co-planning as described below.

 

The Nuts and Bolts of Co-Teaching

Co-teaching is first and foremost a special education service delivery model, whereby students with disabilities receive the specially designed instruction needed to address specific skill deficits (Friend, 2014). Co-teaching involves a partnership between two licensed educators, usually a general education teacher and a special education teacher, sharing responsibility for one classroom of diverse students. These professionals share the planning and delivery of instruction as well as accountability for student learning. Such a partnership between professionals with different areas of expertise is necessary for some students with disabilities to access and make progress in the general education setting.

[Read more…]

Co-Planning and Co-Teaching for Student Success E-Learning

A productive collaborative relationship between co-teaching partners helps maximize the resource of two professionals in an inclusive classroom, and improves outcomes for their students. The Co-Planning and Co-Teaching for Student Success learning module provides basic information for professionals currently engaged in or considering a co-teaching model to support students with mild to moderate disabilities within a general education setting. This module offers a structure and tools for developing effective collaborative relationships between general and special education teachers in co-taught classrooms.

Co-Teaching Considerations Packet

Co-teaching is a special education service delivery model.   This Considerations Packet provides basic information for professionals currently engaged in or considering co-teaching to support students with disabilities in general education classrooms. Topics include defining characteristics of co-teaching, advantages of co-teaching, characteristics of effective co-teachers, getting acquainted with a co-teaching partner, roles and responsibilities, co-teaching variations, effective co-planning, communication issues, and administrative issues.

Co-Teaching Demonstration Sites in Region 3

The Virginia Department of Education has identified 24 co-teaching demonstration sites through the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative. These model sites provide opportunities for co-teaching partners across the state to observe excellence in co-teaching. The sites highlight research-based inclusive practices to meet the needs of all students within the general education classroom. At each model site, the co-teaching teams share with visitors co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing practices that have moved their students to success. Within Region 3, the following teams have been identified to serve as model sites:

[Read more…]

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…]

Creating Synergy: Lesson Design in a Co-Taught Classroom

By Christine Peterson, M.Ed., and Lee Anne Sulzberger, M.Ed.
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…]