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Facilitator’s Notes

Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities


Through Collaborative Teaching

CONTENTS
Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1
I. Agenda and Overview ........................................................................................... 2
II. Introduction to Co-Teaching................................................................................. 5
III. Getting Started..................................................................................................... 13
IV. Effective Co-Planning.......................................................................................... 21
V. Scheduling ........................................................................................................... 34
VI. Co-Teaching in Action......................................................................................... 40
VII. Co-Teaching Scenarios ....................................................................................... 59

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Introduction

As result of the changed legislative priorities and evolving reform movements, there has been a
focus on increasing the inclusive nature of schools and educational settings. This trend has led
to (a) many school systems rethinking how services are delivered to all students and (b) the
implementation of alternative service delivery options. In turn, this has often resulted in schools
and school systems wanting to increase the level of collaboration between general and special
education. Co-teaching is becoming one of the fastest growing inclusive school practices
(Cook & Friend, 2003). Despite this rapid increase in popularity, co-teaching remains one of the
most commonly misunderstood practices in education. Cook and Friend (1995, p. 1) put forth a
definition of co-teaching, and thus far, this has been the most widely accepted definition:
“Co-teaching occurs when two or more professionals jointly deliver substantive instruction to a
diverse, or blended, group of students in a single physical space.”

This module explores each component of this definition, the look of co-teaching in the
classroom, scheduling and planning issues, and the challenge of supervising and evaluating a
co-teaching team.

In its entirety, this module has the potential to span 5 hours. However, it can be modified to
accommodate specific audiences and timeframes:

• It can be presented as a module for a more general audience of teachers by presenting only
parts I–VII of the teacher’s segment. In this form, the module will take approximately 3 hours
to complete, depending on the selection of optional activities.

• The module for teachers can be further scheduled into smaller “mini” modules. Together,
parts I, II, III, VI, and VII will take approximately 2 hours to complete (depending on the
selection of optional activities), and parts IV and V (Planning and Scheduling) will take
approximately 1-1/2 hours to complete (depending on the selection of optional activities).

• It can also be presented as a module for supervisors by presenting only parts I–VII of the
supervisors segment. In this form, the module will take approximately 2 hours to complete,
depending on the selection of optional activities.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

I. Agenda and Overview


(Approximate time: 10 minutes)

Slide 1 Welcome the participants to the session on co-teaching.

Introduce yourself (or selves) as presenter(s), and briefly cite your


Improving Access to the General
Curriculum for Students With
experience working with students with disabilities. Explain that the
Disabilities Through
Collaborative Teaching
session will last approximately 3 hours and will include a PowerPoint
presentation and participant activities.
Your name here
Date, location, etc.

Slide 2 Show this agenda, and briefly cite the major content of the
session.
Session Overview
• Introduction to national assistance
centers and The Access Center
• Introduction to co-teaching
• Planning strategies
• Scheduling examples
• Stages of co-teaching applied to the
classroom
• Scenario examples

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 3 Since most participants will likely not be familiar with The
Access Center, take a couple of minutes to explain the center,
The Access Center its mission, etc.
• National Technical Assistance Center
– Funded by the U.S. Department of
Education, Office of Special Education
Programs
Only spend 1 or 2 minutes on Slides 3–5, which describe The Access
• Focus on issues of access
– What is “access”?
Center. At the conclusion of The Access Center’s existence, these
• Active learning for students with disabilities of
the content and skills that define the general
education curriculum
three slides can be deleted.

Slide 4 Explain technical assistance (TA), including the TA liaisons’


roles within the regional framework and the four tiers of
The Access Center’s Mission intensity of TA offered by The Access Center.
To provide technical assistance that
strengthens state and local capacity to
help students with disabilities learn
through general education curriculum

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 5 Briefly mention each point on this slide.

The Access Center’s Goals


• With an emphasis on research-based
programs, practices, and tools, our
services are intended to:
• Increase awareness among educators
• Help educators to be informed consumers
• Assist educators to implement and evaluate
programs, practices, and tools

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

II. Introduction to Co-Teaching


(Approximate time: 20 minutes)

Slide 6 If The Access Center’s description was given, then refocus


participants on the topic of co-teaching by stating, “Now we will
begin to explore the topic of today’s session—co-teaching.”
Improving Access for Students
With Disabilities Through
Collaborative Teaching

Slide 7 This slide can be presented as follows:

Background This one is really self-explanatory, isn’t it? No one likes being told
General educators are more receptive what to do. We can minimize any negative feelings or feelings of
to change when they have background
knowledge and a chance to participate
in the decisions rather than being given
resistance by explaining the needs of kids with disabilities to general
a special education mandate to follow.
educators. The key is capitalizing on everyone’s knowledge about
kids and how they learn.
Steele, Bell, & George, 2005

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 8 Similar to the previous slide:

Background (cont.) We really love our students, which should be encouraged, as long as
Special educators have developed a we allow others to love them too. Being too possessive of students is
tendency to “own” students on
individualized education plans (IEPs),
which decreases the “voice” and
counterproductive to working collaboratively. Although we may know
participation of classroom teachers in
collaborative problem solving.
more about the students that we’ve worked with, that knowledge
should be shared and communicated effectively.
Steele, Bell, & George, 2005

Slide 9 Ask the participants for some of the preconceived notions of co-
teaching that may not be an appropriate interpretation of this
Aligning Practices Through approach.
Co-Teaching
• Co-teaching is becoming one of the
fastest growing inclusive practices in
school. Here, you may want to direct the participants’ attention to the co-
• Despite this rapid increase in popularity,
co-teaching remains one of the most
commonly misunderstood practices in
teaching brief in their folders, which is a good resource for both more
education.
information about co-teaching and more references to articles and
Steele, Bell, & George, 2005
studies.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 10 This has become the most widely accepted definition in the
literature.
Defining Co-Teaching
Co-teaching occurs when two or more Go over handout 1 (H1): “Co-Teaching, What it IS, what it is NOT.”
professionals jointly deliver substantive
instruction to a diverse, or blended,
group of students in a single physical
This handout is shown on the next slide to help participants locate it in
space. their packets. Allow 5 minutes to discuss this handout.
Cook & Friend, 1995, p. 1
Interestingly, co-teaching originated in the field of general education
and has only recently been applied as a way to provide services to
students with disabilities.

Slide 11 Emphasize the following points about H1:

• Although paraprofessionals/instructional aides are essential, it is


not fair to expect them to be able to deliver instruction, particularly
in content areas.

• Be sure that having two teachers in the same room is a value-add.


One teacher should not always be in the supportive role, otherwise
students will pick up on that and begin to treat that teacher
differently. Both teachers’ areas of expertise should be included in
the classroom. Be sure that the teachers are co-teaching, not just
coexisting.

• It is important to understand and realize that small groups of


students will still need to be taken aside or elsewhere for
instruction. This is OK, as long as it is meeting the needs of the
students, but it should not be the method of choice.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 12 Use the notes below to present a brief overview of the three co-
teaching models:
Three Major Models
• Consultant model
• Coaching model
• Collaborative (or teaming) model
• In the consultant model, the special educator serves as a
consultant to the general educator in areas pertaining to
curriculum adaptation, skills remediation, and assessment
Friend & Cook, 2003
modification.

• The coaching model involves the special and general educators


taking turns coaching each other in areas of the curriculum and
pedagogy in which they are the acknowledged experts.

• The collaborative (or teaming) model incorporates equitable


sharing of lesson planning, implementation, and assessment. This
model is increasingly becoming recommended as the preferred
model by researchers, particularly because of its efficacy in
valuing the contributions of both teachers through task and
responsibility sharing.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 13 Ask the participants to review H2: “Co-Teaching Models Between


General and Special Education Teachers.”
Most Common Approaches
• One Teaching, One Drifting This is a two-sided handout that the participants need to become
• Parallel Teaching
• Station Teaching familiar with for a discussion of Slides 14–19.
• Alternative Teaching
• Team Teaching

Friend & Cook, 2003

Slide 14 Make the following points about this slide:

One Teaching, One Drifting • This approach is also known as “One Teaching, One Supporting”
• One teacher plans and instructs, and one
teacher provides adaptations and other
or “Lead and Support.” It is the most commonly used approach—
support as needed
• Requires very little joint planning
• Should be used sparingly
why?
– Can result in one teacher, most often the general
educator teacher, taking the lead role the majority
of the time

— Because it is the easiest approach to start with, since it does


– Can also be distracting to students, especially
those who may become dependent on the drifting
teacher
Friend & Cook, 2003
not need much time for co-planning.

— This is also a fall-back approach.

• However, careful attention should be paid to this approach,


because if one teacher continues to take the lead, it can diminish
the role and/or credibility of the other teacher.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 15 Make the following points about this slide:

Parallel Teaching • Because both teachers need to be proficient in the content area, it
• Teachers share responsibility for planning and
instruction.
is difficult to use this approach initially.
• Class is split into heterogeneous groups, and
each teacher instructs half on the same
material.
• Content covered is the same, but methods of
delivery may differ. • The primary goal here is to limit the student–teacher ratio.
• Both teachers need to be proficient in the
content being taught.


Friend & Cook, 2003

This approach requires significant coordination between the


teachers so that all students receive essentially the same
instruction and that grouping decisions are based on maintaining
diversity.

• Noise and movement levels should be monitored, and teachers


will need to pace their instruction similarly.

Slide 16 Make the following points about this slide:

Station Teaching • Since each teacher has separate responsibilities for instruction,
• Teachers divide the responsibility of planning
and instruction.
this approach can be used if the teachers have differing
• Students rotate on a predetermined schedule
through stations.
• Teachers repeat instruction to each group
pedagogical approaches.
that comes through; delivery may vary
according to student needs.
• Approach can be used even if teachers have
very different pedagogical approaches.
• Each teacher instructs every student. • Drawbacks to this approach can be the amount of movement and
Friend & Cook, 2003

noise it can entail—it can be distracting. However, many


classrooms make use of stations, or centers, so this can usually
be integrated fairly seamlessly.

• Some noise may be minimized by using headphones or study


carrels or by having the teachers move rather than the students.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 17 Make the following points about this slide:

Alternative Teaching • One consideration here is that teachers should be mindful of the
• Teachers divide responsibilities for planning
and instruction.
groupings. Groups should vary so that one group of particular
• The majority of students remain in a large
group setting, but some students work in a
small group for preteaching, enrichment,
students is not always pulled aside.
reteaching, or other individualized instruction.
• Approach allows for highly individualized
instruction to be offered.
• Teachers should be careful that the same
students are not always pulled aside. • A benefit of this approach is that it acknowledges the fact that
Friend & Cook, 2003

there are times when small groups of students need instruction


that is different from what the large group is participating in.

Slide 18 Make the following points about this slide:

Team Teaching • While one teacher explains or speaks, the other can demonstrate
• Teachers share responsibilities for planning
and instruction.
a concept or strategy, such as note-taking or summarizing.
• Teachers work as a team to introduce new
content, work on developing skills, clarify
information, and facilitate learning and


classroom management.
• This requires the most mutual trust and
respect between teachers and requires that
When this approach is used, co-teachers should engage in
they be able to mesh their teaching styles.
frequent checks for level of comfort and satisfaction because the
Friend & Cook, 2003

approach can be intensive.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 19 Go over H2: “Co-Teaching Models Between General and Special


Educators”

• This handout outlines some ideas or tips that you can refer back to
when you need to refresh your memory on each of the
approaches. The tips are categorized into three major elements of
classroom life: lesson design, instruction, and monitoring behavior.
Benefits of each approach are also summarized.

Optional Group Activity

• As a review, time permitting, the group can be divided into the


areas of lesson design, instruction, and monitoring behavior, and
within these small groups the three elements can be compared.
When the full group re-assembles, discussion will compare the
different models in regards to these areas. Allow 5 minutes for
small group work, and 10 minutes for discussion.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

III. Getting Started


(Approximate time: 15 minutes)

Slide 20 This section will explore the thoughts and action steps needed
to implement co-teaching in your school or district.

Getting Started

Slide 21 Share the following:

Where to Begin: Building Teaching is a very isolated profession. We can shut our classroom
Bridges
Walking across the bridge, leaving the
familiar ground of working alone, is the first
doors and make it our own safe haven. To open your door is the first
act of collaboration. All parties are in neutral
territory, with the security of knowing they
step, and an important one that should be recognized and valued. It
can return to land better, stronger, and
changed. And perhaps they will return to the
same side of the bridge even though they
takes some courage to be willing and open to the possibility of sharing
started from opposite sides.
your classroom with another professional. Also, ground rules must be
Steele, Bell, & George, 2005
in place. To feel safe walking out the door and onto the bridge, we
have to know that the bridge is safe territory. It has to be clear that no
one is going to try to shake us off or to force us to retreat, nor will we
do that to anyone who joins us on the bridge. And if it doesn’t work
out or if it’s just not comfortable, we can always go back to safe
ground—no harm done. But hopefully we can get both parties to the
same side of the bridge and to work together.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 22 Read points on slide and add any personal anecdotes related to
change.
What is Change?
Change is always:
– Risky
– Scary
But it can also be:
– Rewarding
– Fun

Steele, Bell, & George, 2005

Slide 23 Share the following about the points on this slide:

Collaboration Won’t Just Collaborative teaching isn’t something that you can just start doing
Happen
• Deliberate tomorrow. It should be a careful, thoughtful, gradual process that
• Structured
• Systematic continues to grow over time. In some cases, we’ve heard of the
• Ongoing
process taking 2 years to get to a comfortable, collaborative
relationship. What does this mean? Simply, don’t give up and don’t
Steele, Bell, & George, 2005
worry. It is going to take time, and no one does it perfectly.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 24 Make the following points about this slide:

Why Won’t it Just Happen? We are really working in separate worlds—there is not much
Some possibilities might be: alignment or communication taking place. Why is this? It could be that
• Little understanding of curriculum,
instruction, and assessment between
general and special educators
we don’t want to step on each other’s toes—we’re not comfortable
• Collaboration does not occur without a
student-driven reason and a deliberate with what “they” do, etc.
structure with resources.

Steele, Bell, & George, 2005


And, again, it is clear that collaborative teaching won’t just happen;
we have to make it happen and find a reason around which to shape
it. What better reason than to improve student outcomes.

Does special education even have access to the general education


curriculum? Oftentimes they do not even have the teacher’s edition or
textbook for one grade level, let alone all of the grade levels that they
may teach in a day.

Slide 25 Make the following points about this slide:

Why Won’t it Just Happen? If we start from different places, no wonder our paths are different as
(cont.)
• General educators begin with the well.
curriculum first and use assessment to
determine what was learned.
• Special educators begin with
assessment first and design instruction
to repair gaps in learning. Rarely are we working with the same curriculum—more confusion.
• No wonder we are talking different
languages.
Steele, Bell, & George, 2005

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 26 Make the following points about this slide:

How Can We Work With This? One thing we have working in our favor is that teaching is a
• Provide purpose and structure systematic profession. We are centered around plans for lessons,
• Create baseline and a plan for
scaffolded change
• Provide a visual map to guide
scopes, and sequences of curricula that are scheduled for each day.
discussion
• Keep discussions objective
The structure, organization, and plans are there. We just have to bring
• Allow many issues to be put on the
table for consideration them together.
Steele, Bell, & George, 2005

• We all know what we have to get through in a year, so we know


where we are starting and where we must get to. We generally
know how we’re going to get there.

• This trajectory can help us keep the discussions objective


(focused on what the kids need to learn) and data driven (where
they’re performing and how we can increase their growth).

• Since many issues affect our classrooms and the individual


children, it is important to consider related issues, while at the
same time keeping these discussions focused and objective and
away from too much discussion of any one child. (Although those
discussions may be more interesting, they can also keep us from
getting where we need to be when planning time is already
precious.)

Slide 27 Share the following:

So, now that you’ve become familiar with co-teaching and the
Sounds Good . . . Now What? different approaches, we’ll go over some tips and steps to make the
process easier.
Getting Co-Teaching Started at
the Building and Classroom Levels

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 28 Point out these action steps, and discuss H3: “Preparing to Co-
Teach.”
Action Steps
Administrators should The first page of H3 is presented on Slide 29. Allow 2 or 3 minutes to
• Provide information and encourage
proactive preparation from teachers
• Assess level of collaboration currently
discuss H3..
in place
• Pre-plan
• Implement slowly . . . baby steps!

Murawski, 2005

Slide 29 Discuss the following points about H3: “Preparing to Co-Teach.”

• This handout covers questions that should be asked and


answered before co-teaching is implemented. Or, if co-teaching is
already implemented at your site, you can look at these to see if
the questions have been addressed for your classroom or building.

• This handout can be particularly helpful for teachers to use when


they are initiating co-teaching from within (bottom-up as opposed
to being an administrative priority), or if they are in an environment
that may not be very supportive in terms of the administration.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 30 Mention the following points:


Considerations
• Teachers need to volunteer and agree to
• Researchers agree that teachers must agree to co-teach
co-teach.
• Co-teaching should be implemented
gradually.
voluntarily (when possible).
• Attention needs to be given to individualized
education plan (IEP) setting changes that an
inclusive classroom may invoke.
• Goals and support services need to reflect
the new learning experiences that students
will receive in general education classes.
• Co-teaching should also be implemented slowly. It represents a
Murawski & Dieker, 2004
major change to teachers, and steps should be explained clearly.

• Start slowly. At the building level, this may mean just one or two
pairs of co-teachers at first. At the classroom level, this may mean
that a special educator provides in-class support through
circulating, assisting with students who are struggling, or
suggesting modifications. Although this type of in-class support
differs from co-teaching, it may provide a safe starting point. It
should be short term, but can serve to demonstrate the value of
another teacher’s assistance.

• Goals and support services need to reflect the new learning


experiences that students will receive in general education
classes. That is, to the greatest extent possible, these goals
should reflect the skills that students will need to achieve success
in the general education setting (e.g., organizational skills, test-
taking strategies, social skills, self-monitoring).

• Offer opportunities for participants to make suggestions, voice


concerns, etc.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 31 Mention the following points:

Not an All-or-Nothing
Approach
• Teachers should consider which approach to co-teaching will be
• Teachers do not have to commit to only
one approach of co-teaching.
most appropriate for each lesson or unit they teach.
• Teachers do not have to only co-teach.
• Co-teaching is not the only option for
serving students.
• Some students with disabilities may be
• These points are really just things to keep in mind. Deciding to co-
in a co-taught classroom for only part of
the day. teach does not mean that it has to be your only answer.
Murawski, 2005

• The major point is that the whole process is flexible.

Slide 32 Mention the following points:

Limitations and Potential


Drawbacks
• Co-teaching has traditionally meant that both teachers remain in
• Co-teaching is not easy to maintain in
schools.
the room for the entire lesson. While this is obviously
• There may not be enough special educators
for a co-teaching program. advantageous for students with disabilities, it has been difficult to
• Co-taught classrooms may be
disproportionally filled with students with
disabilities. maintain in schools. (If you think about the ratio of special
• Special educators can function more as a
teaching assistant than as a co-educator. educators to general educators in your school, you can see why).
Friend & Cook, 2003

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

• De facto assignment of the special educator to the role of an


assistant can be minimized through the implementation of some
strategies that we will discuss shortly.

Slide 33 Share the following:

Benefits of Collaboration Working together can be very exciting. For as much as we may
• Shared responsibility for educating all acquire high levels of knowledge and experience on our own,
students
• Shared understanding and use of increasing the interaction with others within and across education
common assessment data
• Supporting ownership for programming
and interventions
creates opportunities for learning beyond these traditional boundaries
• Creating common understanding and encourages learning as a system. Instead of “what can each of
Friend & Cook, 2003
us do for OUR kids,” it becomes “what can we do together for ALL
kids.”

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

IV. Effective Co-Planning


(Approximate time: 40 minutes)

Slide 34 Mention the following points:

• Adequate planning time is among the top concerns for co-teaching


teams.
Effective Co-Planning

• This is an additional concern for special educators who work with


more than one general educator.

• The need for planning time is a systemic barrier, requiring


administrative action at the school and/or district level.

Slide 35 Share the following:


Pre-Planning
• Co-teaching requires thoughtful
As we talk about pre-planning and planning, I realize that it may cause
planning time.
• Administrative support is essential.
some stress or anxiety in terms of how to fit it all in. However, although
• Here is where the alignment of special
and general education occurs it may be some extra work at the beginning, if you do it, it WILL make
• Make this time as focused as possible
• Take turns taking the lead in planning your life easier down the road.
and facilitating
Murawski & Dieker, 2004; Dieker, 2002

Planning is essential. Planning should center on determining which


instructional techniques are going to be the most effective in helping
students meet content standards.

• The general educator can provide an overview of the content,


curriculum, and standards to be addressed before the planning
meeting.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

• The special educator should provide an overview of any student IEP


goals, objectives, and needed accommodations or modifications
that have to be incorporated into the lessons.

• Planning sessions should focus on what is going to be taught (the


content) and how it will be taught. Student-specific concerns should
be saved for the end of the planning session.

• Several premade co-teaching plan books are commercially available


and may be helpful to structure lessons.

• Include days when the special educator will take the lead in
planning.

Slide 36 Make the following points about H4: “General Education


Curriculum Snapshots.”

• This page is for the general educator to complete. This information


will give the special educator an idea of how far the students have to
come in one quarter’s time.

• It is also helpful for the general educator to break down the unit or
quarter and plan for what part is going to be the most difficult each
week.

— Given that accommodations or modifications may be a reality for


some students, it is also helpful for the teachers to come to
agreement on what minimum level of mastery for each topic is
going to be required. You can start with the standard or unit and
map it out. Think about what students must be able to do as a
result of the unit or lesson.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

— This can also be compared to taking the content standards and


developing modified standards for students.

• When planning, sometimes it is also helpful to do what is called


“backward mapping.” That is, complete the last week first and then
figure out how to get there. Those of you who have taught U.S.
History and have never gotten past the Vietnam War understand
why this can be beneficial!

Slide 37 Make the following points about H5: “Individual Student Needs
Summary.”

• This page allows the special educator to break down or summarize


each of the students’ IEPs. We talked earlier about how well special
educators know their students and tend to “own” them. This page
allows them to share not only what the IEP says about each child’s
needs, but it also has room for notes from the special educator (or
psychologist or speech-language therapist) that share additional
information or tips that he/she knows from working more intensively
with the child.

• Even in my everyday practice I have found a tool like this to be


helpful. A “one pager” on each of the kids I work with is very helpful.
Also, general educators will react much more favorably to a packet
of one pagers than they will to a 2-foot stack of IEPs to read
through.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 38 Share the following:

Provide Weekly Scheduling Believe it or not, research has shown, and we have seen, that
Co-Planning Time
• Co-teaching teams should have a 10 minutes really will become all you need to co-plan a lesson.
minimum of one scheduling/planning
period (45–60 minutes) per week.
• Experienced teams should spend
10 minutes to plan each lesson.

Dieker, 2001; Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996

Slide 39 Make the following points about this slide:


Effective Classroom-Level
Planning
• Co-teachers should show a shared
• When co-teaching, we really want to present ourselves as a unified
commitment and enthusiasm.
• Both teachers’ names should be posted on
the door and in the classroom.
front!
• All meetings and correspondence with
families should reflect participation from both


co-teachers.
• Skilled planners trust the professional skills of
their partners.
As trust develops, everything gets easier—in terms of planning,
Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996
instruction, and management.

24
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 40 Briefly mention each point on this slide.

Effective Classroom-Level
Planning (cont.)
• Effective planners design learning
environments for their students and for
themselves that demand active involvement.
• Effective co-planners create learning and
teaching environments in which each person’s
contributions are valued.
• Effective planners develop effective routines
to facilitate their planning.
• Planning skills improve over time.
Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996

Slide 41 Share that there are two stages for co-planning, and then say:

Two Stages of Classroom We will discuss how to effectively get to know each other, and then how
Co-Planning
1. Getting to know each other to begin the daunting task of carving out co-planning time.
2. Weekly co-planning

Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996

25
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 42 Make the following points about this slide:

Getting to Know Each Other • Again, these things will pay off big time for you later.
• Ease into working with one another
• Deal with the “little” things first
• These typically become the • This isn’t about adding more things to your already full plates.
deal-breakers down the road, and
preventing these road blocks early
can make life easier.
Instead, it’s about learning from the lessons of others. I think that
you will find that your workload does get easier, and throughout this
Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996

presentation, we can also help you work through specific issues.

Slide 43 Refer to H6, “What Behaviors Are Critical for Success in Each
Area?”, and explain the purpose and use of this tool:

This is an example of a tool that co-teachers can use to determine the


“non-negotiables” in their classroom. Writing them down before you
come to a meeting about them allows the process to be more neutral
and less about “you vs. me.” This puts the attention/focus of the
meeting on what is on the paper rather than simply having an open
discussion that can easily get off track.

• It is important to get these things out of the way before you begin
co-teaching because you want to avoid disagreeing with or
unintentionally undermining each other as much as possible. For
example, one of you might expect your students to come to class
with all of their materials/supplies, while the other doesn’t mind
giving out pens or pencils. Or, one of you may allow students
unlimited restroom or hall passes while the other prefers a limit on
passes. Agreeing or compromising on these issues before co-
teaching can make for a smoother path.

26
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Optional:

• At this point, ask for input from participants. Ask if there are any
points that they would add for discussion, etc.

Slide 44 Refer to H7, “S.H.A.R.E.,” and explain the purpose and use of this
tool:

• Here is another example of a tool that can help co-teaching teams


come to terms with sharing a classroom space.

• As you can see from the instructions, this asks each co-teaching
pairs to complete the questions individually and then share the
answers with his/her partner. The partner then reads it
independently, and codes each response with an A for “agree,” a B
for “disagree,” or a C for “agree to disagree or compromise.”
Completing these separately allows for more honesty and less
pressure.

• This is another way of getting at similar outcomes—we’ll give you


many new things for your “toolbox” and you can pick and choose
what works best for you and your situation.

• Do the first question with participants—ask them to share their


hopes for a co-teaching experience.

27
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 45 Make the following points about this slide:

Getting to Know Each Other


(cont.)
• Semistructured preliminary discussion can facilitate this process.
• Important to spend time talking and
getting better acquainted with each
other’s skills, interests, and educational
philosophies • See H8: “Preliminary Discussion Questions”
• Having a semistructured preliminary
discussion can facilitate this process.
• Discuss current classroom routines
and rules • Discuss current classroom routines and rules (as mentioned
Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996

before—what are the classroom non-negotiables?)

• Current classroom routines and rules might include having access


to the bathroom, drinking fountain, and pencil sharpener; talking
during class; using instructional materials; and patterns of parental
contact

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 46 Briefly describe H8, “Preliminary Discussion Questions,” and


make the following points:

Here is another way to get to know each other.

Pick and choose whichever method or form is most


effective/comfortable for you and your partner.

You may be wondering why I keep focusing on the little details, and I’ll
tell you why I am doing so. This is to avoid situations like the following:
When thinking about choosing a co-teaching partner, I think to myself,
“Oh, I really like Tracy. We’ll have no problems co-teaching.” Then you
get into the classroom and think “you let your kids do THAT,” which of
course leads to problems, because now the kids are involved and it is
more difficult to change things.

Slide 47 Make the following points about this slide:


Getting to Know Each Other
(cont.)
• Consider a “pilot test”
• Consider a “pilot test” (e.g., a 2–4 week social studies unit on the
• It may be necessary to plan together
during the summer (i.e., prior to
Civil War). A pilot test works best if you choose a lesson that is
development days involving all staff).
interesting to both of you.

Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996


• If it works reasonably well, make a long-term commitment (e.g.,
2 years).

• It may be necessary to plan together during the summer (i.e., prior


to development days involving all staff).

— Compensation for this time sends a signal of support.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 48 Briefly mention the points on this slide and then share:

Getting to Know Each Other The materials at the following Web addresses are examples of
(cont.)
• Consider completing a teaching style structured teaching style inventories that will allow you and your co-
inventory
– Compare how each of you prefers to
structure assignments, lessons,
teaching partner the opportunity to systematically evaluate and
classroom schedule, etc.
• Examples collaborate based on your differing styles.
– http://fcrcweb.ftr.indstate.educationu/
tstyles3.html
– http://www.longleaf.net/teachingstyle.html

Slide 49 Refer the participants to H9: “Teaching Style Inventory.”

Tell them that this is an example of a simple, less formal teaching style
inventory. If time permits (5–10 minutes), ask the participants to
complete this form (prepare handouts in advance) and share their style
preferences with the person to their right. Ask participants to include in
their discussions whether, based on this inventory, they would
anticipate any conflicts working as a co-teaching team.

30
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 50 Make the following points about this slide:

Weekly Co-Planning “Fitting it in” planning doesn’t work for a couple of reasons:
• Effective weekly
co-planning is based on
regularly scheduled meetings, 1. We tend to not actually end up fitting it in anywhere because we
rather than “fitting
it in.”
• Important to stay focused
are pressed for time or have more immediate concerns (kind of
• Review content in advance of meeting like me and going to the gym).
Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996

2. Hallway conversations are never the most effective—they tend to


end up going like this: One teacher sees another in the hallway
and is reminded of something he/she needs to tell that teacher.
“Oh, there’s Mrs. Smith, I’ve been meaning to talk to her about
_______ (insert kid’s name).” Why is this not ideal?

• First, only one teacher is prepared for this conversation to


happen.

• Secondly, there is limited time in the hallway. We often have


only 5 minutes to get coffee, use the restroom, etc., let alone
have a detailed and worthwhile conversation.

31
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 51 Make the following points about this slide:

Weekly Co-Planning (cont.) We want our planning meetings to be structured and purposeful.
• Guide the session with the following
fundamental issues:
– What are the content goals? Some things to think about:
– Who are the learners?
– How can we teach most effectively?

• Where do we want our students to be?


Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996

• What are the biggest bumps going to be along the way? How can
we work together to make the road less bumpy?

Slide 52 Share with the participants that there are even books that contain
premade, co-teaching lesson plans.
Weekly Co-Planning (cont.)
• Shape instructional plans Refer to H10 and H11 on Slides 53 and 54 for sample plans from a
• Establish timelines and priorities
• Assign preparation tasks lesson book.

Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996

32
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 53 Please remember, this (H10) is just one example from a


commercial co-teaching planning book.

There are several on the market, or you may choose to develop one
that is tailored to meet your specific planning needs.

Slide 54 Again, please remember, this (H11) is just one example from a
commercial co-teaching planning book.

33
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

V. Scheduling
(Approximate time: 40 minutes)

Slide 55 Scheduling Co-Teaching

Scheduling Co-Teaching

Slide 56 Introduce this section in the following way:

Collaborative Scheduling So, now that we’re ready with our co-teaching partners, how can we
• Collaborative Scheduling A work it into the day?
• Collaborative Scheduling B
• Collaborative Scheduling C

We are going to talk about three different approaches to collaborative


scheduling. Perhaps one of these, or a combination of parts of them,
Walsh & Jones, 2004
will meet your specific needs.

Small group activity:

• Divide the group into three small groups, assigning each group to
either Collaborative Scheduling A, B, or C. Ask each group to
become familiar with their assigned scheduling format and report
back to the large group.

• Allow 5 minutes for small group work and 10–15 minutes for
reporting back and having a discussion with the large group.

• Show Slides 56–66 as the participants report back about each


collaborative schedule. Be certain that the points in the facilitator’s
notes on each of the slides (56–66) are emphasized if they are not
mentioned by the participants.

34
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 57 This model ensures the availability of direct support from a


special educator for critical parts of the instructional programs.
Collaborative Scheduling A
• Special educator divides teaching time It does require careful planning by the co-teaching teams, because the
between two different classes in the
same day. special educator might be on two teams.

Walsh & Jones, 2004

Slide 58 Slide 58 is self-explanatory.

Advantages of Collaborative Ask for any personal reflections of similar scheduling models.
Scheduling A
• Enables students with disabilities to access a
broader range of general education
classrooms, including AP and honors
• Ensures the availability of direct support from
a special educator for critical parts of the
instructional programs
• Improved ratio of students with disabilities to
students without disabilities

Walsh & Jones, 2004

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 59 Slide 59 is self-explanatory.

Challenges of Collaborative Ask for any personal reflections of similar scheduling models.
Scheduling A
• Requires effective consulting skills on
the part of the special educator
• Larger danger that the special educator
will not be seen as an equal partner to
the general educator
• Could possibly disrupt the class routine

Walsh & Jones, 2004

Slide 60 The advantages and challenges of Collaborative Scheduling B are


similar to Collaborative Scheduling A.
Collaborative Scheduling B
• The special educator divides time While the special educator may still be on two different teams, he/she
between two different classes.
• The involvement of the special educator has the advantage in Collaborative Scheduling B of staying with the
varies by days of the week, not within
classes in the same day. same teacher for an entire day, thus involving less disruption to his/her
schedule and the students’ day.
Walsh & Jones, 2004

36
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 61 On days when both teachers are in attendance for the full day,
teachers can plan differentiated activities (led by both teachers)
Advantages of Collaborative and team teaching strategies for the entire class period.
Scheduling B
• Advantages are similar to Collaborative
Scheduling A.
• Co-teachers report an ability to
implement a full range of co-teaching
models because of the planned
involvement of both teachers in
complete classes on certain days of
the week.
Walsh & Jones, 2004

Slide 62 Emphasize the second and third points, and again, ask for
personal reflections.
Challenges of Collaborative
Scheduling B
• Challenges are similar to Collaborative
Scheduling A.
• Teachers need to be cognizant of the
presence of two teachers on only
certain days of the week.
• Students with specific support and
accommodation requirements have to
be well aligned to the schedule.
Walsh & Jones, 2004

Slide 63 This slide needs no further discussion, beyond emphasizing each


point.
Challenges of Collaborative
Scheduling B (cont.)
• Requires general educator to be able to
implement IEP requirements in the absence
of the special educator
• Special educator burnout is an issue because
of the greater demand of knowledge of the
general education curriculum.
• Requires supervisory judgment regarding
which teachers can effectively plan and
implement this model
Walsh & Jones, 2004

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 64 The team of teachers identifies the essential opportunities for IEP
instruction and support throughout the school day and week, and
Collaborative Scheduling C a schedule is established accordingly.
• The special educator serves as a
resource to the interdisciplinary team.
• His/her schedule is established weekly
on the basis of instructional activities.
• Requires the greatest amount of
flexibility and planning by an
interdisciplinary team of teachers
Walsh & Jones, 2004

Slide 65 Ask the participants to discuss a “typical day” or “typical week” if


this model was chosen.
Advantages of Collaborative
Scheduling C
• Special educator is present when
needed most for instructional support.
• Instructional need dictates the
cooperative teaching role, not the
calendar or time of day.
• Most responsive to students’ needs and
schedules.
Walsh & Jones, 2004

38
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 66 Following the discussion of these three scheduling models, ask


the participants if they have had experiences with other
Challenges of Collaborative scheduling models that have been successful . . . or unsuccessful.
Scheduling C
• Requires the highest degree of planning
and buy-in by a team of teachers

Walsh & Jones, 2004

39
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

VI. Co-Teaching in Action


(Approximate time: 30 minutes)

Slide 67 Co-Teaching in Action

Co-Teaching in Action

Slide 68 Point out the following:

Instruction Teaching in the same room at the same time is often the most difficult
• Most difficult but also the most rewarding part of co-teaching. However, the instruction component has also
• There are things that can be done to
maximize success and rewards:
– Review the different approaches to co-teaching
been frequently reported to be the most rewarding part of co-teaching,
and think about how each might look in a
classroom
– Discuss each other’s learning style preferences to
provided teachers follow some tips for success.
see how these can be incorporated into the lesson
to assist students with varying styles

Murawski & Dieker, 2004

40
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 69 Read this vignette to participants.

No comments are necessary.


“We get along very well. We are both flexible
and have developed similar expectations for
students and similar classroom management
styles. We feed off each others’ comments
and teaching styles. We switch which groups
we work with so that we both get to perform
a variety of roles with all our students. We
work together; develop together; and bounce
things off each other. Working as a team
makes you feel good.”

Salend, Gordon, & Lopez-Vona, 2002

Slide 70 Read this vignette to participants.

No comments are necessary.


“I don’t think I’d like to work in this type of
program again. She felt like a visitor in my
classroom, and we never connected
personally. We struggled because of
differences in roles, teaching and
communication styles, and philosophy. The
students also were confused. They felt that I
was the teacher and she was my aide. I felt
like she was always watching me and
judging me. We didn’t know how to do it and
received little support from our principal.”

Salend, Gordon, & Lopez-Vona, 2002

Slide 71 Elaborate on this slide as follows:

Instructional Tips • Unobtrusive signals should cover such cues as when it is time to
• Develop unobtrusive signals to communicate with each
other move on, when extra time is needed, when one teacher needs to
• Create signals for students that are consistent and can
be used by either teacher
• Vary instructional practices
• Clearly display an agenda for the class, which includes
leave the room for an emergency, or when the teachers need to
the standard(s) to be covered and any additional goals
• Avoid disagreeing with or undermining each other in
front of the students briefly meet.
• Strive to demonstrate parity in instruction whenever
possible by switching roles often
• Avoid stigmatization of any one group of students


Murawski & Dieker, 2004

Signals for students can be used to indicate transitions, gain


attention, or make an announcement.

41
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

• One of the distinctive features of co-teaching is that two teachers


allow for more flexibility and creativity during lessons.

• Study skills are frequently part of students’ IEP goals and can help
all students find success.

• Use occasions of potential disagreement to model appropriate


communication techniques (Murawski & Dieker, 2004).

• No one teacher should always be with a small group or circulating


while the other is always providing large group instruction.

• To avoid stigmatization, circulate students and maintain


heterogeneous groups within both large and small group
instruction (Murawski, 2005).

Slide 72 Introduce the three stages of co-teaching relationships by


sharing the following:
Three Stages of Co-Teaching
Relationships
• Beginning Stage Throughout the next section, we will be looking at the various areas of
• Compromising Stage
• Collaborative Stage a co-taught classroom in terms of how the co-teachers work together
and apply that to a continuum throughout three stages.
Gately, 2005

42
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 73 Refer to each area on this slide, and indicate that each will be
mapped onto the continuum of stages.
Three Stages of Co-Teaching
as They Apply to:
• Physical Arrangement
• Familiarity With the Curriculum
• Curriculum Goals and Modifications
• Instructional Presentation
• Classroom Management
• Assessment

Gately & Gately, 2001

Slide 74 First, let’s take a look at the progression of the physical


arrangement in a co-taught classroom.

Physical Arrangement

Slide 75 Special educator asks permission to use materials or brings


them in.
Physical Arrangement:
Beginning Stage
• Impression of separateness This leads to the feeling of being an outsider. The special educator
– Students with disabilities vs. general
education students feels like a visitor here. Often, it is the special educator who is coming
• Little ownership of materials or space
by special educator
• Delegated spaces which are rarely
into the general educator’s classroom.
abandoned
Gately & Gately, 2001

43
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 76 Elaborate on this slide as follows:

Physical Arrangement: There are invisible walls that divide special education from general
Beginning Stage (cont.)
• Invisible walls education.
• A classroom within a
classroom

It can look more like a resource room inserted into a general


classroom—not much integration happening.
Gately & Gately, 2001

Slide 77 Point out the negative effect on the special educator:

Physical Arrangement: Although there is more movement and more sharing of space and
Compromising Stage
• More movement and shared space materials, the special educator may not yet feel comfortable taking the
• Sharing of materials
• Territoriality becomes less evident. lead as an equal partner in the instructional delivery to all students.
• Special educator moves more freely
around the classroom but rarely takes
center stage.

Gately & Gately, 2001

44
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 78 Point out why it is beginning to look like one unified classroom.

Physical Arrangement:
Collaboration Stage
• The important element here is that the students are working
• Seating arrangements are intentionally together and not seeing any differences—walls are disappearing
interspersed.
• All students participate in cooperative
grouping assignments.
for the students and the teachers.
• Teachers are more fluid in an
unplanned and natural way.
• For the teachers, it becomes less intentional and more intuitive.
Gately & Gately, 2001

Slide 79 The doubles team analogy really sums up this stage: The two
teachers work in unison to cover questions from all students.
Physical Arrangement:
Collaboration Stage (cont.)
• Both teachers control space:
Like an effective doubles
team in tennis, the
classroom is always
“covered.”
• Space is truly jointly owned.

Gately & Gately, 2001

45
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 80 Let’s begin to explore how teachers with different backgrounds


become comfortable and competent with each other’s areas of
expertise.
Familiarity With the Curriculum

Slide 81 Ask the special educators in the audience if they’ve ever seen
the general education curriculum.
Familiarity With the Curriculum:
Beginning Stage
• Special educator may be unfamiliar with
content or methodology used by the general
• It’s important to keep point of view/perspective in mind. What may
educator.
• General educator may have limited
be obvious to one of us may not be familiar at all to the other. Here
understanding of modifying the curriculum
and making appropriate accommodations.
• Unfamiliarity creates a lack of confidence in
is where the pre-planning tools come in handy—where the general
both teachers.
educator provides an overview of the curriculum and the special
Gately & Gately, 2001
educator provides an overview of individual student needs. This
may be a good time to refer back to the pre-planning tools
(H4–H9).

• Communicating about what the other doesn’t know can help the
teachers get on the same page and gain confidence in the other’s
areas of expertise.

46
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 82 Make the following points about this slide:

Familiarity With the Curriculum:


CompromisingÆCollaborative Stages
• In this stage, the teachers begin to relinquish control of some of
• Special educator acquires a knowledge “their” respective territories.
of the scope and sequence and
develops a solid understanding of the
content of the curriculum.
• Special educator gains confidence to
make suggestions for modifications and
• The special educator begins to be confident enough to deliver
accommodations.
instruction, and the general educator begins to be familiar enough
Gately & Gately, 2001

with the modifications to be able to provide them on his/her own.

Ask participants for anecdotes about their student teaching


experiences (e.g., they didn’t take control of a whole lesson right
away but gradually eased into things).

Slide 83 Elaborate on this slide as follows:


Familiarity with the Curriculum:
CompromisingÆCollaborative Stages • Here, teachers are beginning to see the value that they bring to
(cont.)
• General educator becomes more willing the other’s area.
to modify the curriculum, and there is
increased sharing in planning and
teaching.
• Both teachers appreciate the specific
curriculum competencies that they bring
• Here, teachers will also find that “special education” techniques
to the content area.
will likely benefit more students than just those with IEPs.
Gately & Gately, 2001

47
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 84 This is an area in which the special educator really needs to


serve as a mentor to the general educator, as they work together
to develop a classroom that meets the needs of each student.
Curriculum Goals and
Modifications

Slide 85 Explain the difficulty with this step:

Curriculum Goals and


Modifications: Beginning Stage
• The Beginning Stage is pretty much status quo, or even a step
• Programs are driven by textbooks and
standards, and goals tend to be “test-
backward. Because it’s an unfamiliar situation, teachers will often
driven.”
• Modifications and accommodations are
revert back to “this is what we have to do,” thus, strictly following
generally restricted to those identified in
the IEP; little interaction regarding the curriculum.
modifications to the curriculum.
• Special educator’s role is seen as “helper.”


Gately & Gately, 2001

The special educator may feel particularly inadequate with regard


to the curriculum and thus, with his/her contribution to the
classroom.

• This is a tough stage to get through.

48
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 86 Share the following:

Curriculum Goals and Although the general educator has had time to understand the special
Modifications: Compromising Stage
• General educator may view educator’s role, he/she may still not be at the point where he/she can
modifications as “giving up” or
“watering down” the curriculum. break down the standards into things that every student must learn—
may not be comfortable differentiating the curriculum based on needs.
Gately & Gately, 2001

Slide 87 Describe what happens in this stage in the following way. You
may refer back to H4, “General Education Curriculum
Curriculum Goals and
Modifications: Collaborative Stage
Snapshots,” for this slide.
• Both teachers begin to differentiate
concepts that all students must know
from concepts that most students
should know.
• Both the general educator and special educator can identify the
• Modifications of content, activities,
homework assignments, and tests
big ideas, the most difficult concepts, and the minimum level of
become the norm for students who
require them. mastery.
Gately & Gately, 2001

• Here, because the teachers have become familiar with each


other’s area, both of them can look at the curriculum and know
how to break it down based on student needs.

• Modifications become something not just for students with IEPs


but also something that many students in the class can benefit
from.

49
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 88 Is it really possible for the chalk to be shared equally?

Instructional Presentation

Slide 89 Elaborate on the points on this slide as follows:

Instructional Presentation: At this stage, the instruction is still clearly divided between the general
Beginning Stage
• Teachers often present separate educator and the special educator, with each teaching his/her “own”
lessons.
• One teacher is “boss”; one is “helper.” students. There is a clear division of the chain of command, with the
general educator tending to take control of the instruction.
Gately & Gately, 2001

Slide 90 Elaborate on this slide as follows:

Instructional Presentation: Here, the special educator is beginning to provide whole group
Compromising Stage
• Both teachers direct some of the instruction in some isolated instances. He/she is still seen as the
activities in the classroom.
• Special educator offers mini-lessons or teacher of the students who aren’t “getting it.” This is, however, a step
clarifies strategies that students may
use. forward, because now there are most likely students without
disabilities in the group who are receiving instruction from the special
Gately & Gately, 2001
educator.

50
Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 91 The special educator and general educator cover the “court”
equally. Both of them have had a hand in planning the lesson,
Instructional Presentation: delivering the lesson, and assessing the lesson.
Collaborative Stage
• Both teachers participate
in the presentation of the
lesson, provide
instruction, and structure
the learning activities.
One of the most important indicators of the successful transition into
• The “chalk” passes freely.
• Students address
the collaborative stage is that the students do not differentiate
questions and discuss
concerns with both
teachers.
between the teachers. They feel comfortable asking questions of
Gately & Gately, 2001
either teacher.

Slide 92 Now, let’s take a look at what it takes for the special educator—
and the students with disabilities—not to be perceived as
“separate” in terms of behavior and the management of
inappropriate behavior.
Classroom Management

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 93 Elaborate on this slide as follows:

Classroom Management: Although the general educator is teaching, the special educator is
Beginning Stage
• Special educator “floating” around the classroom dealing with disruptive and inattentive
tends to assume
the role of
“behavior
behavior. This significantly undermines the special educator’s position
manager.” as a classroom teacher.
Gately & Gately, 2001

Slide 94 Elaborate on this slide as follows:

Classroom Management: The general educator is beginning to relinquish control and work more
Compromising Stage
• More communication collaboratively with the special educator in developing and
and mutual
development of rules implementing rules and routines. Individual behavior management
• Some discussion for
individual behavior
management plans
plans for all students still tend to be resisted in favor of group
approaches to management.
Gately & Gately, 2001

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 95 Elaborate on this slide as follows:

Classroom Management: Rules, routines, and expectations are mutually developed for the
Collaborative Stage
• Both teachers are involved in developing a
classroom management system that benefits
class as a whole and for individuals. Individual behavior management
all students.
• Common to observe individual behavior plans are in place for students with and without disabilities and are
plans, use of contracts, tangible rewards, and
reinforcers
• Development of community-building and
being monitored equally by both teachers.
relationship-building activities as a way to
enhance classroom management
Gately & Gately, 2001

Slide 96 Assessment in the co-taught classroom involves developing


systems for evaluating individual students and adjusting
standards and expectations for performance to meet individual
needs, while maintaining course integrity.
Assessment

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 97 Discuss the following points:

Assessment • Grading can become one of the trickiest issues for co-teaching
• With the current emphasis on high-
stakes tests, co-teaching provides an
teams and should address education proactively to the greatest
effective way to strengthen the
instruction–assessment link: extent possible. In particular, at the secondary level, grades can
– Discuss grading before it becomes an issue
– Consider a variety of assessment options
– Offer menus of assignments
carry great importance, and general educators may be concerned
– Share the grading load and align grading
styles
about the implications of accommodations or modifications.
Murawski & Dieker, 2004

• A method for assessing progress and effort should be determined.


A way for students with IEPs to have their goals assessed and
how attaining those goals will be reflected in grading should also
be determined.

• It is recommended that each teacher grade a few of the same


papers individually to see how their grading styles correlate. They
should then discuss the process and refine their grading standards
to ensure reliability between grading styles.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 98 Typically, there are two separate grading systems or one system
is exclusively controlled by the general educator.
Assessment: Beginning Stage
• Two separate grading systems are often
maintained separately by the two teachers.
At this point, the general educator is not likely to be involved in the
• One grading system may also be exclusively
managed by the general educator.
monitoring of progress toward goals in IEPs for students with
• Measures tend to be objective in nature and
based only on a student’s knowledge of the disabilities. That system would be maintained by the special educator.
content.

Gately & Gately, 2001

Slide 99 Ask participants for examples of grading systems or assessment


ideas that might be appropriate in a co-taught classroom that
Assessment: would effectively capture students’ progress, not just their
Compromising Stage
• Two teachers begin to explore alternate knowledge of the content.
assessment ideas.
• Teachers begin to discuss how to
effectively capture students’ progress,
not just their knowledge of the content. It is not just the general educator “giving up” assessment of content
knowledge—that remains critical. It is going beyond point-in-time
Gately & Gately, 2001
assessment to growth measures.

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Facilitator’s Notes
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Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 100 Provide examples of what the collaborative stage looks like:

Assessment:
Collaborative Stage
• Individualization of grading procedures for all students, specific
• Both teachers appreciate the need for a progress monitoring, use of both objective and subjective
variety of options when assessing
students’ progress. standards for grading

• Both teachers consider ways to integrate the goals and objectives


Gately & Gately, 2001

that are written into students’ IEPs.

• Assessment procedures are developed on an ongoing basis.

Summarize by saying:

We’ve found that being aware of these stages is very helpful for
teachers. It makes it real that they’re not going to be doing it perfectly
right from the get go. Some of the tools that we talked about earlier
can help us progress through the stages more quickly.

Slide 101 Introduce H12, “Tracking Our Progress Through the Three
Stages,” as follows:

This is another tool that co-teachers can use to see how they are
doing in terms of moving through the stages in each area. Co-
teachers can identify (separately or together) the stage in which they
are functioning and their strengths and areas of challenge for each
element.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 102 Introduce H13, “Co-Teaching in the Classroom,” as follows:

This tool is a “tip sheet” of activities for the co-taught classroom. This
is not an ideal or complete list, but it can help both teachers to be
active participants in classroom activities.

Slide 103 Share the following:

Evaluation The cause of this reluctance has been the fact that the success of co-
• Researchers have been reluctant to measure
outcomes of co-teaching. This provides a good
teaching depends heavily on the relationship between the teachers. In
opportunity for teachers to engage in their own
action research. They should begin to collect data on
their own to document outcomes.
fact, co-teaching relationships are often compared to marriages.
– Teachers and administrators should evaluate co-teaching
situations at least once per year.
– The rule that assessment informs instruction should also
apply to co-teaching: As co-teachers continue to assess their
situation, they must ensure that they are improving their
instruction to best meet students’ needs in an inclusive
classroom. Evaluating co-teaching situations at least once per year ensures that
Murawski & Dieker, 2004; Friend & Cook, 2003
co-teaching teams are functioning as intended.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

VII. Co-Teaching Scenarios


(Approximate time: 40 minutes)

Slide 104 These scenarios can be presented in two ways:

• One way is to simply present each slide, emphasizing each point.


Co-Teaching Scenarios
• A second way is to present it as an optional small group activity,
by following these suggestions:

Divide the group into three small groups. Give each group the
assignment of familiarizing themselves with the scenario, including
what worked and what didn’t, and have each group report back to the
large group.

If you choose to use this as a small group activity, print two copies of
Slides 105–117, one for the elementary group and one for the middle
school group. Remind the groups that they will need to differentiate
between the elementary and middle school classrooms as they study
and present each specific scenario.

Allow 5 minutes for small group work and 5–10 minutes for reporting
back.

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 105 If you choose to explore the case studies as a small group
activity, then leave these directions on the screen for the
Activity Directions participants to see while they are working.
• Each group will read and discuss their
scenario.
• Be prepared to report back to the group
with a summary of the scenario,
If you choose the small group activity, then consider
including:
– Comments about pros and cons consolidating Slides 105–117 as a handout for group 1 and
– Personal insight into why the example was
a positive or negative experience for the
co-teachers
Slides 118–122 as a handout for group 2.

Slide 106 This scenario should be treated as two separate ones: an


elementary classroom and a middle school classroom.

Upper Elementary and


Share this information with the small groups that are discussing
Middle School Earth Science these two scenarios:

• Qualitative data was collected to evaluate the effectiveness of the


co-teaching practices.

• Classroom observations ranged from one semester to 2 years.

• The co-teaching teams consisted of one general and one special


educator.

• Qualitative data was collected to evaluate the effectiveness of the


co-teaching practices.

• All teachers had teaching experience (except one seventh-grade


teacher, who was a beginning teacher) and credentials in their
fields.

• Fourth grade consisted of 25 students (5 with disabilities: LD,


cognitively disabled, physical disability).

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

• Seventh grade consisted of 25 students (7 with disabilities: LD,


hearing impaired).

• The observations were conducted during a hands on unit on


ecosystems. The units were highly similar across both grades,
except the depth and breadth of coverage was greater in the
seventh-grade unit.

Slide 107 As you go through this slide, it is helpful to emphasize the


positive components that point to an eventually successful co-
Working Relationships teaching team.
• Elementary team volunteered; middle
school team was assigned.
• Both teams were upbeat and able to
interject appropriately during the lesson
and displayed mutual respect.
• Both teams indicated a genuine trust
and respect for their partners.
Mastropieri et al., 2005

Slide 108 Make the following point about this slide:

Strengths as Motivators Clearly, this team is “sharing the chalk,” and “covering the court
• Both teachers on both teams claimed equally.”
ownership for all of the students who
were enrolled.
• Teachers emphasized importance of
enthusiastic teaching while maintaining
effective behavior management.

Mastropieri et al., 2005

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 109 It is appropriate at this point, and engaging, to ask the


participants for personal examples of the “trials and tribulations”
Time Allocated for and successes of co-planning time.
Co-Planning
• Elementary team did not have time allocated
for co-planning:
– Met before/after school and at lunch
– Because they enjoyed each other’s company, lack
of scheduled co-planning time did not appear to
be a barrier to effective instruction.
– Mentioned that it would have been easier if
the administration had allowed them time for
co-planning

Mastropieri et al., 2005

Slide 110 Be certain to emphasize the importance of the points on this


slide as the small group is reporting back.
Time Allocated for
Co-Planning (cont.)
• Seventh-grade team had a common
free period for planning during which
time they could:
– Review where they were in the content
– Determine what needed to be covered
and by when
– Develop optimal ways to present
information and complete activities
Mastropieri et al., 2005

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 111 Be certain that the team reporting back includes the following:

Appropriate Curriculum Both the elementary and middle school teams incorporated effective
• Both teams used a hands-on, instructional strategies into their lessons. These strategies, such as
activity-based approach to instruction:
– Made content more concrete hands-on and activity-based lessons, have become a hallmark of co-
– Lessened the language and literacy
demands of tasks
taught classrooms, incorporating the strengths and expertise of both
teachers.
Mastropieri et al., 2005

Slide 112 Be certain that the team reporting back makes the following
point:
Appropriate Curriculum
(cont.)
• Activity-based instruction lends itself It is important to note that both students with disabilities and students
very well to co-teaching:
– Teachers can share more equitably in
instruction.
without disabilities benefited from this approach.
– In fact, teachers appear to be more likely
to share instruction in a hands-on
approach.

Mastropieri et al., 2005

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 113 Be certain that the team reporting back makes this point:

Effective Instructional Skills Both of these teams were able to effectively incorporate instructional
• Both teams used effective instructional presentation and behavior management into a model that worked well
skills:
– Framework of daily review, presentation of
new information, guided and independent
for all types of students.
practice activities, and formative review
– Effective classroom management, including
good behavior as a prerequisite for
participation in activities, such reinforcers
as positive comments, and tangibles
Mastropieri et al., 2005

Slide 114 Be certain that the team reporting back makes the following
point:
Disability-Specific Teaching
Adaptations
• Both teams planned for individual The addition of the special educator into the classroom enhanced the
student performance within the unit
and how to handle individual
differences:
individualization of all instruction and helped to meet the specific
– Reduced language and literacy
requirements
needs of students with disabilities.
• Special educator worked with students
who required adaptations.
Mastropieri et al., 2005

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 115 Be certain that the team reporting back emphasizes this point:

Disability-Specific Teaching It is important to keep in mind modifications and accommodations that


Adaptations (cont.)
• Seventh-grade team used PowerPoint are necessary for students with IEPs. In this case, the seventh-grade
presentations for supplemental review.
• Special educator adapted tests by team adapted the amount of written language on tests that were taken
reducing amount of written language in
questions. by students with IEPs.
Mastropieri et al., 2005

Slide 116 Be certain that the team reporting back emphasizes this point:

Expertise in the Content Area Especially in the elementary classroom in these case studies, both
• In fourth grade, both teachers deferred teachers appeared to be comfortable as the person who was primarily
to each other during instruction so all
students would benefit:
– Teachers frequently exchanged roles as
responsible for instructional presentation.
presenters.

Mastropieri et al., 2005

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 117 Be certain that the team reporting back emphasizes this point:

Expertise in the Content Area Content knowledge becomes a more difficult issue after elementary
(cont.)
• In seventh grade, the division between the
content and the adaptation experts was more
school. It is easy for the team in middle schools and high schools to
pronounced:
– General educator appeared to have an advantage
over the special educator with respect to content
slip back into a model of a primary teacher and an “assistant.”
knowledge.
– Special educator viewed this as an advantage
(i.e., giving him/her an opportunity to learn the
curriculum).
– During lessons, special educator more frequently
assumed the role of assisting individuals and small
groups than the general educator.
Mastropieri et al., 2005

Slide 118 Summarize this scenario as follows:

• The co-teaching team consisted of a general and special educator.


Middle School Social Studies
• The classroom was an eighth-grade government and civics class.

• Observations were conducted during an entire academic year.

• Both teachers had several years of teaching experience and


credentials in respective areas.

• The co-teaching team was mandated by the school administration.

• The classroom consisted of 30 students (8 with disabilities).

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Facilitator’s Notes
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Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 119 Be certain that the team reporting back emphasizes these points:

Co-Planning Parent conferences and IEP meetings, among others, were also
• Both teachers had allocated planning
time; however, this was also their
scheduled during the common planning time.
individual planning time.
• One period per week was allocated for
co-planning. Planned for:
– Curriculum issues (in general), scheduling
for curriculum sequence, and types of
Efforts to divide the teaching responsibilities began congenially.
assignments and activities
– Ways to divide the teaching responsibilities However, when time tensions began to emerge, the general educator
Mastropieri et al., 2005
and special educator continued to maintain ownership of both their
students and their areas of instructional specialty.

Slide 120 At this point, ask for personal experiences of co-planning “gone
bad.”
Co-Planning (cont.)
• Lack of planning was an obstacle to
co-teaching
Try to turn the discussion into a positive one, by asking for possible
– Resulted in lessons that were too advanced for all
students
solutions to the co-planning struggles.
– Left one of the team members feeling trapped in
an unworkable situation
– As tensions mounted, teachers began to split the
class into two small groups and moved them into
separate rooms for many of the activities.

Mastropieri et al., 2005

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Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 121 Be certain that the team reporting back mentions the points on
this slide.
Teaching Styles
• Each teacher had a distinct style of
instruction:
Ask the participants:
– One teacher was very relaxed and casual; the
other was more structured and formal.
– In the beginning, these styles seemed to
complement each other.
– Students appeared to adapt to the differences in
styles and expectations.
• What teaching styles might be more likely to conflict in this
– As the year progressed, the extreme styles
contributed to the deterioration of the team. setting?
Mastropieri et al., 2005

• How can these differences be addressed?

Slide 122 Be certain that the team reporting back briefly discusses the
points on this slide.
Behavior and Classroom
Management
• Little structure was in place in the beginning.
• No specific class behavior rules were posted.
Ask the participants for personal experiences and/or insights into
• Teachers implied that schoolwide behavior
policies were the expectations for the class.
classroom management options that can be implemented in a co-
• The loosely structured classroom behavior
structure suited one teacher but not the
other.
teaching setting.
– This was a contributing factor to the eroding of
the team—the final straw.

Mastropieri et al., 2005

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Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 123 References

References
• Austin, V. L. (2001). Teachers’ beliefs about co-teaching. Remedial and Special
Education, 22, 245–255.
• Cook, L. H., & Friend, M. (1995). Co-teaching guidelines for creating effective
practices. Focus on Exceptional Children, 28(2), 1–12.
• Cook, L. H., & Friend, M. (2003). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school
professionals (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
• Dieker, L. (2001). What are the characteristics of “effective” middle and high school
co-taught teams? Preventing School Failure, 46, 14–25.
• Dieker, L. (2002). Co-planner (semester). Whitefish Bay, WI: Knowledge by Design.
• Fennick, E. (2001). Co-teaching: An inclusive curriculum for transition. Teaching
Exceptional Children, 33(6), 60–66.
• Friend, M., & Cook, L. H. (2003). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school
professionals (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
• Gately, S. E. (2005). Two are better than one. Principal Leadership, 5(9), 36–41.
• Gately, S. E., & Gately, F. J. (2001). Understanding co-teaching components.
Teaching Exceptional Children, 33(4), 40–47.
• Geen, A. G. (1985). Team teaching in the secondary schools of England and Wales.
Educational Review, 37, 29–38.
• Hourcade, J. J., & Bauwens, J. (2001). Cooperative teaching: The renewal of
teachers. Clearinghouse, 74, 242–247.

Slide 124 References

References (cont.)
• Mastropieri, M. A., Scruggs, T. E., Graetz, J. E., Nordland, J., Gardizi, W., &
McDuffie, K. (2005). Case studies in co-teaching in the content areas:
Successes, failures, and challenges. Intervention in School and Clinic, 40, 260–
270.
• Murawski, W. W. (2005). Addressing diverse needs through co-teaching: Take
baby steps! Kappa Delta Pi Record, 41(2), 77–82.
• Murawski, W. W., & Dieker, L. A. (2004). Tips and strategies for co-teaching at
the secondary level. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36(5), 52–58.
• Salend, S., Gordon, I., & Lopez-Vona, K. (2002). Evaluating cooperative teams.
Intervention in School and Clinic, 37(4), 195–200.
• Steele, N., Bell, D., & George, N. (2005, April). Risky business: The art and
science of true collaboration. Paper presented at the Council for Exceptional
Children’s Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD.
• Trump, J. L. (1966). Secondary education tomorrow: Four imperatives for
improvement. NASSP Bulletin, 50(309), 87–95.
• Walsh, J. M., & Jones, B. (2004). New models of cooperative teaching. Teaching
Exceptional Children, 36(5), 14–20.
• Walther-Thomas, C., Bryant, M., & Land, S. (1996). Planning for effective co-
teaching: The key to successful inclusion. Remedial and Special Education, 17,
255–265.

Slide 125 Visit The Access Center’s Web site.

Visit our Web site for more


information or to contact us:

http://www.K8accesscenter.org

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Facilitator’s Notes
Improving Access to the General Curriculum for Students With Disabilities
Through Collaborative Teaching

Slide 126 Thank you.

The Access Center: Improving


Outcomes for All Students K–8

American Institutes for Research


1000 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007

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