Co-Teaching Problems #1: Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)

Monday, July 6, 2015
There are so many lucky co-teachers out there who get to be housed in the same classroom, with the same teacher, everyday. Although this is an ideal (keyword: ideal, not required for co-teaching) model, it's not going to happen every where, and every time you have a co-teacher. Learning specialists follow the student, not the teacher. Why? Because it's not the teacher that needs the supports, it's the student.

Lets face it, it's hard to implement different learning strategies and curricula when one of the teachers is out of the room.

I understood that - we had Reader's Journey as the main ELA curricula. However, we needed to more supports for our students who were reading at levels well below 6th and 7th grade. That's where Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) comes into the picture.

LLI comes in different levels based on the F&P level of the student.

I mean, how can you go wrong with an LLI system that's so organized?!

The dilemma started when ...



Two students in a split grade level class needed LLI. The curriculum would teach them how to decode, use different learning strategies, spell, etc. This was done in a small group, with me, during silent reading time (30 minutes). My co-teacher and I planned it this way because we wanted both students to also be included during Reader's Journey.

Here comes the bad news: I wasn't always in the room due to testing. How did I try to solve this dilemma?
  • I had the paraprofessional lead it, but her schedule was remade and she soon departed.
  • I tried to teach my co-teacher how to do it, but she didn't like it at all and stated that it "gave her anxiety," even though LLI provides pre-made plans and scripts to follow. Fair enough.
  • I created a schedule on the board for my co-teacher, but it kept getting erased by other students OR my co-teacher would not follow the schedule and the students would not get their LLI time.
I didn't have any good solution until I stumbled upon a freebie online recently. Why didn't I know about this earlier?! The freebie is actually schedule cards, but I think they're the most age appropriate ones for middle school. A lot of the schedule cards available online aren't really middle school appropriate (i.e. cutesy images of students on the side). In addition, these cards have simple images so that my emerging readers can identify what the words might mean using the images.

Check out how I'm organizing my LLI station for next year below:

Step 1: Print out labels and laminate.
I printed them out smaller to save ink - they were pretty large.

Step 2: Purchase similar colored file folders and label tabs. I plan on putting the following things into the color coordinated folder:

  • Red - black and white copies of the week's LLI book or an iPad with Raz-Kids. Student will have a visual annotation (LLI provided) completed for credit. See below for explanation.
  • Yellow - writing journal that comes with LLI system and a writing prompt. The student can choose to have a peer or adult read the writing prompt to them.
  • Green - silent reading of the black and white copy of the book.
  • Blue - running record day OR read to a peer or adult - student will have an adult initial it for credit and answer three comprehension questions.
  • Orange - worksheets provided by LLI for vocabulary sorting


Step 3: File organizer/ sorter so student can grab the goods based on the schedule. They will also return any work into the same folder. I had a bunch of these laying around, but I'm sure the dollar store has a plethora of things you can use.


For the upcoming school year, I really want to focus more on autonomy. Hopefully, this might solve the whole issue if I put a procedure in place. It'll also take the responsibility off of my co-teacher. I plan on telling her what expectations are and that she'll just have to prompt the student. My only issue is the reading aloud part. My current plan is switch off days where the student reads aloud to a peer/chosen adult OR uses the iPad app called Raz-Kids to records themselves reading and I can perform a running record online. This kind of correlates to the old school iPod picture on the card too!

Let me know what you think! Any ideas? What system do you use?

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