"Gotta Stay on your A Game" - The Co-Teaching Book of Lists

Friday, July 10, 2015
You can buy it here.
cut off at the side: grades K-12, sticky notes you see are from Julia.

I was given a copy of this book at the beginning/ almost middle of the year.  Let's face it, I didn't read it until school let out.

However, Julia was awesome enough to sticky note the sections she found the most helpful. I finally got a chance to sit down and read through it. Why? Cause I'm a dweeb. That's the honest truth. My professional justification for doing this? Because I need to be a stronger advocate for myself and for my students.

As my school continues to work on becoming inclusive and working towards a successful co-teaching model, I need to solidify my knowledge of co-teaching. You already know I was trained in the most restrictive environment for severe and profound disabilities, so this is super important to me. At the moment, I'm fighting to have others understand what my role is, what the expectation of both teachers should be, and for the implementation of a positive co-teaching relationship and environment.

Below, you can read about what I thought was great and really helpful as far as co-teaching goes. I'm not going to go into detail about the format and all the things inside since you can see it if you go to Amazon.

A few things about the book:

  1. Straight to the point, it's not a textbook (it's not wordy)! It describes what co-teaching looks like, what teachers should do, and what baby steps should be taken to in order to successfully have a co-teaching model work.
  2. Awesome suggestions for different types of activities, accommodations, modifications, and strategies to use in the classroom.
  3. Great reflection resource for co-teachers to use when thinking about their role, responsibilities, and things that worked or didn't work.
  4. All grade levels - it's focused on what co-teaching is and how to make it happen. It's practical and not over the top with its ideas.

When I cracked open the book, here's a list of the things I found super useful. The ones highlighted in orange were the pages Julia recommended.

  • Characteristics of co-teaching with examples and non-examples: sometimes you just need to bust out a list and show a co-worker who believes that the only co-teaching model is two teachers, stationed in one room, all day. 
  • Keywords both co-teachers should know: I previously mentioned how most general education teachers only have 6 credits in special education. This is awesome to review with both teachers. Remember, co-teaching isn't my kids your kids!
  • Large Group and Small Group Instruction: different models (i.e. parallel, team, one teach, one assist) of co-teaching for both teachers to use. I want to explore more of this during the school year. 
  • Roles for both co-teachers: If one co-teacher is doing this, then the other co-teacher can be doing this. I used some of this when I was fighting for a voice in one of my classrooms. I kind of just grabbed the checklist, checking homework and recording while my co-teacher handed out supplies. I wanted to the students to see that I also have authority in the classroom too.
  • Accommodations and Modifications: a great IEP writing resource! It has a checklist of different accommodations and modifications that you can try.
  • Strategies for supporting all students: sometimes I just need a reminder that what I've done isn't the end all. This lists the disability and what strategies you can use to assist the student in the classroom.
  • Choice Board Menu: My first 3 - 4 posts were about choice board menus. It has a template for you to use and some examples.
  • Cubing: Not the math problem solving strategy! Ever use a 3D cube to assist with your teaching? It's based on Blooms Taxonomy. There's a lot of prompts, a cube net you can print and put together. 
  • Dialectical Journaling: we currently use this in the classroom ... a lot. Seeing this in the textbook made me really happy. I tagged it because it's the perfect size for me to copy, cut, and paste into a students notebook (who has executive functioning issues). 
  • Co-Instruction Checklist: A reflection checklist that made me feel really good about myself (i didn't lie to get a good score either) because everything I did this year made me realized I pushed the envelope with co-teaching. I made most of my co-teachers jump from phase 1 to phase 2, and one co-teacher into parts of phase 3 of co-teaching. 


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