Co-Teaching Strategies and Examples
These strategies are not hierarchical- they can be used in any order and/or combined to best meet the needs of the students in the classroom.
Definition: One teacher has primary responsibility while the other gathers specific observational information on students or the instructing teacher. The key to this strategy is to have a focus for observation.
Example: One teacher observes students to determine how well they understand directions while the other leads instruction.
Definition: This strategy is an extension of One-Teach, One-Observe. One teacher has primary instructional responsibility, while the other assists students with their work, monitors behaviors, or corrects assignments.
Example: While one teacher has the instructional lead, the teacher assisting is a “voice” for the students when they don’t understand or are experiencing difficulties.
Definition: The co-teaching pair divides the instructional content into parts and the student into groups. Groups spend designated time at each station. Often an independent station will be used along with the two teacher stations.
Example: One teacher leads the station where the students play a money math game, where the other teacher runs mock store where the students purchase and make change.
Definition: Each teacher instructs half of the students. The two teachers address the same instructional material and present the material using the same teaching strategy. The greatest benefit to this approach is the reduction of the student-teacher ratio.
Example: Both teachers lead a question and answer discussion on specific and current events and the impact they have on our economy.
Definition: The strategy allows one student to work at the expected grade level while the other teacher works with those students who need the information and/or those materials taught, extended, or remediated.
Example: One teacher works with the student that need the concept re-taught while the other teacher extends the concept for remaining students.
Alternative or Differentiated Teaching
Definition: Alternative teaching strategies provide students with different approaches to learning the same information. The learning outcome is the same for all students; however, the instructional methodology is different.
Example: One teacher leads the groupin predicting the plot of a story by looking at the book cover and illustrations; the other teacher leads a group in predicting the plot by pulling specific items and/or story clues from the bag.
Definition: Well planned team taught lessons exhibit an invisible flow of instruction with no prescribed division of authority. Using a team teaching strategy, both teachers are actively involved in the lesson. From a student perspective there is no clearly defined leader, as both teachers share the instruction freely interject information, assist students and answer questions.
Example: Both teachers share the reading of a story/text so that students are hearing two voices.
Source: Adapted from cook, L., & Friend, M. (1995). Co-teaching: guidelines for creating effective teaching practices. Focus on Exceptional Children, 28(3), 1-12
Copyright 2010 St. Cloud State University. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Mentoring Teacher Candidates Through Co-Teaching: Collaboration That Makes a Difference by the Teacher Quality Enhancement Center St. Cloud, MN: St. Cloud State University, www.stcloudstate.edu.