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Collaborate, Communicate, and Differentiate!

Collaborate, Communicate, and Differentiate!
How to Increase Student Learning in Today’s Diverse Schools

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February 2011 | 184 pages | Corwin
This helpful guide will provide a detailed, focused treatment of collaboration, presented in a practical and easy-to-access format for K-12 teachers, administrators, staff, parents, and staff developers. The book will be designed as a "Collaboration 101" reference for schools who have no experience with collaboration and inclusive settings and want to begin to set it up. In addition, it will provide sufficient practical differentiation and application strategies that districts who already have implemented inclusive classrooms will want this book as a reference to help improve their current programs.

While the goal of this book is not to be so comprehensive that it is daunting to readers, the content will present the most important information in each key area and will do so in a manner that is engaging, informative, and clear. Numerous "copy me" pages will be provided so that districts can use the forms and templates to make increased collaboration an obvious strategy for addressing diverse needs in the inclusive classroom, and real-life case studies will be included to provide context for the concepts.

About the Authors
1. Understanding the Historical Context
2. Unscrambling the Range of Settings and Services
3. Improving Student Outcomes by Working in Teams
4. Improving Collaboration Through Powerful Communication
5. Proactively Planning and Differentiating Instruction
6. Modifying and Accommodating to Reactively Address Student Needs
7. Improving Student Learning Through Co-Teaching
8. Collaboratively Planning and Assessing
9. Addressing Conflict and Engaging in Problem Solving
10. Creating a Collaborative School Culture
Appendices on the Internet (
Appendix I. UDL Lesson Plans

Appendix II. Instructional Strategies

Appendix III. Examples of Adapted Work

Appendix IV. Adaptive Products and Services

Appendix V. Student Profile Sheet

Appendix VI. Co-Teaching Lesson Plans

Appendix VII. What/How/Who Co-Planning Format



Supplemental Resources Website
This website provides additional resources and content related to each chapter, as well as several appendices that include a variety of useful materials to implement the strategies presented in Collaborate, Communicate, and Differentiate!

“Collaborate, Communicate, and Differentiate is an accessible and engaging resource that could serve equally well for teacher training programs as well as for use in professional learning communities. The authors conversationally address the most important skill sets required of educators in 21st century schools, providing compelling rationales and numerous examples from the field. Other beneficial features include essential questions and the In a Nutshell, In Practice, and Eye on the Research sections. The appendices are extensive and highly useful for practitioners. I predict the book will be dog-eared, flagged, highlighted, and often loaned.”

Maureen Griffin, Associate Professor and Education Consultant
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

"An all-in-one book—a lighthearted and well grounded introduction to collaboration, how it can improve education for all children, and its role in effectively educating students with special needs. Murawski and Spencer are accomplished classroom teachers and teacher educators who share their expertise and enthusiasm as they provide key approaches to collaboration as a method for achieving critical goals for diverse learners. They tell it like it is, and they do so with humor and straight talk."

Lynne Cook, Professor, School of Education
California State University, Dominguez Hills

"Collaborate, Communicate, and Differentiate invites and prepares educators to insightfully dive into today’s classrooms. Its informal tone is backed up with applicable research and practical ideas that walk the collaborative talk!"

Toby Karten, Author
Regional Training Center, Drew University, Marlboro, NJ

"I plan to give Murawski’s book to my first-year teachers because it covers all subjects, not just special education, and helps teachers in all interactions with students. This is not a 'one-time, sit-down and read' book.  It will become a well-used resource thanks to its support and easy-to-locate information."

Stephanie Free, Principal
San Angelo ISD, TX

"As a kid who struggled in school, this is the book that I wish every one of my teachers had read. It is a stunning achievement and huge step forward to making all schools inclusive of all learners!"

Jonathan Mooney, Author of "The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal"

"This book is a great tool for learning methods for increasing student success. The research-based ideas are clearly explained. The authors’ writing style makes the topics enjoyable and easy to access. I am energized and excited to try out new strategies after reading this book."

Lisa Parisi, Teacher
Herricks UFSD, New Hyde Park, NY

"Murawski and Spencer provide practical ideas in a clever and engaging format. Collaborate, Communicate and Differentiate! is a great resource for preservice and inservice teachers who want to increase their toolkits with practical ideas. The authors help educators understand a range of topics. The book provides quick and easy strategies for teachers to use immediately in their practice including co-teaching, planning, differentiation, learning, and assessment. The content will enrich the practice of teachers at all levels."

Lisa Dieker, Professor
University of Central Florida

“Once again Wendy Murawski has produced a practical tool to enable educators to provide success to all students. Reading through the book I found myself saying out loud. “That’s right! That’s what administrators need to know; that’s what teachers need to know; that’s what parents need to know…and here’s how you do it.” The insightful, down-to-earth, and jargon free explanations will leave educators believing they have taken the first steps toward successful collaboration. I am eager to provide this resource to the leaders (administrators and teachers) in my school division where I am confident it will be embraced as enthusiastically as Dr. Murawski’s previous works.”

John E. Hutchinson, Superintendent
Gloucester County Public Schools, VA

Good solid book on the topic.

Dr Derrick Smith
Education Dept, University Of Alabama
September 23, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One: Understanding the Historical Context

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ISBN: 9781412981842

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