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The Co-Teacher's Playbook

The Co-Teacher's Playbook
What It Takes to Make Co-Teaching Work for Everyone

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152 pages | Corwin
Expert guidance for creating a successful partnership!

In today’s inclusive classrooms, general-education teachers might be paired with special-education teachers, ELL specialists, interventionists, or paraprofessionals in a co-teaching partnership. No matter your exact situation—or which side of the equation you’re on—co-teachers share similar challenges, including struggles with communication, trouble with equitable grading, and lack of planning time.

Whether you’re new to co-teaching, new to your partner, or just see room for improvement in the way you connect, it’s time to make the partnership really benefit your students. So grab a cup of coffee and your co-teacher—this hands-on workbook is designed for the two of you to use together. Features include:

Stories from experienced co-teachers
Reflective activities to help each of you discover your collaboration style
Reproducible lists, checklists, templates, agreements, and more to complete together
A downloadable unit-planning tool

When co-teaching is done well, the benefits for students are immeasurable. Let this guide’s expert advice and eye-opening activities take your co-teaching to a new level of success.
Introduction: Why This Book, and Why Me?
Chapter 1: Understanding
What Is Co-Teaching?  
Activity: Frayer Model
Benefits of Co-Teaching
Activity: T-Chart  
Co-Teaching: What Does It Look Like in Today’s Classrooms?
General Ed and Special Ed Partnerships
General Ed and ESL/ELL Partnerships
General Ed and Specialist Partnerships
General Ed and Paraprofessional Partnerships
Activity: Taking Stock
Co-Teaching Structures
Reflection Questions
Tool 1: Welcome Letter to Students Template
Tool 2: Welcome Letter to Parents Template, Elementary
Tool 3: Welcome Letter to Parents Template, Secondary
Extension 1: Co-Teaching Scavenger Hunt
Extension 2: Create a Co-Teaching Vision Board
Chapter 2: Relating
Activity: What I Bring to the Table
The Four Pillars of a Great Co-Teaching Partnership
Pillar 1: Respect
Activity: Reflect and Write  
Pillar 2: Communication
Activity: My Beliefs About Teaching  
Activity: Important Questions for Us to Discuss  
Vignette: R. K. Smith Middle School, Luling, LA
Pillar 3: Flexibility
Activity: My Preferences in the Classroom  
Understanding the Activity
Pillar 4: Humor
Activity: Let’s Humor Each Other!  
Being Prepared for the Highs and the Lows
Examples of Norms for Working Together
Examples of Norms for Weekly Meetings
Activity: Write Your Norms
Vignette: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Tool 1: Our Goals
Tool 2: Protocols
Extension 1: Personality Tests
Extension 2: Learning More About Paraphrasing Skills
Chapter 3: Managing
Planning for the Learning Environment
Advice for Establishing Routines and Procedures
Procedures, Consequences, and Recognition
Determining Who Will Handle What
Activity: Whose Job Is It?  
Tool 1: Student Compact
Tool 2: Positive Notes to Students
Chapter 4: Teaching
Unit Planning
Activity: Unpacking the Standards and Creating Learning Targets  
Activity: Big Ideas and Essential Questions  
Summative Assessment
Daily Lessons
Effective Lesson Design
Planning for Ongoing Collaboration
Activity: Reflection Questions
Do’s and Don’ts for Co-Teaching Meetings
Tips for Calendaring Meetings
Tool 1: Unit Plan Template
Tool 2: Meeting Agenda and Template Examples
Tool 3: “Look-Fors” Co-Teaching Observation Form
Extension 1: Protocols
Extension 2: Student Surveys
Chapter 5: Assessing
Assessment in General
Formative vs. Summative Assessment
Thinking about Formative Assessment
Activity: 30 Fun, Formative Assessment Ideas
Lesson Structure That Includes Formative Assessment
Activity: Reflect on the Lesson
Assessment Considerations for Co-Taught Classes
The Value of Pre-Assessment
Tool 1: Creating a Pre-Assessment
Appendix A: A Brief History of Co-Teaching
Appendix B: The Six Co-Teaching Structures Depicted Visually
Appendix C: Sentence Frames for Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and Checking for Accuracy
Appendix D: Do Not Disturb Signs for Weekly Meetings


Practitioners can use this workbook as a tool to get a good start on team teaching/co-teaching. It is well organized and well thought out. The personal experiences and vignettes are all relevant and show the good, the bad, and the ugly. It will be a big help to beginners and for those who want a second chance at making it work.

Claudia A. Danna
Sacred Heart University

This book is an excellent resource for teachers new to co-teaching. It is a resource both teachers should use to learn about each other and their teaching styles so they can ensure their classroom environment and teaching best serves their students.

Stacy Lemongelli
Perth Amboy Public Schools District

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ISBN: 9781544377629