|Teachers and specialists learning about using|
Wordle as a tool for writing reflection.
Photo Credit: Misti Werle
“What a great workshop! One of the best I’ve been to in a long time - the strategies were quick and easily adaptable for all levels. My co-teacher and I shared lots of thoughts on how to implement immediately. We are currently co-planning a unit on modern civil rights struggles. With help from Anne Beninghof, who gave us many different models and expectations, we’re sure to be successful!
-Angie Siewert, LMS at BHS
What is co-teaching, you might ask yourself? Many Library Media Specialists, Levels of Service teachers and General Education teachers attended Anne Beninghof’s training on co-teaching in October. According to Anne Beninghof, co-teaching isn’t defined as teachers taking turns teaching in the classroom, but teachers teaching together.
|Teachers and Specialists sharing ideas.|
Photo Credit: Misti Werle
“Co-teaching is one of the most powerful skills for promoting student growth. It makes the teaching I get to do as an LMS authentic and purposeful. Anne’s workshop on co-teaching provided us with an abundance of strategies we can use through co-teaching to meet student needs It not only gave us quality skills we can utilize, but it also provided a model of what effective co-teaching would look like. I am super excited to work with my fellow colleague by co-teaching in the area of reading.”
-Michelle Kuhn, LMS Solheim
Anne Beninghof is a special education teacher, by trade. She co-teaches with general education teachers at her school. She spoke to BPS teachers about what a co-taught classroom might look like and what it does not look like and gave a lot of tips and tricks to make co-teaching work. She also showed the teachers different, quick but effective strategies for any classroom.
“The co-teaching workshop was one of the most valuable workshops I have attended. Anne Beninghof is a master teacher! The techniques she shared were simple, yet powerful. I appreciated that we were given time to prepare a lesson with our co-teacher and able to implement some of the strategies we learned immediately.” -Robin Kress, LMS
Anne shared that when you enter into a co-taught classroom you will see both teachers active in the teaching. There is never one teacher waiting in the wings, but both teachers working with, teaching and helping students around the classroom. Co-teaching can look different in many ways. Co-teaching can have each teacher taking turns teaching to the whole group, while the other teacher is monitoring behavior, quietly collecting observational data, or helping one individual with the lesson while the other does the teaching. Also, co-teaching can have both teachers running small groups in rotations to differentiate instruction or lead different parts of a lesson. In any scenario both teachers are busy working with students throughout the whole lesson and each adding their own expertise to enhance the lesson. Anne shared that when you enter into a co-taught classroom you will see both teachers active in the teaching. There is never one teacher waiting in the wings, but both teachers working with, teaching and helping students around the classroom. Co-teaching can look different in many ways. Co-teaching can have each teacher taking turns teaching to the whole group, while the other teacher is monitoring behavior, quietly collecting observational data, or helping one individual with the lesson while the other does the teaching. Also, co-teaching can have both teachers running small groups in rotations to differentiate instruction or lead different parts of a lesson. In any scenario both teachers are busy working with students throughout the whole lesson and each adding their own expertise to enhance the lesson.
|Teachers learning about the Plickers App.|
Photo Credit: Misti Werle
“I had not attended a workshop for a long time and did not know what to expect. The Co-teaching workshop was very valuable. It is definitely something that I will be able to implement in my classroom. I would have to say my favorite part of the workshop was the simplicity of the techniques that can be used. Our Library Media Specialist and I are looking forward to working together to enhance our student’s knowledge of the content.”
- Kerry Oberlander, Classroom teacher at SMS
The main problem most teachers and specialists discussed during this training was TIME. How do two teachers involved with co-teaching find the time in their busy schedules to do the co-planning that is necessary for a well-planned co-taught lesson? In order for co-teaching to work there needs to be common planning time put into the schedule to put together quality lessons.
It might seem difficult at first to figure out what each teacher might be doing during a lesson, but here are some quick and easy ideas Anne Beninghof listed on her website, http://www.ideasforeducators.com to help you get started:
Teacher A leads the lesson while Teacher B could be:
- Writing color-coded notes on the board or laptop
- Echoing key words from Teacher A
- Pulling up an online site (thesaurus, encyclopedia, media) to support instruction
- Providing kinesthetic tools, manipulatives, aids, and props
- Counting down, giving time clues, or managing a visual timer
- Prompting engagement with directions such as: “Stand up if you …, Turn and talk about …, Stomp your feet if …”
- Going on-the-spot to websites to show visual images
Although co-teaching can be challenging, there are a lot of benefits to having two teachers working together, using their own expertise in guiding a lesson. Anne has included many resources and tools on her website to help you get started.
Here are a few more comments from teachers and specialist about Anne Beninghof’s co-teacher training:
“Not only were my co-teacher and I able to plan, but throughout the training, strategies were shown and used that can be added to our toolbox for students. We are looking forward to implementing what we learned and creating a video to show others at our school what co-teaching looks like.” Alisha Kelim, LMS
“The Co-Teaching workshop gave my partner teacher and I some valuable time to be able to plan. I also loved that being there together gave her and I a shared understanding of what co-teaching is. I also loved all the little strategies and techniques Anne Beninghof shared with us - they were so simple but yet very impactful. I learned things that I could implement the very next day along with developing a co-teaching relationship that will continue to grow long after the training!
-Stacy Olson, LMS
“Amy Dahmus and I have co-planned and co-taught one math lesson on fractions so far. It required lots of planning and prep. We over-prepared; this lesson will become 2 lessons.”
-Dana Gendreau, LOS
“We have already reflected on our lesson and have thought about our next steps on extending it in the future. The advantage of the lesson was differentiating by dividing the class into two groups. It was helpful to have the time in class to prepare. “
-Amy Dahmus, Teacher
“Nola Steier and I have completed our initial planning and can’t wait to implement ideas that we learned in Anne Beninghof’s Co-Teaching class. We have developed a planning doc to which we can each add elements of the lessons. We will begin implementing our plans soon and are eager to reflect with each other after the sessions. We are anticipating great rewards through the power of co-teaching.”-Andrea Edstrom, LOS
“After being completely engaged by Anne Beninghof for two days of awesome learning, I was equipped with a new toolbox of strategies to use with students; along with a partner teacher to engage in co-teaching. The best part - students win in all scenarios!!”
~Andrea Weikum, LMS Sunrise
“This is the second time that I have been able to attend a PD led by Anne Beninghof. Quite simply, she is amazing. Not only does she give you the competencies to lead a strong and effective co-teaching environment, but she also gives you the skills and the toolkit to lead exciting and innovative lessons for all modalities of learners. She helps you scaffold, plan, and differentiate with highly effective, research-based practices that are engaging and fun for kids. A wonderful experience!”-Michael Jacobson, LMS at Grimsrud, Roosevelt, and Highland Acres
“Kate Vig and I are co-planning right now, using many of the strategies we learned about in Anne Beninghof’s Co-Teaching workshop. We are excited about the opportunity to team teach a couple upcoming projects this year. We appreciate the time we had to collaborate and learn!”
-Kat Berg, LMS
Twitter Tuesday Questions:
What does co-teaching look like?
How will we find the time to plan for co-teaching?
How will we project to the students that we are both classroom leaders?
What roles will each teacher play in the classroom? How do we coordinate our efforts to help the entire class succeed?
What are some of the ways teachers can complement one another during co-teaching?