Planning to co-teach?

In the previous post, we discussed getting out of the speech room and into the classroom. We touched on the various models of co-teaching (descriptions found in this printable) and encouraged school-based SLPs to give it a try!

In this post, we’d like to provide some suggestions on how to PLAN for this service delivery model. So keep reading for some tips and your free printable lesson plan template.

Plannin pic

But first, let’s talk about the benefit of this model for students with AND WITHOUT disabilities…

For students with disabilities, this model can effectively increase participation in class, achievement and test scores, social skills and self-esteem. It can increase teacher expectations and generalization of skills. And of course, it helps reduce the missing of class activities.

For students without disabilities, this model can provide exposure to varied instructional strategies and activities. It can also provide additional help to those at-risk with specific skills. It definitely helps increase tolerance of differences. And it absolutely DOES NOT impede their achievement.

So we know the models (or check out the free printable in our last post for a refresher), we know why it’s a good idea (for some, not all students), we’ve found a teaching partner to take it on with us…now how do we plan for it?

First, pick a time to plan together and decide what you will need to accomplish during this time.

Always have a back-up plan in case meeting face-to-face it is out of the question…because it will happen!

Some suggestions – a daily or weekly face-to-face check in and debriefing; a planning notebook; email; post-it notes; phone calls.

Any other thoughts or systems that have worked for you? Comment below!

During the planning session, SLP and teacher will want discuss the following:

Teacher’s role

  • discuss the curriculum content and objectives for the lesson including topics, concepts, activities, outcomes, and methods of instruction
  • discuss common problems in the content

SLP’s role

  • discuss accommodations/modifications, strategies needed for instruction, materials, and activities
  • discuss the specific IEP objectives to be targeted

Together you want to be sure to discuss the co-teaching approach you plan to use; keeping in mind that more than one may be used in any given lesson. Room arrangement is also very important including where your speech-language students will be for each part of the lesson.

Since student assessment is important to both the teacher and SLP, you will want to be sure to talk about how this will take place for the lesson along with the specific supports needed for any given students.

Based on the lesson you’ve planned, don’t forget to outline the tasks you each will need to accomplish before, during and after the lesson. This includes material preparation, who will teach what, and who will assess what.

We have included a free 2-page lesson plan template that can help guide your planning session.

lesson plan pic p.1

Download it here

 

 

 

What are your go-to resources for planning for your co-teaching lessons?

 

Service delivery: Thinking outside the box (or therapy room)

Service delivery

Anyone else’s district seem hyper-focused on the least restrictive environment (LRE)? Sometimes it seems it is all we talk about for students receiving special education services. So much so that we move from too many students being served in a small group resource setting to too many being served (inappropriately) in a general education (or co-taught) setting. Come on, no one model is best for everyone. It is an Individualized Education Program/Plan, right?

So what about when it comes to speech-language services? Where are those students being served?

In our experience, we see that MOST are seen in the speech room – you know that closet with no windows. Pulled from reading…or science…or chorus…or art history to work on speech and/or language skills. Hopefully they know what skill(s) they are working on, why they come – hopefully they come! The skills may be embedded in a curricular context but how often is it based on the context of the class they just left? How often do they return to that class having missed out on the instruction entirely? Hmmm…hard to say. Depends on the student, on the goals, on the class, on the day, on the week, on the month…geez give us a break. We have large caseloads, are overloaded with paperwork, and have tons of additional duties and responsibilities!

One size does not fit all but maybe we should better look at each student individually. Where will their needs best be met? It may very well be that the speech room is THAT place! But what about those for whom it is not? What about the students who are better served in their classroom setting (be it a special education, general education, or co-taught environment)?

Being in the classroom is such a rewarding experience. Not only do you, as the SLP, get to see the fast-paced curriculum your students are learning (or struggling to keep up with) but you get to show off your knowledge. Let those teachers see how they can incorporate language, scaffolding, strategies all day long…to build those skills that your students lack even when you’re not there.

Maybe you pick one teacher or one grade level. Maybe you go in once a week or once a month. Maybe you plan a 10-minute mini lesson or maybe you support the instruction that is already occurring. Maybe you do station teaching or parallel teaching, or maybe you and the teacher plan an hour-long lesson to team teach together. After all, it’s not a one size fits all model – for the students or the teacher(s) or SLP(s).

Download your free printable here for descriptions of the various models of co-teaching: 

co-teach printable
!DOWNLOAD NOW!

Give it a try. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll LOVE it and want to do more. And maybe the students will get much more of what they need.

Co-teaching is only one way to switch up your service delivery. Come back and visit as we expand on the service delivery discussion in our next three posts. We’ll cover planning for co-teaching, determining service time and a different and fun model for adolescents.

Comment below and tell us how you think outside the box for service delivery…