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Ms. Ali and Ms.

Elpenord
Preliminary Discussion Questions
The questions below are designed to serve as a starting point for co-teaching discussion. Depending on previous
experiences working together, some questions may not be relevant. Remember that differences of opinion are
inevitable; differences are okay and perfectly normal. Effective co-teachers learn and grow professionally from their
work together. Competent professional skills, openness, and interest in working together are more important than
perfect agreement on classroom rules.

1. What are your expectations for students regarding:


a. Participation?
i. Ms. Ali: I expect that most students raise their hand throughout the lesson,
but I understand its not a reality at times. I just want to hear student
voices.
ii. Ms. Elpenord: I have been teaching for 8 years. It is the expectation that
students raise their hands if they want to be heard. End of story.
b. Daily preparation?
i. Ms. Ali: While it would be nice that students come with pencils and
notebooks, from what I have seen it is not the culture at Overbrook. I give
all students notebooks and provide golf pencils if they dont bring their
own writing instrument.
ii. Ms. Elpenord: Agree 100%
c. Written assignments and/or homework completion?
i. Ms. Ali: Students are given a homework assignment on Monday and are
expected to turn it in the following Monday.
ii. Ms. Elpenord: Students are given a homework packet every week, but I
allow them time in class to complete it because otherwise I wont get it
back.
2. What are your basic classroom rules? What are the consequences?
a. Ms. Ali: Class rules are no cell phones, be respectful of others and do your best.
The consequence is 3 warnings and then a phone call home. I dont think
consequences work so well at Overbrook because the behaviors tend to repeat
themselves.
b. Ms. Elpenord: Students who are not following rules get phone calls home,
detention and pink slips which can lead to suspension.
3. Typically, how are students grouped for instruction in your classroom?
Ms. Ali: Group work has been a struggle with my students. They are very hesitant and resistant to
work in pairs. Its an uphill battle. The goal is to get them paired with someone on their same
reading level. So right now it continues to be whole group lesson.
Mr. Elpenord: 3 times a week the students work in pairs.
4. What instructional methods do you like to use (i.e. lectures, class discussions, stations,
etc)?
Ms. Ali: Independent reading or audio reading and then class discussions
Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

Mr. Elpenord: lecture/discussion


5. What practice activities do you like to use (i.e. cooperative learning groups, labs, etc)?
Ms. Ali: learning groups
Ms. Elpenord: Learning groups
6. How do you monitor and evaluate student progress?
Ms. Ali: I put all of my grades onto schoolnet and also keep a gradebook with me to keep track of
absences and participation in class.
Ms. Elpenord: I use quizzes and tests to monitor progress.
7. Describe your typical tests and quizzes.
Ms. Ali: I give weekly spelling quizzes and I give tests after I feel mastery has been met on a
subject.
Ms. Elpenord: Quizzes and tests are given after we conclude a lesson.
8. Describe other typical projects and assignments.
Ms. Ali: I give a mini-research paper and other projects such as character maps and
creative writing assignments.
Ms. Elpenord: I try to focus on IEP transition goals so I spend time doing resume writing,
cover letters, interview skills etc.
9. Do you differentiate instruction for students with special needs? If so, how?
Ms. Ali: I give out different worksheets based on the lesson. Some have to answer 2 of 6 questions
or some have easier level questions on their level.
Ms. Elpenord: Same as per the school.
10. Is any special assistance given to students with disabilities during class? On written
assignments? On tests and quizzes?
Both: Extended time, questions or passages read out loud.
11. How and when do you communicate with families?
Both: Parent teacher conferences and phone calls home to introduce ourselves and to give positive
news and to discuss negative behaviors in class.
12. What are your strengths as a teacher? What are your areas of challenge? How about
your pet peeves?
Ms. Ali: My biggest strength is being able to relate to the kids. I think because I come from a similar
background as them (single parent home in West Philly) it helps build the relationship for trust. My
challenge has been getting them engaged in what we are reading.
Ms. Elpenord: I think my biggest strength is my ability to break things down into a simpler format so
my kids will understand it, grasp it and apply it again in the future. My challenges are getting my
kids to listen to directions first time around. They need a lot of redirection.
13. What do you see as our potential roles and responsibilities as co-teachers?

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

Ms. Ali: Both of us are here to teach the students and make sure they are prepared for 6 th grade
math. I also see our roles as working together to provide the most consistent and structured
classroom culture for them.
Ms. Elpenord: Same. I also want to make sure they are confident with discussing math in academic
language and explaining how they solve math problems.
14. If we co-teach together, what are your biggest hopes for our work as a team? What are
your biggest concerns?
Ms. Ali: my biggest hope is that we both work well together. My hope is we uplift and inspire each
other. My biggest concern is clashing heads because of different opinions and ideas. I want us to
work through tough situations as a team. And of course, I want our work to resonate with our
students.
Ms. Elpenord: Same!
Current Data Collection Processes and Moving Forward
My school does a poor job of assessing students. There is no diagnostic test.
Currently, we use STAR data assessment, which was given 6 weeks or so into the school
year. Right now, the way I assess my students is with the reading comprehension sheets.
It allows me to see how well they are understanding the info and processing it into words
on a piece of paper. In order to assess them for IEP purposes, we use the WRAT.
The school does not want behavior as a goal for their grades. I still keep track of it
for my own records. The majority of my students are in a self-contained special education
setting, so I speak with other teachers about their behaviors and progress in their
classrooms. I like to see if its behavior thats isolated in my room or throughout other
classes.
We are supposed to progress monitor our students, but no one has shown me how.
Moving forward, Id like to be able to have more assessments to monitor their growth and
progress, specifically with basic skills like spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Student Data Collection and Stakeholder Communication Plan
Stakeholders:
- Students
- Parents
- General education teachers
- Special Education teachers
- Special education Liaison
- Disciplinary deans
- Athletic coaches
Student Data Collection Plan
As teachers, we need to get as much information about my students as possible,
data collection, whether it be academic or behavior, because it is necessary to have

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

students succeed. I will identify student behaviors using an anecdotal seating chart (see
attached) to help lower behavioral issues and increase academic performance. I will
specifically note academic data such as:
- Students problem areas (comprehension, complete sentences,
grammar and punctuation.)
- Attendance (students will be give in check in and check out
sheets)
- Students success areas (mastered comprehension, completion
of reading comprehension worksheet)
- Mastery of literary elements
- Formative assessments
I will specifically note behavioral data such as:
- Redirections
- Dean calls
- Phone calls home
- Speaking with athletic coaches
This data will be entered into my own personal gradebook and grades, participation and
in class work will be entered into schools gradebook.
Student will be given assessments on literary elements and reading comprehension after
every chapter of a book. Students will be graded numerically from 0-100. Students will
also be graded daily based on in class work and class participation.
Student IEP Goals
In addition to in class grades, students will be assessed on each of their IEP goals
at the beginning of the year and at the end of each report period for progress monitoring.
The assessment will be in the form of teacher input and student input to see if they feel
they have made any progress towards their goals.
Stakeholder Communication:
It is important there are many people involved in the success of my students and
because of that communication is key. It is important they remain in the loop.
Student data will be shared in the form of a weekly email with the involved stakeholders
as needed. This will include behavioral highs and lows, attendance issues and academic
achievements or struggles. Parents will receive phone calls home on average bi-weekly
with an update. However, if detrimental behavior is being exhibited, the calls may
increase. Also, when students are exhibiting positive model behavior, positive phone calls
home will be made as well.
Communication with Students
- Students will be communicated with about their behavior goals
and academic IEP goals at interim reporting. It allows them time
to change behaviors or make up work if necessary.
- Students will receive a numerical grade (out of 100) each day for
their work. This will include participation and in class work.

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

Receiving Input
- When the weekly email goes out to share student data, an input
form will also be included(attached). It will allow stakeholders to
ask questions, voice concerns or share things that have worked
well in class. The input form is designed to help the students be
successful.
- Parents will be asked for suggestions on various strategies for
success for the teachers working with the students. Phone calls
are logged. Parents are given teachers cell numbers and the
school number so they can always reach out when needed.
IEP Development:
- All stakeholders will be asked for input at some time during the
school year in the development of the IEP. Parents will receive
input form in progress monitoring quarterly.

Student Anecdotal Data: Seating Chart 1st period


Donte

Diamon

Tanisha

Craig

Greg

Haneefa

Kauriee

Dysier

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

Mary

Zierra

Sydney

Feedback Form: This form is sent to teachers to complete for annual IEPs where it
needs to be completed in its entirety. However, this is sent weekly to stakeholders to
continue to get input on students. They can fill in the sections if something is going
on in the class that needs to be addressed, such as behavior, academic concerns or
achievements or attendance issues.
Teacher Name:
Student Name:
Subject:
Please complete the following information. It is important to get all input to continue to
help with student success and achievement.
Describe this students interactions with peers and
Describe students academic levels and
performance (test, quizzes, in class work, staff. Are there specific behaviors that you feel need
to be addressed in the IEP? If so, what are they? (ie.
participation) and current grade in class

What does the behavior look like, when does it occur,


how often)

Describe any accommodations/modifications you have


made to address the students needs that you found
especially successful.

Describe the students social behaviors


and attitude towards peers and adults.

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

What motivates your student to complete


in class work?

What are the students academic


strengths?

What are the students areas of


growth/academic challenges?

Any other important


information/comments:

Parity, Parity, Parity


How do you and your co-teaching partner convey to students that your teaching relationship is truly collaborative, that it
is a partnership based on parity? The following checklist might help you to think through ideas about how you, your
teaching partner, and students can observe parity (or its absence).

Already Should
Not
Do
Do
Applicable
_____

__x___

_____

1. Both teachers names are on the board, door, or posted in


the classroom.

_x____

_____

_____

2. Both teachers names are on schedules and report cards.

_____

__x___

_____

3. Both teachers handwriting is on student assignments (that


is, each teacher participates in grading).

__x___

_____

_____

4. Both teachers have space for personal belongings.

_____

_x____

_____

5. Both teachers have similar furniture (desks, chairs, etc).

__x___

_____

_____

6. Both teachers take a lead role in the classroom.

___x__

_____

_____

7. Teacher talk during instruction is approximately equal.

_x____

_____

_____

8. Both teachers give directions or permission without checking

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

with the other teacher.


__x___

_____

_____

9. Both teachers work with ALL students.

_____

_____

_____

10. Both teachers are considered teachers by all students.

Notes / Comments: ______I worked on this with another teacher at school. We get whatever
furniture the school gives us. After having a conversation about this, the things we checked should
do are things we currently do not do now.
______________________________________________________
Co-Teaching Lesson Plan
General Education Teacher: Ms. Elpenord
Special Education Teacher: Ms. Ali
Grade Level: 12th grade
Subject Area: English
Content Area Standard: Reading Comprehension
Measurable Goal for Lesson: Given 10 reading comprehension questions on class
novel, students will be able to answer all 10, with 80% accuracy
Essential Questions:
- Who are the main characters we are introduced to?
- What is the setting?
- What are the major conflicts that are arising?
Key Vocabulary: Literary elements: Setting, expository, characters, conflict
Pre-Assessment: Students were asked what necessary elements were needed in a book.
Materials Needed: Student notebooks, pencils, graphic organizers, Lost and Found book

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

Lesson

Co-teaching
Approach

Time

General Education
Teacher

10
minutes

General Education teacher


introduces book. Today we
are going to start reading a
book called Lost and
Found. Its something you
can all relate to. The main
character is Darcy. Its about
issues in high school and the
issues Darcy encounters.

Special Education
Teacher

(can select more


than one)

Beginning:
(may include:
Opening;
Warm Up;
Review;
Anticipatory
Set)

One Teach,
One Support
Parallel
Alternative
Station
Team

Special Education teacher


passes out books to
students and guided notes.
Special Education goes
through guided notes with
essential vocab for class
out loud and explains:
Exposition
Setting
Character
Conflict
(Students copy down notes)

Gen Ed teacher asks: Can


you think of an example of a
conflict?

Teacher copies down some


examples of conflict from
students

Class discussion
Middle:
(may include:
Instruction;
Checking for
Understanding;
Independent or
Group
Practice)

One Teach,
One Support
Parallel
35
Alternative
minutes
Station
x Team

Start audio of Lost and


Found.

Stop after 3 pages to


summarize.
What was going on?
(students respond)
What characters have we
met?

Walk the room to ensure


students are following
along and in the right place
as the audio.
Passes out graphic
organizer that has
Characters, Setting and
Conflict. Students will
need to fill in as we go
along.
Special Education teacher
writes down the characters

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

we have met on board as


students say them out loud.
Audio continues. Stop after 3
pages and ask students what
other characters have we
been introduced to?
What setting have we been
introduced to?
(students participate)

Special Education teacher


writes answers on board.

Special Education asks


verbal reading
comprehension questions
to be answered verbally.
What is going on now?
Whats Jamees
relationship to Darcy?
What happened to
Grandmom? Why is mom
so tired?

Audio continues until the end


of chapter 1.
General Education teacher
asks, someone remind me
what a conflict is? (student
responds) One example of a
conflict so far is Jamee
yelling at Darcy for having a
conversation with her
grandmom is not mentally all
there. Please copy in your
graphic organizer.
What is another example of a
conflict we have seen so far
in chapter 1? (student
participates)
Darcy gets paired up with

Special Education teacher


writes that example on the
board.

Special Education teacher


writes the answer on the
board.

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

Tarah.

End:

One Teach,
5
One Support minutes
Parallel
Alternative
Station
Team

Exit Ticket for students: On


your paper, independently
please write a 3rd conflict we
have seen in the book on
your graphic organizer.
Dismiss students when bell
rings.

Review student answers in


their notebook to ensure
they are on the right track.
Say goodbye at door while
general educator dismisses
the entire class.

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).