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Co-Teaching in Action

The service-delivery model of co-teaching is a promising option for meeting the learning needs of algebra students with or without disabilities.  This model has emerged as the popular delivery system particularly in the current era of inclusive school reform, but could be applied to any general education classroom or situation.  Cook and Friend (1995) describe co-teaching between general and special educators as “two or more professionals delivering substantive instruction to a diverse, or blended, group of students in a single physical space” (p. 2).  Both professionals are considered to be the teacher; one is not considered higher or lower in authority.

Mrs. Dionisio and Mr. Herbert are 8th grade math teachers that have embraced the ideas of Cook and Friend.  They have set a goal to utilize the five models of co-teaching in their classroom: (1) one teaching, one assisting, (2) station teaching, (3) parallel teaching, (4) alternative teaching, and (5) team teaching.  This is great work that you are doing for kids!

If anyone wants to fine tune their co-teaching models or strategies, please let me know.  The Integrated Co-Taught (ICT) model can be very powerful and effective for all kids.

Athena is SMART

Many of our Athena math teachers have recently upgraded their classrooms with projectors and SMART boards.  Although sometimes tempting to use these tools as an “expensive overhead,” our teachers chose to engage students with a variety of techniques.

Mr. Ingerick had his students teach the class on identity and squaring functions in his Pre-Calculus course.  Each group of students discussed the topics at their desks, and presented them on the SMART board.

Mrs. Benz chose to use her projector by showing a pre-teach video clip from the Internet in her AP Calculus class.  Her students were engaged by watching a math expert from  Mrs. Benz explained that she likes this website because it offers a variety of informative and humorous videos on many aspects of Calculus.

Mr. Mock and Ms. Ruggeri hooked in their Integrated Algebra class with many interactive SMART board games and applications.  This team of teachers had multiple activities throughout their class.  At one point in the class, students came to the front of the room to work on a math basketball SMART board game that reinforced the ideas of solving equations.  At other moments in the class, an interactive graphing calculator was projected to assist students in mastering this important tool.  Both teachers were able to increase instructional engagement by utilizing technology and fun into their classroom.

Practical Strategy: Advocate for technology in your classroom and make a committment to use it often.  Even the smallest technology activity can help to keep your kids interested in the content that you are delivering.

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