Welcome all Math 7 and Intro/Conclusion Algebra students!!!

Welcome all to Math 7 or Algebra. This year you will be afforded the opportunity to have not one, but two teachers. This concept is called co-teaching. Co-teaching was first initiated at Simle during the 2009-2010 school year. We have seen great success through implementation of this program as it allows students to get more assistance when needed. Also, it allows us to incorporate more differentiation from within each class. I hope you all enjoy this program.

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Welcome all Math 7 and Alegebra students!!!

Welcome all to Math 7 or Algebra. This year you will be afforded the opportunity to have not one, but two teachers. This concept is called co-teaching. Co-teaching was first initiated at Simle during the 2009-2010 school year. We have seen great success through implementation of this program as it allows students to get more assistance when needed. Also, it allows us to incorporate more differentiation from within each class. I hope you all enjoy this program.

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Co-Teaching Philosophy

Co-teaching is two or more people sharing responsibility for some or all of the students in a classroom.  A co-teaching team typically includes a general education teacher paired with a specialist teaching the education curriculum to all students..  Both educators on the team are responsible for differentiating the instructional planning and delivery, assessment of student achievement, and classroom management.

At Simle, we have been successful at implementing a true co-taught environment for all of our current seventh and eighth graders who are on IEPs.  Originally when we started the program, we decided that it would be best to include all the students with IEPs whether they were ED, LD, or SLP in each of the co-taught classes.  However, we have since narrowed our focus to specific goal areas.  We are co-teaching in the areas of math, English, and Science.  When asked how many students we serve in these classes the numbers tend to be skewed slightly.  This is in part because we have specialists in each of these core classes that are providing assistance to all students.  This is a tremendous benefit because it allows all students the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.

In math, a regular education teacher is accompanied with a educational strategist.  If one were to observe this class, they would see a variation of several different co-teaching approaches being implemented.  From within these classes, there are approximately eight students on IEPs with a heterogeneous mixture of peers.  This mixture of students is for two block periods per day, and a total of four different classes.  For students who have math related goals, their needs are being met by providing them with supplemental services from within the classroom through various means like small groups.  However, these groups are not limited to just students with IEPs.  Throughout the year, there has been numerous times where a variety of students needed further instruction.  These groups are generally a mixture of ‘IEP’ and ‘non-IEP’ students.  During a typical class, when one teacher is providing the direct instruction, the other ensures that all students are fully participating whether it is having them write down notes or simply paying attention.  In addition, it allows for assistance with those students who typically lack organizational skills.

Science and English are slightly different than the co-taught math class.  In both classes, there is an aide assigned to each room for the class periods being co-taught.  The aides remain in the classroom for the entire period, and a specialist rotates between the classes.  The aides provide the consistency needed in the classroom because they are there every day; whereas the specialist provides further assistance.  These two classes have slightly more students, simply because at Simle we did not have man power to cover everything.  From within these classes, there are approximately 13 students on IEPs and with 11 peers.  This still allows for a heterogeneous mixture of these students.  These classes also provide a variety of co-teaching approaches similar to the co-taught math class.  Their approaches are slightly different because of the material that is being covered.

Direct pull out services for students on IEPs have been at a minimum at the onset of this program because they are being provided from within the classroom.  Since all the services are being provided from within the classroom, the concept of ‘Least Restrictive Environment’ is at its maximum when these classes are utilized.  There is virtually no comparison between a co-taught class and direct pull out.  The proof is in the data, as nearly everyone in these class (both students with and without IEPs) have made significant gains.  From a student perspective, students with IEPs no longer get singled out as ‘special’ because they get pulled out elective classes to see a specialist.  In addition, the old method of scheduling students was to place all students on IEPs in the resource room for an entire period every other day (block scheduling) totaling 225 minutes per week.  This in itself does not make sense, considering most student who enter middle school from an elementary school usually have no more than a maximum of 100 minutes per week.  However, since they have an IEP they then get placed into the resource room for an entire class period.

All teachers at Simle view co-teaching as a great method to utilize in a service delivery model.  Also, specialists are now able to directly observe what their students’ with IEPs are doing in class.  In addition, they are able to provide more opportunities to use the skills for which they were trained in without having to be an expert in the content area.  Goals on IEPs become more realistic because of the exposure to ‘normalcy’ of regular education students.  Student behaviors in classes tend to be at a minimum because of more teachers in the regular classroom, which results in higher output rates for the students and fewer behaviors.

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