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Coteaching Part I

Name: Emilie Bentley

Date: March 7, 2015
How does this project contribute to your understanding of coteaching?
This project contributed to my understanding of coteaching because it allowed me to put
the knowledge of coteaching and practicing it together to make the connection between the two.
It also helped me to think a little deeper into why some types work in certain lessons and why
some do not. Coteaching can be a very effective type of teaching when it is done correctly.

On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized

aid on this academic work.

Entry Into the Classroom

The transition into Mrs. Randolphs first grade class was a very easy and seamless one.
She welcomed me into the classroom with open arms and allowed me to begin working with her
students on the very first day that I was in the class. This allowed me to get to know the students
and their individual work ethics immediately. The students were also very impressed when I was
able to remember all of their names on the first day. For the first few days in the class, I spent a
lot of time monitoring and floating around the classroom. I spent a lot of time redirecting
students to stay on task with their work and helping them when they had questions. I tried to
offer as much support as possible to Mrs. Randolph. After I knew the students better and the way
the classroom worked, Mrs. Randolph allowed me to start working with students in small groups
and to pull them outside of the classroom. This usually involves me taking four to five students
into the hallway for more individualized instruction. For example, I have worked with these
small groups on spelling words, phonics, and reading levels. I have also worked one-on-one with
a few students who are working to increase their reading level. I have seen how important
coteaching is through this process. When one teacher teaches the lesson, the other is free to
monitor the class. Having two teachers in separate roles allows for more help for the students.

I believe that my mentor teacher and I communicate very well and very effectively. At the
beginning of each school day, we meet for a few minutes before the students arrive to class. This
allows us to discuss what her plans are for the day and what exactly she would like my help with.
We also meet for about 20 to 30 minutes at the end of the school day to plan ahead for the next
day. This time spent at the end of the day might include setting up for tomorrows centers,
straightening up the room, and gathering any needed materials. I also believe that I am starting to

develop my sense of meta-awareness. I think that this develops more through experience and
time in the classroom.
I try to ask as many questions as I can throughout the day. Being able to use my mentor
teacher as a resource is very beneficial. I ask her why she does certain things, like letting
students start off the day by sharing good things. I also ask her about more technical parts of
teaching, such as lesson planning and working with other teachers. I do not think that my mentor
teacher and I have any kind of barrier in our communication. She answers all of my questions in
detail and is never annoyed by my interest. We also communicate through email and text
message when we are not in the classroom.
Types of Coteaching
The teach/observe style of coteaching seems to be the least interactive for one of the
teachers involved. I would imagine that observation takes place more often during the training or
introduction of a new teacher or professional. While observing, there is little to no interaction
with the students. A positive thing that comes from observation would be that whoever is
watching gets to learn how the classroom runs.
Teach/drift is often helpful in the monitoring of understanding and classroom behavior.
While one teacher is actually teaching the lesson, the other is able to support by keeping an eye
on the class as individuals. If a problem arises or a child has a question, the teacher giving the
lesson can continue while the other handles the situation at hand.
Station teaching allows for smaller groups to work on strengthening their knowledge of
the content independently or getting to work in a smaller ratio with the teacher. Stations are
helpful when there are planning activities in each station where there is not a teacher.

Parallel teaching is when the two teachers split up the classroom into two groups for
instruction. This style could be problematic because when teaching students a new concept in
two separate groups, one teacher may not cover something as well as the other teacher. Parallel
teaching is most effective when reviewing or going over specific material.
Alternative teaching can be very helpful when working with students who need extra
time or reteaching. One teacher is able to work with the whole group while a student having
problems is able to get one-on-one assistance from the student teacher.
Team teaching is a much more flexible type of coteaching. Both teachers are in charge of
the planning. This approach is often effective because two heads can be better than one. One
disadvantage that could come from team teaching would be that the preplanning for this style
takes a lot more time. Sharing responsibility could also get confusing if the roles are not clearly
defined for both teachers.
Type of Coteaching with Mentor
The style of coteaching that my mentor teacher and I decided on for the particular lesson
we are doing is station teaching. We have used this style several times during my time in the
classroom and it tends to work very well. This group of students works very well when they are
in separate groups. By working in several different stations, the students are able to apply the
knowledge that they have learned in several different ways. When both teachers are stationed in
separate stations, they are able to discover what concepts or ideas that the students need extra
help with. The teachers are also able to get a better idea of who understands the content. If a
lesson needs to be retaught, station teaching is an effective way to do so. Station teaching is also
effective because the teachers can work with smaller groups of students at a time. This allows for
more individual help if needed.