According to Murawski and Lochner (2011), effective co-planning ensures the special educator has“proactive input into the lesson” (p. 175) and increases the likelihood that students with disabilities have access to the general education curriculum. To begin the lesson planning process, co-teachers may answer the following questions:
- How will the co-taught lesson be different and more beneficial for students with disabilities than a lesson taught by one teacher?
- How will specially designed instruction be delivered for each student with an IEP?
- Which co-teaching variations will be used during the lesson?
- Defining the big ideas;
- Analyzing areas of student difficulty;
- Creating strategies and supports to maximize student learning; and
- Evaluating the process (Hawbaker, Balong, Buckwalter, & Runyon, 2001).
Table 1 shows the steps of BASE and corresponding teacher considerations.
Teacher Considerations for Each Step of the BASE Planning Process
|Define the big ideas||
|Analyze areas of difficulty||
|Create strategies and supports||
|Evaluate the process||
Checklist for Instructional Planning Components
|Planning Area||Guiding Questions||Yes||No|
|Standards||Did we use standards as the focus of the lesson?|
|Did we align instructional content with IEP goals?|
|Assessment||Did we identify intended learning outcomes?|
|Did we include formative assessment?|
|Did we include summative assessment?|
|Will we assess in a variety of formats?
☐ Paper and pencil
|Did we agree on grading procedures?
☐ Person responsible
☐ Differentiating grading based on student needs
☐ Use of rubrics
|Did we talk about homework?
☐ How much to assign
☐ How often to assign
☐ Procedures for submitting
☐ How to grade
☐ Accepting late work
|Accommodations/Modifications||Did we address any appropriate content-related IEP goals?|
|Did we address any non-content-related IEP goals?|
|Did we consider needs of individual students for assignments?|
|Did we discuss how to provide accommodations/modifications inclusively without calling attention to the student/ students?|
|Instructional Strategies||Did we consider mnemonics?|
|Did we consider graphic organizers?|
|Did we consider cooperative learning strategies?|
|Did we consider progress monitoring?|
|Did we consider peer-assisted learning strategies?|
|Logistics||Did we decide who will prepare tests?|
|Did we decide who will prepare materials?|
|Did we plan for roles and arrangements?
☐ Classroom movement patterns
☐ Student grouping
☐ Roles in instruction
☐ Roles in discipline
Adapted from Howard and Potts (2009). (Download Chart)
Well-planned co-taught lessons have the potential to effectively meet the needs of students with disabilities and create powerful instruction for ALL students. How will you unleash the power of the co-taught lesson?
For additional information on the co-planning process strategies, read the T/TAC William and Mary Considerations Packet Co-Planning for Student Success. This free packet and many others may be ordered online at http://education.wm.edu/centers/ttac/resources/considerations/index.php
For a comprehensive resource from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) on collaborating for student success, refer to Stepping Stones to Success II Collaboration: Working Together for All Students.
Friend, M. (2014). Co-teach! Building and sustaining effective classroom partnerships in inclusive schools (2nd Ed.). Greensboro, NC: Marilyn Friend, Inc.
Hawbaker, B. W., Balong, M., Buckwalter, S., &. Runyon, S. (2001). Building a strong BASE of support for all students through co-planning. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 33, 24-30. Retrieved from (not longer available)
Howard, L., &. Potts, E. A. (2009). Using co-planning time: Strategies for a successful co-teaching marriage. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, 5. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ967747.pdf
Murawski, W. W., & Lochner, W. W. (2011). Observing co-teaching: What to ask for, look for, and listen for. Intervention in School and Clinic, 46(3), 174-183.