Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Co-Teaching Spotlight: Parallel Instruction

I'm continuing with Julia's Rocking Co-Teaching Series. Click here to read more about team teaching. Okay, onto the next model!

Model: Parallel Instruction

Definition: "Teachers break the class into two heterogeneous groups and each instructs half of the class" (Collaborative Teaching in Elementary Schools by Wendy W. Murawski).

What does it look like?
  • Groups facing away from one another and teachers facing one another to limit distractions and noise
  • Two teachers teach the same content in the same way OR
  •  Two teachers teach the same content in a different way
(Collaborative Teaching in Elementary Schools by Wendy W. Murawski

Notice how the two teachers are facing each other and the groups of students are facing away from one another. Both teachers are teaching the same content in the same way.

Notice in this video the quick transition from full class to parallel instruction. The teachers are teaching the same content in a different way.

It is beneficial to go over norms and expectations around noise and behavior.

When should I use it?
  • When it is beneficial to have a smaller group (teacher demonstration)
  • In order to meet students' learning styles (visual versus kinesthetic instruction) 
  • When it's beneficial to group by learning styles or interests
How to prepare for this during co-planning:
  • Use a co-planning template (here, here, or here on page 15) 
  • Discuss how students should be split (by desk location, learning style, interest, last name, etc.)
  • Discuss if content should be taught the same way or differently
  • Plan assessments 
  • Each co-teacher will grade the work from students in their group and then debrief with co-teacher
  • Discuss where each group will be in the classroom, how to prepare students for transitions, timing, and going over expectations and routines 
  • Make sure that both teachers are aware of ways to modify instruction, challenge all learners, and meet the needs of all students 
  • Practice on transitioning to parallel groups
  • Parallel instruction can get noisy. Be cognizant of your voice and the voice level of the students in your group.

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