If you are a co-teacher, you might wonder how co-teaching fits in with the components of balanced literacy. Or you might be a main stream (general education) teacher that has a co-teacher and you wonder how to best utilize two teachers in the room during workshop. Many ESL teachers co-teach in classrooms that embrace the reading and writing workshop. It's important to know which approaches fit best with each part of the balanced literacy classroom.
The best thing about the workshop model is that it allows for differentiation for all students. Students are reading and writing on THEIR level.
The best thing about co-teaching is that it lowers the student-teacher ratio allowing for more interaction with individual students and the ability to customize instruction.
When these two amazing instructional approaches collide, they can be quite powerful! What we want to avoid is one teacher taking the lead of instruction while the other simply assists a student or group of students.
So let's start here. These are the components of balanced literacy (and a brief definition) that we will merge with co-teaching:
Here are 6 popular co-teaching approaches:
In order for Co-Teaching to be effective, teachers must build a relationship with one another, respect each other, plan together, and be seen as equals in the classroom. All students should see both teachers as "their teachers".
Let's merge the two: