We have all been there - we "get" extra help. Sometimes that help is welcomed, and sometimes we think to ourselves,"um...one more thing for me to plan for? NO THANKS!". Oftentimes students with Special Education minutes means that you will get an inclusion person in your room. All of the Special Education staff are there to help our kiddos and would love to be put to work! I promise you that this can actually make your life easier! I have listed below some tips on how you can best use us.
1. Interactive teaching - Two or more teachers shift roles between leading whole-class instruction, observing instruction and monitoring learning. The benefit of this is that sometimes you'd like to be able to monitor what the kiddos are doing while you are teaching; taking notes, how they are creating questions and developing answers, behaviors, levels of engagement, or you would like to see a different teaching style. This is best used with another certified teacher as we can plan together or share lesson plans.
2. Alternative Teaching - One teacher is teaching the whole group while the other is leading a small group of kiddos who need some reinforcements or reteaching.
3. Parallel Teaching- Two teachers teach two different mixed abilities groups the same lesson. This allows for lessons with a smaller group of kiddos.
4. Station Teaching - Two or more teachers lead or observe small groups of students as these groups rotate through several learning stations. This technique helps students stay on task as they complete shorter activities and transition clearly from task to task. This works particularly well in Blended Learning classes or with guided reading.
All of these work best when we've had communication about how to do these lessons and what it will look like. We also love to do these lessons with general education and students with special education in the same groups; either mixed abilities or similar abilities. Another option is for the classroom teacher to teach the lower group and the inclusion teacher teach the higher group. So long as the kids with SPED minutes are receiving services, we are open to flexible groupings. We are good at brainstorming different options and can help you figure out what will work the best for you and your students - just ask us!