Co-teaching strategies

Co-teaching is an attitude of sharing the classroom and students. Co-Teachers must always be thinking: “We are both teaching!” (Bacharach & Heck, 2011)

You need to think carefully about your co-teaching needs to make sure you select a strategy that would be right for your co-teaching classroom.

The following video is a silent overview of the different co-teaching strategies.

This video is hosted on the Vimeo video-sharing website. If this site is blocked by your school district and you cannot watch the video, please use this link to download a MS PowerPoint presentation about co-teaching strategies (opens new window).

One teach, one observe

One co-teacher has primary instructional responsibility while the other co-teacher gathers specific observational information on students or the (instructing) teacher. The key to this strategy is to have a focus for the observation.

One teach, one assist

One co-teacher has primary instructional responsibility while the other co-teacher assists students with their work, monitors behaviors, or corrects assignments.

Station teaching

The co-teaching pair divides the instructional content into parts and the students into groups. Groups spend a designated amount of time at each station. Of-ten an independent station will be used.

Parallel teaching

Each co-teacher instructs half of the students. The two co-teachers are addressing the same instructional material and present the lesson using the same teaching strategy. The greatest benefit is the reduction of student to teacher ratio.

Supplemental teaching

This strategy allows one co-teacher to work with students at their expected grade level, while the other co-teacher works with those students who need the information and/or materials extended or remediated.

Alternative/differentiated teaching

Alternative teaching strategies provide two different approaches to teaching the same information. The learning outcome is the same for all students; however, the instructional methodology is different.

Team teaching

Team taught lessons that are well planned exhibit an invisible flow of instruction with no prescribed division of authority. Using a team teaching strategy, both teachers are actively involved in the lesson. From a student’s perspective, there is no clearly defined leader, as both teachers share the instruction, are free to interject in-formation, and available to assist students and answer questions.

For more information  on co-teaching strategies please see:

Next: Co-Teaching Roles and Responsibilities

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© 2012, St. Cloud State University. Used with permission by the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’ Office of Teacher Education (OTE) for the CEHD Partner Network