When employing Marilyn Friend’s co-teaching models in inclusive classrooms, we often encourage small-group models like Parallel and Station Teaching, as it’s easiest to reach all learners in smaller groups. Also, many teachers find it difficult to know what to do during a One-Teach/One Support model. As we’ve mentioned in our post on the 6 co-teaching models, One-Teach/One Support often looks more like One-Teach/One Police, as the supporting teacher tends to focus on redirecting students and managing behavior rather than implementing accommodations. Also, a second adult voice is not always the best solution for students with special needs to focus on the content at hand.
So how can we be most useful to students when one teacher is leading the lesson and the other is supporting? Well, that’s when Assistive Technology (sometimes called Adaptive Materials) comes into play. These tools provide clear and direct information to support students in reaching their goals as independently as possible. Therefore, the supporting teacher can introduce the tools to students or manage them during lessons, while the other teacher leads the instruction. Eventually, the supporting teacher can step away from the student as they take ownership and use the tools on their own.
Adaptive Materials or Assistive Technology are the best way to step back, fade support, and encourage independence for students. Click on the Prezi above to view a short presentation about a range of practical tools and how you can use them in your classroom!