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Preliminary Discussion Questions

The questions below are designed to serve as a starting point for co-teaching discussion. Depending on previous
experiences working together, some questions may not be relevant. Remember that differences of opinion are
inevitable; differences are okay and perfectly normal. Effective co-teachers learn and grow professionally from their
work together. Competent professional skills, openness, and interest in working together are more important than
perfect agreement on classroom rules.

1. What are your expectations for students regarding:


a. Participation?
Park- Students are expected to participate by engaging in classwork to
earn a total of 10 points a day, which averages for the week. Do Nows= 5
points
Mellovitz- Uses a point tracker system as well, Do Nows= 5 points
b. Daily preparation?
Park- Bring homework, writing utensil and classwork materials to class
Mellovitz- (same)
c. Written assignments and/or homework completion?
Park- Homework, especially for math, should be consistently completed
and student should be responsible for actually handing the homework in. I
am more on top of homework completion than Mellovitz although I will
accept late homework.
Mellovitz- Also believes in the importance of homework but does not
believe it should be weighted as heavily as I do. Believes that it is a
practice that is only hurting student grades as student circumstances do
not allow students to always perform HW correctly.
2. What are your basic classroom rules? What are the consequences?
Park- Respect One Voice (do not talk while someone else is), respect the
space (do not throw anything), do not get out of your seat without
permission
1. Consequences: Warning (name on white board), then demerit
(check next to name)
2. Insubordination of demerit card at end of class will result in a full
demerit card (1 hour after school detention)
3. Office hours and phone call home if accumulated 3 checks
Mellovitz- Whatever is written on the board is written in your notes, do not
get out of your seat without permission, One Voice
1. Consequences: Warning, then demerit (tracked on clipboard)
3. Typically, how are students grouped for instruction in your classroom?
Park- grouped in shoulder partners, seating arrangements are chosen
by pairing off-task students with on-task students, higher students with
lower students
Mellovitz- (same)

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

4. What instructional methods do you like to use (i.e. lectures, class discussions, stations,
etc)?
Park- Do Now, Review, Direct Instruction (lecture/question style),
Guided Practice (turn + talks, stop + jots, think-pair-share, whole
group CFUs, class discussions), Independent Practice
Mellovitz- Do Now, Review, Direct Instruction, Guided Practice (group
competition practice), Independent Practice
5. What practice activities do you like to use (i.e. cooperative learning groups, labs, etc)?
Park- partner work, white board activities
Mellovitz- partner work
6. How do you monitor and evaluate student progress?
Park- grade exit tickets and homework and enter into online
gradebook, monitor during guided/independent practice, whole class
checks for understanding
Mellovitz- grade exit tickets
7. Describe your typical tests and quizzes.
Park- open ended questions with use of math operations, graded on
shown work and final answer, minimal problems requiring full
sentences, multiple choice, true/false
Mellovitz- (same)
8. Describe other typical projects and assignments.
Park- review games/ office hour extra practice packets
Mellovitz- (same)
9. Do you differentiate instruction for students with special needs? If so, how?
Park- guided notes, calculators, review and repetition, word/vocab
chart, anchor chart, small group instruction, breaks given as
necessary
Mellovitz- (same)
10. Is any special assistance given to students with disabilities during class? On written
assignments? On tests and quizzes?
Park- opportunities for makeups, extended time given during lunch or
office hours, calculators if necessary
Mellovitz- opportunities for makeups, extended time given during
lunch or office hours, calculators if necessary
11. How and when do you communicate with families?
Park- phone calls almost every night, especially for failing or
misbehaving, off-task students, text messages for positive behavior,
picture messages of good work

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).

Mellovitz- phone calls almost every night, especially for failing or


misbehaving, off-task students

12. What are your strengths as a teacher? What are your areas of challenge? How about
your pet peeves?
Park:
o Strengths- interpersonal relationships
o Challenges- strong classroom management, being consistent
with consequences
o Pet Peeves- poor communication, students walking around
the classroom, students throwing things across the room
Mellovitz:
o Strengths- planning, creating scope & sequence, resilient to
change
o Challenges- strong classroom management, being consistent
with consequences
o Pet Peeves- poor communication, disorganization
13. What do you see as our potential roles and responsibilities as co-teachers?
Park- Both Mellovitz and I work to instruct our students on the same
material and same format although we have different teaching styles. I
also do more grading and gradebook entry and administrative tasks
for the classroom, such as creating anchor charts. I modify Mellovitzs
lesson plans in order to help special needs students.
Mellovitz- Mellovitz creates the lesson plans and uses his judgment
for the pacing of our lessons. He creates the initial powerpoints.
14. If we co-teach together, what are your biggest hopes for our work as a team? What are
your biggest concerns?
Park- In order to truly co-teach, we need to share all responsibilities
equally. Currently, for the sake of time, we split the responsibilities but
we should work ahead of time so that we are contributing equally to
the lesson planning, administrative work, and student bonding.
Mellovitz- Truly working together to deepen student learning and
make math comprehendible to the students. Mellovitz likes
exploratory learning whereas Park emphasizes spending more time to
solidify concepts. Although our teaching styles differ, we need to plan
to accomplish the same student objective/pacing.

Adapted from Walter-Thomas, C. & Bryant, M. (1996). Planning for effective co-teaching. Remedial and Special Education, 17(4).