ICT classroom

Hi Everybody!

In my last post, I outlined 3 teaching models for an ICT classroom. Now let’s take a look at the last few ICT models. In this bunch are the two that my co-teacher, Missy, and I used the most.

Parallel Teaching

Parallel Teaching:

What is it? Co-teachers are both teaching the same information, but they divide the class in half and conduct the lesson simultaneously.

When to use:

  • When a lower adult-student ratio is need to improve instructional efficiency
  • To foster student participation in discussions
  • For activities such as drill and practice, re-teaching, and test review

Things to remember:

  • Instruction in terms of process and content should be comparable.
  • Students are split heterogeneously in terms of both skill level and learning style; meaning, students with IEPs should be distributed between both groups.

* This was our preferred model when our class fell in a more narrow range. We always had high, medium and low students, but we found this model worked best when the difference among those groups was smaller.

Alternative Teaching

Alternative Teaching/Satellite Teaching:

What is it? A small group needs to work with one teacher while the larger group works with the other teacher. In alternative teaching, the large group completes the planned lesson while the small group either completes an alternative lesson or the same lesson taught at a different level or for a different purpose. This arrangement might take an entire class period, or it might be used for just a few minutes at the beginning or end of a lesson.

When to use:

  • In situations where students’ mastery of concepts taught or about to be taught varies tremendously (tiered groupings or a reteach)
  • When extremely high levels of mastery are expected for all students
  • When enrichment is desired (extension lesson)
  • When some students are working in a parallel curriculum
  • When you want to teach a strategy lesson

Things to remember:

  • Be sure to vary components of this model like who takes the small group, who is in the group and how the group is taught.

*This model was another favorite of ours, especially when the skill level in our class had a wider range. Most often we used this model to support a small group of severely struggling learners, but also to support the 4-5 really advanced students we had.

One Teach One Assist

One Teach, One Assist

What is it? This one also is fairly simple. One teacher teaches the whole class while the other teacher provides unobtrusive support to students within the class.

When to use it:

  • This model should be used only occasionally.

Things to remember:

  • Some administrators don’t like to see this model because both teachers are not instructing. If you use it (I did on a few occasions) make sure you let your principal know that you’re trying it out and why you’re using it for a particular lesson.

As with anything in the classroom, in ICT teaching variety is key. Regardless of what models you choose to work with, remember that you should not get stuck with one model on a daily basis. Additionally, your student groupings in any model should not be permanent. Student groups should be analyzed and reorganized depending on content, both new and review, the activity or the level of students in a given unit of study.  

On a final note, when teaching in an ICT classroom remember that the class “belongs” to both teachers equally. Both share in the struggles and the successes of all of the students which means that both teachers are responsible for the learning of each student. The special education teacher should not be teaching only the students with individualized education programs (IEPs) and the general education teacher should not be teaching only the general education students. When Missy and I co-taught, she was in charge of writing the IEPs and leading the way with BIPs but when it came to certain subjects we decided together that I was the more experienced math interventionist. We taught math mostly with the alternative and parallel teaching models and I took the most struggling students who all had IEPs. Even though I wasn’t the special ed. teacher, I was better able to assess and support students in their math work. So as you think about what ICT models to use and how to group students in each model, remember to think about you and your co-teacher’s instructional strengths when deciding who will teach what group.

Amanda Bustos
Amanda Bustos

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