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The Co-Teacher's Playbook

The Co-Teacher's Playbook
What It Takes to Make Co-Teaching Work for Everyone

Additional resources:

August 2019 | 152 pages | Corwin
Expert guidance for creating a successful partnership!

In today’s inclusive classrooms, general-education teachers might be paired with special-education teachers, ELL specialists, interventionists, or paraprofessionals in a co-teaching partnership. No matter your exact situation—or which side of the equation you’re on—co-teachers share similar challenges, including struggles with communication, trouble with equitable grading, and lack of planning time.

Whether you’re new to co-teaching, new to your partner, or just see room for improvement in the way you connect, it’s time to make the partnership really benefit your students. So grab a cup of coffee and your co-teacher—this hands-on workbook is designed for the two of you to use together. Features include:

Stories from experienced co-teachers
Reflective activities to help each of you discover your collaboration style
Reproducible lists, checklists, templates, agreements, and more to complete together
A downloadable unit-planning tool

When co-teaching is done well, the benefits for students are immeasurable. Let this guide’s expert advice and eye-opening activities take your co-teaching to a new level of success.
About the Author
Introduction: Why This Book, and Why Me?
Chapter 1: Understanding

What Is Co-Teaching?

Activity: What’s Your Definition?

Benefits of Co-Teaching

Activity: The Benefits of Co-Teaching

Co-Teaching: What Does It Look Like in Today’s Classrooms?

General Ed and Special Ed Partnerships

General Ed and ESL/ELL Partnerships

General Ed and Interventionist Partnerships

General Ed and Specialist Partnerships

General Ed and Paraprofessional Partnerships

Activity: Taking Stock

Co-Teaching Structures

Reflection Questions


Tool 1: Welcome Letter to Students Template

Tool 2: Welcome Letter to Parents Template, Elementary

Tool 3: Welcome Letter to Parents Template, Secondary

Extension 1: Co-Teaching Scavenger Hunt

Extension 2: Create a Co-Teaching Vision Board

Chapter 2: Relating

Activity: What I Bring to the Table

The Four Pillars of a Great Co-Teaching Partnership

Pillar 1: Respect

Activity: Reflect and Write

Pillar 2: Communication

Activity: My Beliefs about Teaching

Activity: Important Questions for Us to Discuss

Vignette: R. K. Smith Middle School in Luling, Louisiana

Pillar 3: Flexibility

Activity: My Preferences in the Classroom

Understanding the Activity

Pillar 4: Humor

Activity: Let’s Humor Each Other!

Being Prepared for the Highs and the Lows

Examples of Norms for Working Together

Examples of Norms for Weekly Meetings

Activity: Write Your Norms

How to Handle an Uncooperative Co-Teacher


Vignette: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Tool 1: Our Goals

Tool 2: Protocols

Extension 1: Personality Tests

Extension 2: Learning More about Paraphrasing Skills

Chapter 3: Managing

Planning for the Learning Environment

Advice for Establishing Routines and Procedures

Procedures, Consequences, and Recognition

Determining Who Will Handle What

Activity: Whose Job Is It?


Tool 1: Student Compact

Tool 2: Positive Notes to Students

Chapter 4: Teaching

Unit Planning

Activity: Unpacking the Standards and Creating Learning Targets

Activity: Big Ideas and Essential Questions

Creating the Unit

Summative Assessment

Daily Lessons

Effective Lesson Design

Planning for Ongoing Collaboration

Activity: Reflection Questions

Do’s and Don’ts for Co-Teaching Meetings

Tips for Calendaring Meetings


Tool 1: Unit Plan Template

Tool 2: Meeting Agenda Templates and Examples

Tool 3: “Look-Fors” Co-Teaching Observation Form

Extension 1: Protocols

Extension 2: Student Surveys

Chapter 5: Assessing

Assessment in General

Formative versus Summative Assessment

Thinking about Formative Assessment

Activity: Thirty Fun, Formative Assessment Ideas

Lesson Structure That Includes Formative Assessment

Activity: Reflect on the Lesson

Assessment Considerations for Co-Taught Classes

The Value of Pre-Assessment


Tool 1: Creating a Pre-Assessment

Appendix A: A Brief History of Co-Teaching
Appendix B: The Six Co-Teaching Structures Depicted Visually
Appendix C: Sentence Frames for Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and Checking for Accuracy
Appendix D: Do Not Disturb Signs for Weekly Meetings


"Practitioners can use this workbook as a tool to get a good start on team teaching/co-teaching. It is well organized and well thought out. The personal experiences and vignettes are all relevant and show the good, the bad, and the ugly. It will be a big help to beginners and for those who want a second chance at making it work."

Claudia A. Danna
Sacred Heart University

"This book is an excellent resource for teachers new to co-teaching. It is a resource both teachers should use to learn about each other and their teaching styles so they can ensure their classroom environment and teaching best serves their students."

Stacy Lemongelli
Perth Amboy Public Schools District

“As we strive for high levels of learning—and college/career readiness—for all students, co-teaching has never been as important. No one has as much to offer in guiding educators to success within inclusive, differentiated environments than Angela Peery. This book will be your trusted resource.”

Chris Weber, EdD
Irvine Unified School District

The Co-Teacher’s Playbook is one of those rare occasions where the content delivers on the promise of the title. I don’t know of a single other book on this topic that ties it together so well and in such a clear fashion though the use of tools, activities, and the clear, easy connections Dr. Peery has made. She has crafted a text that is applicable for those new to co-teaching with clear definitions and activities at each step, while also challenging veterans of the practice by sharing practical insights and extension activities. With this book Dr. Peery has moved the important work of co-teaching from novelty (practiced by a few, passionate educators) to necessity.”

Tom Hierck

The Co-Teacher’s Playbook is essential reading for making co-teaching a reality. Dr. Peery offers a comprehensive framework for successful implementation. Her book is a must read for any team contemplating a co-teaching model.”

Ajit "AJ" Pethe
St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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ISBN: 9781544377629