There are many things that can get in the way of on-going collaboration between the reading teacher and the classroom teacher. In my experience, the number one obstacle is time. When it is a struggle to schedule collaboration times it may be necessary to think outside the box.
The reading teacher can share a Word document with the classroom teacher on a regular basis. The reading teacher completes their portion and the classroom teacher can fill in a few strengths and needs of their student(s). We use Office 365 in my school district, but you could easily do this work through Google Docs. Here is an example of a completed form. Click the link below to download a blank copy of the form.
Seesaw is a great tool not only for parent communication but teacher communication as well. Seesaw is a free, easy and quick to use digital portfolio website/app. You can invite teachers to see their student’s work by using their e-mail address which will send the teacher a link to create a log-in or you can print a QR code that they can scan with their phone or a tablet.
Using Seesaw you can share:
- a video of the teacher’s student reading
- a video demonstrating teaching or prompting for a reading behavior
- a picture of a writing journal entry
Teachers can “like” what you have uploaded and add comments. If the teacher adds a comment directed to the student I share the comment with the student during our next lesson.
The most powerful collaborating experiences we can happen when we meet with a teacher face to face. During these meetings, it is important to provide equal opportunities for literacy teacher and the classroom teacher to share observations. We should aim to meet with the teachers of our most struggling readers more frequently. To work toward a productive time efficient meeting we can plan what we want to share. It is helpful to share:
- observations of reading behaviors
- current goals
- the type of language being used to teach, prompt, and reinforce reading/writing behaviors
- 2-3 recent running records
- writing pieces that show change over time
It is very important to share the time equally so that both the literacy teacher and the classroom teacher have a clear picture of how the student is performing in the classroom and during intervention time. We want to send the message to the classroom teacher that we value what he/she has to say. It is very helpful if the teacher brings their anecdotal notes, any recent assessments, a recent writing piece, and recent running records. We can look for evidence that the student is transferring his/her work with you to their classroom setting.
Meeting weekly with the classroom teacher to collaborate would be ideal. Unfortunately, sometimes that time is not available. We may need to think of different approaches to collaborate with classroom teachers on a regular basis. Students will make optimal growth when their teachers work closely together. What is your favorite way to collaborate with classroom teachers?