Co-Planning to Co-Serve

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Co-Planning to Co-Serve

Collaborative planning, or co-planning, occurs when a special and general educator combine their expertise to plan instructional content, instructional delivery, and assessment of student learning (Marilyn Friend, 2014)

According to Friend, it is essential that co-teaching teams have time to discuss a shared philosophy or belief system around student achievement, pedagogy and class climate. After these beginning conversations, teachers then build on these beliefs and co-plan to establish routines, such as how to utilize each other’s strengths, how to analyze student data and how to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners.

To facilitate effective co-planning meetings, each educator should capitalize on his/her lens of expertise. See diagram for an example of how each role enhances content and provides access to rigorous instruction.

These roles are not mutually exclusive, often times the learning specialist may have some content knowledge, and the content expert is able to differentiate instruction for diverse learners. However, for planning purposes, if both educators come to the planning session with a focus, the team ends up maximizing the limited planning time and supporting all students with rich instruction.


Thus, the general educator will be able to focus on content and answer the following questions:

  • What content is essential for students to master?
  • What is the big idea we want all students to know?
  • How can we effectively teach the content?
  • What concepts do students usually struggle with?

On the other hand, the learning specialists can focus on differentiation, answering the following

Exerpt taken from an article in Inclusion Corner by Savanna Flakes, October 14, 2014

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Marty Schloegl, M.Ed.

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Continuous School Improvement | Co Plan to Serve | Regional Data Lead | SSIP Lead | Principal Leadership | High Quality Instructional Practi

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