Our Practices

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Tapestry Public Charter School - Atlanta, GA

Best Practices Pivotal for Success

Co-Teaching, Planning, & Instruction

Our four core content areas are co-taught by a general education and special education teacher. The core classes include: ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies in grades 6th-8th grade.

Major Elements Include:

Co-planning & Collaboration
Differentiation
Co-Teaching
Small Group Instruction

Co-Teaching, Planning, & Instruction
Co-Teaching, Planning, & Instruction
Co-Teaching, Planning, & Instruction

Co-planning & Collaboration

Co-planning is an institutionalized part of our co-teaching model at Tapestry. Dedicated time for the General Education and Special Education teacher to plan lesson implementation together is an integral part of the collaboration process. The planning process requires the General Education teacher coming to the table with a completed Unit Map (that includes DOK levels 1-4), while the Special Education teacher adds any additional accommodations needed, both teachers discuss how lessons will be provided to fit the needs of the students. Collaboration is evident during this process through the design and presentation of the lesson materials, which incorporate the Universal Design for Learning principles. This ongoing collaboration process allows for conversation to occur between the educators around how to group students, the pacing of the lesson, which formative assessments to use, predict and problem solve potential barriers that may arise and a time to review and reflect.

Differentiation

Differentiation of the lesson includes steps taken before, during and after the learning experience. Middle school teacher teams utilize Unit Maps, Item Analysis, Pre-test/Post assessments and students individual learning styles to design activities and assignments within the DOK (Depth of Knowledge) framework. The framework itself provides natural differentiation to occur in the classroom, while each level provides for a deeper understanding of content. During each DOK level, students are able to demonstrate mastery of standards and/or sub skills targeted, through the completion of assigned activities/tasks. This learning model provides teachers valuable time and teaching opportunities that may not exist in a traditional classroom.

Co-Teaching

Each middle school teacher has a specialized role within the co-taught classroom that is reflective of their background and area of expertise. By pairing both a Special Education teacher and a General Education/Content teacher together, we provide students with a rich and rigorous learning environment which allows for ongoing intensive teaching to occur. The delivery model in the classroom varies based upon the unit or lesson that students are working on. This is a flexible process, in which teacher teams are able to utilize any of the co-teaching models based on their needs that day. Typically, the General education teacher is the one who delivers the content related to standards, as that is their area of expertise. While the Special Education teacher provides students with tools, strategies and direct instruction on skills they may need in order to better access the grade level content.

Small Group Instruction

Small group instruction is an integral part of our students day at Tapestry. It naturally allows teacher teams to deliver content based on students individualized needs, while also providing added time and instruction to students around specific skills sets. While small group instruction is evident throughout the school day across all content areas, our special education teachers provide another form of intensive instruction to students who have specific IEP goals, using specially designed instruction. This is embedded within the weekly lesson plans (Unit Map) and is an ongoing grouping that occurs based on the individual IEP goals of students.

The Six Best Practices Pivotal for Success Include: