Co-plan lessons with another teacher to help instruction meet the needs of all the students in the classroom.
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About this Micro-credential

Authors: Taylor, M., Mrstik, S., Dieker, L., and Straub, C.

Key Method

The teacher plans effective lessons with an avatar portraying a co-teacher that meet the needs of diverse learner populations in the classroom.

Method Components

As teachers plan and implement their lessons, they meet the diverse needs of a learner population by co-planning with other educators. This is accomplished over the three steps of co-planning followed by a brief reflection.

What is co-planning?

Co-planning is reviewing with co-teacher the objectives and structure of a lesson to identify the skills that each student needs to be able to use to accomplish the lesson’s goals. Teachers may develop strategies and/or find materials that reach the needs of all learners (Dieker & Rodriguez, 2013).

The three steps to co-planning

  1. Discuss IEP goals, accommodations, and necessary modifications.
  2. Plan the lesson to include objectives and at least one type of co-teaching approach.
  3. Delegate teaching and review IEP goals, accommodations, and modifications.

Suggested co-teaching models/adaptations

  1. One lead, one support—One teacher (e.g., the general education teacher) is the lead teacher involved in the direct instruction of the material. The co-teacher (e.g., the special education teacher) plays a supportive role, working with students and providing additional direction as necessary.
  2. Station teaching—Both co-teachers instruct at separate stations using different activities to work through different parts of the lesson with students. Often there is a third station at which students work independently, set up so that the teachers can monitor student involvement.
  3. Parallel teaching—The teachers both have a firm understanding of the material being presented in the lesson. They are set up at separate stations, or in separate rooms, teaching the same part of the lesson. Co-teachers using parallel teaching are encouraged to have similar teaching approaches.
  4. Alternative teaching—One teacher works with the majority of the class on a lesson while the other teacher works with a small group of students on homework, pre-teaching concepts, or skills in the subject area.
  5. Team teaching—Both teachers lead the class lesson together, as both have sufficient knowledge in the general education content area and special education. (Dieker & Rodriguez, 2013)

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

Teachers co-plan to ensure that the needs of all students in the classroom are met, often in a variety of ways. Teachers co-plan and co-teach so that students will be engaged throughout a lesson with guidance from both the general educator and the special educator and differentiation of instruction guides learning (Dieker & Rodriguez, 2013).

  • Dieker, L. A., & Rodriguez, J. A. (2013). Enhancing secondary cotaught science and mathematics classrooms through collaboration. Intervention in School & Clinic, 49(1), 46-53.
  • Murawski, W. W., & Dieker, L. A. (2004). Tips and strategies for co-teaching at the secondary level. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36(5), 52–58.


Marzano’s Art and Science of Teaching Framework (

  • Domain 2: Planning and Preparation
    • Planning and Preparing for Lessons and Units
      • 42. Effective Scaffolding of Information with Lessons
    • Planning and Preparing for the Needs of Students Receiving Special Education
  • Domain 4: Collegiality and Professionalism
    • Promoting a Positive Environment
      • 55. Promoting Positive Interactions with Colleagues
    • Promoting Exchange of Ideas and Strategies
      • 58. Mentoring Other Teachers and Sharing ideas and strategies

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn this micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1, 2, and 3.

Planning for the TeachLivE Co-Planning Activity:

  1. Express interest in micro-credentialing by emailing TeachLivE at with Co-Planning Micro-credential Application in the subject line. You will need a Skype address to complete your application.
  2. We will email the Co-Planning Micro-credential Application from TeachLivE. The application will include part one of the micro-credentialing process (see below).
  3. Complete the application and return it to
  4. You will be provided with a lesson from the TeachLivE lesson archive, which you will review with the co-teacher avatar. In this lesson planning time, please focus on teaching to the needs of all students in your class. Your purpose is to work cooperatively with a co-teacher to design a lesson that meets the learning styles of all of your students.
  5. You will receive a time and date to sign on to Skype for a one-hour TeachLivE session to earn your micro-credential. During the Skype session, you will be co-planning your lesson with the adult avatar to:
    1. Identify IEP goals, accommodations, and modifications for classroom students,
    2. Discuss lesson plan content and goals, and
    3. Discuss implementation and delegation of lesson.
  6. For more information about the simulator, please visit

Part 1. Overview Questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • What lesson will you be co-planning?
  • How would you like to begin the planning session with co-teacher?
    1. Introductions
    2. Students’ strengths and weakness in content area
    3. How do you plan to make sure both you and the co-teacher are actively involved in the co-planning process?

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

To earn this micro-credential, you must show evidence of co-planning by following the three steps listed below. Each simulation will last approximately 10 minutes. An observer will collect data on your ability to follow and engage with the three steps, and you will be provided feedback after each simulation. You will earn the micro-credential when you have successfully completed four sessions of co-planning.

You will have one hour of TeachLivE classroom simulation to demonstrate this competency.

Step 1:

  • Ask the special educator (avatar) to provide a snapshot of any individualize education programs (IEPs), including:
    • Goals
    • Objectives
    • Possible accommodations or modifications

Step 2:
Discuss teaching:

  • What (content objectives)
  • How (co-teaching approaches or adaptations)
    • One lead, one support
    • Station teaching
    • Parallel teaching
    • Alternative teaching
    • Team teaching

Save student-specific issues until the end to save time.

Step 3:

  • Discuss delegation of lesson.
  • Ensure IEP goals, accommodations, and modifications are met for student’s learning needs.

Part 3. Teacher reflection

Submit a reflection on the co-planning activities you experienced in the simulation described above. Use the following questions as guidance (200-word limit).

  • To what extent were you effective in collaborating with the co-teacher? What worked and what did not work?Œæ Please provide specific examples.
  • Are there alternative actions you could have taken related to the co-planning process?Œæ Something that would have worked better or made things easier?

University of Central Florida

© 2014 Taylor, M., Mrstik, S., Dieker, L., and Straub, C.


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Co-Planning
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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