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Section 3: Co-Planning as a Key to Co-Teaching

Co-Planning Strategies

Effective co-teaching begins with co-planning.  Co-planning is a shared, dedicated time to discuss

  1. the objectives and activities 

  2. the co-teaching approach that will best serve the learners, and 

  3. the responsibilities of each person in the co-teaching team is key to co-teaching success.  


Co-planning can take many forms and may include long range planning and short term, daily lesson planning. In addition, co-planning can involve mentor teachers and new teachers, mentor teachers and teacher candidates, and/or collaborative teams. 

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Regardless of format, there are a few strategies that can support co-planning. Murawski (2012) suggests the following:

  1. Establish a regular meeting time

  2. Select a distraction-free meeting zone

  3. Build in ‘get to know each other time

  4. Have an agenda

  5. Determine roles/responsibilities

  6. Share the workload

  7. Note individual students’ needs

  8. Time for reflection

  9. Document planning efforts

  10. Use a systematic planning template

Want to Learn More?  


  • Watch this video discussion of strategies for both long term and daily co-planning.

Note: Some resources listed here require creation of a free account to access.

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Tools for Co-planning

Using structured approaches to co-planning can also support the process.  The tools provided below, and many other tools widely available on the internet, can be particularly useful when co-planning with teacher candidates.  By providing structure for discussing the planning process and protocols for assigning roles during instruction, co-planning tools scaffold teacher candidates into this key phase of the instructional process.

Permission to use content above granted, 2022

Coworking Space

Connecting Co-planning and Co-teaching

As you are co-planning it is important to consider the model of co-teaching you will use during instruction. As you learned in the co-teaching introduction, there are 6 models of co-teaching. Think back to the videos from Module 3, Section 2.  In what ways did you see co-planning informing the co-teaching? 


Wondering what lessons are best for each model? Read this brief article for ideas as to when you might consider implementing each of the co-teaching models in your instruction!


Pause & Reflect

Directions: Pause and reflect on what you learned. Use the questions below to guide your thinking and record your thoughts in a private place you can reference later, such as a journal.

Take a few moments to explore the co-planning tools above. Which of these might be useful to you and your mentee as you begin co-planning and co-teaching together? How might the tools above assist you and your mentee in co-planning for any of the six co-teaching approaches (One Teach/One Observe; One Teach/One Assist; Team Teaching; Station Teaching; Parallel Teaching; and/or Alternative Teaching)?

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