RIDGEFIELD — After attending a training on co-teaching, South Ridge Elementary School teachers Megan Suarez and Dana Swensson worked to implement the new teaching style.
Suarez, a special education teacher, joined forces with Swensson, a traditional third-grade teacher. The teaching style allows the classes to work together regardless of what level a student is at academically.
They grouped students with similar skills, creating teaching stations in different areas of the room. At one station, students worked as a group on a list of problems, while they used laptops and headphones at another to do independent math games. According to a news release, the teachers have seen improved math scores in their “unified classroom without barriers.”
Previously, students who required specialists in learning disabilities, advanced learning or in English as a second language were separated, putting them behind when they missed day-to-day instruction.
“It’s not exactly one-on-one. But the small groups allow more time to meet the needs of the kids,” Swensson said in the release. “The kids like working with another teacher. And they enjoy getting to work in a group, getting to collaborate. Students aren’t excluded; they get to be included with their peers. It allows them to be part of a more positive community. They’re all a part of this together.”