These are the steps involved in this activity. For 11th grade, the math teacher wanted to dedicate a section to helping students prepare for ACT/SAT problems, while also having students engage in academic discussion.
One day was set aside for students to take a practice ACT math section. The next day, the students were put into groups for review discussion to go over corrections, errors, and other related questions. The following week, the same thing was done, this time for SAT math.
In order to replicate this change idea, collaborative planning between an education specialist and general education teacher needs to happen. Also, it is essential that the topic of the project and/or discussion needs to be relevant to the students, whether it can be applicable in a real life situation or college preparatory.
It is extremely helpful to do this later in the school year once a teacher and education specialist are much more familiar with the students. This activity can be done with any subject, but relevance to the students and co-planning between the teacher and education specialist are essential.
Sample work from 3 focus students: link to student work via Google drive
For this set of data, I selected three students and numbered their papers accordingly: 1 is academically stronger, 2 dislikes math and rarely participates, and 3 performs within the average range. Students 2 and 3 both have an IEP.
From the baseline sample work, students chose to work in groups they chose. For this exercise, students were asked to answer two SAT/ACT prep questions on linear equations with two variables. Students who already did well were not impacted, though students who were struggling were not able to receive peer support since many of them chose to stay with their friends.
The last two sets of work samples are from the ACT practice test and SAT practice test, with reflections and results from discussion. I felt that these pieces of evidence showed the effectiveness of effective groupings within the classroom, paired with co-planning alongside a general education teacher. Also, student data and feedback also show that they put more effort into the two practice tests because to them, it simulated real testing content which they took a little more seriously. The students did the ACT practice first, followed by the SAT. Looking at student data, work and notes have considerably improved.
Prior to this year, I have not done a lot of co-planning with general education teachers. Instead, I had just been supporting students and their groupings after they were set. This time around, the math teacher and I spent some time outside of class time discussing student progress, observing who would work well with each other, going over student learning styles, and finally, placing them into strategic and equitable groups. Not only did this affect me, but it also positively affected the general education teacher and the students.
This is an article detailing the positive effects of co-planning between an education specialist and general education teacher.