TIES Lessons for All: 5-15-45

Request Common Planning Time to Support Inclusion of All Students

Wondering how you will find time to collaborate during your busy school day? Collaboration between educators is necessary, but how do you make it happen?

Although effective collaboration can happen in small moments between classes or before school, longer periods of time are needed to ensure that all students are included in learning opportunities throughout the school day. Additionally the research shows that these “on the fly moments” are not enough to build long lasting inclusive practices.

What can you do?

Use this sample e-mail to contact your administrator or other member of your school team if you need to advocate for common planning time. Keep in mind that you can:

  • add or change anything you want to the message.
  • communicate specific schedule needs (for example, we have identified Tuesday afternoons at 2 pm as one time ...).
  • communicate in whatever way is best for you (email, memo, text, message)

Sample Email Message:

One of our goals for this year is to be sure we [names] are collaborating to include all students in our lessons throughout the school day. We are writing to begin a discussion on how we can do this more effectively by establishing a common planning time for our co-planning.

Common planning time is important because it will allow us to meaningfully analyze and adapt our curriculum and instruction through discussions on how to improve co-teaching and our interventions.

We are very willing to problem solve to come up with some solutions. Some possibilities include:

  • if provided with [XX minutes a week] of common planning time, we will use the 5-15-45 minute tool that includes protocols and resources to support our work.
  • we will coordinate our understanding of the learning goals for our lessons, identify the barriers that students face in the lessons, and integrate tools and resources to make sure that all students, including students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, are successful.
  • having this regular check-in will provide us with the opportunity to reflect on how our strategies, tools, and practices are impacting student learning.
  • we'd be happy to share with others what we are learning and the outcomes that we are seeing for students.

Thank you for your consideration of this opportunity.


[Your names]

Sample Text Message

Hi! Could we briefly meet today to talk about common planning time? Having a set, weekly time to collaborate would help us to better design curriculum, deliver instruction, and reflect on our teaching.