Lesson Study Solutions

by Jared Campbell

Lesson Study is a process used to collaboratively plan a lesson around a mathematical task. PaTTAN uses the Thinking Through the Lesson Protocol (TTLP) to help in the planning process. After establishing the goal and selecting the task, the team solves the task in an attempt to uncover all possible ways that students might complete the problem. Students’ misconceptions and possible errors are investigated and a plan over implementation is developed. In addition, much time is spent on developing advancing questions to support student work, while not reducing the rigor of the task. Teams also plan for what student engagement will look like and how they will assess students’ understanding while they are working.
Once the task is completed in class by individuals/small groups, there will be a whole group discussion. Teams spend additional time planning out what order they might ask students to present their work and what questions they will pose to the group in order to build students’ understanding of the concept.
Once the lesson is planned, one teacher from the group volunteers to teach the lesson. Other group members observe the work of the students during the lesson. After the lesson is taught, the group reconvenes to discuss changes that need to be made to improve the lesson plan and increase student learning. This cycle continues until groups are satisfied with the lesson plan.
What obstacles have you or your team faced while working through this process? How did you or your team overcome the challenges?

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  • Jan10th2:44pm

    From Joy

    Our biggest challenge as a group was finding time to get together to plan and create our lesson. I also felt that it would have been beneficial for us to meet as a group sometime between October and January, since we changed our idea once we had a better idea of where we would be in the curriculum. Our team overcame these challenges by scheduling times to get together after school. Being able to meet today as a group was extremely helpful.

  • Jan10th2:45pm

    From Maryann

    One obstacle our team faced was the creating the question for our students to answer. We originally began the process with the idea of a work problem, and then adapted the problem to correspond to a technical content area relevant to our students. However, in the process of adapting the question we changed the mathematical process needed to solve the problem, effectively simplifying the mathematical process. To overcome this obstacle we edited the question to maintain the level of mathematical difficulty, and continually kept our mathematical goal in mind. By repeatedly reviewing our question as well as our goal, we feel confident in the degree of mathematical rigor required of our students.

  • Jan10th2:46pm

    From Jessica

    Our biggest obstacle was recognizing our curriculum timeline to plan an appropriate activity for our students. We had to change our lesson because our previous topic did not fit for our lesson study. We found a new lesson idea that would fit perfectly into our unit timeline and allow our students to apply the information they previously learned.

  • Jan10th2:46pm

    From Sharon

    Our biggest obstacle was finding time to meet with other instructors when we do not have any sort of common planning time. We agreed through email that this was worth the time outside of school hours and set aside 2-3 mornings to meet before students arrived. To make the time worthwhile, we tried to look at the questions in advance so that we could get right to our discussions.

  • Jan10th2:49pm

    From Denise

    After working the the TTLP, original question needed to be changed. The the TTLP help identify areas of weakness, so we changed the question to satisfy the goal of the lesson.

  • Jan10th8:44pm

    From Stephanie

    There have been many obstacles that we (as a team) faced while working through this process. The primary obstacle is that we have not previously taught this Algebra 1 curriculum and do not have the experience or background knowledge to help us anticipate student outcomes effectively. Our team overcame the challenges by doing a great deal of research as well as collaborating with others who are more knowledgeable about the content. This collaboration and research helped to really bring lesson study home for the benefit of our students and the betterment of ourselves.

  • Jan11th3:22pm

    From Karen

    I think my team and I have a much better understanding of the goal of the lesson study. We were feeling much better at the conclusion of the day. I think that it will be interesting to see how our students respond to the task and structure of the lesson. We are looking forward to the continuation of the Lesson Study project.

  • Jan16th1:57pm

    From Katie

    Some obstacles our team faced when working through the process was to have to modify and adjust our topic. After mapping out our teaching schedule, we felt our students may need more background knowledge than we previously predicted. We changed our lesson because we didn't think our students would be able to successfully achieve what we wanted without more basic knowledge beforehand.

  • Jan16th1:59pm

    From Gina

    The biggest challenge has been being grouped with people who were not necessarily dedicated to the lesson study process. Originally, I was grouped with people who were not committed to the process of the lesson study and I lost my group. Today, I have been placed with a group and the members in this group seem very dedicated to the lesson study process and are very interested in implementing the lesson study in their school. One minor challenge we are having is working with a 90 minute block of instructional time to teach a specific mathematical topic. Technology definitely makes the lesson study preparation and implementation easier due to being able to complete all we need to complete on the wiki site.

  • Jan16th1:59pm

    From Laura

    One of the biggest challenges we faced were having a 90 minute block period to work with. In order to fill this time with rigorous learning, we decided to start with solving two step equations, making sure students understand how to solve the problems and why each step works. We then decided to add a second component which is applying the two step equations to word problems. Again we are looking to see what steps the students took to set up the problems and explain why they are doing it. Also, this is the first time we came together as a group to plan.

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