Japanese Lesson Study Summary

Monday - Friday, July 12-16, 2004

This week Lesson Study has been introduced to several of our group members and clarified for others. This was done using a variety of resources. Gail Burrill talked about her experiences with Lesson Study. She brought a video of a demonstration lesson on functions and an article RBS Currents What is Lesson Study (Volume V no. 2). We attended Tom Roby's lecture on Lesson Study which included a video of making a research lesson on levers called Can You Lift 100 kg? and the article, A lesson is like a swiftly flowing river.

Deciding on the topic of the research lesson took a number of days. First, we listed the topics in Algebra and Geometry which we feel the students either "get" or "don't get."

Get Algebra

Shift changes in linear equations
Evaluating expressions
Solving Equations (undoing)

Don't Get Algebra

Concept vs. procedure
Connections between forms
Meaning of coefficients/variable/constants
Translating prob-real situations
Multiplying negatives
Connections algebra/geometry
Growth-linear, exp, both ways
Why anything? Solve, etc.
Applications of functions

Get Geometry

Know area, perimeter formulas for common shapes
Basis shape properties
Simple scaling
Using Pythagorean theorem
Geometric classifications

Don't Get Geometry

No sense units
Estimating size in space
Idea of area, volume
Justify reasoning
Proportional reasoning

This helped us focus on what we might want to address. Each member of the working group chose a subject and his or her three favorite items. We have selected a topic for our research lesson: We will study how students learn that change can be represented by a graph.

On Friday, we broke into two groups to flesh out two versions of a lesson which will be merged next week.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808 and Grant No. ESI-0554309. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.