Implementing Lesson Study Summary

Monday - Friday, July 16 - 20, 2007

07.16.2007

Participants: Gail, Joyce, Rudy, Gloria, Judy, Oscar, Jim, Anastasia, Rosemary

Our goals for the next four days:

  • Teach lesson
  • Debrief/Revise lesson
  • Write a report of the lesson

Tomorrow:

  • Design framework for the report and each take part of the report.
  • Includes a description of the process, reflection on how we changed it, series of the lessons

Who is bringing the Materials:

  • Chart paper/poster (Judy)
  • Easel (Jim)
  • Handout of Field schematics (Labeled: FATHER'S PLAN/ SONS PLAN) - (Oscar)
  • Printed student problem (Oscar)
  • Printed evaluation sheet (Oscar)
  • T-Shirts (Rudy)
    • Colored pencils or markers (Joyce)
    • Tagboard for nametags (or colored paper)
    • Half-sheet with prompt (summary comments)
    • Paper for scratchwork (Joyce)
    • Word document with Google images of circular crops (Anastasia)
    • Projector w/ computer (Anastasia)
    (Following materials will be in a basket for use, but not directly at their table)
  • Scissors (Joyce)
  • Rulers (Joyce)
  • Glue Sticks (Joyce)
  • Tape (Joyce)
  • Basket
  • Sticky Notes

Handout of Field schematics - include labels: FATHER'S PLAN / SON'S PLAN Easel will be carried with us for our main chart paper "board."

07.17.2007

Debriefing Session:

Oscar taught the lesson this morning to Park City High School students. He first shared his impressions with us about how this lesson study felt from the perspective of the teacher. Part of his discourse included the preparation of the lesson and how he reviewed our notes prior to the lesson. He was also surprised at the level of our class of students and how it did not match his expectations.

Some of what we knew about our students were way off in terms of maturity or mathematics. We assumed they would have the formula without hesitation.

In the introduction, more time could have been spent asking students if they knew what it meant and what the mathematics was. They may not have understood the irrigation system as fully as they needed. Students did not take the time to really reflect silently, but they jumped right into their discussions.

Perhaps say "there probably is a better way to water this land, but in this case, these are the plans for irrigation."

The hook may have been rushed a little bit. We may need to allow more time in our lesson to have students really understand the problem and the situation.

Many of our decisions were based on what level we thought the students were at.

Students got lost in the "extra stuff." Why not do this, why not do that.

Even in the last few minutes, they were still debating the plan and saying that circles were better than squares. Also, have a minimum list of things that they need on the brainstorm list. (example: area formulas)

Was our objective ever stated? Is it explicit in the lesson that we want the teacher to state this?

We said we wanted them to explain in words and pictures... kids took that as an OR. It wasn't an OR. They felt that they could just explain and use pictures. We could emphasize that this was an AND and not an OR. We can spend our time reflecting on explanations, using logical reasoning, making conjectures and back it up. "Very nice job giving us a visual start, but we would like to see you show the mathematics."

Students went straight in to saying "The Dad's is better." What are the reasons for watering it this way?

Farmer Jack Problem about growing corn: 30,000 bushels of corn over ten years... Turns out being a very small amount. The realistic elements of the lesson could be a hook to get the kids involved in the problem.

Our listed worst case scenario had possible ways to address a situation where students were not approaching the problem with mathematics and numbers.

Students had a formula chart about circles, and although it was mentioned by students the resource was not used. Students were rising ninth graders, and several of us may have assumed that they would all be older.

Perhaps it might have been interesting to hear them explain why they thought theirs was right. What were they basing their ideas on? That might have given us more information. Students were also asked to put their posters up when they were done. Maybe students saw that poster up and then copied what they did when they put theirs on the wall.

Another factor to consider in our lesson this morning was the way the room environment affected the learning and the lesson.

Use "really close" or estimation in the statement of the problem so that this does not become the solution to the problem when stated by the students. Also consider that they may have wanted the wasted water to be wrong (son's).

To be addressed in our lesson plan:
Problem confusing way asked
Assumptions
Explain irrigation system
Slow down hook - why circles
Minimum list of requirements to be used
Tell the kids the objective of lesson
Make directions more explicit (or) (reasons why need the math)

At this point, we need to divide the lesson into parts to be developed for our final product:

  1. Problem and directions (front end)
    -Gloria, Rudy, Rosemary
  2. Lesson plan after the front end. How the strategies played out. How to process the strategies.
    -Anastasia, Jim, Joyce
  3. Objectives, state standards, NCTM... position it in the mathematics curriculum.
    -Judy, Oscar

Editor - Gail

07.19.2007

In our final meeting day, our major goal was to sift through our material and complete our product, a series of documents including the lesson, reflections from the two group members who taught the lesson, descriptions of our process, and relevant material for our lesson. In addition, we prepared for our presentation to the SSTP participants on Friday during closing presentations.

What we have found during these three weeks is that the value of lesson study has much to do with the process. These daily notes have been part reflection about our process, part recording of our discussions, and includes glimpses (sometimes in great depth) into our planning and our lesson.

Every member of our group was an integral part of the process. To speak for the group, we really appreciated the guidance and insight provided by Gail, Joyce, and Aki. We learned a great deal by going through this process, which was then also reinforced in our morning 11:00 sessions about reflecting on teaching. We hope that our process is documented well enough that others may benefit from reading about our process and experiences.

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IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute is an outreach program of the School of Mathematics
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808.
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.