TRU+LessonStudy Year One

Year One of TRU+LessonStudy involves about 16 one-hour meetings of high school mathematics teachers. There are also brief inquiry activities about teaching and learning between sessions for participants to complete.

During sessions 1-4, participants examine the Teaching for Robust Understanding Framework (TRU) from several perspectives.

During sessions 5-10, participants engage in mini-cycles of inquiry to explore the five TRU Dimensions and relate it to their own teaching practice.

Session 0

The Launch and Preview Session (Session 0) is created for professional learning communities who are not familiar with the focus of TRU-Lesson Study and have not established norms and processes for holding ongoing PLC sessions. There is also an activity which enables participants to get to know one another a bit better. Some may choose to begin TRU-Lesson Study with Session 1 instead of Session 0.

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Session 1

The purpose of Session 1 is to demonstrate the value of using a framework when engaging with complex topics such as mathematics instruction. As a light-hearted entry point, the PLC first samples a cake together and discusses it with and without the guidance of the “Cake Tastiness Framework.” Ideally, the PLC participants will find the discussion about the cake more interesting and meaningful WITH the framework rather than without.

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Session 2

In Session 2, the PLC participants will be continuing to focus on the perspectives of students. First, they complete a math problem that is later seen in a video clip. The clip focuses on a discussion among four students. Participants relate observations and insights to the 5 TRU Dimensions.

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Session 3

Session 3 is all about ways that the TRU dimensions are visible in the work we do everyday as high school math teachers. First, the team listens to Alan Schoenfeld describe the TRU dimensions and why he considers them essential. That is followed by a series of discussion questions about Schoenfeld’s comments.

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Session 4

Session 4 is about establishing a process for five very quick cycles of inquiry that relate to the five TRU Dimensions. Participants are presented with a recommended structure that goes into detail about each phase of inquiry that last two sessions, but also relies on time outside of PLC sessions for background reading and the implementation of a change idea.

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Session 5A

Session 5A is the first of a two-session mini-cycle of inquiry about The Mathematics Dimension. The session allows participants time to evaluate an activity from a class they are currently teaching using a rubric that is similar to The Mathematics section of the TRU Conversation Guide they read prior to the session. The session includes a discussion of situations in math class that support The Mathematics Dimension and then commitment to implementing a change idea related to the dimension.

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Session 5B

Session 5B is the second part of the PLC’s Mini-cycle of Inquiry about The Mathematics Dimension. Part B of each mini-cycle includes reviewing the focus dimension and how it interacts with the other dimensions, sharing data and experiences, calling out learning opportunities for the team, acknowledging colleagues, and providing feedback to the facilitator.

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Session 6A

Session 6A is the first of a two-session mini-cycle of inquiry about the Cognitive Demand Dimension. The session begins by allowing participants time to rewatch a video clip of four students working on a problem. Following that, there is a rubric for evaluating what they saw in the video. The session later involves discussion and reflection the cognitive demand "sweet spot" and commitment to implementing a change idea related to the dimension.

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Session 6B

Session 6B is the second part of the PLC’s Mini-cycle of Inquiry about the Cognitive Demand Dimension. Part B of each mini-cycle includes reviewing the focus dimension and how it interacts with the other dimensions, sharing data and experiences, calling out learning opportunities for the team, acknowledging colleagues, and providing feedback to the facilitator.

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Session 7A

Session 7A is the first of a two-session mini-cycle of inquiry about the Equitable Access to Content Dimension. The session begins by asking participants to work with the TRU Conversation Guide as it may relate to the video they viewed prior to the session. They also watch a video of the teacher in the clip being interviewed by an instructional coach in his school district. The session later involves discussion and reflection of the barriers to meaningful participation and a commitment to implementing a change idea related to the dimension.

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Session 7B

Session 7B is the second part of the PLC’s Mini-cycle of Inquiry about the Equitable Access to Content Dimension. Part B of each mini-cycle includes reviewing the focus dimension and how it interacts with the other dimensions, sharing data and experiences, calling out learning opportunities for the team, acknowledging colleagues, and providing feedback to the facilitator.

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Session 8A

Session 8A is the first of a two-session mini-cycle of inquiry about the Agency, Ownership, and Identity Dimension. The session begins by asking participants to read together comments made by Alan Schoenfeld about “mathophobia.” Next, the facilitator leads a discussion of ways the teachers confront counter-productive thinking about math. Following that, the team gets to watch a video clip of one teacher’s approach to promoting the Agency, Ownership and Identity Dimension in his teaching. The session later involves discussion and a commitment to implementing a change idea related to the dimension.

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Session 8B

Session 8B is the second part of the PLC’s Mini-cycle of Inquiry about the Agency, Ownership, and Identity Dimension. Part B of each mini-cycle includes reviewing the focus dimension and how it interacts with the other dimensions, sharing data and experiences, calling out learning opportunities for the team, acknowledging colleagues, and providing feedback to the facilitator.

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Session 9A

Session 9A is the first of a two-session mini-cycle of inquiry about the Formative Assessment Dimension. The session begins by asking partners to review the assigned reading, followed by a facilitator led discussion about practices the team already has in place that support formative assessment. Following that, partners watch a series of video clips together to look for teaching moves described by Alan Schoenfeld as supportive of TRU’s Formative Assessment Dimension. Then, the group prepares for a round robin discussion during which ideas are offered to implement as an inquiry.

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Session 9B

Session 9B is the second part of the PLC’s Mini-cycle of Inquiry about the Formative Assessment Dimension. Part B of each mini-cycle includes reviewing the focus dimension and how it interacts with the other dimensions, sharing data and experiences, calling out learning opportunities for the team, acknowledging colleagues, and providing feedback to the facilitator.

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Session 10

Session 10 ends the first year of sessions. It is when participants decide how they would like to focus on as they look ahead to year two of TRU-Lesson Study when full lesson study cycles occur. The session begins by thinking back to the analogy of the cake way back in Session 1. The conversation then turns to focusing findings. By engaging in a Gallery Walk of the ideas generated from the five mini-cycles, participants flag ideas they consider to be especially urgent or compelling to address. Following that, an important discussion occurs for participants to elaborate on their hopes for Year 2.

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