Year Two of TRU+LessonStudy
TRU+LessonStudy Year Two includes lesson study cycles by teams of 3-5 teachers interspersed with several meetings of the whole mathematics department.
The mathematics department as a whole:
Develops a department-level research statement to focus the work.
Observes research lessons.
Reflects on progress and next steps.
Individual Lesson Study teams:
Identify a topic and unit within the course where they want to focus their Lesson Study cycle.
Study the unit’s mathematics and collaboratively plan a “research lesson” within the unit.
One team member teaches the research lesson to their students while other members of the team and department observe and collect data on student thinking and learning, which everyone shares during the post-lesson discussion.
The timeline for TRU+LessonStudy Year Two must be customized by each department taking it on. While we describe Lesson Study cycles in ten steps, some steps are optional. Also, departments may implement several Lesson Study cycles concurrently (perhaps related to course taught or grade level). Some departments may schedule cycles in a sequence throughout the year. Lesson Study steps require various lengths of time to be devoted to them. Unlike Year One, where sessions were structured in advance, Year Two materials are prepared to support each step and are not organized by session (with the exception of the first and last session). Again, the department and smaller Lesson Study teams must decide how to schedule time accordingly.
Year Two Introductory Session
This introductory session to Year Two involves acquainting the department with Lesson Study as a professional development approach, thinking through how Lesson Study might benefit the department, and explaining how timelines, meetings, and relevant documents will be managed. This session also offers a preview of a ten-step process of a Lesson Study cycle and how it can all relate to the TRU Framework.
Ten-step Lesson Study Cycle:
Step 1 of a Lesson Study cyle is devoted to reviewing and discussing the TRU dimensions as well as connecting to issues raised following each of the mini-cycles of inquiry during Year One of TRU+LessonStudy. .
Step 2 of the Lesson Study Cycle is devoted to a process by which the entire department arrives at a Research Theme that serves as an inspiration and an umbrella for subsequent work.
The main work of the Lesson Study Team in Step 3 is to identify where within their course’s instructional sequence the research lesson will be taught. Examining standards and curriculum is helpful with this. Using the summary from the standards discussion, the team endeavors to learn more about the key understandings that students need related to content selected within the course’s instructional sequence.
During Step 4, each Lesson Study Team continues the work of putting together the lesson that will be used as a focal point of the Lesson Study cycle: the Research Lesson.
(optional) The Lesson Study Team gets to study the recommendations made by the outside commentator, reexamine questions raised by colleagues, look more carefully at student work and evidence of learning, and then make revisions to the lesson and prepare for a second implementation.
(optional) Step 9 is when a different member of the Lesson Study Team teaches a revised version of the Research Lesson to another group of students. The remaining team members observe. More may be invited, but this experience is focused on considering whether modifications made to the Research Lesson support the learning goals more effectively than in the previous version of the Research Lesson and/or whether shifts in teaching strategies are effective.
The purpose of Step 10 is to reflect on the recently concluded cycle and consider how to use the experiences to inform future cycles. The team follows prompts in a template in order to create a Final Report.
The team is also urged to share what they’ve learned not only with their department colleagues, but also to a wider audience if appropriate.
TRU-Lesson Study Wrap-up Session
The TRU+LessonStudy Wrap-up Session is an opportunity to share stories about how TRU+LessonStudy has impacted the practice of the participants.
After discussing take-aways from the Years One and Two, members of the department reflect on growth related to TRU+LessonStudy and share with each other.