Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lesson Study in Da Qiao Primary School

Da Qiao Primary will be using the same model as Woodlands Ring Primary to train their LS facilitators.

On 9 February 2010, I will be conducting a session to introduce lesson study to all the teachers in the school.

Lesson Study in Woodlands Ring Primary School

After a meting with the principal before the school year 2010 begins, I conducted a session to give a group of teachers in the school an overview of what lesson study is all about.

Subsequently, various lesson study teams were formed. Using the school's vision as an overarching research theme, the different LS teams are in the process of crafting their research themes. I have reminded them that all the research themes, while appear to be different, should be in tandem with the school's overarching research theme. This is important because all the LS teams should be heading in the same general direction.

I have briefed the group leaders on their roles in the different lesson-study stages.

Lesson Study in North Vista Primary School

Two heads of department from North Vista Primary School has formed a lesson study team in their school. Their research team is reasoning and communication in mathematics learning. The research lesson was conducted on 13 April 2010. This lesson study cycle was also used to train LS facilitators (focussing on facilitating post-lesson discussion).

The lesson study team has concluded the lesson planning stage. In the final lesson planning meeting, I gave the team a structure to deepen their professional learning in helping students develop reasoning and communication in mathematics. The structure I used is to ask the team to consider (1) the strategy (2) the task(s) (3) the key questions (4) the assessment tools and (5) the obstacles in the lesson plan.

The photograph shows the research lesson which was followed by the post-lesson discussion which also double up as training to facilitate post-lesson discussion.

The lesson plan revision meeting focused on what-if questions. What if the lesson is conducted with a similar group of students? What if it was for older students? Weaker students? As an enrichment? In the computer lab? Using technology for recording of what they did? How would the level and quality of reasoning and communication be increased for the students?

The discussion revolved around changes to the problems (simplifying it or with more scaffolding), as well as the processes in each of the problem-solving stages (understanding, planning, doing, looking back).

What if they were given more time to understand the problem? What if the doing was changed - from doing the beading to just using drawing or recording on a netbook? What if the look back involved more group? What if the typical presentation was tweaked? What if the communication moved from descriptive to evaluative?

One of the members asked about how professional learning can be heightened. The documentation part can consolidate the group's professional learning.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Training in Lesson Study

Singapore teachers, please refer to TRAISI for inservice courses on lesson study in primary mathematics. IME4511 is an introductory course and is designed for beginners to lesson study. It will be held on Wednesdays, in March 2010. IME4512 is for you to implement the stages in lesson study - that means you will carry out lesson study in your school under the guidance of the facilitator (me) as the inservice. You must sign up as a team of 3 to 6 for this course. The lesson study should be completed in April or May 2010. These are the only ones on lesson study that I will conduct this year.

Lesson Study (Primary Education) Conference in Singapore

A lesson study conference with a focus on primary education in all subject areas coming your way on 26 May. An exciting programme with Keynote Lecture, Case Sharing, Research Lessons in English Language, Chinese Language, Mathematics and Science, as well as a Plenary Panel. An opportunity to share your school's work in lesson study. A chance to contribute to a Handbook on Lesson Study in Primary Schools. Case Sharing is a platform to share your research lesson as well as an analysis of the benefits and challenges of lesson study.

Watch this space for announcements.

Lesson Study (Mathematics) Conference in Chicago

This is from my friend Prof Akihiko Takahashi in Chicago

The Second Announcement is available at

The Chicago Lesson Study Group
2010 Ninth Annual Lesson Study Conference
Chicago, IL, USA

Are We Doing Lesson Study Right? Looking Back and Looking Ahead

April 29 – 30, 2010
Preconference dinner, Wednesday, April 28

Sponsored by:
· Chicago Lesson Study Group
· Asia-Pacific Mathematics and Science Collaborative
· McDougal Family Foundation

The Chicago Lesson Study Group invites you to its ninth lesson study conference. For nearly a decade, this conference has been one of the major lesson study conferences in the world, examining lesson study from a global perspective.

Thomas McDougal, Asia-Pacific Mathematics and Science Collaborative, DePaul University, Illinois
Akihiko Takahashi, Department of Teacher Education, DePaul University, Illinois
Tad Watanabe, Department of Mathematics, Kennesaw State University, Georgia
Makoto Yoshida, Director of the Center for Lesson Study, William Paterson University, New Jersey

Featured Presentations:
What does it mean to do Lesson Study right? A theory of action for lesson study.
Catherine Lewis Ph.D., Mills College Lesson Study Group, CA

Moving from the Algorithms to the Practice of Lesson Study
Patsy Wang-Iverson, Ph.D., Gabriella and Paul Rosenbaum Foundation, PA

Are we doing Lesson Study right? Major roles of knowledgeable others.
Tad Watanabe, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics, Kennesaw State University, GA

Are we doing Lesson Study right? What should do or should not do as a facilitator.
Makoto Yoshida, Ph.D., Center for Lesson Study, William Paterson University, NJ

Research Lessons:
There will be two live research lessons, one Thursday and, one Friday.

Pre Conference Dinner: Introduction to Lesson Study
For those who are new to Lesson Study, this is an excellent opportunity to learn about lesson study from one of the founders of lesson study in the North America, Makoto Yoshida. He will introduce lesson study by highlighting what is lesson study and how could you start lesson study with your colleagues.

Registration will be open at late January.
The registration information and the second announcement will be available here.

What is Lesson Study?
Lesson study, widely viewed in Japan as the primary form of professional development, has been the critical systemic feature that enabled Japanese elementary teachers to improve classroom instruction. In lesson study, teachers work collaboratively to: 1) formulate long-term goals for student learning and development, 2) plan, conduct, and observe a ‘research lesson’ designed to bring these long-term goals to life as well as to teach a particular academic content, 3) carefully observe student learning, engagement, and behavior during the lesson, and 4) discuss and revise the lesson and the approach to instruction based on these observations. The research lesson is taught in a regular classroom with students, and participants observe as the lesson unfolds in the actual teaching-learning context. Discussion following the lesson is developed around the student-learning data collected during the observation. Through the process, teachers are given opportunities to reflect on their teaching and student learning.
Lesson study has become increasingly visible in state, national, and international conferences, open houses, high-profile policy reports, and special journal issues in recent years in the United States. Moreover, some school districts in the United States have attempted to use it to change their practice and impact student.

Chicago Lesson Study Group
The Chicago Lesson Study Group was launched in November of 2002 with several volunteer teachers in Chicago area. Since its inception, this informal study group has met regularly to discuss issues in mathematics teaching and learning and to develop research lesson plans. As part of the lesson study cycle, the group hosts an annual lesson study conference with public research lessons.