One of my favorite professional experiences is participating in lesson study with a group of teachers. I am currently in the middle of a lesson study cycle with middle school science teachers and really enjoying the process.
The team of teachers starts with a research question – something they want to learn during the lesson study day. Here is a sampling of the questions teachers are exploring:
- What scaffolding do students need to construct a claim based argument in class?
- Can students use demonstrations and text to construct an argument about “where the water comes from” when condensation forms on a glass?
- What scaffolding do students need to develop and use a model to show the relationships between variables, such as force and motion?
- How do students apply models of the water cycle and distillation into a larger model about states of matter?
- Are students able to use technology and analyze data to understand the difference between how land and water heats and cools?
The best part of a lesson study day is the opportunity to sit and listen to students learn. I am constantly intrigued by what they say and do when engaged by a discrepant event or experience that causes them to really think.
In a day, teacher teams are able to teach a lesson, collect data about student responses, revise the lesson based on that data, reteach the lesson and debrief the process. A critical part of the debrief is planning how to use what was learned in the single lesson in a broader context. This process is allowing teacher teams to identify an aspect of the NGSS and explore their own understanding through lesson design and revision.
I appreciate all the amazing teachers I work with and their open doors. The learning opportunity is invaluable!