Learning Together to Implement Curriculum through Lesson Study By Ruth Corley

The Lesson Study Cycle: Image source: lessonresearch.net

The Lesson Study Cycle: Image source: lessonresearch.net

How do we engage students, develop language skills, and deepen content understanding in a virtual environment using math language routines?

The STEM team at Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA) in Providence sought to answer this question using lesson study, a continuous improvement process. This work grew out of TAPA’s involvement in our Gates-funded Network for School Improvement and the team’s aim to increase equity for multilingual learners in mathematics.

The TAPA team engaged in the four components of lesson study:

  1. Study: The team established a research theme and studied standards, curriculum, and math language routines.

  2. Plan: This study informed their collaborative planning of a seventh grade math lesson from the Learnzillion Illustrative Mathematics curriculum. 

  3. Teach: One teacher then taught the lesson and the rest of the team observed focal students for evidence of engagement, use of language, and learning. 

  4. Reflect: Finally, the team met to discuss the data from the lesson, heard from an outside expert commentator on mathematics and language routines, and reflected on their learning throughout the lesson study process.

Here are some of the team’s reflections on the process and their learning:

“We are learning about) intentionally choosing the points of productive struggle we want for students in a lesson.”

“Rigor promotes equity.”

“I pushed myself in thinking about rigor, student engagement, and culture. I was able to synthesize for myself some guiding questions to ask myself when promoting student learning that I recorded into my own notes, so that I can continue to reflect on these questions for future lessons of my own.”

“Having a lesson study to collaborate on all the time has been something to look forward to and was so necessary for my own professional thinking/growth.”

“The collaborative nature of the work and the skill-building nature of the lesson study is phenomenal.”

Are you implementing a new curriculum? Do you want to engage in professional learning that is embedded in the classroom and centers student learning? Contact LLN Director, Michelle Li (michelleli@clee-ri.org) to partner with CLEE to bring lesson study to your school or district.