Five 1st grade teachers from the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District (SLVUSD) recently demonstrated the effectiveness of Lesson Study, a professional development approach that some teachers use to improve teaching and learning. Working with partners including the Monterey Bay Area Math Project (MBAMP), the California Action Network for Mathematics Excellence and Equity (CANMEE), and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (SCCOE), the teachers showcased their successful use of Lesson Study to a statewide audience of educators.
Lesson Study involves a collaborative and iterative cycle of planning, teaching, observing live lessons, collecting data, and reflecting on the impact of instructional choices. The SLVUSD team’s goal was to teach important first grade math content while also building student agency in equitable ways across the classroom, school, and district.
The team, consisting of Daniel Brenner, Rachel Dahl, Diana Robertson, Teresa Van Deren, and Leah Churchill, along with their MBAMP facilitator, Suzanne Ebrahimian, adapted “Counting Collections” as a teaching strategy for their lesson. This approach provides students with opportunities to exercise choice, build on their mathematical understanding, and engage in collaborative learning.
During the lesson, pairs of first-graders chose items to count, developed strategies to count them, and created written representations of their counting strategy. Mr. Brenner listened-in to each group and asked intentional questions to help students further their understanding.
The SLVUSD team modeled their lesson during CANMEE’s Annual Lesson Study Conference, which took place at the London Nelson Center in Santa Cruz. Educators from across California observed the math lesson as Daniel taught it to 25 of his students. Participants were invited to gather observational evidence on student learning and agency, and reflect with other educators on ways to teach math in equitable, engaging, and joyful ways.
For more information or ideas on implementing Lesson Study in your school or district, please contact:
Suzanne Ebrahimian, Math Consultant with MBAMP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Drinkard, Math Coordinator, Santa Cruz County Office of Education, email@example.com