California Educator

February 2015

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Example 2: Imple me nting the standards fo r mathe matica l prac- tice In another research lesson cycle, our team again discovered that Lesson Study was the answer to the challenge of implementing the CCSS. In this cycle, we connected our previous investigations into the Common Core speaking and listening standards with the Common Core standards for mathematical practice. In particular, we focused on CCSS Math Practice 1: "Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them," and CCSS Math Practice 3: "Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others." As a team we examined what these standards for mathematical practice should look like at a second-grade level and subsequently worked together to plan a unit of lessons that would have our students "listen to the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments." Having learned that our students face conversational challenges in building on and critiquing the reasoning of their peers, we each began the school year in which this par- ticular lesson cycle was taught by honing our students' foundational conversation skills and facilitating the development of student-generated "working together" guidelines. Only after these basic skills were in place and it had been established as a classroom agreement that everyone would use foundational conversation norms, were we able to have the expectation that our second-graders, when faced with a realistic word problem, should be able to formulate a plan in conversation with others, persevere in carrying out the plan by working together with others, and check their work both independently and in collaboration with others. O u r re f lectio n Our use of the Lesson Study process as a vehicle for entering into an understanding of how to implement the CCSS revealed that we were in fact employing the very set of collaborative skills that we were seek- ing to teach to our students. That is, by working together to find the best way to teach children how to collaborate with one another by sharing, clarifying, and challenging one another's ideas, we were building on our own shared ideas while attempting to express them clearly and persuasively — in exactly the kind of real-life context that the authors of the CCSS hope our children can develop the skills to engage in. While many of our students continue to struggle to develop foundational communi- cation skills, they are making progress — providing them with access to the academic content we want them to learn. For our team of highly motivated teachers interested in both conducting action research and reflecting on how best to apply its results, Lesson Study was a forum that gave us unprecedented insight into our students and their partic- ular needs with regard to learning within the framework of the CCSS. And importantly, learning how to teach to think — when done with coffee and camaraderie — adds some luster to the frayed, worn backpack. Would you like to conduct Lesson Study at your school site? Check out these resources: • Lesson Study Group at Mills College, Oakland: • Lesson Study Research Group, Teachers College at Columbia University: • Lesson Study Step by Step: How Teacher Learning Communities Im- prove Instruction by Catherine Lewis and Jacqueline Hurd Go Online @ Lesson Study Learning 48 PREPARING TOMORROW'S EDUCATORS As one of California's top teacher credentialing institutions, Brandman University is proud to provide quality programs that help educators advance their personal and professional goals. Authorizations Credentials Bachelor's Master's Doctoral Brandman University, a part of the Chapman University System, is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) that offers academic programs both online and at over 25 campuses throughout California and Washington. 1654-1114-2014 Apply Now

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