Friday, April 24, 2009

NCTM 2009 Annual Meeting & Exposition

This is an annual conference for US teachers. Lots of professional development opportunities and a chance to look at teaching materials and manipulatives at the Exposition. Next year it will be at San Diago, California ( 21-24 April 2010.
There were 828 sessions in all! Plenty to choose from. There were some on lesson study in mathematics too. Akihiko Takahashi did one on What We Learn Through Lesson Study: Ideas to Design Lessons for All. I went to the lecture by Deborah Ball and she proposed this idea on teachers' horizon knowledge and how it can be developed. I suppose lesson study can help teachers develop this knowledge which essentially is knowledge that allows them to understand where the mathematics their students learn will lead them to.
Jane Gorman presented a session on Starting Lesson Study at Your School.
I went to the National Research Council Report on Early Mathematics (Doug Clements, Karen Fuson, Sybilla Beckman & Herbert Ginsburg) to get some ideas as I will be working more and more with the kindergartens. In the evening I went to a session that got us solving primary school problems - quite fun if you like solving mathematics problems. I was presenting on the second day - two presentations - so I doubt I will have a chance to attend any sessions.
Other than Takahashi, the other people from the APEC Lesson Study group who were there were Patsy Wang, Lim Chap Sam, Makoto Yoshida and myself.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lesson Study P3 Mathematics Teachers at PEPS

I have formed a lesson study team with a group of PEPS primary three teachers. We met for an hour on Tuesday. I tried to bring the team through the process of developing a lesson plan for research lesson. We talked about learning how to help low-achieving students develop into competent and independent problems solvers who can handle a variety of word problems with less scaffolding and guidance. In particular, in this research lesson, the team wants to explore the use of making-sense strategy (in particular with the help of pictorial representations and diagrams including but not limited to the model method), to find out how to assess students accurately during a lesson on word problems, and to see if students learn to do division better using an alternate strategy instead of the long division method.
The team leader doing such as session will request the team members to think of students' difficulties and use that to focus what the team has as it learning goals for the lesson-study cycle.
In this case, we have selected a stand-alone lesson which can happen after students have learnt a variety of operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Lesson Study at Redesigning Pedagogy Conference 2009 at NIE

This June, we will have the Redesigning Pedagogy Conference at the NIE. Kiyomi Akita (Tokyo University) told me that she will be at the conference to be part of a symposium put together by Christine Lee (CTL/NIE). Don't miss this opportunity to hear more about lesson study if you are attending the conference.
Look out for Deborah Ball's (University of Michigan) keynote lecture a sit give us some ideas about teacher capacity. Deborah Ball is a mathematics educators so her examples are likely to be all mathematics.