Thoughts on Teaching
Developing deep content knowledge is a fundamental goal of lesson study. We designed this section of the website to help teams of teachers explore the mathematical content of their research lesson. In this section, we offer links to substantive problems that could be used to anchor a research lesson as well as links to general mathematics teaching resources. We have also included participant reflections on teaching mathematics in light of their lesson study experience.
Exploring the Mathematical Content of a Research Lesson
There are many ways that a lesson study group could explore the mathematical content of their lesson. Here are a few:
- Generate different ways to solve a problem.
- Re-read your textbook and discuss what approach your book is promoting for a particular content area or topic.
- Compare how a specific topic is treated in a few textbooks.
- Decipher the perennial glitches. Ask, "What is it that students always get wrong when doing this mathematics and why is that happening?"
- Analyze the errors. After observing the lesson, ask, "What mistakes did students make and why do you think they did that?"
- Think about what numbers you choose to use in a problem. Is there any significance to the numbers? What would happen if you chose different numbers?
- Think about how you word a particular question you will ask in the lesson. Does it use the appropriate mathematical vocabulary? Do students know all of the terms you are using?
- Talk about what students know about this topic coming into the lesson.
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