One of the first tasks was to set an objective for the lesson, which became a conversation about the Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMPs). This is a far cry from our normal planning days, especially because the norm is to plan lessonS and not spend an entire day honing in on the learning of a singular lesson.
As we were trying to determine which SMP we should use as the focus for the lesson, I put it out to Twitter because, you know, I like the Twitter-ers. If you had to pick one SMP to focus on, which would you choose and why?
This is the one that we decided on as a team as well.
Coming to an agreement on the focus SMP was only the first piece of the Lesson Study, but it was an important one. Using that as a launching point, we picked a date that would work and agreed to build a lesson around quadratic functions for an Integrated II class. Paula led a thoughtful conversation about the transition and relationship between standard form, vertex form, and the graph of a quadratic. No surprise there; she's been in the classroom for over thirty years and always finds ways to improve. Speaking for myself and implying for others, the surprise was that we hadn't thought of it before.
We teach each of those concepts in isolation, but Paula really found a way to tie everything together. That is a big benefit of the Lesson Study model: getting the chance to discuss why and how we teach, not only the what.
Even though we worked around the mental map a little, building the entree first, it was good to see where we wanted the students to go and the conversations we expected them to have. When one of the team members offered up a two-problem set as a warm-up, I tossed out the idea of showing a quadratic on a Desmos graph and having the students discuss it. Or, another person mentioned, we could do a Which One Doesn't Belong with them.
Wait, what's that?
We talked about WODB for a bit and the value in beginning class with a discussion versus a problem set. A week prior, I was sharing the idea of starting class with a conversation at CUE, and now the Lesson Study group was doing the same thing. SCORE.
Because I wanted to be useful (my role was primarily to share resources), I built a thing:
Although the team wound up choosing a static WODB from the site, I was happy to see that they were interested in what I had created and ideas sprouted from it. To them, there is too much going on with the GIF, especially as a first time seeing quadratics in this sort of relationship.
Copious conversations will naturally lead to the day flying by, and that's exactly what happened. We didn't get the chance to complete the fine details of the lesson, but we got really close. More importantly, admissions were made about room for growth, strategies were shared about engaging students, and doors were opened to collaboration within the team.
You can teach by yourself, or you can build a movement as a team. This group chose the latter and I think it will prove successful.
Oh, and Paula and I built an extension activity with quadratics in Desmos Activity Builder. Check it out and let me know what you would like to see changed. Overall, this was one of the best days of preparing a lesson I have ever been a part of.
I'll update this (or write a new post) when we get to the lesson, along with sharing the student conversations, the engagement level, and the curiosity that is drawn out. This should be fun.
Happy "Amazing Lesson Prep" Fishing