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teacher, the school principal, and the district mathematics supervisor. Both authors of this report, one of the third grade teachers and the district supervisor, were members of the les- son study team. Building upon a small-scale pilot lesson study experience conducted the previous school year, this project was divided into two phases. The first half of the year was dedicated to building the team’s understanding of the lesson study process, with the actual implementation of the lesson study occurring during the second half of the year.

The team began its work by reading, sharing, and reflecting on several sources of back- ground material related to lesson study. Through a combination of face-to-face meetings and the creation of a shared web space, the team developed their understanding of lesson study and designed an implementation plan suited to the school’s specific needs. During the first week of December, through the generous support of the school division, two team members visited the Greenwich Japanese School in Connecticut to participate in a lesson study conference. They observed two research lessons, participated in post-lesson discus- sions, and gathered additional lesson study resources. Their experience proved invaluable in helping the team clarify its implementation plan for the spring semester.

In February, the team conducted a lesson study cycle in fourth grade focusing on student understanding of multiplication as a foundation for later instruction in division. The cycle began with the co-planning of a research lesson on array models of multiplication. The plan- ning process paid careful attention to the details of the lesson, including its purpose and expected outcomes, sequencing and pacing, choice of manipulatives and other conceptual representations, student tasks, teacher questions, anticipated student responses, manage- ment of materials, and classroom arrangement. One of the teachers taught the lesson to a fourth grade class while the rest of the team members observed and recorded student work and responses. In a post-lesson discussion, the team analyzed the lesson focusing on evi- dence of student learning. The lesson was revised based on the results of the first teaching experience, and was then taught by the other fourth grade teacher to her class while the team again observed. The team conducted a final discussion session to identify and clarify what team members had learned from this cycle of lesson study, leading to a written report of their findings. A second lesson study cycle was conducted in March, adapting the content of the fourth grade research lessons on multiplication to match the third grade mathematics curriculum. A final team meeting was held to discuss the overall successes and challenges of the project and begin planning for the next school year.

Throughout the project, the authors collected data by making audio recordings and taking notes during the more than 20 team meetings. In addition, exit interviews were conducted with five of the participating teachers. Each participant was interviewed one time, using

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Virginia Educational Leadership

Vol. 7 No. 1

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