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observing of their thinking and their work while it’s happening.

We do a lot more questioning when they are working on something: “Tell me about that. Show me what you are thinking here.”

I work in various classrooms K-5, so how it has changed my formative assessment is it helps me help other teachers in constructing theirs. It’s made me look a little more critically at the types of questions that we ask and the data that we can gain from them.

Teachers also reported changes in their instructional practices as a result of their participa- tion in the lesson study, increasing their use of formative assessment data when planning and teaching lessons. As one participant reflected,

We were examining not just how children learn, but also as we were doing that, we realized the lesson study can give us better teaching practices. So it was not necessarily an evaluation but an interesting way to reflect back on your practices, your own teaching.

Noting a particular change in her instructional practice, that participant further commented,

As a class, we reflect on our learning: “Here’s our definition – here’s what we said yesterday. Do we have anything to change? Is our definition still valid?” I am using the SMART Board a lot, so [our work] is being recorded. We’re writing up there what we know, we’re drawing what we know, and then we go back each day.

Two other teachers also noted changes to their instruction:

It becomes less of doing a worksheet or homework and seeing if they got the right answer, and more about what’s the process they’re using to get there. What’s their thinking? Are they just getting the process and the answer or are they getting the concept? …We work to include manipulatives or other ma- terials for them to use so that we can either see their thinking or get them to explain their thinking to us.

…to listen to the way they share things and the way they describe things, and to support and value that and allow that to happen. We definitely increased how often and how much of that we put into our classes and lessons.

Virginia Educational Leadership

Vol. 7 No. 1

Spring 2010

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