Well, I’ve bumped another scheduled post! Yesterday, I enjoyed a great time in the Junior High math-science PLC (Professional Learning Community) that meets four days a week during Period 4. The math-science PLC has been working on lesson studies for PBL (project-based learning). One of the teams created a lesson on the Fibonacci sequence and nature (see Vi Hart’s video about the Fibonacci sequence for a quick taste).
On Monday, we experienced and tested the lesson. We scrimmaged. We rehearsed. The room contained teams of teachers in one math-science PLC. Before rolling out this lesson to students, we prototyped the “need to know,” the content, the methodology and pedagogy, the possibilities for “voice and choice,” etc. We measured our fingers, our faces, our arms, and our legs. We discovered the Golden Ratio over and over again. We had fun, and we learned. And…we practiced!
Don’t we know that scrimmaging and rehearsing enhance performance?! Don’t we owe it to our learners to practice, scrimmage, and rehearse before we play the actual game?!
Yesterday, I observed the Algebra I team deliver the lesson “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” They invited me to observe – as principal, as well as a pseudo-member of their team (pseudo only because I do not formally teach the course known as Algebra I). This team has engaged in lesson study before.
When I entered the room, I made an instantaneous decision NOT to observe in the manner I usually do. Typically, I take narrative notes, as I was taught to do in graduate school for educational leadership and supervision. In the moment, I decided to take video notes. Using my Flip camera, I recorded short, approximately-fifteen-second clips of classroom action. After I had three or four clips, I uploaded the videos to my MacBook Pro, and moved the videos into a Keynote slide deck. I titled slides based on the “learning progression” stage of the lesson. Then, I repeated this multi-step process several times. At the end of the class, the Algebra I team had a twenty-three-slide deck of video-embedded resources that they could review for their lesson study concerning “Leaning on a Jet Plane.” The deck was readily available because we share a Dropbox as a team.
Below is a PDF version of the deck – so you will not be able to view the videos. However, this Scribd doc will give you a simplified visual of what we now possess to review as a team – full of video. Now, to continue the fabulous professional practice of Lesson Study!