Conduct a Cycle

An elementary-age male student points while his female teacher stands beside him and observes

Are You Ready to Begin?

To begin the Lesson Study cycle, you will need:



You need a team of 3-6 teachers. Team members don’t need to teach the same grade level. They do need to share an interest in improving instruction in a specific subject, like mathematics, or in a specific cross-disciplinary area, like academic writing across disciplines.



For a Lesson Study cycle, plan on about 12 hours of work. A typical schedule would be 8 weekly meetings of 1 hour each, 3 hours for the research lesson and post-lesson discussion, and 1 hour for a final reflection on the whole cycle. Plan on two cycles per year.



This website provides you with the step-by-step resources you need to complete a cycle. You will also need your curriculum and any other resources you want to use in your learning. We offer some content-specific materials and courses.

Overview of the Lesson Study Cycle

Learn more about lesson study and what it takes. Download a checklist of steps by clicking the button to the right.

0. Prepare Your Team

During this phase, you’ll agree on a schedule, norms and work processes. (Experienced Lesson Study teams may be able to skip or skim this section and revisit elements as needed.)

1. Study

During the “Study” phase, your team will consider the long-term qualities you want students to develop, choose the subject and unit you will explore, and study the standards, content and curriculum.

2. Plan

During the “Plan” phase, your team will study a curriculum unit and choose one lesson within it to plan in depth. You will try out the lesson task as adults, anticipate student thinking, and plan the data to be collected within the lesson.

3. Teach

In the “Teach” phase, one member of your team will teach the lesson while the rest of the team closely observes and notes student thinking and learning.

4. Reflect

In the “Reflect” phase, your team will share observation notes from the lesson, in order to understand what students learned and the barriers and supports to learning. An outside content specialist may provide additional comments. In a final meeting, your team will reflect on learning from the cycle and consider how to share what you have learned.

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