Reflect | Step 4:

Consolidate Your Learning

Set the stage for your learning to continue beyond the day of the research lesson.

TIME:
60 minutes
GOALS:
  • Synthesize what you have learned during the Lesson Study cycle
  • Plan for your future learning and for sharing what you have learned
  • A

    The End-of-Cycle Reflection

    To set your team up for further success, make sure you end your Lesson Study cycle with an eye on the future.

    What Next?

    You’ve now completed a Lesson Study Cycle, from thinking about your goals to bringing them to life in an actual lesson, to seeing what happened when the rubber met the road.  

    Take some time to consolidate your learning from the cycle.  You can do this immediately following the post-lesson discussion, but many teams prefer to do it a few days or a week later.  It may be useful to reflect on the following prompts individually, and then discuss as a team.

    What did I learn that I want to carry forward in my daily practice? For example, what did I learn about

    • The subject matter
    • Student thinking
    • Teaching
    • Professional learning habits, such as anticipating student thinking, examining student work, or studying outside resources and curriculum materials

    What did I learn about working with other adults at my school to improve instruction?  For example, what did I learn about

    • Making Lesson Study useful and efficient
    • Our research theme and how to pursue it at our school—for example, routines we want to encourage or new approaches we want to try
    • Welcoming others into our work

    Discuss your responses, as desired, with your team. What would you like to learn and do next? Has the Cycle uncovered a gap in student learning or a new question of interest to your team? Is there another strategy to support your theory of action that you want to test?  What elements of your work would you like other educators to know about?

    Summarize your team’s learning and responses to the questions above in Consolidate Your Learning (#11) section of the Teaching-Learning Plan.

    B

    Share Your Learning

    The insights from your Lesson Study cycle don’t have to stay with just your team.

    How Can You Share Your Learning?

    Most school-wide Lesson Study in the U.S. has been built by teachers who have invited colleagues into their work by making presentations at faculty meetings, inviting colleagues to observe and discuss research lessons, or holding research lessons open to all teachers at the school.

    Lesson Study has spread across the U.S. as teachers have presented their work in public lessons, at conferences, and in educational journals. Your Teaching-Learning Plan and reflections on what the cycle has taught you may constitute the core of a presentation, report, or journal article.

    You can find examples of such articles in Language Arts, where Jackie Hurd and Lori Ricciardo-Musso shared their learning from a lesson study cycle on comprehension of expository text, and in History Teacher, where Alameda County (California) teachers describe a cycle focused on increasing student understanding of the economic and moral dimensions of slavery.

    Large public research lessons are a major way that educators spread education innovations in Japan, and are becoming increasingly common in the U.S.  For example, Lesson Study Alliance sponsors annual conferences with public research lessons , and a recent regional meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics included a live 4th grade research lesson on fractions.

    Celebrate Your Learning

    It takes courage for teachers in the United States to pioneer lesson study. Your Lesson Study group has taken risks to break down the walls that often isolate American teachers. You have demonstrated your commitment to self-improvement in ways that may ripple through your school and beyond. Whatever else you do, be sure to congratulate and celebrate yourselves and your work!  The post-lesson Happy Hour or dinner out is a Japanese tradition that transfers happily to the U.S. (Hint: The lesson instructor gets treated!)