Collectively Decide on Subject Matter
Guiding Questions for Topic Selection
Some teams have already chosen a topic (e.g., fractions, argumentative writing) before beginning their work together. Other teams choose whatever topic will be taught at the time of the research lesson. Both approaches are fine. If your team has not yet settled on a topic, consider the following questions:
- What topics are important and persistently difficult for students?
- “What topics do we find difficult to teach?
- Are there new curricula, frameworks, standards or teaching approaches that we want to understand and try out as part of our lesson study cycle?
Lesson study is not just about a single lesson. At this point in your lesson study work, you should be thinking about a content area and topic, not just a single lesson. As you study the topic your ideas about a specific lesson may change radically.
Lesson study is a chance to stretch your thinking. So try to choose a topic that is challenging or where there is something new you want to learn–not one where you already feel successful.