Japanese board writing often seems spontaneous, since it features ideas and student work that emerge during the lesson. In fact, teachers typically plan board writing in advance, as they think about the key ideas and models on the board that will spark, capture and advance students’ thinking.
International comparisons reveal that Japanese mathematics teachers use the board more frequently than do teachers in Germany and the U.S., and that Japanese teachers tend to keep the board writing throughout the lesson, rather than erasing parts of it during the lesson. The board writing provides a record of the lesson that students can consult as they summarize and reflect on what they learned.
Teachers often find that creating a board plan provides an opportunity to think through the whole lesson–from posing the problem, to choosing and sequencing student work that will be shared, to identifying the key ideas that will emerge from the neriage discussion and the summary.
A blank board plan template to create your own board plan on the resource tile below. You can then add it to the Research Lesson Plan (Section 10) of your Teaching-Learning Plan, if you are conducting Lesson Study.
Smartboard users can consider how to use their chosen technology to provide similar supports for students to actively build the new mathematical ideas. Video clips from Akihiko Takahashi’s lesson Ways of Counting and Mathematical Expression and Joshua Lerner’s lesson Conceptual Understanding of Multiplication provide some ideas for smartboard users.