Biology Lesson Study
PLC
Apple Valley Unified
2010
Where did this idea
come from?
Attended a workshop at the CSTA
last year presented by the K-12
Alliance -Kathy Di-Ranna
Visible Learning – by John Hattie
 The teacher and how they teach is the most
important factor

Read lots of articles about Lesson
Study
Visible Learning
By
John Hattie
“Teachers who are passionate about making a difference
are more likely to make a difference.
There is quite a contrast between the
teacher
as an “activator” and the teacher as a
Evidence Based Teaching
0.4
0
-0.2
0.4
0
-0.2
1
“activator”
Teacher as activator
Reciprocal teaching
Providing feedback
Teaching student selfverbalization
Meta-cognition strategies
Direct Instruction
Mastery Learning
Challenging Goals
Frequent/effects of teaching
Behavioral organizers
Average
1
“facilitator”
d value
0.74
0.72
0.67
0.67
0.59
0.57
0.56
0.46
0.41
0.60
Teacher as facilitator
Simulations and gaming
Inquiry-based teaching
Smaller class sizes
Individualized instruction
Problem-based learning
Different teaching for
boys/girls
Web-based learning
Whole language – reading
Inductive teaching
Average
d value
0.32
0.31
0.21
0.20
0.15
0.12
0.09
0.06
0.06
0.17
First Step:
• Got permission from my Asst. Superintendent
• Sent out an email asking for interested teachers…
The Email:
5th Grade, 7th Grade, and High School Biology Teachers:
Would you like to improve your teaching? Are you interested in a new
type of professional development?
Over the past few years, we (AVUSD) have created summative tests
(CRTs), we’ve held staff development workshops, we’ve built
vocabulary lists, we’ve learned to look at DATA and see how it can
drive instruction. All these have made an impact on your students
and in your classroom. Now, I am inviting a few interested teachers to
join in a research-based program to further strengthen your
classroom teaching.
On any given day thousands of teachers enter similar classrooms to teach similar, if not
identical, subjects. Despite similar pedagogical goals, approaches and experiences,
teachers typically work alone when planning instructional activities and assignments. Such
isolation limits efforts to improve teaching on a broader scale, both within and across
disciplines. Although individual teachers may reflect on and improve their practice, there
are few occasions to converse with colleagues about what they discover about teaching
and learning.
One answer is lesson study. Lesson study is a process that improves effective teaching
that has origins in Japanese elementary education. In a Japanese lesson study teachers
work in small teams to plan, teach, observe, analyze, and refine individual class lessons,
called research lessons. (http://www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/pdf/IJTLHE110.pdf)
2010
The Response:
Ten teachers responded
• 5 Elementary teachers from 4 school sites
• 2 Middle School teachers from 2 sites
• 3 High School teachers from 1 site
Second Step:
•Lay the foundation for Lesson Study
• Look at the biology standards across the grade
levels – 5th / 7th / High School Biology
• Select standards that are conceptually
challenging and need to be addressed in a special
way.
• Form teams of two teachers
• “The Plan” –
• Develop a one-period lesson
• Teach it in Classroom A
• Evaluate lesson / Modify
• Re-teach it in Classroom2010
B
Next and very difficult Step:
To plan a lesson to teach the Key Concept
• What do the students need to know?
• Key Vocabulary ?? Skills ??
• What Misconceptions might the kids have ?
• How do you know they know it?
• What does it look like when they know it?
• What do you do if they don’t get it ?
• What will the students be thinking during the
lesson ?
Concepts Selected
Meiosis / Mitosis
Photosynthesis
Cellular Respiration
5th Grade Team:
Cellular Respiration
Steps of the
lesson:
Learning
activities and key
questions
Student
activities and
expected
reactions &
responses
Teacher’s
response to
student
reactions/
Things to
remember
Materials:
.
Each Student
Each Group
Class
Opening:
.
.
Method(s) of
Evaluation
Time
The most important factor
influencing learning
is what the
learner already knows.
Middle School / High School Team:
Mitosis -- Meiosis
Teacher Reflections:
• Seeing the connection in science among
grade levels
• Teaching strategies are appropriate for all
grade levels
• Strategies can be manipulated across grade
levels
• Helped to focus on the outcome
“What do I want them to learn?”
• Seeing how valuable immediate Feedback
really is….
• Articulation between grade levels
• Observation yields new ideas
• Technology
• Seeing new Teaching styles
• Collaboration with peers
• Focus on outcome results
• Accountability is built in
Compare the value of a
Lesson Study to a traditional Workshop:
•
Learning is more personal when we do the
work.
• We had to think about what we were doing
and why, how, etc. which is much more
valuable than being given strategies to
possibly use.