Lesson Study: A Japanese Approach to Improving Mathematics Teaching and Learning

By Clea Fernandez; Makoto Yoshida | Go to book overview

11
Teaching the Revised Lesson

On the following day, Thursday, November 18, Ms. Tsukuda taught the subtraction study lesson to her class during the second period of the day, which was from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Just like for the first version of this lesson, all the teachers at the school came to observe while their students were left alone with assigned work to complete. The principal, the vice-principal, and the outside advisor, Mr. Saeki, were also in attendance.

There were 19 students in Ms. Tsukuda's classroom, 11 boys and 8 girls. A difference in atmosphere between this classroom and Ms. Nishi's could immediately be felt, perhaps due to the difference in teaching experience between these two teachers. Ms. Tsukuda's classroom had a warmer feeling than Ms. Nishi's because it had more decorations up on the walls (see Fig. 11.1).

In addition, the students seemed calmer than Ms. Nishi's students, although some did seem a bit nervous having all the teachers and the video camera in their room. However, as soon as the lesson began they had no trouble focusing and seemed to forget all the adults.

The remainder of this chapter is devoted to describing how the study lesson unfolded in Ms. Tsukuda's classroom.


GRASPING THE PROBLEM SETTING

The lesson started on time with the students on day-duty calling the class to order and everyone in the room bowing. Like Ms. Nishi, Ms. Tsukuda began by reminding the students of the leaf collecting activity. She told them: “A couple of days ago, we went to Hazu Hill to collect fallen leaves, didn't we? Do you remember?” Many students replied by saying “yes. ” Then she asked the students what kinds of leaves they found on Hazu Hill. Several students enthusiastically called out the names of various types of leaves. Ms. Tsukuda then reminded her students that they had also gone to the Shinto shrine to collect leaves and asked them what kind of leaves they had collected there. A student answered “ginkgo leaves, ” and Ms.

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