Monday, January 21, 2019

LESSON STUDY: FOSTERING COMMUNICATION OF STUDENTS’ IDEAS

by Aida I. Yap 

This paper reports the results of the implementation of a research lesson developed by a group of Grade 1 teachers. The teachers participated in a professional development program on lesson study that aims to enable teachers to collaboratively engage in innovative teaching practices and document this in terms of teaching and learning materials. The program was divided into two phases. Phase I was a four-day seminar-workshop on lesson study. Participants from the same school collaboratively developed a research lesson. Phase II was the school-based implementation of two research lessons.

The first research lesson, which was developed by the teachers in Phase I, was implemented three months after the seminar-workshop while the second one was implemented three months after the first visit. Only the results of the implementation of the first research lesson are presented here. The first research lesson was on basic shapes. The objectives of the lesson were: (1) to identify, name, and describe the four basic shapes in 2- and 3-dimensional objects, and (2) to compare and identify 2-dimensional shapes according to common attributes. The lesson was implemented thrice. After each implementation, a post-lesson reflection and discussion was conducted to reflect and share observations on what happened during the implementation. Suggestions for improvement were incorporated into a revised research lesson, which was implemented the very next day.

Results reveal significant changes in the behaviors and teaching practices of the teachers and in the ability of the students to describe the basic shapes in their own words. In the first two implementations, the teachers wrote the description of each shape in words on the board and asked the pupils to read. This did not result to more participative students and the learning of the concept. The teachers decided to implement the research lesson for the third time. They want to know what will happen if they change the presentation of the description of each shape by using a table. This revision worked well with the students, as they were able to describe each shape in their own words and see the similarities and differences of the shapes by just looking at the data presented in the table. As a consequence, the students enjoyed doing the group activity and were eager to present their output. The teachers realized that they have to be flexible to affect student learning and to foster communication of students’ ideas.

References

Inprasitha, M., et al. (Eds.). (2015). Lesson Study: Challenges in mathematics education. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.

Isoda, M., & Katagiri, S. (2012). Mathematical Thinking: How to develop it in the classroom. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.

The paper was presented at the 8th ICMI-East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education held at Taiwan International Convention Center, Taipei, Taiwan on 7-11 May 2018.
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