I made a previous offhand reference to a lesson planning group.
I went to the second meeting yesterday.
There are a number of problems with real world constraints: We have to find common meeting times that don’t interfere with other issues. The program that it’s a part of has a pushy timeline. The different teachers in the group are teaching different demographics, and different paces, and have different teaching styles.
Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised by yesterday’s meeting. The previous meeting was reminiscent of a lot of trainings i’d been to: pick a lesson, go over the basics, and then have everyone report back.
This time, though, we spent more time going into the lesson. Tearing apart the details. The previous time we’d suggested reordering the prompting questions, this time we actually analyzed how the kids would best approach a problem, what they could be expected to get after each prompt, what sorts of leading questions or structure we’d have to give them, how to revisit sections, areas where open ended questions would result in a couple of different lines of pursuit, and how those could all be reintegrated. We eliminated a silly opinion question whose sole purpose seemed to be to maintain interest, but most likely wouldn’t. We replaced of the “write good stuff here” style concluding question with one that was still open ended, but addressed addressed the diophantine nature of the problem vs. the real representations they had learned about previously.
By the end of the hour meeting, the lesson went from a flat C to a solid B+.
I look forward to doing this again.