In spring of 2009 a survey of superintendents and curriculum directors revealed four areas of focus:
- Deepen knowledge of content
- Deepen knowledge of standards
- Increased use of formative assessments
- Knowledge of instructional best practices
Three TOSAs were brought into the NWESD to specifically address these four areas of concern, working directly with math and science teachers in participating districts across the NWESD region. The logistics of the Math & Science Lesson Study Cycle are up to the individual District/School Leaders. Here are some examples of the work:
- School A had separate fourth- and fifth-grade teams, with three teachers who met irregularly after school for 1 ½ to 2 hours with the District compensating for after-contract time. To observe and analyze, one team used whole-day substitutes, using the remaining time to start their second cycle.
- School B is a K-8 school with a 3-5 science team and a 5-8 math team, with the principal making the sixth member of each. Team members completed their one cycle during designated PLC time in three to four 1 ½ to 2 hour afternoon meetings on early release days utilizing half-day subs once per cycle to deliver their lesson.
- School C had an all 5th-grade math team that met four Tuesday mornings for 2 ½ hours using substitutes. On the fourth meeting, School C observed their lesson: this team completed one cycle.
- School D, with a 6-8 math team consisting of 3 full-time math, 1 part-time math, and 2 special education teachers, completed 3 cycles in 10 meetings. Three of these teachers had common planning times, so the administration used in-house subs and the teams met for 1 hour every couple of weeks. For the observation and analysis at the end of the cycle, the team used half-day subs.
Reviews of the Math & Scence Lesson Study have been positive and their involvement with teachers has continued to strengthen the teaching process.