Chicago Japanese School Lesson Study Experience

Chicago Futabakai Japanese School
Arlington Heights, Ill.
October 30, 2019

Observe math lesson study at a Japanese school without having to travel across the Pacific!

Teachers at the Chicago Japanese Futabakai School graciously invite Chicago-area educators to join them for a grade 6 research lesson on Wednesday, October 30. The topic of the lesson is, “Number of cases: Let’s investigate systematically.”

The 1995 TIMSS video study brought attention to the innovative and exciting approach used to teach mathematics in Japan. Called “teaching through problem solving” or “structured problem solving”, students are challenged to work on a novel problem. Then, through a carefully-orchestrated whole class discussion of different student ideas, new mathematical concepts or procedures are discovered.

Teachers in Japan developed and spread this method of teaching via a professional development process called jugyou kenkyuu, or “lesson study”, which features a carefully planned “research lesson” that is publicly observed and discussed.

Thanks to a partnership between Lesson Study Alliance and the Chicago Futabakai Japanese School, we are able to offer this one-day conference, which will include presentations on teaching math through problem solving and on lesson study. 

There will be simultaneous translation provided during the lesson and during the post-lesson discussion, and an opportunity for Q & A with the teachers and principal of the school.

Persons who have attended previous research lessons at the school may choose to skip the morning program.

Professional development credit will be available to Illinois teachers.

There will also be an opportunity to join the teachers for a celebratory dinner – an important part of Lesson Study! The cost for this is $30 extra.


  • Full-day registration: $60, which includes refreshments and lunch.
  • Afternoon-only registration: $50 (no lunch)
  • Celebratory dinner – $30

Registration deadline: Thursday, October 24

Click here to register

Date & Location

Wednesday, October 30

The Chicago Futabakai Japanese School
2550 N Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL


9:00 Registration & light breakfast
9:30 Opening & introduction to the school
10:00 Presentation: school-based Collaborative Lesson Research, a powerful form of lesson study (Dr. Akihiko Takahashi, DePaul University)
10:45 Q & A
11:00 Break
11:15 Presentation: Teaching through Problem Solving
12:00 Lunch
12:45 About the research lesson (Dr. Tad Watanabe, Kennesaw State University)
1:30 Preparing to observe the lesson
1:45 Research lesson
2:30 Break
3:00 Post-lesson discussion (with simultaneous translation)
4:00 Final comments (Dr. Akihiko Takahashi, DePaul University)
4:20 Q & A
4:40 End

Click here to register

Grade 6 students estimate the number of sheets of paper in a stack during the research lesson in October 2018.