Though our research changed direction many times as we narrowed the focus and goals of our lesson, several themes emerged from the literature over the course of the lesson cycle. My research focused on classroom community and social emotional goals for our students, best practices for kindergarten literacy instruction, and tools for promoting balanced participation and collaboration during group work. Long before this lesson study had an academic content or equity goal, my colleagues and I talked about macro-level hopes and dreams we had for our students. We wanted to craft a lesson that was aligned with our teaching philosophies, and one that supported students’ continuous growth as learners and developing human beings. We discussed social emotional learning, and its importance at all ages. Social emotional learning has been shown to have a significant positive impact on student attitudes, emotional distress, academic performance, and social behavior across age groups (Payton et al. 2008.) In creating a social emotional basis for this lesson, we discussed specific core skills that we wanted to foster in our students like flexibility, collaboration, and independence. To build these skills, we designed a lesson that included voice and choice from the students as well as opportunities to collaborate and problem solve. Research has shown that kindergarteners are capable of collaborative problem solving. Findings from the NAEYC’s research show us that social problem solving can be taught and the earlier, the better. With support from teachers, children as young as 3 are usually ready to begin the simple steps of reasoning and making choices, which are part of social problem solving (National Association for the Education of Young People 2002.) Kohn, and others, have discussed the importance of giving students voice and choice. Choice builds a system of values and intrinsic motivation to do the right thing. Children do better in school academically, socially, behaviorally, psychologically when they are given choice about what and how they learn (Kohn 2014.) From this learning, we chose to craft a lesson that focuses on balanced collaboration during literacy instruction. Kindergarten classrooms are places of learning for emerging readers on a wide developmental spectrum. Though each reader is at a different place and pace on their literacy journey, there are certain practices that support all readers’ language acquisition and access. We looked into some of these best practices, and incorporated them into our lesson. Gamez et al. underscore the importance of interactive reading, extratextual talk and narrative skills in shared readings. The article focuses on the importance of a teacher's gestures and prosody, stopping to ask questions, clarifying key vocabulary words along the way, and asking students to retell for understanding (Gamez, González & Urbin 2017.) These findings are echoed by Kara & Eveyik-Aydin who provide several examples of best practices for aiding students’ vocabulary acquisition and increasing access to learning material. This article mentions skills/scaffolds such as visualization, pre-teaching vocabulary, comprehension checks with personalized question and answer, and repetition of words and stories (Kara & Eveyik-Aydin 2019.) These tools are particularly important in supporting English language learners. The equity goal of this lesson centered around balanced participation and collaboration among peers. To better shape our goal for what this could look like, we sought to understand classroom participation more deeply. Goodwin describes the “80-20 phenomenon” in classrooms, or the phenomenon that 20% of students are responsible for 80% of responses in whole group discussions. The 20% of students who do participate is usually comprised of students who are high-achieving and do not need additional support to meet grade level expectations. Data shows that those who are not in the 20% of students that provide 80% are often students who are not performing on grade level. Goodwin suggests changing student seating charts often to break the T-shaped “action zone” in the classroom that teachers most often interact with. He also suggests doing small group work before share-outs, using talking pieces, strategic pairing, and giving students ample think time (Goodwin 2014). We next dug deeper into the inner workings of small group work and the impact of strategic pairing. Vasileiadou conducted a study with findings that emphasized the importance of careful pairing and group work norms for early elementary students. While we did not agree with Vasileiadou’s method of assigning all students a social rank in the classroom, we determined our own dimensions to consider in creating small group assignments such as student strengths, personalities, etc. (Vasileiadou 2009.) From these articles, we made the decision to decide group assignments ahead of time, use talking sticks in small group discussion, and craft group work norms with the class ahead of time.