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Metacognition Isn't Intimidating

posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:44 AM by HSD Principal
Metacognition, as a big and misunderstood word, can prevent teachers from understanding the power behind the practice. In short, it is "thinking about thinking." In his article "How Metacognition Boosts Learning", Youki Terada gives teachers some simple tools to help the practice increase student learning and success. Much of it boils down to training students to ask themselves questions about their learning:

During instruction, students should ask themselves:

    • What are the main ideas of this lesson?
    • Is anything confusing or difficult?
    • If something isn’t making sense, what questions should I ask the teacher?
    • Am I taking good notes?
    • What can I do if I get stuck?

Preparing for tests, students should ask themselves:

    • What will be on the test?
    • What areas do I struggle with or feel confused about?
    • How much time should I set aside to prepare for this test?
    • Do I have the necessary books, supplies, technology, online access, and a quiet place to study
    • What study strategies will I use?
    • How can I test myself to be sure of what I know and fix what I don’t know?
    • Should I study with a friend? Use note cards?
    • What grade would I get if I took the test right now?

After a test, students should be required to answer these questions:

    • Which questions did I get wrong? Why?
    • Were there any surprises?
    • Was I well-prepared?
    • If not, what could I have done differently?
    • Am I receiving useful, specific feedback from my teacher to help me progress?