Meta Makes the Difference!

Metacognition is the ability to:

  • Think about how we think

  • Talk about how we talk

  • Learn about how we learn

female head with wide eyes and green and yellow squiggle lines coming up and down from forehead

Examples of metacognition happen everyday. We have all heard people say: "I never remember a name unless I write it down."  "I have to study a map before I try to follow directions."  "I am a detail person, so it is hard for me to keep my eye on the 'big picture.'"

Encouraging kids to "think about how they think" helps them to take ownership in learning and in writing, and deepens their learning. Therefore, the very first conversation I have with every student starts with metacognition. I also use metacognitive conversations to help students separate intelligence from skill.

Students find this type of conversation to be both interesting and immensely helpful! I find that kids will begin to take more ownership in the process, rather than focusing on "getting it done" or feelings of failure over the result. It is helpful for everyone to focus on what works, rather than succumbing to boredom or frustration.  

Metacognition is a way to encourage students to take ownership in their reading and writing. The more we recruit kids into thinking about how they think and learn, and sharing their ideas with us, the further they move toward "ownership" in taking responsibility for their own education.

I also set goals with kids and talk about their areas of progress. Acknowledging and measuring even small bits of progress is critical. If only one word is anchored on a line, that may be progress from last year.  Being willing to write 5 words before complaining may be better than 3 words last month.

We talk more about Metacognition during this video, and we share even more ideas in our Roots Entwined year-long group parent coaching class.

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