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Thinking about how we think and learn allows us to pay attention to and control our cognitive processes. By using these metacognitive skills to continually monitor and regulate their thinking and understanding, learners are able to better plan their writing and understand what they read.
Metacognition refers to the ability to think about our own understanding, that is, "thinking about thinking." There are several important components of Metacognition:
Advance graphic organizers link prior knowledge to upcoming learning to help students anticipate and understand the structure of new information.
Writing can become personally meaningful when students have an actual audience and a real purpose for communicating with that audience.
Students practice making and finding meaning in their reading through a book club model.
Checklists and rubrics help students develop their abilities to self-assess and revise their writing.
When peers are able to work together to plan, draft, edit, and revise their compositions, their writing quality improves.
Expressing ideas through visuals and audio, and understanding others' ideas in these forms, is as critical in today's world as traditional reading and writing.
Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form.
When teachers provide explicit instruction in comprehension strategies and model when to use them, students learn how to flexibly apply them to make meaning of texts.
Teaching students how to create and use strong keywords for Internet searching is critical for helping them know how to find accurate, relevant information.
Research shows that, along with traditional reading comprehension strategies, students use unique strategies to read the non-linear, hyperlinked structure of online texts.
Overtly encouraging all students to seek support and ask questions creates a safe space for risk-taking and skill development.
When students explain their thinking process aloud, they recognize the strategies they use and solidify their understanding.
Providing constructive feedback supports students' writing development by letting them know how to improve their writing.
Teachers can help students understand that learning involves effort, mistakes, and reflection by teaching them about their malleable brain and modeling their own learning process.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
Setting overall goals, as well as smaller goals as steps to reaching them, encourages consistent, achievable progress and helps students feel confident in their skills and abilities.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthens their recall.
Providing feedback that focuses on the process of developing skills conveys the importance of effort and motivates students to persist when learning.
In guided inquiry, teachers help students use their own language for constructing knowledge by active listening and questioning.
Independent reading promotes literacy by emphasizing student choice with teacher support in selecting books, as well as by making time for free reading.
As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding.
Journaling allows students to reflect on their thinking and feelings, process their learning, and connect new information to what they know.
Through short but regular mindfulness activities, students develop their awareness and ability to focus.
Short breaks that include mindfulness quiet the brain to allow for improved thinking and emotional regulation.
Creating patterns for remembering classroom processes, narrative structures, etc.
By talking through their thinking at each step of a process, teachers can model what learning looks like.
Playful activities can support the development of learners' Metacognition and also inspire their narratives and writing.
When students reframe negative thoughts and tell themselves kind self-statements, they practice positive self-talk.
Helping students think about what they know about the topic of upcoming work helps activate their Background Knowledge or reveals gaps.
When students read models of the type of writing they are doing, they can identify effective elements to incorporate in their writing.
Through one-on-one conferences, teachers can provide individual support to each student to deepen comprehension and interest in reading.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Providing space and time for students to reflect is critical for moving what they have learned into Long-term Memory.
Students build their confidence, strategy use, and comprehension by reading and rereading books.
When students engage in a dialogue with themselves, they are able to orient, organize, and focus their thinking.
When students monitor their comprehension, performance, and use of strategies when reading and writing, they build their Metacognition.
Sentence frames or stems provide language support for students' writing and participation in academic discussions.
Providing a story map ahead of time or having students create a map during or after reading helps learners understand and expand their Genre Knowledge.
Providing students a voice in their learning is critical for making learning meaningful.
Bringing students' every day literacy practice of texting into the classroom provides regular, low-stakes practice communicating with authentic audiences.
Students develop literacy skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.
Research has shown that students write longer pieces with stronger quality when they use word processing software.
Word sorts are multisensory activities that help learners identify patterns and group words based on different categories.
Writing conferences allow students to share, reflect on, and receive feedback about their writing, which promotes Motivation for revising.
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