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Metacognition refers to the ability to think about our own thinking and to pay attention to and control our cognitive processes. Metacognition allows students to activate and use prior knowledge and experience to make predictions, to plan, and then to monitor and adjust strategies to solve problems. Metacognition improves throughout childhood and peaks by the end of adolescence.
There are several important components of Metacognition that allow students to predict, plan, monitor, and evaluate in the process of learning, and each plays an important role in the development of math skills.
Providing math tasks with high cognitive demand conveys high expectations for all students by challenging them to engage in higher-order thinking.
As students solve problems in a group, they learn new strategies and practice communicating their mathematical thinking.
Teaching students to recognize common problem structures helps them transfer solution methods from familiar to unfamiliar problems.
Discussing strategies for solving mathematics problems after initially letting students attempt to problem solve on their own helps them understand how to organize their mathematical thinking and intentionally tackle problems.
Teaching students how to label, identify, and manage Emotion helps them learn Self-regulation skills.
Overtly encouraging all students to seek support and ask questions creates a safe space for risk-taking and skill development.
Analyzing incorrect worked examples is especially beneficial for helping students develop a conceptual understanding of mathematical processes.
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.
Attributing results to controllable aspects (strategy and effort) fosters students' beliefs in self.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthens recall.
Visual representations help students understand what a number represents as well as recognize relationships between numbers.
Sentence frames or stems can serve as language support to enrich students' participation in academic discussions.
Providing students a voice in their learning is critical for making learning meaningful.
When students create their own number and word problems, they connect math concepts to their background knowledge and lived experiences.
When students explain their thinking process aloud, they recognize the strategies they or others use and solidify their understanding.
Analyzing and discussing solved problems helps students develop a deeper understanding of abstract mathematical processes.
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