Math 7-9

Systems Change
Math 7-9 > Strategies > Self-instructions



When students engage in a dialogue with themselves, they are able to orient, organize, and focus their thinking. By talking through steps and procedures, learners are able to go through multi-step math processes and consciously direct their Attention to relevant aspects of their learning, retaining these processes in Long-term Memory.

Use It in the Classroom

Learn how these teachers promote Metacognition in their classrooms. From 0:52, watch how teachers model articulating how they solve a problem and prompt students to explain their own thinking. This allows the students to become aware of how they think while also providing teachers insight on how students are understanding the concepts.

  • Teachers can introduce different types of self-instructions, like defining the problem or implementing a strategy, that may be helpful for students during a particular process, like multi-step Operations or word problems. Students can even record their self-instructions for further reflection. As students become aware of how they are thinking and put it into words, they build their Metacognition and math skills.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Watch how this teacher uses Google Docs to annotate an article. By using comments to summarize her thoughts, she can visually see her thought process.

  • Developers can build in prompts or sentence starters that encourage self-instructions, such as "I need to make a plan. First I will… and then…" or "Does my answer make sense?". By asking learners to reflect on their processes and by providing examples that students can check against, learners continue to develop their understanding.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy