Friday, January 29, 2016

Revision & Metacognition: Some Recent Experiments

Based on some conversations with my colleagues in the English Department, I've been experimenting with how I ask students in all my classes to revise and reflect on their writing. I recently put up an infographic in my classroom, which I made with (perhaps the most user-friendly free infographic maker available right now). [Teachers, feel free to download & print a copy, if you like.]
Made with  
Upper School English teachers have been talking a lot this year about how to help students understand the reasons teachers do what they do. (I know we just seem crazy most of the time, but there IS a method to our madness!) 

I've always asked students to revise their writing, especially for formal papers, and I've often asked students to reflect on what they've learned, especially after research projects (here are some examples of such reflections from this year by students in my English 12 classes:  McKayla A, Farley H, Jon HGrace M, Hannah MMakeela M, and Morgan O).

What's new this year is that I'm asking students to reflect on unfinished work and that I'm starting to play around with the idea (very common in some schools now) of grading the "process, not the product." I've done this a bit already in English 11, and I'm just starting to use a similar strategy in my senior classes. Here are a few reflections on the value of reflection from some of my current juniors:  Colten M, Conner J, Joey P, and Bryce H

I'm going to continue experimenting with this, asking students to reflect on their writing and to reflect on what they're learning. The whole point of education is not just to think, but to think about thinking (yours & others'). You haven't really learned something until you can articulate it, until you can put it into words. It's all about becoming more conscious of your thought processes and your learning processes. Reflection is an important part of a growth mindset

Cognition is great, but metacognition is better! 

So, don't just think/write/learn, be MORE META!

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