Reflections on the upcoming school year

English: iPads can be a distraction to learning

English: iPads can be a distraction to learning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I embark on a new school year with 6 iPads in my classroom, I will also be watching to see how it influences student learning. More specifically, I will be they can support successful reading program, and how I can enhance student learning with the iPads and exposure to digital literacy skills.

Ultimately, my goals are to help students to be successful, and develop a growth mindset about learning.

My goals include engaging struggling readers in addition to readers who require extra supports to focus and further challenge their learning. Differentiation will be key. I will focus on the visualization process. We have access to digital texts, and interactive books – ie., tumblebooks, However, digital texts require different skills, strategies: new digital literacies.

Cuing Systems can be used:

Additional Supports:

  • Audio support
  • Word to word tracking
  • Picture animation
  • Recording themselves
  • Physically interacting and manipulating texts to meet their needs

Differentiation

Being literate in the 21st century means being able to master 21st century technologies. This can be met with resistance. The goal is to educate and integrate new literacy skills in addition to important traditional literacy skills within the existing curriculum documents, and time frames. The question for me will be, because this is still not mainstream, how will I use my own professional judgment to discern what skills are the most important?

First, I will consider needs and wants of parents and community. I highly respect this. I will also consider interests and development with technology of my students. I can do this by google forms and activities to get to know the students on a deeper level. This will also inform how I will engage in the process of Differentiation with my students.

I will use TPACK model and SAMR model to help guide my thinking:

TPACK

Tpack (92)

 

Great apps to meet these needs include those that will:

  • Write on top of text or other backgrounds
  • Record audio responses
  • Add pictures from camera roll
  • Insert symbols and stamps
  • Facilitate collaboration
  • Manipulate drawings

 

SAMR

I believe that this is a model that can be applied to the integration of technology into literacy programming!

SAMR_and_Reading_Responses_Deborah_McCallum

 

Finally, I believe in inquiry and aim to run my literacy program this year from a ‘workshop’ model – where students are engaging in different activities, asking questions, collaborating, sharing, setting and fulfilling goals. My job as a teacher will be to cluster appropriate curriculum expectations together and engage in assessment for learning with the students.

Language is about developing a deeper understanding of yourself, others, and the world

Through literacy, students learn more than just the ability to master basic skills. They learn to express feelings and opinions, support their opinions, research, connect with others in meaningful ways, and engage in inquiry in formal and informal ways.

Formally, students use language for essays, poetry, technical procedures etc.

Informally, language is used for enjoyment including texting back and forth with friends.

Sometimes, it is used formally and informally including podcasting, blogging, discussion forums, and sending braille messages back and forth in class.

Math

Many people believe that math is a set of formulas that have to be remembered. However, math is very creative! Math is about visualizing patterns, creating solutions, discussing and critiquing formulas. It is connected to all other subjects and ideas! It is about communication and can even be thought of as a language.

Being good at math does NOT mean being fast at math. Computers think fast, but what we need is students to think deeply, make connections, reason and justify their answers.

Math is also not about performing and getting the questions right! It takes time to learn and is all about effort. A growth mindset is essential for math! Students need to know that they can achieve math at any level, and that there is no such thing as a ‘math person’.

Growth Mindset

A big part of how I teach includes encouraging students to believe in themselves. Growth mindsets are very important – it is essential for students to understand that they can learn anything and the more work they do, the smarter they will get.

We praise what students have done and learned, not the student themselves as a person.

Mistakes: Mistakes are highly valued! When people make mistakes, our brains are growing!

Questions: Questions are important! Research shows that asking questions is linked to high achievement! We also do not need to know all of the answers – we can take time and look them up whenever we need to.

 

I am going out on a limb this year in many ways – I am doing things differently than they have typically been done. I hope that as long as I have the research, the self-discovered PD, and that I know what I am doing and why, that I will be able to help my students to be successful AND have a growth mindset about learning!

Deborah McCallum

Literacy Reflections: 5 Steps for running an effective Inquiry Based Literacy Program

Literacy in the information age diagram

Literacy in the information age diagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this summer, I attempted to create a Thinglink Grid to help me think about Reading difficulties – the purpose was to essentially neatly package student reading progress into specific categories. A tool, if you will, that could easily be harnessed to provide quick and easy strategies for teachers and parents to help students on their way to successful reading. I originally thought that this would be a valuable foundation that students would need to develop their learning processes.

However, my thinking has changed.

Building a foundation and a framework for literacy learning cannot be prescribed. It needs to be built in its own way to benefit the learning processes. If I do nothing but teach strategies to bring students along to full comprehension, then I will be doing my students a great disservice. There is no question that the elements of my Thinglink Grid are important and essential. All I am suggesting is that the way we think about these processes needs to change.

When I stop and think about what I really want from my students, I know that I really want them to become effective decision makers and to think about their learning processes. I want them to be able to effectively demonstrate their learning to others, and understand how to link new knowledge with previous knowledge. I want them to respect the opinions and ideas of others, and to understand that students are capable of so much more than where they may ‘fall’ among my Literacy continuum. Literacy also permeates everything we do in life – it is how we create meaning in our world. I want it to be meaningful to students. I also believe that it is essential to equally recognize FNMI perspectives and knowledge in our learning environments. FNMI were here first, and still are. The contributions and inherent genius that we desperately need in our world should be equally acknowledged. I do believe that Inquiry Based Learning espouses the opportunities to do all of these things. The following steps outline my thinking of how I will do this:

Inquiry Based Literacy Processes

1. Start with the Big Idea. It is my job as a teacher to deliver the Big Idea or topic. But I also need to be flexible. Personally, I do not want to take any prescribed program and deliver it step by step to students. I do not want to always follow a prescription for my balanced literacy program. I want to engage students in real Inquiry based learning surrounding literacy and its connections to the entire curriculum. To me, this means that as I introduce Big Ideas and do mini-lessons, I then step back and promote programming based on the OLA Together for Learning document that outlines key concepts for helping students to take ownership of their own learning processes and engage in rich learning opportunities for deep learning and thinking with their peers, based on where they need to be.

My job as a teacher is to help students hone their questions, make predictions and create the learning tasks that students need to build on their prior learning and knowledge. I can then also cluster curriculum expectations together from across the curriculum as they relate to the topic. I promote rich discussions and accountable talk.

Two students share and compare their learning ...

Two students share and compare their learning logs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Information Literacy: The students learn to gather information from a variety of sources, particularly digital sources, and learn how to effectively record this information with new tools ie., GAFE, and culling their work samples for their ePortfolios.

Throughout the process I can extend student thinking, challenge thinking, model new processes and continue to encourage sharing and opportunities for self and peer assessment.

3. Making Conclusions: As students discover patterns, draw patterns, confirm or disprove hypotheses, I can help them to clarify and extend their thinking. I can give them opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, skills and knowledge in new ways- whether it is through a TED talk, blog post, website, or in a talking circle or traditional informal ‘show and share’ – while continually thinking about our questions and thought processes.

4. Collaboration: Collaboration is essential while engaging in inquiry. When students have opportunities to talk and ‘bounce ideas’ off of each other, I believe that they have an inherent ability (with teacher guidance) to figure out exactly where they need to be in their learning with each other. I can encourage students to share their ideas together and engage in peer assessment. I can even help to model the process of collaboratively refining their plans as they progress through their learning.

5. Sharing: Sharing is a key component of the learning process. This is a great opportunity for differentiation and helping students to choose how they will represent their learning to others, and then extend their learning to new contexts and learning opportunities, both inside and outside of the learning environment. As the teacher, I can then assess their learning according to the curriculum expectations and success criteria that we uniquely created together.

 

What strategies, tips or advice do you have for running an effective literacy program? 

 

Deborah McCallum

© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

5 Strategies to Promote Collective and Differentiated Literacy

English: This is an example of a classroom fil...

English: This is an example of a classroom filled with students participating in the same activity with different learning levels. Are all students engaged? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every classroom presents a new dynamic of collective learning opportunities – yet we still need to differentiate and follow practices designed to promote increased student success.

Should we look at a classroom and the learning process as broken down into its smallest components?

Or we can look at it as a complex interconnected web –  that becomes part of a collective consciousness in the classroom that drives itself toward the learning that needs to happen?

Scheme of social structures involved in occure...

Scheme of social structures involved in occurence of collective consciousness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps it is a bit of both?

As teachers, we may have voices telling us to strictly follow prescribed practices, yet others promoting new ideas, inquiry, collaboration and knowledge building. Then we decide if the classroom will be more teacher directed or more student directed.

Yet what happens when teachers are the only ones to tell students what knowledge to build? What good is Inquiry if teachers are the ones creating and driving the inquiries based on specific curriculum expectations vs. student driven?

If we believe that every classroom is different, and has their own unique learning needs and cultures, then we can also see that unique collective consciousness arising among our students. We can also see how the needs and cultures and ideas form to make complex webs of learning. But how do we attend to the unique webs that form out of the collective consciousness?

Traditional Literacy

Traditionally, literacy has been conducted in a prescriptive and linear way in schools for quite some time now. Practices are embedded to support high-stakes testing.

Student teacher in China teaching children Eng...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever since our modern day school systems were invented, we have been taught to break down complex things into their basic knowable parts. We have done this in the classroom for years. Simplicity is better. The simpler the component, the easier it is to teach and learn. We differentiate for individual students, and we break down curriculum into individual expectations. But I can’t help but wonder if knowledge building and inquiry can truly happen if we have broken everything down into too many individual segments? How can FNMI perspectives be meaningfully integrated if it is presented as a separate component of the whole? An expectation to be covered?

Can we do this differently, while still promoting student success?

Teaching Literacy Differently?

Instead of the teacher controlling what happens with prescribed daily literacy lessons and prescribed texts, how can we allow a decentralized process of students who are able to lead the learning?

The 21st century is all about the benefits and need for collaboration and inquiry based learning – none of which can be prescribed.

English: P21 Skills

English: P21 Skills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What would happen if we gave ourselves permission to do literacy differently? What if we could look at our learning environments as interconnected webs with their own collective learning needs?

What if we observed at all of the interactions that occur, and the ideas that come about within the interconnected webs, as the starting points for learning?

What if we followed the models currently being used in FDK?

This would tie in in very well with learner lead classrooms and most importantly, Inquiry based learning and play based learning.

All strategies that I believe promote the kind of thinking and ideas that we want learners to bounce off one another and guide their inquiries and learning processes. This however, is quite messy.

Creating a Roadmap for Messy Learning

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/480585683

Learning should be messy. When we try to micromanage each individual part of the learning experience, and compartmentalize the learning experience, we take away from the power of the collective consciousness of the whole classroom to drive learning. Classrooms and learning environments should support natural ideas that evolve from the collective consciousness of each individual classroom. Places where new connections and new learning experiences are continually allowed to emerge.

The following are 5 basic concepts to think about.

1. Interest: At a basic level, it is important to provide students with a wide range of books to meet their interests and cultivate new ones. Educational technologies can also enhance various instructional strategies for student success– but it is also important to remain pragmatic – the research still tends to show that programs that integrate edtech are not increasing achievement scores significantly. – edtech is an important way to differentiate, yet also provide universal design for students, provide tools to support 21st century learning skills. This is what students will absolutely need to be successful when they leave school. Further, my roadmap includes choice – choice of questions, choice of research and books, and choice of presentation formats and sharing options.

2. Complexity: At more complex levels, prescribed practices are still necessary to enhance student achievement. For instance, if students are struggling with reading at the phonemic level of awareness, research still shows that explicit practice in this area is still the best way to improve success with reading. There are still many ‘tried tested and true’ instructional strategies and assessments that are important part of any arsenal of instructional strategies to promote success with reading.

3. Fostering a love of reading. The ultimate goal is a love of reading in my mind – and don’t make assumptions as to what is meant by this statement – it is something personal that looks, feels, and means something different for every single person. Yet, our success in life depends to a large degree on this aspect – in whatever way is meaningful to your own life.

4. The Big Ideas. At this day in age, we are allowed to look at the Big Ideas and engage in inquiries and projects  that enable teachers to also justify stepping outside of rigid prescriptive practices still lauded by many. Instructional approaches are more meaningful when they take into account the collective and complex learning culture of my students, while still providing what individuals need. The impossible juxtaposition it seems: differentiating while still being universal.

5. Individual students and individual expectations. How often do we break down the whole into its smallest parts? What do we lose and what do we gain? Although we can break learning processes down to the smallest parts, this can also hinder the learning process.

Complexity in the classroom can also be harnessed to promote student learning. Heeding to the collective learning needs and universal design principles can also be quite beneficial.

Every new year brings its own challenges and opportunities for our own inquiries, learning and growth.

Please share any of your own key ideas, instructional strategies or assessment strategies! 

Deborah McCallum

 

What are we Testing and Why? Standardized Tests, Literacy and Educational Change

Booklets_of_questions_(National_Center_Test_for_University_Admissions)

Standardized tests play a very big role in how our educational system, curriculum and teaching practices are organized. Educational change may very well hinge on whether these tests will change over the years.

I was recently watching videos from curriculum.org that showcased Alan Luke discussing issues of standardized testing: http://www.curriculum.org/k-12/en/projects/allan-luke-continuing-the-conversation. The videos were an excellent complement to the issues surrounding how to create the change that is desperately needed in our school system.

Although we can list any number of factors that need to change in education, I keep coming back to one core variable that has an incredible impact on the school system as a whole. That is standardized, high stakes testing.

When I contemplate how education can change, I frequently come back to the main idea that when the standardized tests change, the rest of the system will follow suit. I think that our curriculum and our teaching methods are always going to follow exactly where the standardized, high-stakes testing are leading us.

As Alan Luke discussed, we recognize that students are moving beyond the capacity that previous generations could have ever imagined, yet we still are using the high-stakes testing that would best serve us in the previous century.

Literacy

We have so many opportunities now to engage students in literacy and build new capacities that we know are important in 2014. These include critical literacy, creativity, collaboration, and any myriad of other digital capacities. It is a fine balance to cultivate these capacities when we also need to ensure enough time to help student practice writing multiple choice questions on their tests.

Basic print literacy and basic numeracy is still important but it needs to engage with the new technologies and knowledges that are available the 21st century. In terms of literacy, students do not always need to be held back because they’re struggling with basic print literacy. Nowadays, there are many new literacies that can be harnessed to allow for the expression of key ideas and complex thinking pathways that could not have been shared in the past by students experiencing difficulty with literacy. Students also don’t have to always write down their answers for everything. Students can take series of pictures of artifacts and locations to put together in a meaningful way to show their thinking. They can interview family members, community members, and podcasts to show their higher level thinking. There are so many new mediums that students can use to express what they know.

But we are faced with a real juxtaposition. We are still being led by the standardized tests that are pen and paper based and do not include complex media and complex mashups of ideas. As a result, we are also held into deficit thinking about struggling readers. We assume that students who are dealing with issues in terms of phonemic awareness, decoding issues or vocabulary issues, are unable to deal with complex issues. But they can! And we can assess students ability to deal with complex ideas when our methods of assessment allow for it.

Regardless of whether students are facing these reading issues, they are increasingly engaged in highly volatile and changing digital social environments. They are playing extensively with games like Minecraft, making cognitively complex decisions about their digital worlds around them, learning new vocabulary and learning about resources. But yet we are insistent on having our students read prescribed leveled readers that have little relevance to their worlds. We simply have new literacies and important contexts that we need desperately to focus on to promote student success. We have new modes of cognition, learning, visualization and new digital texts right at our fingertips.

Texts are Always Situated in Social Institutions

We live in a very text saturated world. Texts work in many different ways in our every day lives, especially via our smart phones and mobile technologies. But texts are always situated within social institutions, that’s why we cannot study them on their own.  We must learn and understand text within the context of the social institutions which applies.

Features of Text

As I read the following article: Is format a process? It resonated with me that physical structure of print is much different than the digital structures that we read. Traditionally, in roles I have had as a Teacher-Librarian, I would teach about the specific features of a physical text including titles, spine lables, number of pages, table of contents, index, bibliography etc. However, a digital text is different. We look at its presentation, its file format, platform, references. We also need to understand the process of creation and production for print versus digital texts, in order to teach about it. This means that it is important to understand the research process, information literacy, publishing practices, and the different methods of writing and editing that go into each one. Instant publishing of social media are different than the editorial processes of writing a book. What are the pros and cons? Will this even matter if the digital capacity is not fostered on the standardized tests?

What do students see when they do a Google search? What do we want them to see? Can our standardized tests measure this? Will it even be taught if this is not on our high stakes tests?

 

Building Capacity

Students are moving beyond the capacities that our schools are providing. We desperately need to keep up with this, somebody needs to be there to help students build the capacities that are necessary for surviving in the 21st-century. It just can’t be the teachers and trailblazers taking risks and determining new paths of research. Educational change needs to be reflected within the standardized testing procedures – that are not likely to go away any time soon.

As a result, my new inquiry is that IF our standardized tests evolve to the adaptive digital technologies, and the complexity of subsequent interactions therein, THEN we will suddenly see a massive shift in how curriculum, teaching and our schools are organized and fostered.

 

Deborah McCallum

 

References:

http://www.curriculum.org/k-12/en/projects/allan-luke-continuing-the-conversation

http://senseandreference.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/is-format-a-process/

Image: “Booklets of questions (National Center Test for University Admissions)” by Genppy – Self-photographed. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Booklets_of_questions_(National_Center_Test_for_University_Admissions).JPG#mediaviewer/File:Booklets_of_questions_(National_Center_Test_for_University_Admissions).JPG

Rick Revelle shares his views on First Nations Literacy, and his new Book: I Am Algonquin – Guest Post

Thank you to Rick Revelle, the author of his new book: I Am Algonquin: a book about the Algonquin First Nations for young adults. In this guest post, Rick shares with us about his new book, and his hopes for integrating First Nations Literacy into our schools. 

"Langs N.Amer". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Langs_N.Amer.png#mediaviewer/File:Langs_N.Amer.png

“Langs N.Amer”. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Langs_N.Amer.png#mediaviewer/File:Langs_N.Amer.png

Ever since I was a young boy I had a story in my head waiting to get out. I knew very little about my ancestors. What I did know though was that my Great, Great, Great Grandfather came from the Petite Nations in Quebec in the year 1840 and built a log cabin in Bedford Township that still stands today.

However, what was there before the Europeans came to Turtle Island? Who were we and how did we survive?

My book “I Am Algonquin” follows a family group of Omàmiwinini (Algonquin) as they trade, harvest, and hunt, make allies, and battle their enemies. Through painstaking research I have pieced this giant puzzle together and have laid out a story of what it was like to live in the Ottawa Valley in the 1300’s.

If you are a young adult, pre-teen or a parent my hope is that once you have read this novel you will have a better understanding of who the Omàmiwinini were and are still today, bringing  to the reader’s attention the language of this group of Natives. A language that is still trying to survive the leapfrogging electronic age of  the twenty first century, where people would rather text than actually talk.

My book currently is being used in Native Studies classes in a few schools in Canada. The pupils that have already read the novel have expressed to me their joy in discovering how my ancestors lived during this era.

“I Am Algonquin” is part of at least a three part series called “Algonquin Quest.” The other two novels in the series are “Algonquin Spring” which takes place six years after the first book . This novel is completed and waiting my publishers decision on the release date which may be 12 to 18 months away. In this novel you will be introduced to the Mohawk and Mi´kmaq language, their customs and how they interact with the Omàmiwinini people.

The third novel “Algonquin Pursuit” takes place twelve years after the second novel and again you will follow the Omàmiwinini family group as they interact with the Lakota Sioux and Ojibwa Nations. Again new languages and customs will pique the reader’s interest. I am currently doing research and travelling to museums to set the plot as I prepare to start the actual writing.

When school boards talk about inserting Native Studies into our schools what do they really mean? Are they going to use books written by the part of society that won the fight for Turtle Island? White society? Or are they actually going to try to bring in novels that have written by Native writers talking about their culture?

As a Native person learning about medieval and ancient civilizations is fine. But what about the civilization that was here only a short 600 years ago? Do you as a reader think it is more important to know what transpired in ancient Greece or Rome 2000 years ago then what was happening in this country’s history? The stories are here! Many elders carry them in their minds. What they know will amaze you! Even more than King Arthur’s Court.

When I started to school fifty-six years ago there was nothing that I can remember that even remotely taught us about Native Society. Oh sure there were pictures of canoes, baskets and tepees in books. But being taught about great chiefs like Pound Maker of the Cree, Atironta of the Hurons, Iroquet of the Algonquins, Red Crow of the Bloods and Crow Flag of the Peigan to name a few. No we were never taught about these great figures in history that helped shape this country.

How about the Frog Lake and Cypress Hills massacres? Are our children taught about these battles and their importance to Canadian History?

How many people outside the Native Haudenosaunee Community know about the Huron (Ouendat) Prophet Deganawida and his Mohawk friend Hiawatha and how they shaped the most powerful confederacy in Eastern Turtle Island?

That Lord Amherst liked to use dogs to hunt down Natives and also spread small pox by giving infected blankets to the Natives as gifts?

Why was the Huron Nation wiped out by the Iroquois? Was it because of the Beaver Wars instigated by the Europeans over trade? Do our children know the answer?

What happened to the Beothuk Nation of Newfoundland?

So many questions! I think it is a major oversight that the children of Canada are not taught about the First Nations People and what they contributed to this country.

Schools are just starting to talk about the Residential Schools; however do they point out that Sir John A MacDonald was instrumental in starting these schools in 1879 and oversaw the passing of laws for forced assimilation of the Native population?

So many questions. What are the right answers?

My personal opinion is that the books that are being bought by our schools should be written by First Nation’s Peoples. Who better than our Nations to talk about our people, culture, sufferings, survival and thoughts?

In my first book “I Am Algonquin” in the first three paragraphs of the Authors Notes I made the following three points:

  1. Out of ignorance and lack of information a lot of people have no idea who we are as Natives.
  2. We cannot be lumped into one linguistic or cultural group. We have been and still are a collection of Nations in a Nation called Turtle Island.
  3. We weren’t discovered; we were here long before anyone thought of looking.

 

These three points should be a starting point for teaching in our schools. Giving information on whom we are, also that as “Indians” we really are separate Nations and finally our ancestors were here eons before we were “discovered!”

 

Finally I leave you with a question that was asked of me a few years ago.

 

Rick, how long have you been an “Indian?”

 

Do white people get asked this question? Just wondering.

 

Just Saying

Rick Revelle

Author of “I Am Algonquin” and soon to be released “Algonquin Spring.”

Member of the Ardoch First Nation and Allies.

Metacognition, Common Reading Difficulties & Edtech

 
English: Photo of students' reading

English: Photo of students’ reading (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
 20140803-090527-32727605.jpg

Common Reading Difficulties among Students

I have created a Thinglink that outlines some of the Common Reading Difficulties among students. I have also included iPad apps that can help specifically support several of the strategies. The main goal of this interactive diagram, is to help teachers and parents to have a basic understanding what to do next to help our student out when they are experiencing common difficulties with reading.

One of the overarching concepts that I did not discuss in Thinglink – but personally believe it is the backbone of any successful learning – is metacognition.

Metacognition

Metacognition is essential to creating proficient readers. If reading is all about creating meaning and making sense of text, then it makes sense that we infuse instructional strategies to help learners think about the way they think and how they make meaning from texts.

What is essential for educators to know is that to help engage students in the reading process, their learning needs to be made explicit. This is done via carefully selected strategies for before, during and after reading, and is essential to promoting any higher order thinking skill, not merely metacognition.

There are different strategies that we use. Especially when reading fiction versus nonfiction. That is why our balanced literacy programs need to engage students in carefully selected learning activities within our read alouds, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading opportunities. This is essential to helping students to not just determine the key ideas and recognize the key themes, but to be aware that they have done this- hence, metacognition.

Some of the Strategies for supporting metacognition can include:

  • Questioning: Embedded with in the balanced literacy approaches, we also ask questions. We also teach students how to ask questions. We teach them how to ask questions about themselves, how to ask questions about what they are reading, and how to question the authors and illustrators.
  • Visualization: Another strategy that promotes reading comprehension and higher order thinking including metacognition, includes the process of visualization.
  • Inferences: Making inferences is yet another process where students activate prior knowledge and cues from the text to create meeting. Illustrations are just one way that one strategy that students can use to make inferences about a character or setting or any element of the story.
  • Vocabulary and word study are also essential to the reading process – as listed above in my Thinglink.
  • Modeling the Think Aloud process: to help students think about how their learning and think about the strategies that they are using to check their own comprehension are important.
  • The inquiry process is also essential and this is a process that can happen before during and after reading.
  • Reading Responses can be linked with Bloom’s taxonomy, and other higher order thinking strategies as ways to organize learning pathways and building metacognition.

 

Balanced Literacy

All of the strategies above are essentially implemented throughout the balanced Literacy program. This is essentially the program that helps to scaffold learning as students go from learning about features of texts and learning how to extract meeting in a group setting toward being able to do this independently. It is essentially about a gradual release of responsibility.

The ultimate goal of any reading program is to develop metacognition skills to a point where students can read independently and fluently – and they ‘know’ that they are doing this all on their own.

 

Deborah McCallum

References:

Readingrockets.org