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Friday, October 2, 2009

Key Elements for Metacognition

Recently I came across this post in ASCD Smart Brief.  After reading the article, I reflected on several key points that I have found are essential in the schools I work in implementing literacy strategies.

  1. Consistency of technique is important, but more importantly consistent language for all students is crucial.  Using the same terms and defining reading the same way allows the student to transfer their strategies and understandings across grades and subjects.
  2. Providing students with topics they are familiar with and interested in or providing them with background information on interesting topics, engages students through motivation - wanting to know - as well as activating prior knowledge. 
These two elements - consistent terminology for strategies as well as prior knowledge are key components for readers to develop metacognition and improve their comprehension.  

Given the limits of the brain's memory system, the on level reading frees the brain up to attend to the strategic processing needed for comprehension and higher level thinking.

Unfortunately, I think the article oversimplifies the subject and those commenting on the program look at surface features.

However, I am including it here because it has positive student results and might be a good option for some of my readers.


Instruction ties student interests to reading
A new program is credited with improving the reading ability of some struggling students in an Indiana school district. The READ 180 program, developed by Scholastic, engages struggling readers with videos and at-level reading materials in age-appropriate topics that are of interest to students. Instructional techniques include group and independent work for students. In the Perry Township district, 225 students bettered their reading by more than two grade levels after being in the program for one year. The Indianapolis Star (10/1)

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