Metacognition is teaching children to think about their thinking.
It can increase their learning!
From this half term children will be explicitly taught how to learn by thinking about their thinking and will be encouraged to have a ‘growth mindset!’
Many people assume that children naturally know how to learn, but educational research has found that teaching children to use metacognition is one of the most effective ways to increase learning.
Mindset is based around the simple idea of having either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Some people think that basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits and that they cannot be developed (a fixed mindset) where as others believe that the most basic abilities can be developed through commitment, high expectations of yourself and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point (growth mindset). This view creates a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Sometimes we can flit between both mindsets. At Camblesforth we are introducing the concept of growth mindset in order to build children’s resilience and self-efficacy.
There are many different resources out there which aid the teaching of metacognition. At Camblesforth we will be taking the best bits from Growth Mindset, Building Learning Power and ReflectED in order to provide the best for our children.
What will your children will be doing in School?
Every 3 to 4 weeks the children will be introduced to a ‘Learning Muscle’ (Guy Claxton) which will help them understand the skills we need to be successful learners: resilience, resourcefulness, reflectiveness and reciprocity. Each muscle is broken down into learning behaviours. These learning behaviours will be looked at each week in assembly and then focused on in the classroom during lessons.
Each week the children will take part in a lesson which will teach children the skills of learning.
During other lessons the children will use these skills and reflect on their learning using the ‘Learning Line.’
How can you help at home?
To help children discover how they can take charge of their learning you can model metacognitive strategies by:
- Thinking out loud. Model catching and correcting your own mistakes (explaining how making a mistake is ok and that is how we learn)
- Using context to establish the meaning of unfamiliar words.
- Predicting what might happen in a story based on clues in the title and illustrations.
- Connecting new learning to what children already know.
- Embracing curiosity. Answer questions with an invitation: “Let’s find out.” Consult books, encyclopedias and Web sites. Go to the library. Experiment.
- Encouraging and supporting your child in summarizing both what and how they have learnt something. What did they find difficult? How did they overcome this difficulty?
- Asking your child what could they improve? Explain to your child that this does not mean they have not done well enough but that everyone can always improve even famous writers edit their work etc.
- Using meaningful praise. Instead of saying ‘well done’ or ‘that is good work’ praise the skill they have used. For example, ‘I like how you were able to manage your distractions.’ ‘You persevered and were able to find clues to work out the problem.’
If you have any questions about metacognition or growth mindset, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Butler or Mrs Telford.
Thank you for your continued support