Monday, November 28, 2016

Our Metacognitive Learning Concepts Featured on Scholastic Blog

Marcus and I would like to thank Dr. Rod Berger for featuring us in "Down The Hall," a column he authors on the Scholastic blog.

In his Nov. 11 blog post, Dr. Berger highlights our book, Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains: Metacognitive Strategies, Activities and Lesson Ideas, and embedded our recent interview from his online interview program, CoffeED.

Dr. Berger's blog describes how the "drive your brain" metaphor captures the importance of students taking ownership of their learning and thus become better discerners of information that ultimately results in higher levels of achievement.

Friday, November 18, 2016

We Talk Our Latest Book on CoffeED with Dr. Rod Berger

Marcus and I discussed our latest book, Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains: Metacognitive Strategies, Activities, and Lesson Ideas, on CoffeED, an online interview program focused on education and learning.

CoffeED’s host and global educator correspondent Dr. Rod Berger conducted the interview, during which we explained the concept of metacognition, defined as “thinking about your thinking with the goal of improving learning,” and shared some practical ways to use metacognitive strategies to improve the learning experience.

Among the strategies we described are: being aware of what you already know and what you’re trying to learn, monitoring your progress with such tools as self-testing, and being aware of what results you’ve achieved.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New Edutopia Blog Post Explores the Teenage Brain

In our latest blog post for Edutopia, Marcus and I discuss one of the most exciting times in life for changing and learning: adolescence.

The blog post, entitled "The Teenage Brain Is Wired to Learn—So Make Sure Your Students Know It," describes how neuroplasticity benefits adolescents and enables them to improve their performance in school. This becomes even more possible with the direct guidance and help of committed and caring teachers.

While students who have reached their early teens already have formed an image of themselves regarding their intellectual capabilities, it's important to communicate that they have the capacity to become functionally smarter. This is a point we get across in our newest book, Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains: Metacognitive Strategies, Activities, and Lesson Ideas. And as we point out in our Edutopia blog post, success in school is largely determined by the learning strategies that students employ.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

We Share Strategies for Using Metacogition at TeachThought

Marcus and I shared "5 Strategies for Teaching Students to Use Metacogntion" in a blog post published on the TeachThought website. As we explain in this article, metacognitive skills enable students to regulate their thinking and become independent learners.

The five practical strategies we identify for explicitly teaching students to use metacognition include:
  1. Define the term. Our simple definition is: "thinking about your thinking as a pathway to better learning."
  2. Ask students to supply examples. We use the metaphor of "driving your brain," which helps students understand the concept.
  3. Catch students being metacognitive. Celebrate the use of this skill in large and small groups as a way to underscore its importance.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Our Work on Metacognition Is Featured in Education Week

Marcus and I were among a select group of educators whose work and comments were featured in an important multi-part series on the subject of metacogntion in the classroom, which appeared in the popular and highly regarded publication Education Week.

Our comments appear in Part 2 of the five-part series, which gave us the opportunity to share insights into our groundbreaking work on metacognition. In the article, we made the point that teaching for and with metacognition is vital for educators who espouse a growth mindset.

We also explained how the concept of metacognition can be effectively communicated by encouraging students to “drive their brains.” This metaphor is the basis for our latest book, Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains: Metacognitive Strategies, Activities, and Lesson Ideas.

Friday, October 7, 2016

We Talk Metacognition with ASCD on the BAM Radio Network

Marcus and I were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss our latest book, Teaching Students to Drive Their Brain: Metacognitive Strategies, Activities, and Lesson Ideas, on the BAM Radio Network. We were interviewed by Jusmar Maness, principal of Balfour Elementary School in Asheboro, N.C., as part of the ASCD "Learn, Teach, Lead" Radio Program.

The radio program allowed us to explain the concept of metacognition, defined as "thinking about your thinking with the goal of improving learning," and share some practical ways to teach metacognitive strategies in the classroom. On the program, Marcus described metacognition as "the No. 1 attribute of high-performing students," whereas I countered the myth that learning becomes more difficult as we age. In adulthood, I explained, "Life continues to get better as we're able to be metacognitive, conscious and wise about our learning."

Thursday, October 6, 2016

We Encourage Parental Support for Smarter Thinking in Our Latest Edutopia Post

As Marcus and I point out in our latest blog post for Edutopia, students spend much more time outside of school than they do in the classroom. That's why partnering with parents is so important to enhancing a child's executive function and putting them on a path toward smarter thinking.

One of the ongoing and underlying threads in our work is the focus on helping students learn how they can become "the boss of their brains." Parents can help with this endeavor by reinforcing important messages and strategies that help their children take charge of their thinking.