Adventures in Literacy Land: Metacognition

Showing posts with label Metacognition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Metacognition. Show all posts

Shades of Deep Thinking

Happy New Year Literacy Land friends!!  I am so excited to have been a part of this team for the last year.  This is my first post of 2015 but we are going to reflect back to 2014!
My first post last year was about how we (my teammate and I) implemented the reading salad outlined in Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor.  We found that it had a lasting impact to our year and we really wanted to do the lesson again with our firsties this year.  So we did.

We followed the different activities that Tanny McGregor has laid out in her book, including the reading salad, metacognition poster, and thinking stems.  But we made just a few changes to our instruction this year.

First of all, we decided to use the Otis books by Loren Long for all the metacognition lessons.

We found that these books are perfect for the lessons that we had outlined for the week because the stories follow a predictable pattern.  Otis has a friend that runs into a problem and Otis makes the choice to solve the problem.  The problems are hard to solve and you discover that Otis is brave, kind, caring, and an amazing friend to all.  This leads to some great connections, insightful thinking, fantastic conversations, and an ABSOLUTE love for the books.

We also decided to add more deep thinking to our reading salad.  Deeper thinking does not come easy to all of our little firsties.  But I wanted to make it as concrete and successful as our reading salad lessons have been. came to me!

My writing teammate and I use paint chips to teach adjectives and the "shades of meaning."  Our students really seem to understand that the deeper the color of paint chip, the richer the word is.  I decided that this would also work of thinking.  The deeper the color, the deeper the thinking.

I decided to start with making deeper connections because I found this to be a weakness during our DRA testing.  The firsties made many, many personal connections but not as many text to text or within text connections.  I created a poster that looked like this.

I modeled what this poster meant and how to use it by referring to the previous Otis books that we had read.  As I read a new Otis text, students shared their thinking to make a reading salad.  If a deeper connection was made, students got to put in a deeper, darker thinking strip.

By the end of the text, our salad was overflowing with deep connections and thinking.

To practice deep thinking the next day, we read another Otis book but used this poster:

Now that we have built a strong, concrete foundation for metacognition and deeper thinking, our students will know how to refer back to these posters and resources.

If you would like to use these posters in your classroom, you can download these sheets by clicking on the image below:

I hope these can help your students deepen their thinking, as well!  Happy thinking!


Concrete Metacognition

Happy Thursday!  I hope your week has been a good one.  I am so
thrilled...nope...HONORED to be here. My blogging journey started just 1 1/2 years ago with my teaching partner, Maria.  I didn't realize how much I would enjoy writing, sharing, and learning in this blog world!  And to be a part of Adventures in Literacy Land--WOW!  I look forward to this journey.

Just a little bit (more) about me--After teaching in the classroom (1st and 2nd grade) for 5 years, I requested to be a Title I teacher.  I no longer pull students out of the classrooms, but co-teach with the first grade teachers in my building.  The classroom teacher, intervention specialist, and I split the class up into groups and TEACH!  At times, we do some whole group lessons together.
And that leads me to our focus for today.  After winter break, my Reading teammate and I decided to start the 2014 year off with some concrete lessons on metacognition.  We turned to Tanny McGregor for some assistance with these lessons. 

We read "Comprehension Connections" and saw her speak at the Ohio Literacy Conference this past year.  We listened...we tried...and we were so excited with how well the lessons went!

Day 1: The lesson started with me doing some "fake" reading.  We discussed what "fake" reading is and how we are all guilty of this.  I explained that if you are not thinking when you read, then you might as well stop reading because there is no purpose.  Then I threw the book across the room.

 I think the shock value of throwing a book paid off because they remembered (throughout the week) that there is no purpose to "fake" reading.

This led us right into the main part of lesson--thinking about your thinking (or reading).  Tanny suggests making this lesson concrete with a reading salad.

I modeled this with the book "Wolf!" and then we invited students to do the thinking.

Day 2: When class started, we asked our firsties to tell us about metacognition.

Sure enough, they could!  The concrete lesson was all that Tanny said it would be!  They really understood the importance of real reading.  Karen explained that some students learn by making something (like the salad) and some learn through a graphic organizer.
(This is the "pretty" version my husband made for me.)
 We knew we wanted the poster to look like this but we built the whole thing guided by our students.  Because of 3 went well!

Day 3:  The lesson started with our firsties explaining this poster.  I have to say that out of all our classes, our struggling readers did the best job!  They could explain every part and the importance of it.  Our study of metacognition ended with think bubbles.  I read the text and our students shared their thinking inside a large thinking bubble.

Karen and I also tried to stress that in order for your brain to think about your reading, you need to read with fluency.  We came up with some ways to make this concrete and hands-on as well.  If you want to read more about that just click HERE.

We would like all of our students to have their own copy of this poster. The following document is a blank version of the poster.  Students can either write in the "parts" of metacognition or cut/glue them.  If you would like to use this, please click on the image to grab it!

I look forward to observing the impact that these lessons will have on the reading that occurs in our classroom!  Happy thinking about your thinking!