Regarding metacognition (understanding how I learn) as well as the strategies and theories for teaching students to understand how they learn helps me understand how to create and differentiate instruction and activities to aid in diverse learners’ comprehension.
The literacy processes and factors that affect reading development and proficiency are complex. Understanding how we think about learning helps up to apply those skills throughout our life. If we rush to give students the answer but don’t tell them how to think about the process of finding the answers for themselves, we are robbing them from figuring out how to learn on their own. Also, during scaffolding, shared readings, and read-aloud with notes, students see modeling that helps their metacognition.
The role of background knowledge has everything to do with reading. When we make a personal connection to what we know or what we have read, we remember because it’s personal (affective). We comprehend what we can apply to our own life. It’s one of the most important things we can do as teachers is help bring the context for personal connection and help student connect their lives back to the text as they read, think, write, and speak.
Teachers incorporate their knowledge of reading theories and processes into content lessons through instructional strategies (including modeling and giving examples and rubrics) that link to student activities and support content standards. When teachers think aloud as instructional conversations they support student’s reading comprehension, habits of mind, and metacognition.
Teachers support adolescents’ fluency, comprehension, and content learning when they are honest and constructive with their feedback. When teachers focus on two to three issues at a time—instead of focusing on all of the grammar mistakes, all of the syntax mistakes, all of the structural mistake—it gives the student a chance to improve one key thing at a time, and lowers the student’s affective filter so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Also, it’s okay not to be “nice.” Constructive feedback is necessary to coach students to the next level of proficiency. Asking “so what” helps students to reflect on their work, consider their audience, and write with a persona and voice that’s engaging, and purposeful.