I was not able to complete my blog at the time but am taking the opportunity to reflect on these questions now (reflection of my practice and ideas are really the reason I blog to begin with - it is a great way to make yourself think about the things you are doing (or not doing).
I have mentioned a couple of times recently that I am trying to find ways to get more conversation going in my classroom. Some of these attempts double as attempts to get students using metacognition. If you have read my earlier entries you may recall that I used to use a twitter chat for my physics class as a way to get them to focus on concepts instead of problems (and to model positive use of social media). I bring this up because one of the things I tried this semester reused the prep-work I had done for this task. Instead of using the questions I had prepared on twitter I used them to pose questions in class and had students discuss them in their groups.
In many cases these lead to some great discussions around the room - I would walk around eavesdropping and would ask additional questions when needed or would re-ask a question that was posted to a group I had not been able to hear previously. I think that getting in classroom norms at the beginning of next semester around conversation will help to enrich this even more. I plan to pull these "norms" from the ideas I share here when I first started talking about using Accountable Talk in class.
I also try to get my students to use metacognition by setting up opportunities for students to reflect on their learning. This comes in a few different forms, most notably I will mention:
1. Having embedded questions in my flipped video lessons so that students have to stop at different points in the lesson to actually think about whether or not they have understood.
2. Using peer and self- assessment in Grade 9 for formal lab writing that asks them to actually think about what they are seeing and compare to the expectations.
3. Using gradeless quizzes that both eliminate the stress of the formal evaluation and give the students a chance to get feedback from me. In turn, it forces them to reflect on what they do and do not understand. I facilitate this by returning the quizzes without showing them the answer key. Students must first attempt to correct their quiz on their own or in discussion with their groups. I have found this usually improves student confidence going into formal evaluations and (by forcing myself to have a focus when I am giving feedback) allows students to focus on what the next step should be for that particular concept.
I hope to improve/build on these ideas and to hopefully add more in the process.
Thanks for reading!
I do not know if this copy and paste will work but below are the other blogs that were contributed to the flashblog that night: