Metacognitive Teaching Framework
By Holli Forrest
Metacognition is Thinking About Thinking (Wilson & Smetana, 2009, p.20)
What is the Metacognitive Teaching Framework?
- Think- Alouds
- Refining Strategy Use
- Letting Strategy Use Gel
- Self-Assessment and Goal Setting
How does MTF work?
- Whole Group Lesson
- Small Group Lesson
- Literacy Centers
- Choice Reading - R5 & Literature Circles
- Read- Aloud
I have really enjoyed this approach, because it is a comprehensive approach to metacognitive strategies. It takes the think aloud and transforms it into student practice. More information about this approach can be found at http://www.teachingcomprehension.org/
The three phases of a MFT Think Aloud are:
- Introducing, explaining, and defining strategy components
- Noticing and applying strategy components
- Clarifying strategy purpose
Some teachers use flashcards, posters, guide sheets, and bookmarks to remind students (and themselves) of the strategies. MFT promotes the whole group and individual use of a tally sheet to mark when different components of a strategy occur. You can find some of these resources and citations on my message board post. The official MFT resources are found in the appendix of their book. More information about the book is found at http://www.teachingcomprehension.org/tc/.
The video below models and defines the think aloud strategy (Callison, 2010).
Gradual Release of Responsibility
- Teacher Modeling
- Guided Practice
- Collaborative Practice
- Independent Practice
- Application of the Strategy in Authentic Reading Situations
In short, strategy instruction needs to go beyond modeling and reminding students of their strategies. It should be scaffolded until students are using the strategies effectively on their own.
MTF uses a practice called R5 - Read and Relax, Reflect and Respond, and Rap. "The lack of response or feedback during SSR leaves some students without a purpose for reading" (Kelley & Clausen-Grace, 2007, p. 60). I have found this to be true in my own classroom.
During R5 students will:
- Read and Relax (20 minutes) - students read self-selected texts while the teacher monitors book selections and confers with students.
- Reflect and Respond (3-5 minutes) - students think about what they read, records a response log, and notes metacognitive strategies. Teacher monitors for engagement.
- Rap (10 minutes) - students share with a partner for 5 minutes while the other student actively listens. Then, they switch roles. Teacher facilitates a whole-class share from what she hears in the rap sessions.
Rules for R5:
- Books must be pre-selected
- No getting up during R5
- No talking except while conferring with teacher or rapping with partner
- promote a love for literature and extensive reading
- Promote positive attitudes toward reading
- reflect a constructivist, child-centered model of literacy
- support diversity in literature and response to texts
- foster interaction and collaboration
- provide choice and encourage responsibility
- nurture reflection and self-evaluation
After literature circles are well understood, MFT introduces textbook circles into this same time block. This is when a group is given a teacher-selected book or article, and the group discusses it in the same way as the literature circle (Kelley & Clausen-Grace, 2007, p. 54-55). This allows student to use their knowledge of the five cognitive strategies in non-fiction. One element of the textbook circle is identifying non-fiction text features through a text feature walk before reading (Kelley & Clausen-Grace, 2007, p. 56). Students need to understand how to navigate their way through non-fiction. After identifying the purpose for reading, students need to learn how to find information in non-fiction. The picture below shows a text feature wall that helps the student to remember the text features (Kelley & Clausen-Grace, 2007, p. 37).
Goals and Plan of Action
- The goal is to teach strategy instruction in a way that students "get" and use independently.
- I will educate my grade-level team and administration on the benefit of this approach.
- I will incorporate think-alouds in my daily routine.
- I will analyze my reading block to see how I can alter the reading block to teach in a metacognitive way.
- Implement as much of the MFT as possible in my classroom.
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