New Media and Metacognition in Math

Collaboration and Metacognitive Thinking with Mathematics

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“I’m just not good at math.” It’s a phrase math teachers hear frequently, and it attempts to simplify the struggles students often have in math classes. Rather than delving into the actual reasons for their challenges, students want to attribute their challenges to an inability to grasp the subject. Promoting metacognition throughout the mathematical process is one way to combat this mindset. By encouraging students to engage in think alouds and breaking down their problem solving processes, you are asking them to confront actual points of confusion. Through the use of new media tools and collaborative groups, you can have students both think and talk through problem solving strategies in order to overcome difficulties in solving math problems. Allowing students to create screencasts is a great way to give autonomy and ownership over the concepts, while furthering students’ awareness into their own abilities. In addition, you can provide opportunities for collaboration as students watch, critique, and comment on one another’s screencasts. By facilitating these activities, students are working to increase their conceptual mathematical understanding as well as improve their metacognitive abilities.

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Where Can I Find More Information?

Pugalee, D. K. (2001), Writing, Mathematics, and Metacognition: Looking for Connections Through Students' Work in Mathematical Problem Solving. School Science and Mathematics, 101: 236–245. Retrieved from

Schoenfeld, A. H. (1992). Learning to Think Mathematically: Problem Solving, Metacognition, and sense making in mathematics. Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning, 334-370. Retrieved from