The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Wildly Successful Metacognition Lesson!

(To see the post with accompanying photos, please visit my blog at http://www.fortheloveofteaching.net.  I can't get the pictures on the ning to look right.)
Today my class was featured in an article in The Edmond Sun.  The reporter discussed our growing class brain in her article.  This has prompted questions from other interested teachers, so I’ve decided to give an update. The Edmond Sun article is here: Students Give Thumbs Up for Brain-Based Teaching.  (The article was also promoting a free BrainSMART informational session this Tuesday, March 1st.  If you are in the OKC area and are interested in brain-based teaching email nsu@brainsmart.org to reserve a spot.)
The Brain
Earlier this school year I was inspired by one of my BrainSMART classes to create a lesson on metacognition. I did a post about the lesson here: metacognition lesson.  In that lesson, students twisted pipe cleaners together to represent related concepts and subjects.  Next the pipe cleaners were connected to show how information connects in the brain.  It became our class brain!  Our brain has continued to grow all year.  Students love it!
The Update
Once the class brain was constructed and strategically located (see the previous article for the process), we were able to begin adding new connections.  We periodically gather around the brain to reflect on new learning and how it connects to what the students already know.  When a student proposes a new connection, I give the student three pipe cleaners to twist into an axon. I also quickly make a label for it on a small rectangle piece of paper. (Otherwise I forget…oh, the irony!) I fold piece of paper over the completed axon (pipe cleaners) and staple it. Then the new axon is attached to the appropriate connection in the brain.  As each student proposes a new connection, the process repeats itself. 

Some things I have learned:
  • ·      I connect the new axons to the brain myself.  The more complex the brain gets, the more difficult it is for 2nd graders to get into it.  Upper-grade students might not have this issue.
  • ·      I write the labels myself to help me keep track of things.
  • ·      I write the label on both sides of the small paper so it can be seen from more than one viewpoint.  That becomes very important later as the brain gets more complex!
  • ·      Hang the brain low enough where students can interact with it, in a location with no regular traffic.

The Result
By using this method, we are continually reviewing things learned all year.  For example, when studying China, students made a connection from the invention of paper to an earlier lesson on Sequoyah since Sequoyah invented a writing system for the Cherokee people.  While making connections about the Erie Canal students made a connection from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi.  The length of the Mississippi had them connecting it to the Nile, Amazon, and Yellow Rivers.  They learned about the Amazon and Yellow Rivers earlier in the year, and the Nile in first grade. See the growing connections?
To add to the fun, former students of mine come by frequently to see the brain grow.  They are intrigued by the connections and beg to make their own.  

Finally
This metacognition lesson continues to be wildly successful.  This has provided a fun way to review and solidify learning all year. 

Views: 151

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Christine Hinkley posted an event

OLC Collaborate - San Diego at Ashford University

June 4, 2019 from 7:30am to 4pm
Join OLC and Ashford University June 4th in San Diego as we explore our shared responsibility as educators to meet our diverse and changing student populations where they are, and to improve student success in online and digital learning. Share in an open dialogue with other colleagues from around the region.Hear featured speakers Dr. Dale Allen, President and co-founder, DXtera Institute; Dr. Laura Rendón, Professor Emerita, University of Texas-San Antonio; and Clark Shah-Nelson, Assistant…See More
May 9
Thomas Whitby posted a blog post

What’s the Goal of Education?

April 25, 2019 by Tom Whitby @tomwhitbyAs adults we generally learn about things that we need to learn about. Of course we also have an opportunity to learn about things we would like to learn about. We do not have anyone assigning us projects, or books or exams for which to prepare. The exception to that would be the job requirements in a job that we have chosen. Theoretically, we work in a job that…See More
Apr 29
Profile IconSamuel Nyanor and Laura Heckman joined The Educator's PLN
Apr 29
Profile IconEmrullah KIZIL, Hilary Huff, April Burton and 44 more joined The Educator's PLN
Apr 26
Adriantoth commented on Jennifer Broflowski's blog post Symptoms You Should Never Ignore.
"Amazing Blog! Thanks for sharing this blog and this information is very useful for the beginner’s Great work. Your help in the form of this blog is highly appreciable, clearly outlining the mistakes to be avoided while blog commenting. thesis…"
Apr 5
Christine Hinkley posted events
Mar 25
Syed Salman Jaffery and Vanessa Herbert are now friends
Mar 21
Robin Chicelli liked Thomas Whitby's blog post Parent Communication Isn’t What It Once Was.
Mar 17

© 2019   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service