Metacognitive strategies refers to methods used to help students understand the way they learn; in other words, it means processes designed for students to ‘think’ about their ‘thinking’.
Teachers who use metacognitive strategies can positively impact students who have learning disabilities by helping them to develop an appropriate plan for learning information, which can be memorized and eventually routine. As students become aware of how they learn, they will use these processes to efficiently acquire new information, and consequently, become more of an independent thinker. Below are three metacognitive strategies, which all include related resources, that can be implemented in the classroom:
Great for reading comprehension and problem solving. Think-alouds help students to consciously monitor and reflect upon what they are learning. This strategy works well when teachers read a story or problem out loud and periodically stop to verbalize their thoughts. This allows students to follow the teacher’s thinking process, which gives them the foundation they need for creating their own strategies and processes that can be useful for understanding what they are trying to comprehend.
Related Resource: readwritethink.org (High quality practices in reading and language arts instruction. Type “think-aloud” in the search button for lesson plans)
Checklist, Rubrics and Organizers
Great for solving word problems. These organizational tools support students in the decision-making process because they serve as an aid for planning and self-evaluation. Typically they ask what students know and need to know to arrive at an answer, and emphasize the need to reread the problem and self-check responses.
Visit Stetson & Associates, Inc. Differentiated Instruction Resources page for free rubrics and strategies
Explicit Teacher Modeling
Great for math instruction. Explicit teacher modeling helps students understand what is expected of them through a clear example/model of a skill or concept. When a teacher provides a easy to follow procedure for solving a problem, students have a memorable strategy to use for approaching a problem on their own.
Related Resource: http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/departments/sped/mathvids/index.html (Interactive website for teachers who are teaching mathematics to struggling learners)
Truly comprehending reading involves students actively engaging with a text and accurately deciphering the layers of meaning. It is very important for students to develop solid reading comprehension skills because statistics show that people who have low reading comprehension ability suffer in academic, professional, and personal pursuits. The resources in this guide from supersummary.com are effective strategies for promoting reading comprehension.