The Start


First term was spent creating an environment that was conducive to the learning environment. It was important to me that I developed some kind of “base” from which to start my Metacognition journey.

The following are some things that I did:

1. Establish a clear classroom expectations. ie “Have a go”, respect for each other, there is no such thing as a silly answer or question, responsible and safe behaviour.

2. Ask students to answer the question: Who am I as a learner? Students completed a simple Multile Intelligences quiz in order to develop a basic understanding of their strengths and areas to develop. Class discussions were held about what makes a successful learner and why.

3. Ask students to answer the question: What makes a successful group? Students led this discussion, identified key features and, after participating in a group task, evaluated their performance. (This was a real “baby steps” activity – I filmed this and will use the footage to enhance students’ understanding).

4. A Class Quiz show:  created by students, led by students and arbitrated by students! Lots of fun! My aim is to build on this so that, in the end, students are creating quizzes that require deeper critical thinking skills.

5. Critical reading activity: This used a Think, Pair, Share approach as well as an expert rotating circle approach – more on this later (students reflected on the process)

6. Who, Why, What, How, What if/next questions and how to answer them. This has shown improvement already over the course of the term – more on this later (will include some stats)

7. After assessing themselves as learners, studenst were able to choose a summative task from a differentiated task sheet (using Blooms Taxonomy). Students have just submitted this so it will be interesting to see how they have gone.

8. Used some excellent resources from – highly recommend this site!

Eric Jensen has informed a lot of what I have done so far. I am looking forward to reading more of Jean Blaydes Madigan as well as a lot of other resources!!


About Kate Pill

I am a Secondary School teacher who is passionate about developing students' ability to answer the "who, what, when, why, how, what if and what next" questions over the course of their learning. A "mature starter" (read as - late!) to the teaching game, I am still developing my IT street smarts. This blog will chart my own journey through the metacognition landscape as I facilitate my students' understanding of not only WHAT they are learning but HOW they are learning it. Wish me luck!

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