Encouraging metacognitive techniques in my A level maths students

Nicola Stevens
16th November 2021

This reflection was contributed as a submission for a 2 Star Badge in The Digital Teacher (Adopting)

Give a brief description of your work context and responsibilities, e.g. your teaching background, experience, type of organisation (e.g. FE college, ACL), subject/curriculum you teach/lead, your learners (skills level, any particular inclusion needs, age range of group, size of group)

Teacher of A level maths within the Engineering curriculum area at FE college. All of my students have at least a grade 6 in maths at GCSE and are studying alongside a level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Engineering. Some also study A level physics. Students are aged 16-19, groups tend to be of 10-20 learners.

How did you use the learning from this module in your teaching context?

Following The Digital Teacher - adopting module on delivering effective learning with technology I started to think about metacognitive approaches in my lessons. In particular, as an A level maths teacher, I was thinking about how I model my thought processes to the students, then developing an activity where they were forced to consider their thinking and put together a plan of action before... more

What worked well?

This is the first time I've tried this approach to a complex task so I think it's to be expected that they didn’t all end up exactly where I hoped, but I do believe they were making progress in other ways. It's important that they get used to feeling uncomfortable when maths is difficult. This activity also helps to expand their brains' problem solving capacities. Some... more

What would you do differently next time?

I will try this again, but for now I would like to try in person. The type of activity could be really powerful, but I think the students might feel safer and better supported if I was in the room, not just offering comments and support in the chat. In person I could also direct groups to discuss things with each other if I feel like they could benefit, which wouldn't work (not easily)... more

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About This Reflection

Level 3
Metacognition Group Learning Planning Maths Online Learning Breakout rooms Problem Solving

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