Posts by Arlene Heaster

Metacognition Activity

Typically, careers have a language all their own and education is no exception. I’m still working on pronouncing pedagogy and pedagogic properly. If metacognition is one of those terms where you are wondering – what do I do with this? – check out this activity from this year’s National Association of Developmental Education (NADE) Conference.

This metacognition activity can be used in a wide variety of classes and it will help your students. To start with the basics, metacognition is thinking about thinking – it is important in the learning process. However, in the shortened 15 week semesters, it can be overlooked in the process of making sure you’ve covered all of the competencies and have summative and formative assessments and you are keeping the students engaged and … the list goes on. This metacognition activity is a short exercise to help students think about their own learning; it can be completed in about 15 minutes. I’d recommend using it early in the semester, probably in the first week of classes.

The activity is called “Count the Vowels”.  It was adapted from an exercise developed by Dr. Saundra McGuire at Louisiana State University.

Students should learn the following from this activity:

  • Asking questions when directions are confusing is important.
  • They will learn better if they are given clear directions.
  • Learning improves if they have a strategy for linking and relating the information provided.

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Helping students 24/7 via screen casts

Students send me questions about math problems via email throughout the day.  It is not easy to demonstrate how to solve a math problem via email – especially when those problems involve exponents, subscripts, and square roots. It can be done, but it takes a lot of time.  If their question involves graphing, it is almost easier to wait until I see them in class.  But now I have a way to answer their questions quickly and easily.
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