Metacognition and Physics, a Fun Flipped Duo

--Originally published at FlippingPhysicswithMrGraves

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The Flipped Classroom Invites Increased Metacognition

    This week for our flipclass chat session is about how we incorporate metacognition, or think about how they think.  I like this topic because it is something I feel I do quite well.  I have always verbally modeled this in my classes even before I started flipping.  I would verbalize how I do all of the math problems.  I would also make mistakes in some of the problems and hope the students would catch me. They did and really enjoyed watching the process and trying to "catch" me making mistakes.

     Another thing I have always done is at the end of lab activities I have asked my students the following questions:  

1.  What did you learn from this activity?  

2.  What did you like about this activity?  

3.  What would you change about this activity?  

    When I ask these I tell the students to be honest because I listen to what they suggest and will use their information in future years.

     When I started flipping the classroom it led to more time for in class conversations which extended on my previous questions.  I ask the students to reflect on the essential questions of a video, basically the learning targets, and discuss the targets the students have the most questions about.  I also was introduced to the STEM model which encouraged more redesign of the project during the process, which also increases metacognition.

     Another way I use metacognition, which is a lot of fun, is finding students who have different answers and have them discuss, with the class, which is right and which is wrong.  The students what me to tell them what the right answer is,but I find the conversation between two conflicting answers brings out misconceptions faster and fosters an environment for more open communication.

     I think that having students think about what they learned and what they would change and why is a valuable skill and one that I am working on improving and enjoying working on it.  I would be interested to see how others use metacognition and what strategies they use.

     Thanks for reading my post.  I would enjoy a conversation about this topic with other knowledgeable educators.


  • Mr. Graves,

    I am currently a sophomore in high school and I find your method of allowing students to give feedback on the things that you do in class quite interesting and helpful, especially since it is in a science class. I have taken science classes in the past in which a clunky or outdated lab was just repeated in the same way as had been done in the past year and those classes were always very irritating to me. Something that you might consider adding is a prediction part of the day, in which students would predict what they think would happen for that particular demonstration, hopefully allowing them to think about their thoughts for the entire process throughout the in-class demonstration. I know that it is somewhat common, but even so, I find it to be one of the most helpful methods a teacher can implement. Your model for a flipped classroom seems to be quite effective but I still have a few problems with it. How did you make the transition to a flipped classroom and during the day what is done in class instead of teaching? Just review? Anyway, thank you for the interesting blog post and I hope that you continue your successful teachings.

    • Jon,

      Thanks for the comments. Here are the answers to your questions. First, I do a lot of asking my students to make predictions about demonstrations and labs. In fact, I tell them that the only wrong prediction is no prediction. I made the transition to flipped classroom at the beginning of a trimester, so all the students know with me is the flipped model. Class days are a variety of things in my classroom. Some days it’s a lab day. Sometimes the students are working on traditional book and worksheets that would have been homework before. Often times it is the review format where I go over the student results of the video assessment they watch, I discuss problem areas I see from the questions they have to answer, and I answer the questions the students have about the material. I try to limit this time because I really want the students working on problems and assignments in my class so I can answer as many questions as possible. I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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