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Metacognitive Strategies


The key to metacognition is to encourage students to manage their own learning instead of passively absorbing material. Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers use the phrase “drive your brain” as a metaphor to explain to students how they can become more aware of their learning. In addition, promoting a growth mindsethelps students understand that learning isn’t fixed: Through dedication and hard work, they can learn to be more resilient and overcome many challenges that may otherwise feel impossible. Simply being aware that there’s a difference between a fixed and a growth mindset is one of the most effective metacognitive strategies that students can benefit from.

During class, encourage students to ask questions. Keep in mind that struggling students may not know what questions to ask, or may feel too embarrassed to ask any. Don’t assume that every student understands the material just because no one asks a question. Use low-stakes formative assessment strategies like exit tickets, pop quizzes, or the classic “One-Minute Paper” to identify gaps in knowledge and guide future lessons (Heitink et al., 2016; Marzano, 2012; Sundberg, 2010).

During class, students should ask themselves:

  • What are the main ideas of today’s lesson?
  • Was anything confusing or difficult?
  • If something isn’t making sense, what question should I ask the teacher?
  • Am I taking proper notes?
  • What can I do if I get stuck on a problem?


To close the gap between what your students know and what will be on a test, encourage them to quiz themselves instead of just rereading and highlighting a text. This not only boosts long-term retention but also bridges the gap between familiarity with a topic and deep understanding of it (Adesope et al., 2017; Smith et al., 2013).

Before a test, students should ask themselves:

  • What will be on the test?
  • What areas do I struggle with or feel confused about?
  • How much time should I set aside to prepare for an upcoming test?
  • Do I have the necessary materials (books, school supplies, a computer and online access, etc.) and a quiet place to study, with no distractions?
  • What strategies will I use to study? Is it enough to simply read and review the material, or will I take practice tests, study with a friend, or write note cards?
  • What grade would I get if I were to take the test right now?


Don’t let students receive a graded test and file it away without using it as a tool for further learning. Try using exam wrappers, short handouts that students complete after a test is handed back. These worksheets encourage students to review their test performance and improve their study strategies throughout the school year (Gezer-Templeton et al., 2017).

After a test, students should ask themselves:

  • What questions did I get wrong, and why did I get them wrong?
  • Were there any surprises during the test?
  • Was I well-prepared for the test?
  • What could I have done differently?
  • Am I receiving useful, specific feedback from my teacher to help me progress?

From edutopia

Avoiding the Internet Rabbit Hole

The internet has evolved into a wonderfully useful medium for learning new things, staying up on the news, shopping, and keeping in touch with friends on social media. It seems like an invention perfectly designed to engage and draw the ADHD brain into an endless rabbit hole where significant amounts of unproductive time can be spent.

Why is it so compelling? It provides an individual with ADHD instant rewards, lots of stimulation, and an almost infinite variety of things to explore. Ultimately it can become more of a compulsion than a useful activity.

If you find yourself in this situation and need to cut back on your Internet time, here are some suggestions:.

Finding interesting activities to replace your screen time – Identify a specific alternative activity to replace some of your screen time. The specific activity could be anything – take up a new sport, learn a language, or engaging in social situations where you meet new people. Making time for the new activity allows you to naturally reduce your online time. And even if you end up using the internet as part of your new activity, that will be more purposeful than open-ended browsing.

Set up specific times when you go online – For instance, don’t allow yourself to browse the internet for pleasure until you’re done with all your work each day. Setting strict rules for yourself in advance may be the only way to limit your screen time because you can’t really trust yourself to say when enough is enough in the moment.

Cut the connection at home – This is, admittedly, a drastic measure. But if too much unproductive screen time is a problem, it may be necessary at least for awhile. It can make your home environment a sanctuary from the distractions of the Internet. You can still use the Internet at work and other places. After you have become more disciplined about your screen time, you ca always restore the home connection.

The Internet provides us with many benefits. It is hard to imagine life without it. But that doesn’t mean it has to take over. Keeping unproductive screen time in check can make the rest of life a lot more enjoyable.

From EDGE Foundation

Great information!

Be sure to check out my Twitter account- @PamForeht for many interesting articles!

ADHD-Dr. Hallowell’s Insights

20 Tips for Helping Kids with ADHD Succeed in School by Dr. Hallowell

• “Most teachers and adults could benefit from pretending that all kids in their class have #ADHD – what is good for kids with ADHD is good for all kids.” – Dr. Hallowell
• There is no substitute for parent understanding the child’s mind and conveying that over and over again to teachers! A child needs an #advocate after a diagnosis of ADHD and too often testing results get “filed away”.
• Become a partner with your child’s teacher. Don’t go in with a set of things you “want” from the teacher. Go in with the goal of creating a relationship that will support your child. Consider baking brownies or helping out in class. Treat your child’s teacher as the professional she is.
• #Creativity is #impulsivity gone right. Encourage it in your child and use it yourself.
• Most kids with ADHD don’t do things the “normal way”. Don’t feel bad about this, and don’t say or do things that will make your child feel badly about his or her unique approach. Also, work with teachers to get rid of the shame in approaching problems and situations in a non-standard fashion.
• Getting rid of shame and fear are key!! The greatest #learning #disorder of all is fear. All kids, and this includes kids with ADHD, need to feel emotionally safe in the classroom and at home. Talk with your child about his or her classroom and social experiences to make sure this is happening. Remember Dr. Hallowell’s own experience learning to read with dyslexia and how much having Mrs. Eldredge’s arm around him encourage him to try.
• Set your child up to make progress on something that matters to him. This builds confidence and motivation. (For more on building confidence, see the book “The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness” by Dr. Hallowell.
• With all children, but particularly with kids with ADHD, simple, consistent rules are the best. This is true of the classroom and at home. For example, always treat others with respect is a simple rule that can be applied to many situations.
• Use all modalities/multi sensory training: Visual, auditory, kinesthetic.
• Create a predictable schedule at school and at home. Kids thrive in situations that have enough predictability that they don’t need to guess about what is coming next (this does not mean “boring” though!) An important part of that schedule is getting enough sleep. Get your kids into bed early, if at all possible.
• Give warnings about upcoming transitions from one activity to another. For example, “Now we are going to write our practice sentences, then we are going to move into science.”
• Don’t be stingy with accommodations. One example is extended time on tests. The idea of the test is generally to see if a child has mastered certain material. Does the amount of time that is needed on the test make a difference? Why not give all kids untimed tests?
• It is easier to take on a big task if it is broken down into small steps.
• Monitor progress often and give feedback often.
• All kids need escape valves. Make sure to provide time to get up from desk, walk around, have recess, bring some physical activity into what they are doing.
• Make sure to give positive feedback when it is deserved. Don’t fake it, though. Kids know whether or not you are just trying to puff them up.
• Teach outlining and memory tricks
• Make a game out of learning.
• Consider talking with your teacher about having a home to school notebook for quick comments on daily basis and easy communications.
• Family dinner is one of the highest predictors of high SAT scores. Take the time to have family dinner and connect with each other.
• Driving in a car is another great way to connect with your kids. Spending time, anywhere, is important. Check in regularly with your kids.

Balance and Stress

Dr. Robert Brooks, in his most recent article ( March 2014) makes an important observation about balance in our lives.
“The power of leading a “balanced” life that includes both work and play, that is filled with passion and joy must never be underestimated nor sacrificed on the altar of achievements and accomplishments. Far too often, the seeming benefits of particular achievements and accomplishments may prove transitory at best if they are not associated with purpose, excitement, and happiness. I would argue that seeking experiences primarily for inclusion on one’s college application rather than for enriching one’s life may result in greater anxiety, stress, and a sense of emptiness. All adults, but most especially parents, must consider the benefits and risks when “guiding” (pushing?) our children in a certain direction.”

The impact of psychoeducational assessments

Success can be measured in so many different ways. Of course, in order to achieve success, one must have realistic and achievable goals.

In the academic world, success depends not only on one’s performance, but also on the skills of the teacher. One must assume that a skilled and experienced teacher would be able to evaluate how a student learns and demonstrates his or her knowledge; but that is not always the case. Students who are quiet, compliant, and who appear to be engaged, are often considered to be capable. That is not always the case.

Psychoeducational assessments are an excellent tool for assisting the teacher and the student in gaining a more in-depth understanding of learning styles and appropriate supports that are required in order to evaluate knowledge. Once learning styles, strengths and needs are established, it is easier to reach successful levels.

A thorough evaluation examines cognitive abilities (verbal and perceptual or spatial), memory and processing skills, processing speed, language development, academic skill development, executive function skills, and often social/emotional well-being. The assessment findings then lead to the production of appropriate recommendations to support academic needs.

Clients find that the process is a very empowering one. Understanding your strengths and needs and then grasping the accommodations that can be implemented to support them is a very powerful process.

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