Through my academic career I both adopted and revised metacognitive strategies that help me to learn and comprehend new and unfamiliar material. In middle school “study skills” classes were required in hopes of teaching us helpful or useful organization and comprehension strategies. Ideas such as creating notecards, preparing study guides, annotating texts, in-class note taking, and material organization and preservation were all highly recommended while both in and out of class. Although I did frequently and correctly practice these methods on a regular basis, I must admit that some in particular were found as extremely useful while others were almost painful and seemed like a complete waste of time. But through all of the practice came reward; now, after over seven years of study skills practice I have found strategies that help to improve both my understanding of materials and academic success.
While reading and writing, I tend to connect previous events or experiences to the material at hand. Whether is be familiarity with a location, character, plot, or time period, I try to engage myself in the literacy somehow or another.
In order to comprehend information, especially non-fiction and more difficult, factual texts, I most successfully remember information through actively annotating. By this I mean highlighting “big ideas” and helpful facts that will most likely summarize important points. While reading literature that prepares me for teaching in the classroom I star (*) or post-it fun or creative activities that I would most likely want to incorporate in my classroom. If I run across any important vocabulary terms I highlight them so that they can be easily found in the future. In general, highlighting is my comprehension. It allows me to recognize important points, stop and think about meaning and application, and be able to easily refer to, what I found to be, the chapter’s most important information.
Peer tutoring and classroom discussion also help me to better understand reading and writing topics. In order to better understand and more thoroughly build on both new and previous information, I find it best to share thoughts and opinions with peers. Although I highly respect instructor-given information due to the fact that it allows us tp understand what is expected and crucial to our academic success, I feel that my peers’, along with my own, understanding flourishes most when familiar thought processes or meanings are referred to.
Nevertheless, after over seven years of study skills practice, I believe that I have finally found my most successful metacognitive strategies. Using highlighting, application, generalization, and classroom discussions I believe I fully and most effectively approach and build upon literacy in the classroom.