Monday, September 21, 2009

e342 wed metacognition

I will admit that I am not overly organized when it comes to school. Getting pages mixed up and forgetting to finish assignments is an all too common occurrence. When I first read the directions for this blog, that's what I was thinking: how the heck am I going to write about my organization when it is severely lacking? I read the instructions again and realized this is about organizing thoughts and making connections in my head. This is an example of a strategy I use in reading. At first I may skim the words, but if I'm confused I'll read it again. Often when I'm reading I'll mark the pages that were hazy and read them later, after I have a better overall understanding of the topic. Repetition helps me make certain connections that don't sink in after one read.
I'm not a huge fan of memorizing words and definitions, so it's really important to have a background knowledge, or at least an opinion of the topic. As i read, I am gathering bits and pieces to keep and letting go of whatever I don't think I need. A constant filter, along with a highlighter, saves me from information overload and allows me to focus on the important stuff. This semester, I am really trying to see how everything I learn fits into my own ideas of teaching, and by thoughtfully reading the articles I am making more connections with newer topics being discussed.
If I'm learning something new, I like to see it, write it, and possibly hear/touch/taste/smell it. Information is much easier to retrieve if I have multiple versions of it in my head. If I'm asked to recall certain information, I think about it and although that definition I tried to memorize definitely didn't stick, I remember the experiment we did...or the song we sang...or that video we watched. By having a variety of knowledge about something, it develops meaning to me. I think about it. And it will stay with me. By understanding, forming opinions, and building a strong foundation, I am able to obtain new information in a more meaningful way than just reading to get it over with.

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