Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jada Nichols' Metacognition E342 Wednesday

During the examination of how I think, I believe I have come to the conclusion that the organization of concepts and information varies greatly for me depending on the topic. Take history for example, I am terrible at history unless it focuses on overarching concepts because I do not memorize dates and names well. I have to be able to have some concrete meaning or connection behind a date or my mind does not register any importance need for it, and it becomes useless. The same is true with math. I did not really excel in high school math because a lot of it uses symbols and functions that had absolutely no meaning for me. Sure, I could solve an equation or do the operation needed, but it never stuck. Reading and writing are, fortunately, a completely different case. The concepts I have learned for reading and writing have really had an impact on me. Whenever I read, I always start with the title. This may seem obvious, but I cannot count the number of times someone has started to tell me about an article and forgot to mention the title of it. I use the title as my guide to point me in the direction of the main topics I need to gather from the reading. While I’m reading, I focus mainly on the points that stop me and cause me to think a little more. I will then make note of those points in writing, or by highlighting it. I realize that this method may make me miss out on points that are important, but don’t necessarily resonate with me, but how often are we asked to reflect on all important aspects of a reading? Usually we are asked to relate what was interesting or important in our opinion, so that is what I tend to note. Writing, for me, is different from the way most people are taught to write. When it comes to topic writing (such as essays or opinion pieces) I do not follow the typical methods of brainstorm, rough draft, edit, peer edit, final draft. The way I write best is when I just start writing. I try to do my best the first time around and make small changes as I go. If there were parts I did not like, I go back and fix them, and by that point, I usually have a paper that is worth turning in. While I feel it is important and necessary to teach students the aforementioned steps to writing, I also feel other methods, such as the free write should be encouraged as an option. Everyone organizes information and carries out processes in different ways, so no matter what way we personally think, we should offer many options for our students to find their own ways.

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