Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kate Neal's Metacognition

I, like many others, have struggled with reading and writing. Mathematics and science have been more understandable for me in the past and up to the present. I like mathematics much better than reading and writing because there is a definate answer, therefore I know when I am doing the problems right and/or wrong. I like this because I am getting direct feedback, as opposed to when you write a paper or read a book, you have to wait until you reach the end of the book or until the teacher grades your paper to receive any feedback on your progress. And at that point, you still dont know how you could have done it better.
Every since elementary school, I had a difficult time reading. I was placed in the honors class in first grade and the main things my teacher stressed was the fluency of your reading, the pace of your reading, and pronouncing the words correctly. Comprehension, on the other hand, was not a main concern. I can remember doing reading assignments and getting all the way through a paragraph and/or an entire page and realizing I had no idea what the reading was about. To this day, I have to go back and re-read assignments because I have difficulty comprehending some passages. Through years of practice I am able to catch myself pretty quick if I am not understanding what I am reading.
Writing, however, has always been simple for me. The most difficult part is getting started I believe. Its hard getting my information in order and gathering it on paper, but once I have all the information in order and on paper I am able to start writing and have a hard time stopping. The steps of writing papers, grammer, and sentence structure are all concepts that have stuck with me since the day I was taught.
So how do I organize my thinking concepts? When I am reading something that I find interesting I have no problem comprehending, yet when I am reading something that barely holds my attention, I have to stop after every paragraph and ask myself if I understand what I read. This way I am able to understand the reading and not be stuck in the position of reading the entire thing over. When I am writing, I organize my thoughts on a page. I start my paper with my first point, then my second point, then my third, so on and so forth, then do my conclusion, and the introduction last. At the very end I check my grammar, punctuation, come up with a hook for my introduction and make sure I included all the necessary information. I have used this strategy since high school, whenever I was informed that it didnt matter what order papers are written in as long as they had the correct information in the correct format. This message, I will share with my students. Everyone does things differently and who is to say that they are wrong.

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