Strategy #1: Using puzzles to understand metacognition

There are good reasons for having your students complete puzzles to develop their metacognitive abilities, particularly to understand what metacognition means. They can be done quickly, at any time, and they serve to break up a classroom lull. Puzzle solving sharpens the minds of students and engages them in thinking about their thinking. After a few demonstrations, many of these puzzles can be posed to students at the very end of class and instructors can ask for solutions at the beginning of the next class, cutting the time factor.

Here are some questions you can ask your students as they work through the puzzles:

  1. What were your reactions to solving the puzzle?
  2. How did you talk yourself through solving the puzzle?
  3. What was your reaction when you saw the answer?

Metacognition exercises like solving puzzles also work by helping to form stronger bonds between classmates and their instructor as they work together. This type of collaboration can build motivation and confidence toward the reading process. Please click the pdf icon to download puzzles and get things started.

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