Developing Metacognition Using Self and Peer Assessment in the Math Classroom


Go to: ETAP 623 Spring 2020 (Zhang) | Jessica's Profile Page



Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I know how beneficial the development of metacognitive skills is to problem solving?
  2. Do I regularly implement strategies of self/peer assessment during my classroom instruction?
  3. Do I know how self/peer assessment encourages students to develop their metacognitive skills?

If you answered "no" to one or more of these questions and are interested in learning more, this course may be beneficial for your teaching practice.

Metacognition is an essential skill that students should be encouraged to develop throughout their time spent in the math classroom. There are a myriad of ways to help students develop their metacognitive skills including writing prompts, learning activities, and collaboration methods. This course invites participants to explore the meaning of metacognition and how it can be developed using self and peer reflection in the math classroom. With the expectation of covering so much content and ensuring students are prepared for their test at the end of the year, teachers may be reluctant to include time during classroom instruction to have their students self or peer reflect on their learning; however, this course highlights the benefits of giving students time to develop their metacognitive skills and participants are expected to create their own unit plan at the end of the course to encourage their students to use self/peer assessment in the math classroom.

Course Overview

This course is designed for secondary (grades 7-12) math teachers, but the content and ideas can be tailored to any grade level and/or subject area. Participants of this course will work fully online, accessing the learning material and activities through different digital media on the Internet. For this reason, participants should be comfortable navigating and accessing information online in order to successfully complete this mini-course. There are three units in this course, each divided into different lessons, that progress from content-based activities and expectations to application of learning through the development of a unit plan.

Needs Assessment

The structure of math lessons today continues to focus on student completion of practice problems similar to ones modeled by the teacher to ensure they understand how to solve using different methods that may or may not be assessed on the exams. Through conversations with colleagues and my own experience as a math teacher, it is evident that the stress of ensuring our students know how to solve problems that they will see on the standardized tests often limits our classroom instruction. As I observe math teachers in their classrooms, I often see teachers lecturing while students simply copy down the problems modeled for them on the board. The classroom environment described is hindering student learning experiences and discourages students from thinking on their own to develop their metacognitive skills. Metacognition is an essential skill that successful problem solvers need to work hard to develop; this course addresses the benefits of developing metacognitive skills, focusing on self and peer assessment as a strategy to implement in the classroom to accomplish such a task. Math teachers need to develop a belief that self and peer assessment during classroom instruction will encourage students to develop a better conceptual understanding of material than practicing the same solving method continuously until they complete a problem set.

Performance Objectives

  • Participants will describe the purpose of and benefits to developing metacognitive skills
  • Participants will identify effective self/peer assessment in the math classroom and explain how these examples engage students' metacognitive skills
  • Participants will design a unit plan that implements self and/or peer assessment techniques to increase activation and development of metacognitive skills
  • Participants will reflect on the implementation and effectiveness of self/peer assessment during classroom instruction after teaching their unit plan.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: What are metacognitive skills and why are they essential to math education?

  • Participants will define metacognition and identify strategies to promote metacognition during classroom instruction
  • Participants will practice using metacognitive skills to solve problems
  • Participants will explain why metacognitive skills are essential to develop throughout math education

Unit 2: How does self/peer assessment promote the use of metacognitive skills?

  • Participants will practice using self/peer assessment techniques
  • Participants will summarize the benefits of assessment and describe how it can be used during classroom instruction
  • Participants will connect their practice of self/peer assessment to the development of metacognitive skills
  • Participants will design methods of self/peer assessment that they would feel comfortable using during classroom instruction

Unit 3: Creating a Unit Plan that Incorporates Self/Peer Assessment

  • Participants will integrate multiple self/peer assessment methods into a unit plan
  • Participants will analyze their students’ experience with using self/peer assessment throughout unit plan instruction by evaluating their performance on assignments
  • Participants will adjust activities for future learning opportunities based on student performance and reflection