Lesson 1: What is metacognition?


Learners will identify the two major components of the construct of metacognition as well as their sub-components.

Case Study

Mrs. B begins teaching a lesson on how to add fractions with like denominators to a small group of 6th grade special education students who are all significantly below grade level in math. After direct instruction including both algorithmic steps (add the numerators and keep the denominator) and conceptual development (Why do we keep the denominator? Did the size of the pieces change?), Mrs. B begins circulating the room. She notices one student is adding the numerators and the denominators (1/5 + 2/5 = 3/10). What should Mrs. B do to help this student?



alt text

Metacognition is often referred to as "thinking about thinking." This is a great way to enter into the conversation about metacognition, but it is very important to note that metacognition involves more than just thinking about thinking. In this lesson, you will become part of the conversation about metacognition. You will watch a video and read about the different parts of metacognition. You will reflect on your own thinking and practice. You will also begin creating a quick reference guide for your colleagues. You will define metacognition.

For more information about creating a quick reference guide, please click on the following link.http://www.soyouwanna.com/write-quick-reference-guide-2660.html

Please use the Metacognition Graphic Organizer to take notes as you investigate the materials for this lesson.


Kremenek, N. (Artist). (2001). Metacognition. [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.dreamforger.com/galleries/nick/gd/metacognition.htm


  1. Watch- "Thinking About Thinking- Metacognition." http://www.watchknowlearn.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=24459
  2. Read- "Metacognition" http://chronicle.com/article/MetacognitionStudent/130327/ and "Metacognition: A Literature Review" http://www.pearsonassessments.com/hai/images/tmrs/Metacognition_Literature_Review_Final.pdf
  3. Discuss- What are the two major components of metacognition? What are the sub-components of each of the major components? Do you think any of the individual components are more or less important than the others? Why? Use the Discussion page for Lesson 1 to discuss your thoughts on these questions. Your initial post should include an answer to these questions which draws on what you have watched and read and connects to your experiences as a student and teacher. Respond to at least two of your classmates' posts.


Throughout this mini-course, you will create a guide for your colleagues on how to integrate metacognitive development in mathematics instruction. To apply what you have learned in Lesson 1, you will write an introduction for your guide. In your introduction you must:

  • Define metacognition.
  • Identify the two major components of metacognition as well as their sub-components.


Use the Discussion page for Lesson 1 to share your reflection on what you have learned and how you have learned it. Your reflection should include:

  • what you have learned about metacognition.
  • how you have learned it.
  • what you want to learn more about with regards to metacognition.


Course Home Page: Integrating Metacognitive Development in Mathematics Instruction

Lesson 1: What is metacognition?

Lesson 2: How does metacognitive development impact learning in mathematics?