Metacognition is our ability to deliberately think about our thinking. It is the core of all the habits of mind we teach each week. One of my favorite sayings is: “Learning is something we do, it is not something that happens to us.” This is what metacognition is all about. Recognizing what we are thinking, saying, and doing is the first step to controlling and telling our brains what to think, say, and do.
In her book “Switch on Your Brain”, Dr. Caroline Leaf explains how we have complete control of what our brain thinks and therefore, what we choose to do. When we are cognizant about what we are thinking, saying, and doing we are driving our brains. We do learning! This is the power of proactive and positive living. Being in the driver seat requires clear direction and assertive behavior. Thinking about our thinking is precisely that. Too often we allow the circumstances in life drive our actions and we become slaves instead of masters of circumstances. Let’s help our children to think about their thinking this week.
Heart – role play a challenging situation.
Mind – talk through a math problem before writing out.
Body – practice the steps to a sport skill verbally, then do it physically.
Soul – talk about how a piece of music makes you feel and think.
“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” – Socrates
“When the mind is thinking, it is talking to itself.” – Plato
“So few people are really aware of their thoughts. Their minds run all over the place without their permission, and they go along for the ride unknowingly and without making a choice.”- Thomas M. Sterner, The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life