My favourite metacognitive activity so far

Along with posts about practical ideas there are quite a lot of analytical posts, and now I should say I’m really into analyzing and reflecting and these posts play an important and integral part in my practice. And simply, I love writing and find it helpful for me in terms of professional development. So today my post is analytical again. It is about a thing which is now closely connected to what I usually at the lessons and what I am currently thinking about.

Nowadays me and metacognitive activities walk in couple. I wrote about them twice here – about using post-it notes and methods themselves. Since I’ve analyzed the importance of learner autonomy, I’ve started to gather all possible methods of conducting metacognitive feedback and I succeeded in it. During lesson planning I usually open my post with activities and pick 3-4 of them in order to introduce in class. It depends on a type of lesson (whether is is a revision lesson, or a vocabulary focused one, etc.), also it depends on my understanding of how students will or will not be ready to fulfill these tasks in the end, and it sometimes depends on what I personally think will be important for them to reflect on. Having tried a lot of these activities for the last 2 months, now I have my number one. Here goes:

Ask your students to write 3-5 new words or word combinations they’ve learned at the lesson and share in pairs.

I usually ask students to use post-it notes for this activity. Firstly, after the lesson I can have all of them stuck on one place, on the wall in the classroom or on my notebook (if they are supposed to be kind of take-away for me). Secondly, post-it notes deserve the best prize ever for being democratic and handy in terms of technology used it class.

What do I get by using this activity? To begin with, this activity allows me to use it twice, the second time – at the next lesson. I ask students to write 3-5 words they remember from the previous lesson. Sometimes they write the same words, sometimes not, but all the same after that I would show them their initial post-it note and they compare their answers. One more upside: I see how students are grateful for their memory and for the activity itself allowing them to raise their self-confidence in language learning.

Here’s the example of using post-it notes with a task to write 3 adjectives to describe customer service. This time I took it home to analyze and tomorrow I’m going to show them to students in the beginning of the lesson.


So, today’s post is analytical, quite short and not very informative. As for me, it is one of the insights into teaching practice, and for me it’s incredibly relevant today.

Thanks for reading. Have a nice working week!


4 thoughts on “My favourite metacognitive activity so far

  1. Hi, Anna! I also found that sticky notes make a “boring” task much more interesting. There must be something about the color or the stickiness 😉 I liked how you used it for recording new vocabulary, it’s very authentic! Speaking about feedback,after working on some kind of a project or a story in groups. I usually ask students to get familiar with other group’s work and leave a comment on a sticky note.

    Liked by 1 person

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