This week, two activities inspired by Thinking Moves A-Zco-written with Roger Sutcliffe, who conceived this great way to embed metacognition in everyday teaching and learning. 

The 26 moves make metacognition simple and understandable for all. The simple framework gives children a vocabulary for their thinking, so they can draw attention to the moves and become better thinkers in school and in life (scroll down to sign up for our free upcoming webinar!). 

Many are crucial for good P4C discussions, particularly “Respond.” How can we make it easier for learners to reply to one another? Here’s one activity from the book, and one we’ve developed since.

All Hands on Deck

Discussions are more thoughtful and go deeper when students respond to one another rather than making isolated points directed at the teacher. In a discussion, ask everyone to respond to a point made by indicating if they agree or disagree. Better than thumbs up or down is to have hands on the table for agreement, under the table for disagreement, or feet out/under if in a circle. Some will discover that one hand on the table and one under can stand for “I agree and disagree”. Then you can hear the reasons why people agree or disagree with the statement.

You said, I think…

This is a simple activity that provides a “responsive scaffold” for paired talk. One person says what they think, and then the other has to summarise what the first person said before giving their point in response. See us demonstrate it below. 

Free 1-hour webinar on metacognition

Research by the Educational Endowment Foundation found metacognition has “very high impact for very low cost, based on extensive evidence.” 

Keen to learn more? Join our free introductory webinar on Wednesday February 1st / 22nd, both at 4.15p.m= (UK time). We’ll talk about how to use the A-Z framework in P4C and school generally, and share many more activities like the two above to make metacognition not only simple, but also fun!

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