An important part of learning is the use of our metacognition. Metacognition is knowing how we think, process information, and learn. Helping children become aware of how they learn will expand their ability to retain and process information and advance their understanding of topics they are learning about.

How many times have our children or we had to write spelling words three times each? The thought process is that practice teaches them how to spell the word. This may benefit some students, but research shows that this has little impact on other students or the transfer to their writing. Some students acquire the correct spelling of words when writing answers or reading stories. As adults, our awareness has developed so that we know how we learn best. Therefore, it is important we work with our children and help them understand how they process information best. Thus, developing our children’s metacognition and understanding of how they learn is important.


Scott Smith is a Umatilla County educator with 40-plus years of experience. He taught at McNary Heights Elementary School and then for Eastern Oregon University in their teacher education program at Blue Mountain Community College. He serves on the Decoding Dyslexia-OR board as its parent/teacher liaison.

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