Staff at California Gully Primary School had identified that student engagement in reading was low. Looking to reverse this trend, school leadership explored a number of avenues before landing on metacognition as a way to empower and engage students.
Prior to introducing the new metacognitive strategy to students, the leadership team focused on building the confidence in staff to deliver the explicit strategies and to model them. Regular professional learning sessions linking metacognition to comprehension were complemented by professional reading and supporting resources.
Upper primary students were given tools to plan, monitor and evaluate their own learning. A focus on comprehension has enabled the school to trial an annotation code for students. This code guides students to classify their thinking through the application of key prompts such as:
- Important information,
- New learning,
- This reminds me… (connections).
Initially, the annotation code was explicitly taught to students, and is now being used to track student internal voice as they engage in shared, guided, and independent reading activities.