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Spring week 4

Mentor materials

Modelling metacognitive strategies

Learning intentions

Your ECT will learn how to:

Model effectively by:

  • providing sufficient opportunity for pupils to consolidate and practise applying new knowledge and skills
  • narrating thought processes when modelling to make explicit how experts think (e.g. asking questions aloud that pupils should consider when working independently and drawing pupils’ attention to links with prior knowledge)
  • making the steps in a process memorable and ensuring pupils can recall them (e.g. naming them, developing mnemonics or linking to memorable stories)
  • exposing potential pitfalls and explaining how to avoid them

Topic introduction

In their self-directed study session earlier this week, your mentee extended their knowledge of how to transform pupils’ knowledge, capabilities and beliefs about learning through modelling the effective use of metacognitive strategies to enable pupils to self-regulate their learning. To enable this, they were prompted to identify the role of metacognition in teacher modelling, making the steps in a process explicit and through the setting of quality homework that encourages habits of self-regulation. In this session you will help your mentee build on these activities through considering practical implications of embedding this into their practice. You will spend some time reviewing the activity they chose to do from the self-directed study. By the end of this mentor session, aim to ensure that your mentee:

  • Has an increased understanding of how metacognitive talk and the deployment of key memory strategies (e.g. mnemonics) can result in modelling that has greater impact on learning.
  • Reviews and take steps to improve the quality of homework set, yet retains a manageable workload.

Meeting activities

Throughout the session, try to refer explicitly to the Learning Intentions and encourage your mentee to record key points in their Learning Log. Tailor your use of the Theory to Practice activities below in response to the Review and Plan section of this session.

Review and Plan 5 mins

Clarify the Learning Intentions for this session with your mentee.

At the start of this module, you looked at all of the ‘learn how to’ statements for Standards 4 and 5 and conducted a module audit with your mentee. As a result, you identified some areas in which they are already confident and skilled and some areas in which they will want more practice and support from you and others. Look back at this audit now and use it to help decide how you and your mentee will make the most productive use of the suggested Theory to Practice activities below.

Theory to Practice 40 mins

Analyse artefacts

In the previous self-directed study session, your mentee will have chosen from the following:

  • Scripting. Developed a ‘metacognitive script’ for sharing their thought processes in a way that makes their implicit thoughts clear to the pupils.
  1. Practical activity. Within a pending homework task, created a written model or worked example to demonstrate the implicit thought processes needed to successfully attempt the task.
  2. Analysing artefacts. Reviewed a series of homework tasks previously set and considered the place of metacognitive questions/prompts in the tasks set so that opportunities for pupil self-regulation are developed.

Invite your mentee to describe what they did and to explain how it would support their pupils’ metacognition – their ability to plan, monitor and evaluate. Is their script, or the homework they set, likely to lead to independence and academic success?


Taking their script or set of homeworks as a starting point, you are now going to help your mentee rehearse how they would model the set task to their pupils. Your aim is to rehearse how your mentee will:

▪ narrate their thought processes to make explicit how they think

▪ make the steps in a process memorable

▪ expose potential pitfalls and explaining how to avoid them

Use the script from Christine’s Year 1 science lesson as your model. You don’t have to go quite as far, if there isn’t the time. It’s more important to rehearse the parts of your explanation that model thought processes, memorable steps and avoiding pitfalls.


In their self-directed study session, your mentee reflected on their classroom practice since the start of the year and completed a checklist similar to this, where they recorded how frequently they ‘do this’. Now, as a result of their study activities and their mentoring with you, ask them to record their confidence in the same areas. (Look back at the research and practice summary in this week’s ECT materials for examples).

I do this Not at all Quite Very confident
Think aloud
Time for pupils to monitor progress
Peer- and self-evaluation
Thinking in similar ways for different tasks
Set myself as an example of a learner
Self-target setting
Monitor how they do homework

Next Steps 5 mins

Agree with your mentee how they will now put their learning from this week’s session(s) into practice in their teaching. Help your mentee to clarify:

  1. the action(s) they will take and how these action(s) are expected to contribute to improving pupil learning
  2. what success will ‘look like’ in relation to these action(s)
  3. how they will evaluate their success in taking these action(s)

Note the date of your next mentor meeting, when you will check on your mentee’s progress.