Using Self-Talk to Teach Metacognition

We model a lot of self-talk in literacy through think-alouds when teaching students how to read or write, but have we considered the value of self-talk across the curriculum?

Self-talk refers to the statements we tell ourselves or the questions we ask ourselves in any given situation. Self-talk is a critical part of our thinking process, and as such the quality of self-talk matters. I often talk to myself when I’m working through something particularly challenging. I find it helpful to hear my thoughts out loud, and on occasion a little pep talk comes in handy.

Since self-talk is not usually voiced, it’s difficult to know if we are improving what students are thinking, but more importantly how students are thinking. Since negative self-talk can impair learning, it important that we create opportunities across the curriculum for learners to make thinking visible. When we make thinking visible, we create the conditions for learners to further develop their cognition skills. Self-talk is an opportunity to explicitly teach metacognition.

What the Research Tells Us

  • Self talk emerges in the toddler years
  • Self-talk enables the learner to make links between objects, actions, words and concepts
  • Self-talk facilitates problem solving in collaborative contexts
  • Self-talk facilitates self-regulated learning

(Teaching Math with Meaning, Cathy Marks Krpan)

Cathy Marks Krpan introduced her newest research around Self-Talk in Mathematics at OAME, which has also been published in her new book, Teaching Math with Meaning. The categories below are a work in progress, but provide teachers and students with a solid starting point to begin conversations about self-talk not only in mathematics, but across the curriculum.

7 Categories of Self Talk

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 1.25.44 PM.png

So if self-talk is crucial in developing metacognitive, self-regulating critical thinkers, how are we integrating self-talk across the curriculum?

Let’s connect! Leave a comment below with your ideas, thoughts or questions…

Blogs as Digital Portfolios in AMDSB 2017-2018

Welcome back to another exciting school year in #AMDSBLearns! All of the information, instructions and forms you need to start blogging with your students for the 2017-2018 school year are included here! Be sure to read through the entire Google Doc carefully. If you have any further questions, please leave a comment below, or send me an email! @LeighCassell

Be the Change, Take the Challenge Project for Secondary

Be the Change, Take the Challenge Project is global collaborative project for students that will start in September 2017 and finish in April 2018. The project is open to high school students and teachers from all over the world who believe in the power of global connections.Your students need to have communicative competence in English as all the assignments and communication will be conducted in English only.

Be the Change, Take the Challenge Project will emphasize learning activities that are long- term, interdisciplinary, and student-centered and the use of project- based and connections-based learning.


The objective of this project is for high school students and teachers to make international connections with peers and experts from all over the world and to improve their problem solving skills. As we all encounter problems every single day, it is important to know how to solve both easy and  complex problems. In this project, we aim to show our students how to define problems, how to generate evaluate, select and implement solutions. We believe that this skill will be one of the most important ones in the future workplaces.

Upon completion of this project, students will:

• develop an understanding of problem solving

• identify the skills to participate in problem solving

• better understand the SDG ( Sustainable Development Goals) and the challenges in achieving it

• improve their writing, speaking and ICT skills

• meet international students and become a part of a global community

• participate in thought provoking Skype conversations and self –reflection activities that challenge students to investigate global problems

• become competent users of ICT tools in education

• gain a factual knowledge on global problems

• learn to express themselves online

• be challenged to share the information they learn

For more information, please visit the project website: Be the Change, Take the Challenge or contact Barbara Anna Zielonka.

Post contributed by Barbara Anna Zielonka