What exactly does it mean to monitor and check our work? Self-monitoring and self-checking are two executive function areas that are often overlooked and not explicitly taught. In the SMARTS curriculum, these areas are clearly defined and modeled for students.
- Self-monitoring is an ongoing process of noticing what one is doing.
- Self-checking is the process of finding and correcting mistakes in one’s work.
What do students think about self-monitoring and self-checking? Throughout ResearchILD’s Student Ambassador Program this fall, students were encouraged to collectively think about their thinking and how executive function processes impact their day-to-day experiences in school and at home. Here are some of their ideas about what self-monitoring and self-checking mean to them:
Students Speak: What do self-monitoring and self-checking mean to you?
- “Checking my language and tone while speaking with various people/making sure I recall certain facts.”
- “Correcting and checking your own work.”
- “Self monitoring and self checking is how to act in different environments.”
- “Self-monitoring means having the ability to change how you act in different places or situations. Self-checking means the ability to make a list to keep you organized for whatever activity you are doing.”
Students Speak: What is one way that you monitor your progress or self-check?
- “I look back on myself and my actions and try to think if they were smart or not.”
- “I make a list.”
- “Plan ahead and adjust accordingly by making mental checks to complete each day.”
- “One way that I monitor my own progress or self-check is by saying to myself what I have to do for the activity I am doing.”
How to Encourage Students to Self-Monitor and Self-Check
Students struggle with self-monitoring when they don’t check what they are doing and have trouble setting goals for themselves. Strategies that improve self-awareness can help strengthen students’ ability to self-monitor and refocus.
- Be clear about which materials students need to bring to and from school.
- Set aside time for self-checking at the start and end of the school day and after students complete assignments.
- Utilize theater games and literacy activities, such as Reader’s Theater, to help students monitor their tone, voice, and actions.
- Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate
SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org
Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org
The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org