3 Ways to Strengthen Students’ Self-Monitoring and Self-Checking

Remote and hybrid learning put added pressure on children’s developing executive function processes, especially on the ability to monitor and check their work independently. Here are three ways that teachers and parents can build students’ self-monitoring and self-checking strategy use.

1. Set aside moments for self-monitoring at school and home

Many students learning in hybrid and distance learning models struggle to balance the challenges of splitting their school days between home and school. Remembering which materials they are expected to transport back and forth can be especially hard. To help students keep track of their materials, teachers and parents can encourage them to pause and think, “Am I remembering everything I need?”

  • At school: Be clear about which materials students need to bring to and from school. Display a list of these items within a designated space on a whiteboard or bulletin board in the classroom.
  • At home: Ask younger children to draw a picture of themselves pausing to check if they have all their materials. Then place the picture near the door as a reminder to complete this task before leaving for school.

2. Be mindful of visual supports

In the classroom and at home, take advantage of visual self-checking supports. Be sure to use spaces that are prominent visually such as student desks or bulletin boards.

  • At school/home: Create a small image of a stop sign with the word “STOPS” next to it, which reminds students to check their work for sentence structure, tenses, organization, punctuation, and spelling (from Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom).
  • At school/home: For elementary school students, provide lined paper that includes a checklist at the bottom of the page and a reminder to read through their work.
  • At school/home: Make available school supplies that support executive function.

3. Share self-monitoring skills to build connection and self-esteem

This school year students are adjusting to not only being in a new grade but also to a new way of learning. Teachers and parents are also making adjustments, tapping into their own self-monitoring strategies to ease the process. It can be helpful for students to have these skills made visible and to know that the adults in their lives share the same kinds of strategies.

  • At school: Model ways you self-monitor while in the classroom.
  • At home: Find opportunities to share the ways you self-monitor in your daily lives.

As the year progresses, be mindful of the challenges your students face in terms of self-monitoring and self-checking.

To learn more, view our SMARTS videos on Self-Monitoring and Self-Checking.

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, SMARTS Intern