Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Self-monitoring



When students monitor their comprehension, performance, and use of strategies when reading and writing, they build their Metacognition and actively participate in the reading process. Teaching students to self-assess their behavior based on clearly set goals helps develop their Self-regulation and also helps them to monitor their comprehension during reading of complex texts. Research has shown that when students are prompted to monitor their understanding during reading, their comprehension improves.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how these middle school students self-monitor their performance individually and in a group. By unpacking objectives, completing a formative assessment, and completing a reflective journaling activity, these students are equipped to assess their own understanding of the material.

  • One way to self-monitor is through think-alouds, when students explain during reading or writing what they are thinking to monitor their progress. Teachers can start by modeling their thinking as they read and write and then allow students to practice in a guided setting. It is important to choose high-interest text, particularly when first introducing think-alouds and other monitoring activities, to increase student Attention and engagement with the strategy. Teachers can also encourage self-talk by providing prompts and infusing activities like stop and jots.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how this prototype self-monitoring app prompts students to rate their behavior at regular intervals. Students reflect and self-assess their behavior against specific goals. By tracking their progress, students independently self-monitor how successful they are in reaching their goals.

  • Developers can create programs that prompt students to think about their progress, using questions like "Did I understand the main point of this paragraph?" or "Did I include a topic sentence?" to encourage self-monitoring and assessment. This can also provide scaffolding for students to build the habit of self-monitoring independently.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy