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Self Monitoring

Self Monitoring

Why should I do it:

  • Promotes independent and responsible behaviors
  • Promotes independence and self esteem
  • Increases coping ability
  • Improves on task behaviors
  • Increases productivity
  • Improves self awareness and reflection

When should I do it:

  • When students have poor attention, focus, and impulse control
  • When students are disorganized, scattered, etc
  • When students have trouble being prepared, forgetting materials, homework, etc
  • When students are overly talkative or social
  • When students exhibit chronic or compulsive behaviors, like tapping, making sounds, etc
  • When students demonstrate other off task behaviors or difficulties attending

How do I do it:

  • There are many ways to implement a self monitoring system or intervention with students, but basically, the technique involves sitting down with the student, defining the behavior(s) to address, and choosing and implementing an intervention or system by which the student can keep track of their own behavior and progress toward the behavioral or other goal
  • The self monitoring interventions may include visual cues, like pictures, gestures, etc by which the student may be reminded to address the behavior indicated for intervention
  • Checklists and charts may be used by students to keep track of their behaviors
  • Indicators, where the student, when they see or hear something, know they need to address the behavior
  • Student may create notes to themselves
  • Students may look for triggers that cause the behaviors, avoiding these triggers or being aware they are present

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)


  1. Loftin, R. L., Gibb, A. C., and Skiba, R. Using Self-Monitoring Strategies to Address Behavior and Academic Issues. [].
  2. Dombeck, M. (2006). Techniques for Unlearning Old Behaviors: Self-Monitoring. [].
  3. Darden College of Education. Teaching Students to Self-Monitor Their Academic & Behavioral Performance. [].
  4. VANDERBILT, A. A., UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA. Designed for Teachers: How to Implement Self-Monitoring in the Classroom. [].
  5. Agran, M., Sinclair, T., Alper, S., Cavin, M., Wehmeyer, M., Hughes, C., Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 2005, 40(1), 3-13, Division on Developmental Disabilities. Using Self-Monitoring To Increase Following-Direction Skills Of Students With Moderate To Severe Disabilities In General Education. [].
  6. McIntyre, T. Self Monitoring of Behavior. [].
  7. Rafferty, L. Step-by-Step: Teaching Students to Self-Monitor. [].
  8. Watson, S. Behavior Self Monitoring Checklists. [].