Self-Monitoring Checklist for Elementary Students

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching students to monitor their own learning, thinking and behavior is one way to help them become mature and independent. This checklist will help your elementary-aged students monitor themselves.

Learning to Self-Monitor

If you are an elementary school teacher, you have a lot of responsibilities. In addition to worrying about your students' literacy and math development, you think about your students' behavior, their likes and dislikes, and their social lives. One thing that you can do to help your students grow as whole and independent individuals is to teach them self-monitoring skills. Self-monitoring refers to students' capacities to attend to and regulate their own behavior, thinking and learning. When students are capable of self-monitoring, they are less reliant on others and better able to understand what they need in order to succeed.

There is no one magical way to teach your students self-monitoring skills, but many students will benefit from using a checklist that they refer to habitually as part of their school day. This checklist can be modified depending on the ages of your students and the specific tasks and routines of your class - think of it as a template to help you develop a self-monitoring checklist suitable for elementary students. Please note that if your students are still learning to read independently, you will want to simplify the checklist and add pictures alongside the words.

Self-Monitoring Checklist

Reading and Writing

  • I chose a book that felt 'just right' for me.
  • I tried every word in the book as best as I could.
  • Every few lines, paragraphs, or pages, I stopped to ask myself, 'did that make sense?'
  • When I closed the book for the day, I thought about what I had read and learned from my reading.
  • I used appropriate conventions, like capitalization, punctuation, good spelling, and grammar, in my writing.
  • I brainstormed and planned my writing before putting it on paper.
  • I stayed focused on my writing throughout the writing period.
  • I shared my writing with others and listened openly to their feedback.
  • I challenged myself to try at least one new strategy in my writing.


  • I showed my work for each of the problems I solved.
  • I circled or underlined my final answer so that it is clear.
  • I labeled my answer with a word or sentence, if relevant.
  • I double-checked to make sure all of my computation was correct.
  • If I finished early, I tried a challenge problem or puzzle.

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