Self-Monitoring Checklist for Students with ADHD

Instructor: Clio Stearns

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

Many students with ADHD benefit from learning questions they can ask themselves to monitor their own behavior and attention. This lesson offers a checklist you can use to help these students.

The Benefits of Self-Monitoring

As an adult who works with students who have ADHD, you might sometimes grow frustrated with their impulsive or inattentive behaviors. One thing you can do is teach these students to monitor themselves. When students learn to notice and modify their own behaviors, they benefit in so many different ways. These students:

  • Gain more independence in school and at home, relying less on adults to keep them on task
  • Understand themselves more deeply as thinkers and learners
  • Develop coping strategies that will help them throughout school and life

One thing you can do to teach your students self-monitoring is to provide them with a self-monitoring checklist. This checklist addresses many of the questions students with ADHD can ask themselves over the course of the day. You can also modify this checklist based on the ages and needs of your students and the specific demands of the environment they are in.

Self-Monitoring Checklist


  • Did I put my belongings in the right place when I entered the classroom?
  • Did I hand my homework to my teacher or place it where it belongs?
  • Did I go to my table or desk and get started on the morning's work?

During Group Times

  • Am I sitting in the spot my teacher has asked me to sit in?
  • Is my body still?
  • Am I able to make eye contact with my teacher as he or she talks?
  • Can I see the board or easel that my teacher is writing on?
  • Is there space between my body and my classmates' bodies?
  • Do I have something appropriate to fidget with if I need to move my hands?
  • Am I focusing on what my teacher is saying?

During Independent Work

  • Did I listen to all of the directions regarding what I am supposed to do?
  • Do I know who I can ask if I get confused about what I am supposed to do?
  • Do I have all of the materials I need in order to get started on this work? If not, do I know where to get the materials?
  • Did I write my name and today's date on the top of the paper I am working with?
  • Is there space between my body and my classmates' bodies?
  • Am I focused and ready to work?

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