Self-Monitoring, Cueing, Recording, and Managing: Teaching Students to Manage Their Own Behavior

By McConnell, Mary E. | Teaching Exceptional Children, November/December 1999 | Go to article overview

Self-Monitoring, Cueing, Recording, and Managing: Teaching Students to Manage Their Own Behavior


McConnell, Mary E., Teaching Exceptional Children


Classroom management. Sounds like teachers are always concerned with managing classrooms. How about behavior management? Ditto for managing student behavior. But who is ultimately in charge of his or her own behavior? Each of us-including each student. Here's a research-based approach to encouraging students in positive ways to manage their own behavior-particularly for teachers and students in inclusive classrooms.

Implementing a SelfManagement Program

Figure 1 shows a self-monitoring sheet to help middle school students monitor their on-task behavior (the form can be adapted for elementary students). There are three steps to this monitoring procedure:

The student asks, "Was I on task?"

The student then records the answer.

The student gets back to work.

The student marks "0" for being offtask and " + " for being on task. The teacher or student divides the number of "yes" occurrences by the total number of occurrences (both "0" and " + ") to get a percentage of on-task behavior. The daily percentage of on-task behavior can be recorded on a self-graphing sheet or on a weekly summary sheet (Figure 2).

The teacher determines the time interval for recording (every 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 minutes) and selects an appropriate cueing system to use when recording behaviors. Interval selection is based on the intensity, severity, and frequency of occurrences of the behavior. For behaviors that occur frequently, the teacher may set the self-monitoring system to occur at closer intervals. Cueing systems can be an audio beep, a visual cue, or a physical or verbal prompt to remind the student when to record. It is important to consider the student's age, setting, and environmental factors when selecting a cueing system.

Sprick, Sprick, and Garrison (1993) have identified specific times when students can monitor their behavior, as follows:

*Once a day at a specified time. Selfmonitoring can occur once during a selected seatwork activity, during whole-group instruction, at the beginning or end of a class assignment, or at the beginning or end of the day.

*Only during certain activities, such as math, reading, science, independent writing activity, or social studies.

*At specified intervals. With this monitoring schedule, the student stops and records the occurrence or nonoccurrence of the behavior at specified time intervals, for example, every 5, 10, or 15 minutes.

* At random intervals. This can be done periodically throughout the day.

* Whenever it occurs (i.e., every time the student talks out, is out of seat, or is off task).

Figure 3 shows an example of a selfmonitoring form designed to help students be more successful in general education classrooms. This form may be useful for students who have difficulty getting started with assignments, completing and turning in assignments, and paying attention in class, At the end of an activity or class, the student rates specific behaviors that promote academic success, using a 1-4 rating scale.

Figure 4 shows a self-monitoring form used to improve academic behaviors, and Figure 5 shows self-monitoring to assist students with assignment completion. The next section outlines a step-by-step procedure to use in teaching students to self-manage their behavior.

Procedures to Follow When Teaching Students to SelfManage Their Own Behavior

Using a self-monitoring form like that in Figure 1 to work through these steps with the student.

1. Identify Behavior

Begin by identifying a problem behavior or an area of academic concern. Select the most overt or problematic behavior. This is the behavior that is having the greatest detrimental effect on the student's success in the classroom.

2. Define the Target

Once you have identified the target behavior, the next step is to write a clear, specific description of the behavior that will be monitored. …

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