Self-Monitoring of Attention Versus Self-Monitoring of Performance with Second-Grade Journal Writing: A Comparison of Two Techniques

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Students do not generally self-monitor when they write. This study examined the comparative effectiveness of self-monitoring of performance (SMP) and self-monitoring of attention (SMA) in the area of journal writing. Eight second-grade students with writing problems participated in this study. A multiple-baseline design was implemented to examine the differential effects of SMA and SMP. Observational data were collected by the experimenter and consisted of observing and recording each of the following behaviors during morning writing sessions: on-task behavior, number of words written, and number of minutes spent writing. Writing quality was also assessed. This study took place in two general education inclusive classrooms. Number of words written during both the SMA and SMP conditions exceeded the number of words written during baseline for all students. During SMA, time on-task increased for all 8 students. Although students in the SMP condition demonstrated gains, in time on-task, these were not as large as the gains for students in the time on-task SMA condition. Number of words written during both treatments exceeded the average number of words written during baseline. Generally, students increased the number of minutes spent writing in both SMA and SMP. However, 6 of the 8 students spent more time writing during the SMP condition than the SMA condition. Writing quality was improved over baseline during the SMA condition for 7 out of 8 students. During the SMP condition, 5 out of 8 students improved their writing quality over baseline. No carry over effects were noted.