Areas developed: Self-Monitoring, Focus, Processing, Memory, Organization, Reflection
Dr. Gendron's definition of self-monitoring: "Self-monitoring is the ability to evaluate our own behavior in order to determine when a different approach would be more appropriate. So it’s about noticing and fixing our mistakes, knowing when to ask for help. In a learning environment, a student with good self-monitoring will reread his work, make sure he does the checks and balances to make sure that their answers make sense. The student who is challenged with self-monitoring will not engage in such tasks, and of course, the quality of their work will suffer."
Every Play Attention session ends with the Journal, which is an electronic opportunity for self-reflection. Asking questions like, "what I learned" and "what I'm proud of" prompts an individual to internally evaluate the experience they just had, which in turn facilitates a better understanding of the experience they had.
Part of the process of learning certain cognitive skills is understanding how something "feels". How it feels to be genuinely focused as opposed to casually focused, for example. Self-reflection helps develop that awareness, which is why it is such an important part of the Play Attention program.
Reflection is also a useful activity outside of Play Attention. Keeping a journal and writing down thoughts is an excellent way for all ages to not only self-reflect in general, but also to clarify and process emotions and experiences. In our modern electronic world, there are so many activities we engage in that require no self-reflection at all. As such, a great gift is just a blank journal in which your family can choose to write whatever they want. No stipulations, no expectations, just an opportunity.
Make a new daily goal. Each day set aside some time to do family journaling. Make it part of your routine: Every day at 7:00 PM after dinner OR Every day at 4:30 PM before dinner. Upon completion, sharing what you wrote is encouraged but completely optional.
Start today! Spend some time today making your journals together. There are lots of ideas online for DIY journals. Click here to be inspired to start creating and reflecting!