Part 4: Embedding Opportunities for Students to Practice Self-Regulation
- Embedding Practice Opportunities for Part 1: Teaching Students What Self-Regulation Is and Why It Is Important
- Embedding Practice Opportunities for Part 2: Helping Students Understand Their Strengths and Challenges in Self-Regulation
- Embedding Practice Opportunities for Part 3: Teaching Students to Plan
Part 4: Embedding Opportunities for Students to Practice Self-Regulation
You have finished exploring activities to address three student learning targets:
- Part 1: Students can define self-regulation, give examples of what they might self-regulate, and explain why self-regulation is important in their own lives.
- Part 2: Students can identify their strengths and challenges related to self-regulation.
- Part 3: Students can identify specific outcomes they want to accomplish and create detailed plans for doing so.
You should have an understanding of the four components of self-regulation and how to support students in making detailed plans. In the Reflect and Apply section for “Teach Students: 3g. Developing Your Self-Regulation Plan,” you created a plan for introducing your students to self-regulation. This portion of the module will explore ways to embed opportunities for students to practice concepts covered in Parts 1–3 with feedback and facilitated reflection.
Let’s begin by revisiting the Six Instructional Criteria (Gaumer Erickson et al., 2017) for self-regulation instruction.
Instructional Criterion 4 entails providing students with opportunities to practice the process of self-regulation. Students need ongoing opportunities to practice the entire process of self-regulation, including all four components. The ideal practice opportunities are as students set goals for accomplishing a task or working through projects. However, students are not limited to longer time frames when practicing self-regulation. Many students may need to start practicing self-regulation in smaller chunks of time to be more likely to reach their goals and understand how self-regulation can help them. For example, a student could create a self-regulation plan to stay engaged in a 30-minute lesson or regulate their emotional reaction to a quiz.
Just as we provide students with specific feedback on their writing, math, or extracurricular activities, we also need to give them feedback on their self-regulation efforts. Feedback is the fifth instructional criterion. We can provide feedback by noticing when students begin to develop plans, without prompting, for accomplishing something or as they self-monitor their progress and efforts.
Giving students opportunities to reflect throughout self-regulation will result in improved planning, monitoring, and adjusting. Here are a couple questions to prompt student reflection and fulfill the sixth instructional criterion:
- What is going well or not going well in your efforts to accomplish your plan?
- Are there actions or strategies you’ve applied to certain tasks that could help you in other areas?
4. Reflect and Apply: To help you better understand embedding instructional criteria into content, review this video of an educator who provided self-regulation practice in her Publication and Production class. As you watch this video, listen for the first four instructional criteria and how Terry addressed Criteria 5 and 6 (feedback and reflection). Record your thoughts on page 8 of the Educator Workbook.
Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona
Let’s review how Terry addressed each of the instructional criteria in her Publication and Production class.
- Terry addressed Instructional Criterion 1 by defining self-regulation for her students and providing an example of how we use self-regulation daily by setting an alarm clock.
- Instructional Criterion 2 (determining how self-regulation applies to students personally) was addressed when Terry held a class discussion about things her students want or need to self-regulate and how practicing the process of self-regulation can help them accomplish tasks.
- Instructional Criterion 3 was addressed by Terry through a document she created that asked her students to reflect on which component was the most challenging for them as they were practicing self-regulation to complete their yearbook articles on time. Terry read an example of a student reflecting on which component they found the most challenging. In her example, the student realized that she did not plan well and tended to procrastinate.
- Terry created ongoing opportunities for her students to practice self-regulation, including each component (Instructional Criterion 4), using the prompts in the document she created. In addition, she asked her students to use this document each time they had a yearbook article they needed to complete.
- Terry addressed Instructional Criterion 5 by providing written feedback to her students on the document she created to help them complete their assignments. In addition, after her students reflected on their self-regulation efforts, she provided them with written feedback.
- Finally, Terry addressed Instructional Criterion 6 (reflection on their development of the competency components) by asking her students to write a reflection on their use of each component after they applied self-regulation to completing an article. Terry read two examples of students reflecting on their progress in self-regulation. Both students mentioned using self-regulation in other classes to help them complete their work on time.
Embedding Practice Opportunities for Part 1: Teaching Students What Self-Regulation Is and Why It Is Important
It is important to illustrate how and why self-regulation has been crucial to relevant people within your course content (e.g., literary characters in English, historical figures in Social Studies, scientists in Biology or other sciences). As you introduce students to content-specific figures, ask them to reflect on how self-regulation helped these people accomplish their goals. Provide written or verbal feedback reinforcing the connection to self-regulation (or providing elaboration as needed). Then encourage students to reflect on their learning, including how that person’s example of self-regulation might be relevant to their own life.
Students can practice analyzing situations within your content, such as historical events, athletic competitions, or scientific discoveries, and determine how self-regulation was applied.
Embedding Practice Opportunities for Part 2: Helping Students Understand Their Strengths and Challenges in Self-Regulation
In Part 2, you explored activities to help students identify their strengths and challenges related to self-regulation. The activities focused on assessing students’ learning of self-regulation concepts and how to help them determine which components of self-regulation are their areas of strength and opportunities for growth. Prompting students to identify their areas of strength and challenge could be done through brief reflective conversations. Ask students to reflect on their self-regulation applied to specific behaviors (e.g., paying attention in class, making progress in group work, completing homework) to determine which components they are excelling in, and which components continue to challenge them. Then, brainstorm options with students.
Journaling is another method that students can use as they practice identifying their areas of strength and challenge. Allow time during your entry or exit routine for students to journal about how their practice of self-regulation is going and ask students to provide personal examples of self-regulation in their lives, reflecting on their strengths and challenges.
Embedding Practice Opportunities for Part 3: Teaching Students to Plan
Finally, in Part 3, you explored how to support students in identifying specific outcomes they want to accomplish and creating a detailed plan. You learned how to help students develop better plans. There are many ways you can embed opportunities for students to practice making a plan in your classroom. One way is to ask students to develop detailed plans to foster their academic success (e.g., actively engaging in class and managing distractions, homework, unit learning, a project, or studying for a test). Then, prompt students to monitor and adjust their plans at regular intervals.
Another way to help students practice self-regulation planning is to ask them to identify specific personal goals they want to address. Then, prompt them to develop detailed plans to foster their personal goal attainment (e.g., fitness, mastering a new skill, learning to drive, or time management). Later, prompt students to monitor and adjust their plans at regular intervals.
Students could also practice making a plan to regulate their emotional reactions when feeling anxious or frustrated. Prompt students to consider their emotions at key intervals and use strategies to manage their reactions. Additional instructional activities to teach students how to plan, monitor, adjust, and reflect are described in Teaching Self-Regulation: 75 Instructional Activities to Foster Independent, Proactive Students by Gaumer Erickson & Noonan (2021). Facilitated virtual and onsite professional learning is provided internationally by recognized Competency Framework Trainers. Determine your next steps using the checklist on page 12 of the Educator Workbook.